Seasonal trees aren't restricted to holiday use. Give your home a graphic winter vibe with a metal candle tree that will light up the space on long, cold nights. It's best to keep candle trees at least one foot away from walls, window treatments and upholstery.
To help your kids keep track of each holiday night, make some Hanukkah stockings. Use paper bags and label each from 1-8 to represent each night of Hanukkah. Put a small gift in each bag and allow the kids to open the small gift after you light the menorah.
To avoid a holiday decorating disaster, be sure to check all lights and decorations to see if they're damaged or worn. John Drengenberg, Consumer Safety Director at Underwriters Lab, advises caution, since "cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard."
Modern artwork, lighting and furnishings mix with traditional pieces, such as a wing chair, in a white and blue sitting room by Jimmy Stanton for a Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse in Atlanta. He selected items that have concrete, wood and stone, along with graphic artwork and a rug with a faux bois design. Garden stools provide extra seating or space for coffee or cocktails.
This charming blue Cape Cod-inspired gingerbread house is sure to delight holiday party guests. Plus, it's easy to construct with royal icing and chocolate fondant. Allow house to dry completely overnight. When house is set, transfer to a cake plate or serving board and sprinkle over powdered sugar "snow."
“Select a venue that already dresses up for the holidays," Zazueta adds, "and work their decorations into your overall design. Think outside of the box and, instead of traditional lighted trees, opt for more creative ways of embracing the season, like a snow machine, perhaps, or a candy cane-inspired signature cocktail.” Floral design: Blooming Gallery.
The use of metallics is a more sophisticated approach to holiday decorating. Once twinkle lights are illuminated at night, metallic accents dance with sparkle and sheen. Whether you're using the same color or mixing gold, silver and bronze, try to combine metallic ornaments featuring different finishes including matte, high-gloss reflective, glitzy and sparkly, and raw or coarse.
Handmade sleeves or holders for candy canes have been around for generations. This sweet throwback holiday craft is quick, easy and fun for kids of all ages to make using just felt and glue. You will need the following materials: medium gray, light gray and pink felt quarters, all-purpose or fabric glue, hot glue gun and glue sticks (optional), scissors, craft eyes, small pink pompom, black permanent marker and clothespin.
There is very little this Atlanta doesn't offer in terms of outdoor activities including this hot tub and fireplace combination, a luxurious outdoor kitchen, putting green, whimsical fairy tale garden shed and more. "We like to entertain obviously," says homeowner Rod Rusyniak who each year with his partner stages an elaborate holiday party complete with a light show, Mr. and Mrs. Klaus, ice sculptures and, of course, elves.
After the holidays, cyclamens need a location with bright, indirect light and cool temperatures. They prefer high humidity, so try grouping them with other plants, or place them in a saucer filled with pebbles and a little water. (Just don't let the roots touch the water, which can cause rotting.) When the flowers finish, the plants will go dormant. Stop watering then and wait until new leaves emerge in fall before you water again. This cyclamen is 'Dixie Pink'.
Christmas cactus are succulents, not cacti. They need warm temperatures and bright light; after their holiday flowers fade, reduce the amount of water you give them. You can enjoy your potted Christmas cacti as a houseplant or move it outdoors in the spring, after all danger of frost has passed. Give it bright light, but not direct sun, and in some parts of the country, as the daylight hours naturally lengthen and then shorten again, new buds will form. Some gardeners may need to put their Christmas cacti into a completely dark location for 12 hours a day, for several weeks, in temperatures from about 50 to 55 degrees F., to stimulate new buds.
Evergreen Norfolk Island Pines aren't just fun houseplants; they also make great Christmas trees. Their after-holiday care is no different from their daily care. Give these tropicals high humidity and protect them from drafts. They prefer bright light, such as from a south-facing window, and should be watered when the top of the soil starts to feel dry. Don't keep them too wet or let them dry out completely. Feed with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer in spring and summer, following label directions.
Ornamental peppers are popular holiday plants with colorful, decorative fruits. Give your plant a cool spot that gets lots of bright light, and water as needed to keep the soil from drying out. Some ornamental peppers have been treated with chemicals, and others just aren't good for eating, so enjoy the fruits only as ornamentals. Don't consume them or let children or pets come in contact with them. Annual ornamental peppers can stay in their pots or be transplanted into the garden after all danger of frost has passed. They'll grow until the first hard frost. This variety is 'NuMex Easter.'
If they’re keep in a cool spot (but out of drafts), poinsettias can last long past the holidays. Give your plant bright, indirect light and water when the soil starts to feel dry. As with most houseplants, avoid overwatering, and drain the saucer, so the plants’ roots won’t rot. Use a balanced fertilizer every couple of weeks to feed the poinsettia as long as it’s actively growing. Getting the plant to rebloom next year is difficult; most people compost their poinsettias and buy new ones each season. You can also keep them to enjoy as green houseplants after all the red "leaves" drop.