Getting Ready for Seasonal Celebrations: Real-Life Tips From Our Inbox
These holiday tips sent in from our readers will help you stress less during the holiday season. Get advice on staying organized, decorating the simple way and preparing a stress-free holiday feast.
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Decorate Your Way
I use tabletop trees of various sizes in my decorating. I have each tree decorated with special ornaments, some of which I have made, some purchased over a period of years and some are gifts from friends that have special meaning to me. Because my trees are small I keep them decorated and place a large plastic wrapper over them to keep out the dust before storing them in a closet. When it's time to decorate I just bring them out of the closet, set them on the appropriate table and I'm done!
Vicki Steckbeck, Ft. Wayne, Ind.
I don't put out all of my decorations every year. First, it lessens the decorating time. Second, you make every Christmas a little different and special. For example, I have a collection of at least a dozen nativity sets, but I may only put out three in any given year. This way, each nativity is displayed in its full glory. I also have several sets of ornaments — each with a theme (i.e. cat ornaments, ornaments from travel, golf ornaments). By only using one theme a year, I keep the family guessing and create a little surprise.
Julia Kirwan, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
Now that the kids are grown and gone I have several 4-foot trees which I leave pretty much decorated before they get stored each year. Whenever it?s a hectic year or we are going out of town, I just pull out the trees and plug in the lights, and finish decorating the rest of the house. This way I have more time to bake and enjoy the season and feel the warmth of Christmas.
Karen Polian, Wichita, Kan.
I store a few different "themes" in totes. I change themes yearly, but this is still enough variety to keep it new. Past years have included rustic, snowman, iridescent, red/silver, black/silver/purple, primary colors. This way, all I have to do is decide on the theme of the year and pull out that tote. I enjoy opening a tote and finding all the little items I have added throughout the year. It is usually enough that I can decorate the tree and incorporate the theme throughout the house.
Jolene Cox, Spencer, Iowa
We have the Christmas decorations in boxes that are labeled by room, so after the tree is up, I do one room at a time during the week while the kids are at school. This helps with clutter and it?s nice to see the kids' faces when they come home from school and they see more Christmas decorations.
Pia Siegman, Northridge, Calif.