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Holiday Decorating Tips

By Sara Antonuccio
The holidays have finally arrived! We’ve reached the time of year when lights shine bright, kitchens are full of delectable smells, and a sense of joyfulness is in the air. Get into the holiday spirit with these decorating tips that will have your home feeling like a winter wonderland in no time:  
Play Around with String Light Bulb Sizes
Whether you plan to decorate a tree or just want to add some cheery lighting to your home, try to think outside the box when it comes to the types of lights you use. The most common and easiest to set up holiday lights are string lights, but instead of buying up boxes of the same bulb size, experiment! Small twinkle lights are great for cozy family areas that benefit from softer lighting, while larger bulb sizes are better for wide open spaces or rooms with tall ceilings. Wrap them around railings and stairways, drape them around windows, or line a whole room with them!
Bring in the Greenery
Lights and greenery go hand in hand during the holidays. You don’t have to limit your greenery to a tree, though. Place simple wreaths on the main doorways throughout your home, not just the front door but side doors and interior ones as well. Drape garland over windows and entryways, and wrap it around stairway railings both inside your home and outside. If you have a green thumb or favor living plants, pick up some winter plants or evergreens to decorate surfaces with and to use as centerpieces.
Don’t Neglect Your Front Entryway
A little effort goes a long way when it comes to decorating your entryway. You don’t have to bring out the ladder and go all out on exterior decorations, either! To start, place a matching pair of outdoor decorations such as mini trees, small deer statues, nutcrackers, or planter boxes full of winter plants on either side of the door. Next, get a big, beautiful wreath that makes a statement. Then frame your doorway with garland, and maybe add a few bows here and there. That’s all you need for a holiday-ready entryway!
Holiday Scents are Vital
Most decorations you can see, but some are less tangible yet contribute significantly to the ambiance of your home. Holiday scents take your environment from cheery and cozy to downright heavenly with ease. Wax melts and wall plugins are easy ways to achieve this, but if you’re into DIY you can also try a simmer pot recipe. Some popular ones for the holidays include mixing together apple peels, cinnamon sticks, and cloves, or apple peels, cinnamon sticks, orange rinds, cloves, and two-star anise. Add your ingredients to a pot of boiling water and leave it to simmer for a while, checking periodically to make sure there’s enough water.
Create a Mantel—Even If You Don’t Have One
No fireplace? No problem! You don’t need one to create a stellar holiday mantle. Use a side table, floating shelf, or another thin, flat surface. Some people even use the top of their piano as a holiday mantle! Once you’ve picked your surface, the rest is really up to you. Many people use the mantle as a room’s focal point, adding a family-favorite holiday quote, seasonal decorations, and of course garlands and other greenery. Make this a family project and get everyone’s input on what your mantel should be made up of!
There really is nothing like the holidays. Decorating is just part of the fun—once you’re done, be sure to enjoy the space with loved ones and friends, and celebrate the season together.