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In Country Living Handmade Christmas, the editors of Country Living have provided thirty projects to thwart that unjolly trend. Step-by-step instructions and color photos lead readers through delightful activities ranging from making sugared apples, to sewing patchwork teddy bears, to building snowmen, to setting up card displays. Consider personalizing Christmas by ...
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In Country Living Handmade Christmas, the editors of Country Living have provided thirty projects to thwart that unjolly trend. Step-by-step instructions and color photos lead readers through delightful activities ranging from making sugared apples, to sewing patchwork teddy bears, to building snowmen, to setting up card displays. Consider personalizing Christmas by starting family traditions such as a family outing to cut down the tree. Or, why not plant one to honor a newborn or small child?
Country Living Handmade Christmas also shares some nifty decorating ideas: scalloped-edge tablecloths, Christmas wreaths, lights for trees or hedges. Each project is designed and presented so that novices of any age can quickly achieve satisfaction and enjoyment—a marvelous and affordable way to return the Christmas holiday to heart and hearth.
When it comes to decorating the house for Christmas, my family and I like to do it all at once. We pull the ornament boxes out of the basement or attic, haul them to the living room, and take everything out Willy-nilly. Candles with hollyberry ruffs hit the tables, the Santa coasters are dealt out like cards, and by the end of the afternoon there's holiday potpourri in the bathroom and a wreath on the front door. Thc cats lob jingle bells around the living room and even though the bells eventually vanish under the sofa, there's no denying it's Christmas!
There are other ways to approach the holidays. Some people like to take it a bit slow, starting with a Saturday afternoon devoted to card-making and list-updating, then gradually taking on more projects. Cookie dough is made and frozen the following week, gift wrapping and decorating supplies inventoried.The holiday spirit eases its way through the house, eventually touching every room. In the end, no matter how you approach it, the result is the same: a home that is welcoming and festive for friends and family.
The trick to a wonderful Christmas just might begin with making a list of the things you want your Christmas to include, and then finding ways of making the most important dreams come true. This is something you can do on your own, although it might be more fun to daydream aloud with other people, perhaps in a workshop at church, with everyone comingaway with a pretty picture in mind. Close your eyes and envision the best holiday scenario ever. Maybe you'll realize you've always wanted to roast an enormous goose for Christmas dinner, or perhaps your fantasy is to cut down your own tree and make plum pudding, fruitcakes, and a dozen different Christmas cookies. You can make your dream real even if you don't have lots of time: Just take advantage of the multitude of time-savers available. Buy premade Christmas swags. Hire a teenager to addressyour Christmas cards. Throw' a cookie baking party or heavens!—buy cookie dough in a tube and put your energies into the cookie decorating, which is really the fun part anyway. In the end, of course, what you want is a memorable, peaceful Christmas. How you did it can be your secret.
And, always, remember the guiding principle of Christmas: More is better. And this doesn't mean presents. More love. More kindness. More hope.
'Tis the season to garnish the house! Grand decorating schemes often stir up more stress than satisfaction. Instead, concentrate on little touches throughout the house that will cheer you with their simplicity.
A bucket of greenery topped with dried flowers, cookie cutters lined up on window-sills, fat sugar cookies in a silver dish—accents like these quickly bring a cheerful note to every corner. Set out a bowl of oranges to add color to a hallway or dining room, perhaps studding them with cloves for extra fragrance. Use gold, silver, or plaid ribbon throughout the house, woven through banisters, for example, or draped around mirrors. Capitalize on the architectural features in your home: Window frames or picture frames can be swagged with strings of bead balls or garlands. Tuck sprigs of pine behind picture or mirror frames.
A collection little chairs can become a stage for improvised decorations: a bowl of citrus fruits with a collar of pine, a basket of oranges, pinecones, and cranberry ropes (the berries can be either wooden or real), or a family of dolls and bears bundled up in blankets. Keep the lighting low and atmospheric by placing electric candles with four-watt decorative night lights in the windows or using real candles everywhere.
To "pump up" the look of an' room, think in multiples and use anything that shines and sparkles. Small lighted trees make wonderful decorations; an odd number, like three, five, or seven, creates a tiny table top forest. Hang twin wreaths on the wall side by side, or a small wreath inside a larger one. Give an illusion of fluffiness by hanging a single wreath in front of a tall mirror, perhaps above the dining-room buffet. Prop a large mirror against the wall to reflect a scene, and then lean another one against it.
In the kitchen, you'll want to pull out the Santa cookie jar, of course, and the cheese spreaders decorated with reindeer, the red and green bowls, and the Christmas-tree platter. And if you also light a candle each morning. it will set a relaxed tone during the seasonal rush. It will keep you feeling calm and peaceful, no matter how hectic the atmosphere.
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