Zen Interior Decorating Home
Place votive candles in glass tumblers and wrap each with gold mesh, organdy, or a pretty ribbon.
Hollow out artichokes (more unusual than apples) to hold votive candles.
Frame a montage of family pictures from Christmases past and hang it in the entryway or prop it up on the mantel among the greenery.
Put a miniature tree in the kitchen and cover with candy canes, and tie Christmas candies to the branches.
If you really want a minimal idea, here’s what my friend Michael does for celebrations in his store. He has a large basket lined with brightly colored fabric that he fills to brimming with red and green M&M’s. Put this on a table in your entryway and watch them disappear! It’s festive, it’s fun, and kids and adults love them.
Place a small electric candle lamp in the powder room and add red guest towels. Fill a small vase or pitcher with sprigs of pine or fill a basket with pinecones.
If you’ve run out of wrapping paper and there’s one more gift to wrap, use the comic pages from the newspaper, a child’s artwork, leftover wallpaper, shelf paper, or magazine pages taped together in an interesting and colorful collage.
If you run out of name tags, simply write the recipient’s name along the ribbon ends of the bow. Or use glue and short pieces of ribbon to “print” the person’s name on a white gift box.
The prettiest ornaments can be the simplest. Dip Christmas balls into white semigloss latex enamel so the bottom half is covered with a snowlike pattern. Or sponge-paint the white enamel at random over red and green balls. This is a fun project to do with kids. Dip pinecones into the paint and hang as little snow-covered trees on the larger tree. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle the pinecones with glitter if desired.
For a no-effort decoration, tie tiny sprigs of greens together and hang them upside down from windowpanes. Gather a large bunch of greens, tie with white satin ribbon, and affix to one top corner of the window frame.
Finally, there’s nothing fresher or more Christmasy than greens picked from the backyard. Simply lay them across the mantel, over a sideboard, along the top of the kitchen cabinets. Then add a string of clear lights and your house will exude a festive feeling with the least bit of effort.