Christmas Gifts: 20+ Cute and Clever Ideas to Try

Friends and family will adore these handy handmade Christmas gifts -- including dishware, vases, and other home accessories -- that are just as fun (and easy!) to make as they are to give. Start one of these simple Christmas crafts today so you can check everyone off your holiday gift list.

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Three-Step Christmas Centerpieces

Create a striking holiday centerpiece in just three steps. We have a special secret for the step one: How to lay the table runner.

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Creative Christmas Tree Themes

Be creative by decorating your Christmas tree with a favorite theme that suits your decorating style or your family's personality. We were inspired by a local festival of trees and have included tips for bringing the looks inside your own Christmas home. Bonus: We've included lighting tips to make your tree shine.

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Christmas Sugar Cookies

Turn a simple sugar cookie into a masterpiece this Christmas. Whether you like your sugar cookies soft or crisp, simply decorated or frosted with intricate designs, these sugar cookie recipes are sure to sweeten up your holiday season.

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Deck a Christmas Staircase in Two Steps

It's so simple to decorate your staircase for Christmas! Get our damage-free, two-step plan to ensure that the holiday spirit extends from first floor to second.

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Creative Christmas Wreaths

Christmas wreaths don't have to be made from traditional evergreens -- in fact, we encourage you to mix it up with eucalyptus leaves, boxwood, lotus pods, and even items that don't come from nature, such as peppermint candies and pom-poms. These fun-to-make creative designs show you how to make Christmas wreaths with unexpected shapes, dazzling colors, and out-of-the-ordinary materials.

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Genius Christmas Hacks

Get ready for the Christmas season with our clever tricks to simplify the holidays. Including crafty Christmas wrapping ideas, must-try ideas for hosting guests, and why-didn't-I-think-of-that Christmas shortcuts, our tips for the holiday season are guaranteed to make your life easier.

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10 Expert Tips for Gorgeous Poinsettias

BHG.com Garden Editor Justin Hancock shares his secrets for buying beautiful poinsettias -- and keeping them beautiful as long as possible.

  1. Look for healthy plants. Choose a poinsettia with colorful bracts (which you might think of as petals) and rich green leaves. Pass by plants that have yellowed or wilting leaves; these plants don't last as long.
  2. Avoid plants in sleeves. Poinsettias are sometimes sold in paper or plastic sleeves to help protect the plants during shipping. Sleeved plants usually age faster than plants that aren't grown in sleeves.
  3. Select plants with fully colored bracts. Make sure the colorful leaf-like bracts don't have green edges; a lot of green in the bracts usually means the poinsettia was shipped too early.
  4. See how mature the poinsettia is by looking at the tiny yellow flowers at the center of the bracts. If the flowers have opened and you can see yellow, powdery pollen, the plant is past its prime. Look for a plant with tight yellow buds.
  5. Protect your plant when you bring it home by wrapping it in a shopping bag if temperatures are below 50 degrees outside.
  6. Keep your poinsettia away from heat. Warm temperatures can damage the plant just as much as cold temperatures. Avoid placing your poinsettia near heat registers, fireplaces, or in rooms where the temperature stays above 80 degrees.
  7. Display your poinsettia in a spot with bright light. Your poinsettia will do best if you keep it a spot with bright but indirect light. A north- or east-facing window is usually ideal.
  8. Water your poinsettia when the potting mix feels dry to the touch. It should happen before the poinsettia starts to wilt. Avoid overwatering and don't let your plant sit in water for more than 30 minutes.
  9. Let the poinsettia's roots breathe. Poinsettias are often sold in plastic or foil pot covers. These decorative covers trap excess water. Cut off the very bottom of the pot cover or make several holes in it and set the plant on a plate or saucer to catch excess water.
  10. Feed your poinsettia with a general-purpose houseplant food after the bracts fade if you want to keep the plant for the following year. Keep feeding through spring and summer, then in late September place your poinsettia where it will get bright light during the day but no extra light at night. After an 8-week period without light at night, your poinsettia should develop bracts and blooms.

The New Look of Poinsettias

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Decorate with Holiday Plants

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