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.View Slideshow
Try these quick and easy ideas to make your home sparkle for the holiday season.
These worn skates have been given a new purpose as a Christmas decoration. Knot the laces of the pair together and fill the skates with miniature wrapped presents. Embellish with an ornament or two and hang from a hook.
Editor's Tip: Make sure the skate blades are dull to prevent damage to woodwork or scraped fingers.
Expand your holiday style this year with a fresh combination of accessories. Small white feather trees contrast beautifully with sleek glass vessels, while vibrant green blossoms and ribbon add a splash of color.
Layer pieces to create a seasonal display. Hang a large empty frame on the wall, then use a wide ribbon to suspend a smaller one in the center. Tuck a swag of greenery under the ribbon along the edge of the top frame, and tie an ornament to the bow that holds the small frame.
Meld two Christmas classics -- trees and wreaths -- into one decoration. This pine bough hangs on the wall like a wreath, but its noncircular shape and ornamentation give it a treelike appearance.
Welcome your guests with artfully arranged Scrabble game tiles. A pretty silver tray accented with matching ornaments and a bit of greenery completes the composition.
If you want to send party guests home with a few goodies, skip the conventional paper gift bag for something more creative, such as these fuzzy mitten bags. Grouped in a container, these also make a nice table display for your party.
For the holidays, replace your everyday lampshade with this festive version. Purchase an inexpensive drum shade and punch small holes around the bottom edge. Tie lengths of thin twine to ornament hooks and thread the other end through the holes on the shade; secure with knots. On this shade, graduated lengths of string were used to produce a stair-step look.
Editor's Tip: To avoid another purchase during the holidays, use a shade you already have and attach the ends of the twine to the inside of the shade using tape.
To make this moss ball, wrap a small plastic-foam ball with lights, using tape to hold them in place. Cover the ball with moss (available at crafts stores), but leave the lights exposed. Get extra sparkle by putting the moss-covered ball near reflective pieces, such as a mirror or glass garden globe.
Get a little nostalgic and display favorite holiday photos from years gone by inside simple frames. Adhere pictures to Christmas-theme scrapbook papers and insert into frames, trimming the paper to fit.