Freezer-Friendly Holiday Cookies

These Christmas cookies don't mind waiting around in the cold one bit. Get a leg up on holiday preparations by taking advantage of Christmas cookies' affinity for freezing. Each Santa-special treat can freeze for up to three months.

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Steal This Home's Cottage-Style Decorations!

Warm and welcoming, cottage style is effortless and translates perfectly into the holiday season. Mix old and new for a flexible Christmas decorating style that you can make your own -- here┬┐s how Kelly, the blogger at Talk of the House, shows off her cottage style.

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Christmas Ornament Crafts

Keep these handmade Christmas ornaments for yourself, or use them as one-of-a-kind gifts this holiday season. Each of these 20+ Christmas ornament crafts is easy to make and perfect for this year's Christmas decorating.

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Our Best Cookie-in-a-Jar Recipes

In need of a creative addition to your cookie exchange party or a tasty gift for friends and family? Look no further than our collection of irresistible cookie-in-a-jar recipes. Each holiday-ready gift takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and features layer upon layer of favorite cookie, brownie, or blondie mix-ins.

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Decorated Christmas Trees

The star of your Christmas decorations -- the tree! -- deserves extra attention. Here are four diverse looks you should consider for your tree decorating scheme.

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Pretty Christmas Wreaths

Deck the halls with these gorgeous winter wreaths that will bring holiday cheer to your Christmas decor. Christmas wreaths are often made with fir, but we share alternative wreath supplies that could inspire this year's front door.

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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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Outdoor Holiday Lighting Tips

Whatever style of outdoor holiday lighting you choose, installing it can be a snap.

Greet your guests with seasonal style by adding lights to your front entry. Getting a strand of outdoor lights evenly-spaced and facing the same direction used to be quite an accomplishment. As much as outdoor lights are a beauty to behold, they can be a beast to install -- and you're trying to tame this unwieldy tangle on a chilly December day.

A little Yankee ingenuity has come to the rescue. New styles of clips that attach to the gutter, inside the doorway or along the walkway make it easier to space bulbs evenly and allow you to easily direct the lights.

Made of a sturdy plastic, the clips snap in place with ease. And the clips come in a styles suited for standard or miniature lights. You'll find them just about everywhere -- from home centers to grocery stores.

Light the path to your door with a strand of clear holiday lights. Simply push the plastic stakes into the ground, slip in the lights and close the plastic hinges to hold the lights in place. Swish some snow or moss between the lights to cover the exposed cord.

 

If the ground is frozen, use an old screwdriver and a hammer to create a starter hole. And plan on leaving the stakes in the ground until spring even if you pull the lights out after the holidays.

Before you head outdoors to string lights, be sure to do the following:

Buy lights with the same kind of plug, either stacked (like the white plugs above) or end-to-end (like the green plugs).
  • Do the math. Measure the distance to cover, and figure out how many lights and clips are needed. Chances are the length of the strands won't match the total length required and you'll need to do some adjusting. For a brighter display, place clips closer together, or run two alternating strands.
  • Measure carefully. If you're using special spacing between lights, cut a piece of cardboard or a strip of wood to the exact length. Use it to measure the space between clips.
  • Test your lights. Plug in each strand ahead of time to be sure each bulb lights up and that the sockets and cords are solid. Replace strands that have brittle cords or cracked or loose sockets.
  • Check the connections between strands to be sure they are compatible and the extension cord easily reaches the plug. Check the manufacturer's recommendations for the maximum number of strands to connect to each other. You may need to use a second extension cord.
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