Merry Christmas Friends,
It's our pleasure to continue the 25 Days of Christmas feature for you, our good friends. December 1st through December 25th you can visit our blog for helpful, money-saving ideas to decorate your space for the holidays. It's just a little something to show our appreciation for your continued support of Interior Design eBlog.
The holiday season is the perfect time to spend with family and friends. Tradition is the definition of holiday but sometimes it's a good idea to step outside the box. You will be surprised with the outcome.
1. Forgo a traditional floral centerpiece on the dining table and instead create a charming holiday scene featuring gingerbread houses or ceramic Christmas village miniatures. First sprinkle faux snow along the center of the table, then place homes, stores, trees and people to create a focal point that will delight guests of all ages.
2. Rather than rushing out to buy expensive new china, glasses and silverware for a holiday get-together, consider renting it. No matter where you live, chances are there's a party rental store near you. The prices are reasonable and by renting rather than buying you also avoid having to store the items year after year.
3. A simple way to give your holiday decorations a professionally decorated look is to stick to just two or three colors. Deciding on a palette before you shop makes the selection process quick and easy. Flameless candles are a great holiday decorating solution when you want the flame without the fuss.
4. Flickering candlelight is beautiful, but if small children or pets will be part of the celebration substitute battery-powered votive and pillar candles for a warm glow without the worries.
5. For a custom look that's easy to achieve, add ornaments, wrapped candies, children's toys or glittered greenery to a plain wreath. The decorating options are nearly endless and embellishing a wreath is a fun project to do with the kids.
Homemade gingerbread men add a sweet touch to Christmas decorations.
6. Adding a vintage element, such as homemade gingerbread men, hand-strung popcorn or a cranberry garland to your holiday decorations lends a sentimental, old-fashioned feel.
7. Always test Christmas lights before adding them to the tree. Nothing is more disappointing (and frustrating) than spending an afternoon carefully wrapping the tree with lights only to plug them in and discover that they don't work.
A humdrum chandelier is given a holiday update with an evergreen garland and paper shades embellished with ribbon.
8. Give your chandelier a simple holiday update by draping the arms with an evergreen garland and embellishing plain paper shades with an assortment of ribbon attached with hot glue.
9. To cover an unusually shaped or extra-long table, simply drape it with fabric from the bolt. Measure the length of the table keeping in mind that 36 inches is equivalent to one yard. Add a few inches to each side to allow the fabric to puddle on the ground — no sewing required. Fresh roses add a colorful and fragrant pop to holiday decorations.
10. Add fragrance and an unexpected touch to evergreen garlands and the Christmas tree by placing fresh flowers among the greenery. To keep flowers fresh for days, first clip the ends then insert into water-filled bubble tubes which are available at florist-supply stores.
11. A lit fireplace is beautiful but can quickly heat up a room filled with guests. To get the look without the warmth, instead fill the hearth with lit pillar candles.
12. Make your decorations shine by working strands of twinkling mini lights into garlands, topiaries and tablescapes. If you plan on using lights outdoors, check the packaging to make sure that both lights and any needed drop cords are rated safe for outdoor use.
Hosting a holiday party can feel like an overwhelming balancing act. But if you plan ahead and defuse the stress, you can host and enjoy.
Enjoy and share this Southern Cornbread Stuffing recipe courtesy of Paula Deen.
Cornbread, recipe follows
7 slices oven-dried white bread
1 sleeve crackers (recommended: Saltine)
8 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped celery
1 large onion, chopped
7 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sage, optional
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning, optional
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread, dried white bread slices, and saltines; set aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the vegetable mixture over cornbread mixture. Add the stock, mix well, taste, and add salt, pepper to taste, sage, and poultry seasoning. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake until dressing is cooked through, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a greased shallow baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 min
Wishing you all the timeless treasures of the season; the warmth of home, the love of family and the company of good friends.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Check back for more holiday ideas and enjoy the season with family and friends.
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