1) Tips for choosing a Christmas tree
A) Pinch the needles and make sure they bend, not break
B) Bounce the tree on its trunk and make sure there’s no shower of needles. (Fir trees generally have the best needle retention.). To keep your tree fresh, re-cut an inch off the trunk and place in water immediately; replenish water frequently, especially in the first few days. Keep decorated tree far from a fireplace, radiator or door.
C) When buying an artificial tree look for the fire resistant label. While that doesn’t mean the tree won’t burn, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
D) Never use electric lights on a metallic tree
2) No Wrapping needed - To save time and frustration here are some quick alternatives to wrapping paper:
A) Use decorative gift bags (or brightly colored shopping bags) filled with a few sheets of tissue and sparkling confetti
B)Pack several small gifts into a basket, ceramic bowl, metal paint tin (you can buy empty ones at paint stores), or fabric stocking
C) Place children’s gifts in a lunch box, plastic pail, or cardboard mailing tube.
D) On Display - Hang your Christmas cards in the shape of a tree on a wall or bulletin board.
E) Add Sparkle And Cheer - Fill a glass bowl or vase with shiny ornaments. Hang decorations from your houseplants and indoor trees. In the kitchen: Red berries and greens in a pottery pitcher.
F) Play Christmas music the whole month of Christmas.
G) Use your Christmas dishes the whole month of Christmas.
H) Dress up your dining chairs for the holidays with simple tie-on covers in a bright red-and-white check or a ticking stripe.
I) Keep A Special Christmas Album - A wonderful tradition to start – you can preserve special cards and letters, save scraps of favorite wrapping paper and ribbons and make note of treasured gifts and meaningful activities.
J)For a country-style mantel arrangement, decorate with hand-knit mittens (prop up over spice jars), vintage toys, strings of popcorn and cranberries, hand-dipped candles, and boughs of evergreens.
K)Ring Around - Make festive napkin rings from vines curled into a three-inch diameter ring; add a sprig of holiday greenery and secure with floral wire.
L) Christmas Garland - “Peanuts” made of Styrofoam, used in packing fragile items, can be turned into a reusable garland for your Christmas tree. Thread a large needle with heavy-duty thread and push it through the peanuts, one by one, until garland is of desired length. Tie each end of thread to a toothpick and place a few drops of glue onto the knots. Drape garland around your Christmas tree just as you would a string of popcorn. When you dismantle your tree, save the garland and use it again next year.
M) Cleaner Ornaments - To remove dust from Christmas decorations, blow air on them with a blow dryer on the lowest setting. Before packing ornaments away, remove any old tissue paper from ornament boxes, replacing it with used and crumpled scented fabric softener sheets. Place the ornaments in the box, cushioning them with additional sheets of fabric softener. Close the box securely and store.
3) Candle Care and Usage:
A) Store candles flat in a dark, dry place, to prevent warping.
B) Revive less-than-new candles by rubbing them clean with an old nylon stocking or soft cloth moistened with salad oil.
C) Freeze candles for one hour to make them burn longer and drip less.
D) Char wicks before the party, so they’ll light in an instant.
E) Choose drip less candles; otherwise, set them on a plate or tray to catch drips and save furniture and tablecloths.
F)Never leave a candle-lit room unattended.
G)If a candle is too small for its holder, wrap the bottom in aluminum foil and if it’s too big, gently whittle the bottom down to size with a sharp knife.
H)To lessen candle wax stains on a tablecloth, lift off as much solid wax as possible, then place the stained area between clean paper towels. Press lightly with a warm iron.
I) Place wax-coated candle holders in the freezer for one hour. The wax will peel off.
J) To remove wax from wooden finished, soften the wax with a hair dryer and remove with paper towels. Wipe off residue with a mixture of vinegar and water.
K) To remove wax stains from a carpet or rug, scrape off the excess. Cover with several layers of paper towels then carefully press with a warm iron.
- Keep holiday ribbon on an upright paper towel holder for easy access. It"s a great way to sort your ribbon -- out-of-season, too. Clump-free Tinsel- Keep tinsel icicles from clinging together by sticking them in the freezer for half an hour before you hang them.
Faster Holiday Light Hanging
- Avoid struggling with strands of lights around windows and door frames by screwing small eye hooks in place first. Then just hang the lights from hooks. The best part: you can leave the hooks up all year long -- and decorating next year will be even faster. Better Packing- If you"re using Styrofoam peanuts for shipping, spray them with an anti-static spray. They"ll be easier to handle.
Dripping Wax From Candles
- Lightly coat candlestick holders with vegetable spray. That way, any wax that drips down from your candles can easily be removed. Cleaner Hands- Rub a bit of butter, oil or margarine into hands to easily remove tree sap. Let it sit for a minute then wipe away with a paper towel.
Yummier Hot Cocoa
- Serve candy canes with hot chocolate -- they add a minty flavor plus there are no spoons to wash.