Homespun Solutions: Deck The Halls For Christmas

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Punch up your holiday party – Make a splash at your next party with an eye-catching bowl of punch.  Find a fancy punch bowl and fill it with your favorite recipe.  But forget about those little ice cubes that water down drinks way to fast.  Fill muffin tins with some punch and toss a maraschino cherry into each one.  You will have classy ice cubes that will keep you punch cold instead of diluting it.

Zap tree sap – You finally got your Christmas tree to stand up straight in the tree stand and it looks great.  But your hands are another story.  To get that sticky sap off your fingers, rub them with shortening and then wipe them off with a paper towel.  Now you can wash your hands and get back to admiring your tree.

Take the hassle out of hanging lights – Every year you spend hours in frustration as you untangle Christmas lights before you can hang them.  Save yourself the trouble next year by wrapping each strand with heavy duty aluminum foil before putting them away.  Be sure to crunch to foil around the bulbs to prevent tangled wiring and broken bulbs.

Defeat dripping candles with salt – Avoid the annoying clean ups of runaway candle wax with this simple trick.  Soak them in very salty water for a few hours and dry them thoroughly then light your amazing drip free candles.

Avoid being needled by your tree – If the Christmas tree you picked out this year is particularly prickly, use giant paper clips to hang your ornaments.  Twist the clip open in the shap of an “S” and fasten the ornament to the smaller end.  Hold the paper clip in the center and carefully hook each ornament on a branch.

Spice up your Christmas tree – Cut netting into twelve inch squares and place a handful of pine or apple cinnamon spice potpourri in the center of each square.  Bring the corners together and tie them tightly with gold ribbon.  You can also use curling ribbon and curl the ends after tying.  Place these potpourri balls in your tree.

Bow Beauty – If you recycle bows for your holiday gifts, you may find them a little flat when you take them out of storage.  A hand held hair dryer set on high heat can perk them up and make them look like new.

Dispense wrapping paper like a pro – Are you tired of trying to keep your wrapping paper stored neatly?  Then take an empty wrapping paper tube and slit it lengthwise.  Slide it on top of the new roll.  Not only will your paper stay neatly rolled, it will make wrapping gifts a snap.

Recycle glass ornaments – Here is a great way to give new life to scratched glass ornaments.  Take out the metal neck and hanger then soak the ornament in bleach for about 10 to 1 5 minutes.  Clean the inside carefully using a cotton swab.  Rinse the ornament and let it dry.  Once it is completely dry, use your imagination and fill it with potpourri, dried flowers, tinsel, glitter, colored paper or lace.

Recycle old holiday tins – The tin you got as a gift was great when it was filled with popcorn.  But now that the snack is gone, you don’t want to just throw it out.  Since most of them come decorated in a holiday theme, they can make easy to find and protective storage containers for your ornaments.

Wrap up a kiss – You can wrap a special gift to look like a giant chocolate kiss.  Place the gift on a paper plate or circle of cardboard.  Starting underneath the plate and wrap aluminum fol up around the item to form a kiss shape.  Make a gift tag out of a long piece of white paper and stick it in the top.

Let it snow – To create a winter landscape for your miniature village, buy quilt batting.  Cut it to fit you display area and arrange your village on this fresh layer of “snow.”  For a lovely country scene effect, nestle a small mirror in the snow to create a pond.

Give your decorations the look of snow – Use pieces of baby’s breath or small branches painted white to fill in gaps in your Christmas tree, wreaths, garlands and swags.  It is a very nice and inexpensive way to give everything the look of snow.

Foil sticky candles – Place a bit of aluminum foil around the bottom of each candle to go in you menorah or kinara.  Not only will the foil help keep the candles straight, it make removal of the burned down candles a breeze.


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