Cover Story

Put the You In Yuletide
by Alice Haithcock, Contributing Crafter

A Grand Entrance
Pine-and-magnolia garland topped off with a large gold bow wraps the entry foyer in elegance and welcomes your holiday guests as they enter your home. Complete the look in the foyer by adding a simple arrangement of magnolia and pine fashioned in a tall sleigh. Add a bow and itís ready.

Incorporate the things you love into your holiday decor to give it a personality that is uniquely you.

When it comes to decorating our homes for the holidays, we need to remember that the things we display, the colors we use, and the artistic and tasteful way we put them all together make bold, proud statements about who we are and what we enjoy as individuals and as families. Strong tradition rings through in many homes, as do flights of fancy in others.

Americana Tree
This is a great year to add some blue to those red and white ornaments you probably already have. Try to find the darker navy shades or paint some yourself.

Some of us barely make it through all the Halloween candy before the urge to drag the boxes from the attic hits us with a vengeance. Add the sound of a jingle bell or two and the race is on.

We outline our house, roofline and surrounding buildings in twinkling or chasing lines of lights ó clear or colored ó strung in straight lines or designed to look like hanging icicles, or the latest yet, draped in crescent swags. We decorate our seven-foot fiber-optic tree, place wreaths in all the windows, set all our lighted, animated yard art in place, hang the stockings, and weíre officially ready for the first house-tour bus to roll by.

Others of us favor a less traditional approach, and instead of shades of red, green, and gold, substitute with shades of blue, yellow, purple, mauve or even chartreuse. We set up our white-flocked trees ó- no fewer than three ó which we elaborately adorn with pastel-swirled ornaments or silver spoons, or teacups, or baby shoes strung on gauzy ribbons. With flare and flounce, we too are ready to welcome our first holiday guests. And as Martha would confirm, ďItís a very good thing.Ē

Warm and Inviting
Fashion your mantel and hearth decorations so they reflect things you love. Here,  greens and berries are added as a backdrop for wooden birdhouses and Americana Santas. On the hearth, glass balls in red, white and blue sparkle in an antique pedestal bowl beside a basket of red and white poinsettias. Traditional stockings hung from the mantel complete the picture. (Note: The fire in this photo was added for effect only. Burning a fire while your mantel is decorated can be hazardous and we advise against it.)

If neither of these two descriptions match your approach to decorating for the holidays, donít panic. But if one does, thatís all right too, as long as youíve added some of those special ingredients that make it all uniquely yours.

 I encourage you to incorporate your familyís heritage, spirit, loves, and shared life experiences into the celebration and joy of the upcoming season. Itís the secret ingredient in your own family recipe that forever makes holiday memories special.

Special Window Treatment
The homeowner created this very interesting and unique window swag by wrapping a long length of gauzy fabric around a curved tree limb. A great look! Adding a magnolia-leaf garland and some pine and berries creates a wonderful holiday feel.

Do you collect snowmen or Santas or bears?  Is your husbandís grand passion fishing, bowling, hunting or golf? Do you paint or sew? Is there a dancer, musician, world traveler, or new baby in the family? The list of themes or potential focal points goes on and on.  Simply add greens and ribbon and youíre on your way.

This year our family, along with much of America, will celebrate the holiday season by adding a touch of red, white and blue into our color scheme. Take a look at our ideas and if you like any of them, change them a bit and make them exclusively yours.


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