Holiday entertaining doesn't have to be stressful. Follow these simple tips to host a boffo gala while still enjoying the spirit of the season:
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.
2. Rather than rushing out to buy expensive new china, glasses and silverware for a holiday get-together, consider renting it.
3. A simple way to give holiday decorations a professionally decorated look is to stick to just two or three colors.
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.
6. Adding a vintage element such as homemade gingerbread men, hand-strung popcorn or a cranberry garland to holiday decorations lends a sentimental, old-fashioned feel.
7. Always test Christmas lights before adding them to the tree.
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 1 yard. Add a few inches to each side to allow the fabric to puddle on the ground.
10. Add fragrance and an unexpected touch to evergreen garlands and the Christmas tree by placing fresh flowers among the greenery.
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 table scapes.
Courtesy Sandra Lee on hgtv.com