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Live in a warmer climate but dream of a white Christmas? Decorating around a palette of white and green creates a wonderful wintry feel. A flocked tree, bulbs like paper whites and white amaryllis showcased on silver trays, and pale poinsettias in galvanized pots are just a few ideas for keeping it cool.

To help ward off the chill in colder climes, choose a decorating scheme rich in reds or warm metallics like gold, bronze, and copper.

Whichever palette you choose, don’t forget the candlelight! White candles brighten a cool color scheme while maintaining the snowy feel while red, white or gold candles add further radiance to warmer tones.

Decking the Halls

Making your own wreath is one of the simplest ways to personalize your decorating. Start with living or artificial greens, a twisted grapevine or Styrofoam ring as your base; all are easy to find in craft and holiday stores (or from your back yard). The options for adornment are almost endless: toys, ribbons, feathers, fruits, shells, silk flowers, small wrapped boxes, you name it. Consider tying your wreath ornamentation into your Christmas tree decorating theme or color scheme to create a cohesive look.

Garlands are another holiday décor staple that you can enjoy as-is or enhance with your own add-ons. Hang them above windows and door frames with the ends of the garland draping down on either side. Or place along the edge of the mantle, over mirrors, even encircling a room just below ceiling level. Keep in mind that you need not stick with green - artificial varieties also come in merry colors such as gold and silver.

Christmas Wreath
Branch Out

Why not add some natural winter appeal with bare branches: secured in a vase or colored pot and hung with ornaments, a single branch is a striking tabletop arrangement. And first spray-painting the branch silver, gold or white makes for a beautifully bold display.

Want to branch out in another way? Try using traditional elements in non-traditional settings. Ornaments need not be kept to the tree: serving bowls, glass vases, even jam or other kitchen storage jars can make great receptacles.

Add fun and color to bare bedroom doors by attaching personalized stockings for each family member. Wreaths can be hung from the ceiling, vertically or horizontally, over a dining table for a fantastic floating centerpiece. Small wreaths also look delightful tucked into bookshelves or open cupboards.

A Sense-ational Holiday

Now you’ve got the sights taken care of, don’t neglect the sounds and smells of the season. Bells around the front door handle announce visitors merrily while the Nutcracker Suite or Nat King Cole playing in the background can instantly kindle fond memories of holidays past. Old-fashioned pomanders of cloves and oranges, cinnamon brooms, or pine-scented candles will add cheer to the atmosphere, too.