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It's been called the most wonderful time of the year, and it's certain that the Christmas season has a warmth and joy all its own. You can create this special holiday spirit in your home for your family and guests with your unique expression of the following Christmas decorating ideas.

Traditional Christmas Decorating
There are certain themes that spring to mind immediately when Christmas comes around; Santa Claus, evergreen trees, and sparkling lights are just a few Christmas traditions that can provide inspiration for decorating ideas. Incorporating traditional Christmas images and colors into your decorating is a great way to make your home a holiday haven.

Christmas Lights
From Christmas candles to Yule logs to strands of twinkling lights, bringing light to the winter darkness of the holiday season is a major theme of traditional Christmas decorating. Candles are always easy Christmas ideas and they both create light and add a splash of holiday festivity to any room. Choose red, green, and white candles if you are decorating with a traditional Christmas color scheme. You can even select candles with familiar holiday scents like evergreen, bayberry, and warm spices to have Christmas wafting through the air. Candles as holiday decorations can sit alone, be part of a display along a mantelpiece, or be the center of a table arrangement.

Wreaths
The wreath is one of the most time-honored of Christmas decorations. The ancient Romans created wreaths out of bay laurel as a sign of victory or out of pine or holly to symbolize immortality. Early Germanic winter traditions involved the making of evergreen wreaths to symbolize the life soon to return in the spring. Wreaths were historically an element in decorating for any type of celebration, often being ornamented with food and candles. Today's Christmas wreaths are often constructed from the same evergreens and holly that the ancients used, but their ornamentation may be much more elaborate. Hang a wreath on your front door to welcome your guests, or place wreaths inside your house as a traditional decorative touch.

Stockings
As you add the traditional Christmas stockings to your mantle, you can make the sight of these stockings "hung by the chimney with care" even more touching by surrounding them with additional decorations like garlands of greenery, sparkling tinsel, or candles.

Creating New Decorating Traditions for Christmas
With the abundance of decorative elements that have developed as Christmas traditions over the years, creating new
decorations with a twist on the traditional can be easy and fun. Red, green, and white are the traditional colors of Christmas, but gold, silver, and even purple appear in many modern decorations. Mixing the traditional and the new is a great way to make your Christmas decorating both nostalgic and exciting.

Christmas Centerpieces
Christmas centerpieces aren't just for decorating dining room tables. A classic centerpiece can be just as much at home on a coffee table or living room side table as in the midst of a Christmas feast. Adding a festive centerpiece can be an extremely easy way to add a holiday touch to any room. As gift ideas for your holiday hosts, centerpieces offer a beautiful presentation and also continue to bring Christmas cheer to the recipients' home after the party is over.

Christmas Flowers
There are quite a variety of flowers and plants intimately associated with decorating for the Christmas season. Evergreens, mistletoe, poinsettia, and holly can all evoke cherished memories of Christmases past. Arrangements of any type of flower can be perfect for creating holiday spirit as well with the addition of a festive vase or basket, or when blooms are chosen in Christmas colors like white and red. For non-traditional holiday decorating schemes and ideas, you can select any flower or color to match the mood you're trying to create.

Decorative Gifts
Whether you're sending a gift to a loved one far away to say "Merry Christmas" or you're bringing a holiday gift for the hostess of a party you're attending, there are lots of great Christmas gift ideas that can serve to make the recipient's home warm and festive. Porcelain figures of Christmas characters and designs are a beautiful and lasting way to send your happy holiday wishes. Holiday gift baskets are an excellent option for gift ideas that are both decorative and tasty. Send a gift basket filled with chocolates, snacks, wine, or other gourmet goodies and decorated with Christmas colors and flair.

Warm Christmas Memories
Decorating your home for Christmas is one of the ways to help create special memories of the holiday season for your family and guests. We hope the Christmas decorating ideas we've offered here will provide the holiday inspiration you need. You'll find that many Christmas decorations themselves can become cherished heirlooms and traditions. Even the most unexpected item you use for decorating might be the one that someone in your family remembers fondly and wants to put out each year far into the future.

The way you decorate your home will give your special touch to the holiday and help to make this year's a Christmas to remember. No doubt your gatherings of family and friends will be special, and the decorations you choose will accentuate the enjoyment of Christmas warmth and joy.



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