Christmas decorating tips


I enjoy decorating for the seasons. I often change decorative pillows and linens throughout the house to seasonal colors to make the house look fresh and new. I especially like decorating for the holidays.

I have never decorated the same way two years in a row, every year I find something to change. The mantle over the fireplace has had many different incarnations from angels floating among white lights and cotton clouds to more down to earth scenes with folk art characters. I even created a woodland scene complete with winding grapevines, apples hollowed out to serve as votives, and oranges studded with cloves for color and scent. That was a beautiful focal point but a mess to clean up.

This year I didn’t want to drag out all the boxes and other Christmas stuff so I went more minimalistic with my choices. We have a small 4.5 ft. pre-lit Christmas tree that is a nice fit for our condo. My husband said he didn’t want to put any ornaments on it but I felt this was going too far with the minimal theme. I added some bows, wrapped a large ribbon around it and hung candy canes from the branches. I then topped the tree with two large bows and decided the tree was beautiful in its simplicity. I added a few more festive touches around the house and decided I had done enough.

I then turned my attention to the front door. I like a pretty wreath on the door but was tired of the ones I have. Not wanting to spend any money on a new one I chose to give a new twist to an old wreath. I wove a large ribbon around it, tucked in some of the candy canes left over from the tree, and added two special large canes for emphasis. I was very proud of my Martha Stewart handiwork.

That is until a few days later when I looked at the door and to my horror it looked like a crime scene. There were huge red splatters against the storm door which then ran in red streaks down the entire length of the door.

My masterpiece was melting! When I put the candy canes on the wreath I removed the protective cellophane because I couldn’t place it without the writing showing. No matter how hard I tried the brand name and ingredients were visible. Now those ingredients were running down the door in the form of a red syrup.

I did give it some thought when I made the decision to remove the cellophane but I felt it would be sufficiently protected behind the glass storm door to keep the rain from hitting it and melting the canes. What I didn’t consider was what would happen when the sun hit it.

To my humble surprise, I guess I’m not Martha Stewart. The next time I decide to deck the halls with sugar plums and candy canes you can bet on it I will keep the wrappings on.

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