Have Christmas in the Tropics Without Leaving Home

If you have yet to start decorating your home for Christmas; join the club. Whether your reasoning for getting a late start on the holidays this year stems from a complete lack of time or you have just been avoiding exerting the effort or dreading the inevitable start to January and the daunting task of UN-decorating, there are only a couple of weeks until the holiday and if you are going to decorate, it is now or never. However, if you have been avoiding holiday decorating because you can’t stand another year of nutcracker figurines and gingerbread houses, try something new in 2010. Here are some tips for creating a tropical-themed Christmas right in your own home.

The Tree: If you can’t get around the idea of a traditional pine tree in your home, jazz it up this year with a beach theme. Substitute your red and green lights for more yellows, oranges and blues. Then decorate with a tropical vacation in mind; cocktail umbrellas, seashells, plastic sea life, sea glass, paper pineapples and even mini bottles of rum make great ornaments. Use brightly colored ribbon or string to tie individual pieces on to the tree or create long loops using many pieces. Top off the tree with a dried starfish instead of a traditional star or angel.

Décor: Remember that when decorating for an island-style holiday that everything can be substituted. Santa needs a Hawaiian shirt and swim trunks and to be pulled in a canoe by dolphins rather than in a sleigh by reindeer. Wreathes are made of palm fronds instead of pine or fir branches. If you are really committed, you can substitute a palm tree for a pine tree and roast a pig instead of cooking a turkey.

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Recycle and Re-Use Your Holiday Decor Throughout the Year

Happy New Year everyone!  It’s that time again for resolutions, starting fresh and of course putting away the holiday decor, which for some reason always seems a lot more arduous then putting it up.  This year before you pack everything up, or trash your tree and broken ornaments, support the green movement by re-using or recycling the holiday decor.

After each holiday season, one of the biggest items to unfortunately end up in the landfill is Christmas trees.  The ideal solution is to promote the use of artificial trees that could be re-used or keep a tree planted that can not only be re-used but also grow with the family.  If you have a cut tree that is in need of disposing of, look up local recycling centers that you can drop your tree, wrapping paper, paint and more to be recycled.   If you can trim your tree down to smaller pieces, many areas now offer recycling pick up.

Over the years of holiday decorating, many of us end up with mis-matched ornaments or even broken ones from storing and moving.  Rather than throwing them out, or purchasing new matching sets each year, take broken ornament pieces and fill a vase with other mixed ornaments to reflect color and create a surface centerpiece for any table.

(image from freshome)

Instead of buying new art, why not create it?  Pick up a canvas at your local art store, spray with adhesive and sprinkle varying sizes of the broken ornaments to create an abstract and colorful art piece. Re-use your candles for dinner parties, as bathroom or even kitchen accents.

Holiday colors such as greens, reds, silvers and blues work wonderfully in contemporary color schemes.

(image from oregonlive)

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