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Holiday Decorating Tips from Dr. Christmas

How to Use Objects from Home to Give Your Space Some Holiday Oomph


Holiday Decorating Tips from Dr. Christmas
Photo © Dr. Christmas

The holidays can be expensive enough even without the decorations, so when the talented holiday decorating team known as Dr. Christmas contacted me about sharing some holiday decorating tips using items you may already have around your home, I loved the idea!

Since 1984, Bob Pranga and Debi Staron, the creative forces behind Dr. Christmas, have combined their love of Christmas and their talents in decorating to help their clients and friends celebrate the holidays in style. Their clients include stars such as James Cameron, Kate Hudson, Whoopi Goldberg and Nancy Reagan, though they also love to help "the folks next door" with all of their holiday decorating needs.

I knew they would come up with some great and inexpensive holiday decorating tips for us, and they didn't disappoint. From lighting to framing, these simple holiday decorating ideas will help you celebrate this year's Christmas in style... and on a budget!

From Bob Pranga and Debi Staron, also known as Dr. Christmas:

Well here we are again, in the holiday season. Time to find Christmas decorations, shop for the newest trendy ornaments and deck the halls. But how do you get the most bang for your buck and make the most of the space you have?

  • First, look around for unique or interesting “architecture” and consider turning that into a statement piece. Instead of buying lots of small tabletop decorations, add green or tinsel garlands, silk winter flowers or lit garlands to a wine rack, a bookcase, framed pictures, or your mailbox - different places around your home. If you draw the eye to larger areas, your decor will have more impact than a simple scattering of small items on various tabletops or around your lawn.

  • Next, scour your cabinets for useful “holders”. Grab some summer salad bowls (plastic or glass), flower vases and even large glasses to hold small, bright holiday pieces. Card shops and craft stores sell an assortment of colored glass or plastic marbles, confetti or ornaments that you can display in containers - individually or in layers. These will provide a bright pop of color in between your tree, garlands and larger display pieces.

  • A simple lighting change can enhance the festive holiday mood during the whole season or just for parties. (I have no idea why, but my parents had a bunch of light bulbs in various colors in our coat closet!) Change out your porch or patio or living room lamp bulbs with colored bulbs that compliment your color scheme.

  • Do you have a lot of framed photos? Gather them all together and do a picture-themed tree this year. This will give your tree a completely different look. Use pieces of floral wire, fishing line, pipe cleaners or even baggie-ties to attach framed photos to your tree before adding your ornaments. At the same time, this can free up some table space for you, giving you more room for holiday décor. It also turns your tree into a fun conversation piece!

  • There are some holiday frames on the market that will record your voice, so if you have them, take pictures during the holiday season then ask whoever’s in the pictures to record something directly into one of the frames, thereby creating instant holiday memories for the future!

  • Would you like to theme your tree, but you don’t have many photos lying around? Many collectibles can double as tree decorations. Dolls, trains, action figures (in or out of their boxes), books, toys and even CDs or DVDs can be hung in the tree during the holidays. This will give you an opportunity to display your most prized possessions in an unusual way.

  • Create a holiday light display by adding thin beaded garlands, ornaments and bows to existing chandeliers or hanging light fixtures. Since they are overhead and people might be walking under them, make sure to leave enough clearance to walk safely and attach everything securely.

  • You can even add small decorations and tiny ornaments to some lamps and lampshades using either an appliqué method for flat pieces or old-style metal ornament hangers for the ornaments.

So don’t feel pressured to run out every year and buy the latest new holiday items. Don’t stress out over your decorations. You should have fun with whatever you have available and supplement your decorations whenever you like. Happy Holidays from Dr. Christmas!

For more great holiday decorating tips and ideas, visit Dr. Christmas online.

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