I love the holiday season!  I used to spend the whole week after Thanksgiving just decorating my home for Christmas.  Of course, that was before I worked outside of the house full time. 🙂  I still like to decorate my home, but some years I just have decorate a little less than I like because of a lack of time, energy or money.  So I’ve put together a few quick and easy ways to create a festive mood without taking up a lot of time.

These are just a few of the hints, tips and gluten-free recipes you’ll find in my new book, Create An Old Fashioned Christmas.

#1 Grab a few candles, place them in the center of your table and light them. The twinkling adds instant ambiance. If you have a decorative plate, stand, or even a few branches to place underneath or around the candles it’ll look even better.

#2 Holiday ornaments – Collect a few of your favorite solid-colored holiday ornaments and place them in a clear glass container, I use a pretty tiramisu bowl for my ornaments.   Grab ones with complimentary colors like silver and red, or collect ornaments that are all one color but varying sizes to add effect.

#3 Spruce up an old wreath by adding small ornaments to the boughs. Attach them with wire through the back of the wreath to ensure they stay in place.

#4 White Christmas lights – String white Christmas lights up a stairwell banister. Hang them around a doorway, around a mirror, or adorn a plant in your home with the small sparkling lights.

#5 String cranberries and/or popcorn and hang on your holiday tree with white lights for an old-fashioned holiday tree.  Let the kids help with this, do it while watching your favorite Christmas movie.

#6 Fill a glass bowl with holiday fruit. Pomegranates, oranges, and pears are in abundance during the holidays, and apples are always around.

#7 Gather pine cones and string them for a decorative touch. Place them in a basket with some greenery and put them on your mantle or table, or add glitter or sparkly spray paint for a more festive look.

#8 Purchase a bag or two of cranberries. Place them in a clear glass bowl filled with water. Add a few small red or green floating candles and light them. The candles will float amongst the red berries. You can also fill a bowl with the red berries, skip the water, and position the candles amongst the berries.

#9 Display your holiday cards by hanging them over the fire place or around a doorway.

#10 Gather branches from your yard or the tree farm. Place them on the wall over your fireplace, create a wreath from the branches by weaving them together or use them as the foundation for a centerpiece.

#11 Gather candy canes both large and small in a tall vase or clear glass. Tie bows around the middle of the candy canes and display.

#12 Wrap mirrors and doors with wrapping paper. They’ll look like giant gifts.

Let your imagination run free, you can come up with tons of great ideas to decorate your home this holiday. Take a look around your home and yard. What do you already have that you can use to decorate?  Keep it simple and have fun!