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5 Essential Holiday Tips and Tricks

Want to upgrade your holiday experience? Take Christmas to another level with these DIY crafts and helpful tips, from wire Christmas trees to creative ways to encourage kids to give back. 

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
October 20, 2017

EssentialHolidayTipsandTricks

How to Keep a Poinsettia Blooming

Poinsettia plants are gifts that keep on giving, if you give them a little extra care. After the last of the Christmas decorations are packed away, bring your poinsettia plants down to the basement (or elsewhere) where it’s cool and dark. Then keep them like prisoners, giving them very little water, until they’re almost dried out but not quite. Toward the end up April, bring the plants back out, trim them down about halfway, and give them lots of water and sun. You’ll be amazed at how well they re-bloom. When nights are warm enough for just a sweater, we sometimes plant them outside in a sunny spot to enjoy from the deck all summer long. Then back inside in the fall, where they still get full sun and lots of water.

Wire-Wrap Christmas Trees

If you’re looking for simple yet elegant homemade Christmas decorations, give this project a shot. All you’ll need is aluminum craft wire (in silver or gold) and a foam cone form, both of which you’ll find at craft or hardware stores. Begin by wrapping wire around the base of the cone to create an even stand, then gradually work your way up to the tip; add another metallic layer by wrapping the wire down to the base again. When you’re happy with the look of your tree, simply slip the wire off the foam form and tweak the bottom as necessary.

Soda Pop Reindeer

Are there any soda lovers on your gift list? How about beer drinkers? This clever holiday gift is perfect for any of them! Buy a six-pack of soda, root beer, or real beer in pretty glass bottles—we love the fancy vintage-looking soda bottles. Then turn each bottle into an adorable reindeer: You’ll need pipe cleaners for antlers, googly eyes, red pom-poms for the nose, colored ribbon, and a hot glue gun. Bend the pipe cleaners into antler shapes and attach them to the back of the reindeer’s “head” (i.e., the neck of the bottle). Glue on the eyes and nose, then tie a ribbon around the front of the bottle just under the nose—a simple knot here will resemble a reindeer mouth. Rudolph never looked so delicious!

North Pole’s Official Letterhead

Santa is such an important person, of course he deserves his own stationery! Leave notes for the little ones on Santa’s official letterhead, which is downloadable here: DesignEditor.typepad.com/files/desantastationery.pdf. Or use this charming stationery to send your own (Santa-approved!) Christmas greetings.

Santa’s Recycling System

We love this “toy recycling” idea so much that it’s become a favorite tradition in our home. When the kids make their wish lists, they should also decide which old toys they’d like to give back to Santa for Christmastime recycling—Santa and his elves refurbish the old toys so he can give them to less fortunate children. If your kids are older, bring the toys to the Goodwill or Salvation Army together. Not only does this help de-clutter the house, it also inspires heartwarming Christmas spirit in little kids and big ones alike.

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Photo by Shutterstock.

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