When you ask people what their favourite part of the holiday season is, often they answer enthusiastically it’s all the great food and the decorations. Cookies, candies, pies, and other special sweet treats are at the top of most everyone’s list, and everyone loves a festively decorated home to make Christmas even merrier.
But you don’t have to be a Christmas grinch worrying about how much all these special treats and decorations will take from your holiday budget. With some creativity and a quick inventory of what you already have on hand it can really be quite simple.
One of most affordable treats you can make is yummy cookies made with homemade dough. Generally speaking, it’s usually pretty simple for even the most challenged bakers to make. And if you’re pressed for time and choose to use the ready-made cookie dough from the grocery store, that doesn’t mean you have to do without fun holiday-shaped cookies. It’s very simple to choose a design or two that you like, trace it onto wax paper or aluminium foil, cut it out and use as a pattern to trim your cookie dough around.
If you’re serving these cookies at a party or open house with coffee or hot tea, try getting creative with some sugar cubes as a sweet decoration nearby. Take the sugar cubes, stack in a pyramid-fashion, and perhaps place some small coloured marshmallows on toothpicks and place carefully in the cubes, and you’ll have a festive looking, snow-covered decorated outdoor Christmas tree. Then the cubes can be used for the tea and coffee, and the marshmallows can be used for the hot cocoa.
Focus your decorating around colours and themes you already have in your decorations collection. Red and green are both bold colours that really pop once you add a golden or silvery accent to it. If you don’t own vast amounts of decorations, focus on decorating one particular area of a room, such as the corner the tree stands in, or the fireplace mantelpiece.
To complement your decorating, don’t overlook anything in your possession as something you can use. Maybe you have a Christmas sweater that you wouldn’t wear. Put it on one of your children’s large teddy bears and set him in a corner chair, and he may become a hot topic of conversation at your holiday open house.
Votive candles are a quick, affordable decoration. Place a cluster of three of them on holiday plates, light them, and scatter them on coffee and end tables to add a nice, soft glow. Floating votives in a fishbowl or other festive serving bowl made from clear or colored glass is an easy addition to your decorating scheme.
Bouquets of candy canes tied with Christmas ribbon and placed in red- or green-coloured drinking glasses add just a touch of Christmas cheer, and make a sweet treat to send home with your guests once your open house or party is over.
But the most important ingredient at your holiday table or gathering is the Christmas spirit.
Remember the reason for the season.
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