Simple ideas for decorating for Christmas

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 20, 2013

SALISBURY — With your Christmas party around the corner, it is time to think about decorating for the festivities.
1. Select a theme, and stick with it for your holiday decorating.
2. Choose two or three colors for your holiday palette, and keep it consistent.
3. Use lots of candles. Nothing makes a room feel warmer and more inviting than candlelight.
4. Give your space a different look and feel for this special time of year. Rearrange your furniture to make your focal point clearer or to create the best layout for cozy conversations.
1. Choose table linens in a neutral color, and purchase themed napkin rings for each holiday.
2. Dress up the dinner table with napkin holders made from felt holly leaves and a jingle bell or holly-leaf place card. Visit this link for other napkin holder/ place card holder ideas:
3. As an alternative, you can buy one holiday placemat. Place it in the center of the table to anchor centerpieces or as a backdrop for salt, pepper, sugar and creamer.
4. Centerpieces are a must, but remember not to overdo it. Also, remember that they should not be too tall, impeding conversation with the person across from you. This would also be a great time to show off your creativity. Consider bringing in a bit of nature, using fruit, berries, nuts, twigs and flowers, to make holiday centerpieces.
There are so many wonderful do-it-yourself (DIY) sites that show you how to make some lovely centerpieces. For an example of simple Christmas centerpieces, visit:
Rowan County Cooperative Extension Agent Toi Degree has some great ideas for the holiday season. This past November, she held a DIY program for décor and gifts. In this segment, I will show you how you can do the same for your home. Being the local food and horticulture agent, I am able to see what the county has available throughout the seasons. For the winter months, you may be concerned that you cannot use anything local for décor. However, this is not the case. Rowan County has a lot to offer the community.
Edible arrangements have become all the rage for anniversaries, parties and gifts. The neat thing is that one can make their own edible arrangement and make it as unique as they wish.
A simple edible arrangement one can create is by using dried fruit or fresh fruit. You can take a clear, glass or plastic container, place a candle in the center, and surround it with fresh or dried cranberries, dried blueberries or even dried beans or corn.
To enhance that simple arrangement, you could also remove the candle and include nuts or use unique plants from your landscape, such as limbs from a red or yellow twig dogwood, river birch, corkscrew willow or grapevines. You could also add some berries from hollies.
Almost all of this can be grown around your home, although the cranberries may be a little difficult to grow if you want to harvest them using the bog method.
Another decorative piece that one can buy locally is poinsettias. Cooperative Extension Director Darrell Blackwelder featured a wonderful article earlier this December on their care and maintenance, but these wonderful beauties are grown locally. Most of Rowan County nurseries grow poinsettias, and they come in some magnificent colors.
Most people go for the traditional red, but some of the new cultivars are in different shades of pink and white. They even have variegated colors that make the leaves look like they have been “kissed” with snowflakes.
All of these make great centerpieces and if you are decorating for the holidays with a specific color, they can definitely give the extra pizzazz of your décor.
For more information on decorating for the holidays, shopping local or growing your own decorations, contact Toi N. Degree, family and consumer education agent or Danelle M. Cutting, horticulture and local food agent, at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension office, 704-216-8970.