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posted: 12/7/2012 1:00 AM

Simple ways to jazz up your holiday decorating

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By Rosemary Sadez Friedmann
Scripps Howard News Service

'Tis the season, already! It is time to decorate for Christmas, so let's explore a bit and see if there are any new ideas out there. Of course, you will want to keep some or most of your traditional decorations, used year after year, generation after generation. After all, those never go out of style and they are what make Christmas decorations special. The memories of years gone by are precious, but how about adding some fresh ideas to the tried and true?

The rustic look always works to make a home feel warm and inviting. Add a wreath somewhere that is a little different from the poinsettia-garnished one you always use. Try a wreath that is simply an evergreen with a monogram letter in the center. To do this, simply add a cardboard stencil letter and hang it in the middle of the evergreen wreath. The monogram can be plain white or traditional Christmas red.

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How about the dining table? That needs to be special because it is where the family gathers for Christmas dinner and the reminiscing conversation. Those large hurricane lamps that usually hold big, fat candles are great. Use several of them of different widths and different heights and fill some with candles and others with round Christmas-tree ornaments. Surround them all with a garland of evergreens. If you can find pine cones, intersperse some around the evergreen garland.

Frame old pictures of the kids sitting on Santa's lap and display them around the house. It is fun to have several from different years. Great memories, right? And what about some of the artwork on the walls? Perhaps you can replace them just for Christmas with new holiday images or scenes.

Glitter is always in at Christmas time, so go for it. Decorate the tree with added gold or silver garland beads. Use gold or silver garland beads on the mantel. Spread gold or silver beads on end tables in the living room. Those poinsettias you purchase come in regular pots wrapped in foil. That's fine, but to punch it up a bit, get silver or gold vases or urns and put the poinsettias in them.

And don't forget candles. Of course, always exercise due caution when it comes to lighted candles. If you are afraid of a fire hazard, go with flameless candles.

• Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color."

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