Alternative Holiday: Fast, Simple, Modern and Inexpensive

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Post-It notes in a tree shape? That's the kind of holiday decor we like

Many of our friends are hanging up wreaths, hoisting up trees and hauling out boxes of ornaments. While we like the idea of decorating for the holidays, we're looking for something a little less tradition-bound, easier to store in our limited closet space and inexpensive. Here's our take on festive holiday decor: fast, simple, modern and, best of all, cheap...

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  • A bowl piled with ornaments looks festive. Go for a single colour, two at the most and it'll look like a deliberate style statement. You can go hog wild in the 99c store and still have plenty left over for presents.

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  • Try edibles. Try clementines, oranges, apples, walnuts or candy canes. Display them in your best dishware: the crystal glasses from your aunt, those cake stands that spend too much time in the closet, your collection of glass vases. Pinecones, readily available at this time of year, can also work and afterwards, they can go into your compost pile.
  • Groupings of candles are always festive. Display them on a mirror to up the sparkle factor. Stick with a single colour for maximum impact.

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  • Fairy lights, which BethZ blogged some alternatives uses for the other day, are a year round favorite of ours. We like tangling them in a vase or hanging a few strands straight down over a doorway or a window. Or, try our favorite trick: if you can find the lights that are sold in plastic display trays (often sold as "mini chaser lights") leave them in their trays and hang them "as is" on your wall. Try one, two or three packs plugged together, white or coloured depending on your decor. This is a display, known affectionately in my family as "Lazy Holiday," that can stay up all year round; it subs as a cool, DIY art installation.
  • Use old fashioned Glass Window Wax to stencil patterns on your windows or mirrors to mimic patterns etched in frost. When the season's over, wipe it off for sparkling, streak-free surfaces.

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  • Instead of a real tree, we like this printable one from Hewlett Packard. Print it out using 18 sheets of paper and a colour printer. Tape it on the wall as is or frame each piece individually in inexpensive frames.

[images 1, 2, 3: Living, etc.; Colin Pringle; Hewlett Packard]

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