Crafty Holiday Decorations

By Kate, age 17, New Hampshire
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

The holidays are quickly approaching. It's time for holiday shopping, and for some of us, party planning. The holidays can be stressful and money can be tight, but here are a few ideas to plan your usual holiday party without spending too much money!

The first things people see when coming to a party are the decorations. Decorating can take a long time, but it can also be fun. One way to make the decorating easier is to gather some friends a few hours before the party to help you. Tune your radio to your favorite holiday station (like Oldies 103.3!) or put in your favorite holiday CD while you decorate.

You may want to decorate the outside of your house. That can be the most difficult task, from hanging up lights to setting up lawn ornaments. But if you have parents like mine, they usually do this themselves every year. But there are other things you can do to make your house inviting (and maybe even "light the way" for your guests ... and Santa too!) Every Christmas Eve my neighbors and I gather together in the street with brown bags and tiny tea-light candles. We place one candle inside each bag and line the bags on each side of the road. All you have to do is light the candles and, ta-da! Santa's runway! The kids always feel better knowing that Santa will have an easy time finding their house, and your guests will find your house in no time. It's definitely my favorite decoration.

Don't worry about decorating the entire inside of your house. Most people won't be gathering in the bathroom or your bedroom, so decorate the main area where people will be. If there will be food, you can decorate the kitchen where the food will be served, but keep it simple - a holiday tablecloth and maybe some cheap holiday paper plates, cups, and napkins. Disposable things are good - it saves you time slaving away at the sink!

Decorations can be anything from little trinkets for above your fireplace or on an end table to decorative garland to drape on your walls. If you really want to be creative make your own decorations! When I was younger I used to have a box filled with beads and strings to make necklaces and the works. If you have anything like this, you can make a variety of things. You can make fun jewelry for your guests, ornaments, or a beaded rope to hang along your wall. And if you don't have beads, you can go to any craft or department store to get some for cheap.

For a classic holiday decoration try gingerbread houses. (They're also good to eat!) They look great as a centerpiece and they're delicious. They're usually not very expensive to make. You can get a kit for making them at your local grocery store.

Decorating doesn't have to be an expensive chore. You just need to find fun, cheap ways of doing it with things you already have around your house. Whether it's a holiday bash or a small get together, it should be fun not only for your guests, but for you as well. The best parties are the ones with the people you love, and the best decorations are homemade and from the heart.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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