Deck the halls

Soon it will be time to raid the attic for boxes of tinsel and trinkets and embark on the annual decorating ritual. While we can’t help you unravel the fairy lights, here are a few tips to make decorating more fun and less about finance this year.

• Make the most of your Christmas cards — try stringing cards across a wall rather than just standing them on the mantelpiece. You can dig out last year’s cards if you still have them, to create an even more impressive display.

• Make your own — rather than splashing out on a table centrepiece, make your own with some holly and fir branches artfully arranged around a large candle. Add interest with pine cones, and fake snow, but make sure it is non-flammable first. You can use leftover holly and fir branches to create a Christmas arrangement for the living room or hallway — just arrange in a vase and finish with a festive bow.

• Use the streamers from party poppers to decorate your tree, and to add colour to the table for Christmas dinner.

• If your Christmas tree sits in a corner, make the most of your fairy lights by stringing them across the tree from side to side, rather than around it in circles. You don’t hang baubles on the back of your tree, so why hang lights?

• Add a festive aroma to your home with some Christmas pot pourri or scented candles. Oranges studded with cloves also make great festive pomanders, and offer the perfect opportunity to get the children involved in decorating.

• And finally, save yourself the frustration of tangled fairy lights this time next year by wrapping each string of lights around a rectangular piece of cardboard before storing.

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