By Kathryn Weber

Last Minute Christmas Decorating Tips

Some years, you manage to get a jump on Christmas and handle all the chores with ease. Other times, you handle the shopping and fall short on decorating. If that describes your pattern, or if you just want to add a few special decorating touches before friends and family arrive, you can do so quickly and easily.

No time for a Christmas Tree?

Gather up some fallen branches in the yard, spray paint them gold or silver and stick them in a vase. Add simple balls and twinkling lights and you have a Christmas tree on the fly. Or, using a stack of gift tags with fabric hangers, turn your vase of branches into a wishing tree festooned with family Christmas or New Year's wishes.

You can also let houseplants or other existing greenery stand in for a Christmas tree. Decorate your indoor ficus or palm tree with lights and ornaments. As an added bonus, neither will drop needles.

When speed decorating, go for convenience

Don't think twice about buying lots of fresh-cut wreaths, swags and garlands. They look great, smell wonderful and are easy to hang.

And don't forget the ribbon!

Bows can quickly transform the simplest of objects into something festive to add holiday flair. You can easily dress up a door knob, lamp, or household plant by tying on a cheery red bow.

To tie a pretty bow, simply wrap ribbon around an object and tie. Then make two loops of ribbon in each hand, as you did when you were learning to tie your shoelaces. Cross the loops over each other and pull tight for a nice bow with a pretty knot. A roll of red ribbon can give your whole home a quick holiday lift.

Create a Christmas Scene

If you have an assortment of snow globes, nutcrackers, or Santas, you can pull a vignette together in less than a minute.

Find a clear area and put down a string of lights. Add cotton snow, then place your objects between the lights and the snow. By massing them together, you have a pretty scene with big visual impact.

Use Glitter for Christmas Decorating

Adding glitter to ornaments and other objects around the house is a fast way to add holiday sparkle. Sprinkle glitter on pinecones, acorns, branches, leaves, or simple glass objects.

Add Christmas touches in unexpected places

Place a pine swag on a bookshelf, hot-glue wide ribbon around your chandelier chain and then bunch it up to give your dining room a festive touch. You can even enlist your presents for decorating duty. Artfully place wrapped gifts on a table at various heights and surround with pine branches to make an instant arrangement that won't require storing after the holidays.

You don't have to spend a lot of time or money to give your home a fast holiday lift.

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Last Minute Christmas Decorating Tips You can do Quickly & Easily

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