How to Decorate with Christmas Lights and Not Come Off Tacky

Christmas Lights All Year Round: Use these Chic Decorating Ideas to Light Up Your Home

christmaslightsYou and Christmas haven’t always gotten along. Your memories of the holiday include your mother’s gigantic yard ornaments and gaudy reindeer sweaters. You may be surprised to know that Christmas can be quite chic. Before you raise your eyebrows and flashback to a 10-foot inflatable Frosty, check out these innovative ideas for year-round decorating with Christmas lights.

Christmas Lights in the Bedroom
The soft glow of Christmas lights in the bedroom creates a mellow, romantic vibe. Use white lights for the best result. Festoon your bed canopy with Christmas lights by draping them on top of the canopy and over the sides. Another great bedroom lighting idea is to secure lights to the wall in heart shapes or trail lights from bottom corner to top corner for a light-vine effect.

Mirror Mirror

Festoon the frame of a hallway mirror with soft white Christmas lights. The lights reflected in the mirror creates a cozy glow.

Writing on the Wall

Use double-sided tape to create words on the wall. Then track the tape with Christmas lights for a truly captivating look.

A Tree Grows…On Your Wall

For this one you’ll needs lights and discarded branches. To find the branches, take a walk in your local park or check for sticks in your backyard. Use a handsaw or other tool to stagger the size of the branches. Drill a hole in the middle of each branch, string them together with twine and then hang the “tree” on your wall. Once it’s up, simple weave white Christmas lights in and out of the branches. Check out Turtles and Tails for detailed instructions.

Light Balls

This one is super easy. Simply wrap white lights around grapevine balls. You can find the materials at your local craft store.

Check Christmas tree clearance after the holiday season to find lights at a great price. The rest of the materials you need for these fun decorating ideas are probably sitting around your house. Who knew that those twinkling lights could lend charm way beyond your artificial Christmas tree? Now, block those memories of your Mom’s yard ornaments out of your mind and start creating completely chic Christmas light images of your own.

Tasty and Healthy Spring Snacks for Kids

The warmth of spring usually inspires kids to come out of their homes and enjoy the great outdoors. Days are spent playing at the park, biking along breathtaking trails, taking cool dips in the pool or lake, and camping out underneath the stars. These activities can be tiring, and children will need to get their energy back up with snacks that are both delicious and healthy. Here are several wonderful recipes that will not only make them strong, but also give them the pep they need to play more. 

Bubbly Berries and Grapefruit

grapefruit strawberry anthimeria (CC BY-NC 2.0)Photo by anthimera via Flickr.com. CC BY-NC 2.0.

This delicious snack combines the classic soda fountain and good old fruit salad. Here’s what you need to make this refreshing delight:

  • 1 25 ounce bottle of sparkling cider
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 2 red grapefruits, seeded and sliced
  • 1 pineapple, skinned and sliced
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Crushed ice

1. Place a thin layer of crushed ice at the bottom of your bowls.

2. Layer the grapefruit, pineapple, and strawberry slices in each bowl.

3. Pour generous amounts of sparkling cider. Make sure it covers all of the fruits.

4. Add several mint leaves on top of the fruits. You can also add fresh milk if you want to give your version of the Bubble Berries and Grapefruit a dairy twist.

Apple and Cinnamon Popcorn

cinnamon popcorn The Purple Foodie (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)Photo by The Purple Foodie via Flickr.com. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Appetizing and addictive, this is a healthy and sweet take on another classic American staple. The best thing about this recipe is that you can pack it in small brown paper bags or plastic containers for your kids to enjoy anywhere. Here’s what you need to make this tasty snack:

  • 1 pack plain popcorn
  • 25 grams unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup dried apples, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground or powdered cinnamon

1. Cook the popcorn in a large saucepan or in the microwave. Once all the kernels have popped, pour popcorn into a large bowl.

2. Combine cinnamon and butter in a separate and larger bowl. Whisk the mixture for two minutes.

3. Pour popcorn and apple into the mixture. Toss repeatedly to make sure that the sauce coats each popped kernel.

Vegan Blueberry and Banana Muffins

bookchen (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Photo by Bookchen via Flickr.com. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

This vegan dish retains the flavors of the classic recipe. This is guaranteed to keep your kids running on full tank. Here’s the recipe for this delectable pastry:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer, dry
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

1. Preheat your oven to 175⁰ C. Take out your muffin cups and place your muffin liners into the mold.

2. In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix the ingredients until the batter is smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, combine water and egg replacer. Pour this blend into the banana mixture and add the blueberries. Mix the ingredients for a few minutes.

4. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin mold.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Fill your kids’ tummies with these delicious spring treats.

Joy to the Tree: Meet the Winners of our Photo Contest

Tree Classics Joy to the Tree Photo Contest

Celebrate once more the joy of decorating your Christmas tree and take inspiration from the winners of our Tree Classics Joy to the Tree Photo Contest.

Before you put away your Christmas décor and store your beloved tree back into the box this spring, take one more look back at the holiday’s most memorable trees from the winners of our Tree Classics Joy to the Tree Photo Contest.

On our Facebook page, Tree Classics proudly shared with everyone the Christmas tree masterpieces that showcased family tradition as well as cherished memories of the past season. The winners of the contest captured on camera the delight that only a Tree Classics Christmas tree can bring.

Love for Tree Classics

“The tree surpassed my expectations,” says Christine Young, this year’s top winner. The photo of her 12-foot fir garnered 39 votes from Facebook fans.

Christine was amazed at how her holiday centerpiece turned out. “I absolutely love our new tree this year.” The stunner was “the fullest, [most] beautiful, most lifelike tree” she had ever seen.

But Christine wasn’t the only one expressing love for her evergreen. Mindy Johnston, whose entry garnered 20 votes, shared her passion for decorating this classic work of art.

Mindy dedicated her Michigan Pine masterpiece to “Marine” who was home for Christmas for the first time in three years. A classic example of how a Tree Classics Christmas tree brings the family together.

A Different Kind of Ornament

Tree Classics Christmas trees have sturdy branches that can easily hold your Christmas tree decorations firmly in place. Diane Auger, whose entry bagged 13 votes, says her Scarlet Fir was “just the right size.”

Diane needed an evergreen that could house about 340 of her ornaments. Each detail added to the uniqueness of her Christmas tree, thus every ornament had to be tucked safely between the branches in order to bring out the vibrancy of the evergreen. Diane’s Tree Classics stunner delivered on its promise.

While traditional holiday trimmings may add character to a tree, a different kind of ornament took center stage in Lori Magelky’s entry.

“Just lights, no ornaments,” Lori says of Our Christmas tree, whose photo garnered eight votes. “We learned last year, after our cat climbed the tree, that we shouldn’t put ornaments,” Lori adds.

What makes this winning entry extra special?

The only ornament it did have: “The cat who likes to sleep in the branches.”

Each winner will receive a Sedona Fir Christmas Wreath. Tree Classics thanks everyone who participated in the Joy to the Tree Photo Contest.

Holiday Fun Facts for Kids

© Grant Cochrane / 123RF.COM

© Grant Cochrane / 123RF.COM

 

Do the corners of your rooms look bare without your artificial Christmas trees? Are you missing the aroma of freshly baked cookies and bayberry candles? If you miss the fun holiday spirit and just can’t wait for Christmas to roll around again, take advantage of all the fun holidays that roll around the rest of the year.

Whether you want to keep the kids entertained with timely tidbits or just brighten up your little corner in the office, these fun facts about our most popular holidays will put you in the mood to decorate and maybe even bake a batch of homemade cookies!

Valentine’s Day

Heart-shaped sugar cookies with white icing and pink sprinkles are edibles hugs—delicious!

Be careful if you eat an apple on Valentine’s Day. There’s an old myth that says if you eat an apple on Valentine’s Day, you will have as many children as the number of seeds you find inside. The average is about three, but some varieties have up to 12 seeds.

Continue reading

Tree Classics’ Favorite Spring Holidays!

Celebrate Spring Holidays with these Festive Ideas

Tree Classics obviously loves Christmas! But we’re not holiday snobs. We appreciate celebration in any form.

When the snow melts and Santa puts his sleigh up for the season, we enjoy the traditions and festivities associated with our favorite spring holidays.

So put away those red and green decorations, and pack your artificial Christmas tree into the storage. It’s time to celebrate the coming of spring!

Continue reading

Health Benefits of Having Pets

We feed them, clean them, play with them, and even talk to them. We love our pets and, in many ways, they love us back. Pets provide us companionship, comfort, and amusement. What we don’t realize is how beneficial these adorable animals can be to our physical and mental well-being. This May, celebrate National Pet Month by learning about the positive effects of caring for a furry friend.

graur razvan ionut
by graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. Reduce Stress

After a difficult day, a pet can be just the thing to lift up your spirits. Research shows that people performing stressful tasks were more relaxed when accompanied by their pets. Spending time with a pet dog or cat induces physical changes in our bodies that enhance our mood. Cortisol levels are lowered and serotonin, a hormone associated with happiness, is increased.

2. Prevent Allergies

Studies reveal that children who grow up in a home with furry pets, such as cats and dogs, develop fewer allergies than those who don’t. Even kids who grow up on farms with large, domestic animals have less risk of allergies and asthma. This suggests that exposure to dirt and allergens at an early age strengthens a child’s immune system. This immunity boosting effect, however, only develops in children and does not affect adults with existing allergies.

Tina Phillips
by Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Continue reading

Featured Tree Classics Product: Tree Storage Bag

Tree Classics Tree Storage Bag

Looking for the perfect way to store your pre-lit artificial Christmas tree? The Tree Classics rolling storage bag makes it easy to store the most important part of your seasonal holiday decorations. It offers a practical, workable solution that’ll keep your tree in top shape for years to come.

Your artificial Christmas tree is an investment worth protecting, and sometimes a closet just won’t cut it. Cardboard boxes fall apart and allow dust to collect in all the tree’s crevices and branches–not what you want to find when you pull it out next holiday season. A quality tree bag will keep your tree dust-free. When you get ready to decorate next year, you won’t have to worry about shaking out the dust, so your family will be able to focus on what really matters-the ornaments, garland and lights.

storagebag1The Large TreeKeeper Pro Tree Storage Bag measures 65 inches in diameter and is tall enough to accommodate a 7.5- to 9-foot tall tree. Secure straps make it easy to adjust the bag to fit a variety of different sizes. And because it’s on wheels, you’ll be able to transport it without trouble, so getting it out at the beginning of next season won’t be a hassle. It’s also easy to transport in case of a move.

Extra reinforced storage space at the bottom of the TreeKeeper Pro Storage bag allows room for decorations, accessories or lights–no more tangled wires next season! And the reinforced polyester fabric is weather-resistant, made to last for years to come without getting musty or moldy. Whether you have a white Christmas tree or a pre-lit artificial tree, this storage bag is a worthwhile investment for your home and can make decorating next year exponentially simpler.

If you’re not unbending your tree from a poor storage situation, dusting or trying to find the parts of a tree stand lost in the back of a closet, you can instead enjoy the real meaning of the season: spending time with your family and friends as you decorate your home. That makes all the difference!

Indoor Plants for Your Home

House plants are among the few decorating items that combine aesthetics and functionality. Not only do they add a touch of natural elegance to any indoor space, but they also provide benefits to homeowners.

First, they reduce the presence of pollutants and toxins in the air and provide fresh, clean oxygen. Second, they balance the internal humidity of any room. Third, certain house plants provide simple and quick home remedies.

Here are a few wonderful plants that add a lovely and healthy dimension to your own living space:

by gailf458 via Flickr (CC by 2.0)
Photo by gailf458 via Flickr. CC by 2.0.

Continue reading

Creating the Perfect Flower Arrangement for Spring

It’s springtime! Everything seems to be stirring to life after a long winter season. Finally, a reprieve from the winter blues after the holidays have been boxed up for the year.

Your artificial Christmas tree might be packed away until next winter, but you can pull out a few white or cream colored poinsettias from the Christmas decorations to set off yellow daisies and pink roses. Now is the time to think about springtime flower arrangements to give your home a fresh, bright feel.

Simplicity is in style this season, so it’s easy for you to create classic flower arrangements of your own using fresh cut flowers from your garden or from a local florist. Go with monochromatic color combinations–poppies and tulips are a lively, bright duo that lend cheeriness to any room.

Image c/o marthastewart.com

Image c/o marthastewart.com

By coupling colorful arrangements with simple, modern vases or bowls, you can mix and match an accent that will work well in any room of your home.

Continue reading