Easy Last-Minute Holiday Decorations

The holiday season means family gatherings, visiting with friends and, frequently, entertaining guests. If you want to make your home festive but can’t find the time for intricate, lush décor, try a few quick alternatives that will get you and your guests in the holiday spirit.

An ultra-fast solution to add some holiday cheer to a table or mantle is to fill a clear container with round Christmas ornaments. Set out a large glass bowl on your kitchen or dining room table to serve as a festive centerpiece, or use large glass cylinders of different sizes to create some dimension on a coffee table. The same can be done with pinecones for a more subtle yet still spirited holiday look.

Making a wreath doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Purchase a foam wreath base at a craft store and use a hot glue gun to cover the surface of the foam wreath with pinecones, ornaments or even small round jingle bells, making your wreath a treat for the ears as well as the eyes.

If you’re hosting a dinner, try this idea from Martha Stewart. Create your own quick table runner by rolling out some wrapping paper across the center of your table. You won’t have to worry about cleaning up spills and drips, and it’s an ideal way to use the end of a roll when you’ve finished your gift wrapping.

You can put the ends of wrapping paper rolls to good use even if you’re not hosting guests for a meal. Remove the paintings or framed photos on your wall and give them a fast wrapping in your leftover paper.

Since the back won’t be seen, you don’t need to worry about an authentic wrapping job; simply cover the front and tape the edges to the back of the frame. Stick a bow on the front to complete the look.

Perhaps you’ve purchased or assembled your tree, whether real or artificial, but have not found the time to give it that picture-perfect, well-balanced decorating. Use a single roll of decorative gift-wrapping ribbon to adorn your tree.

Tie the end of the roll to one of the upper branches on the back of the tree, then spiral downward as you circle the tree with the ribbon. The simplistic design can complement modern decorating (use a brightly colored, even neon, ribbon) or add a touch of traditional style when done with a basic solid or patterned ribbon in basic Christmas colors.