Written by Jacqui O'Brien

Almost all of us who celebrate Christmas will put up a Christmas tree of some kind. It is one of the most recognisable symbols of Christmas. If you are considering buying a new tree this year, should you go for an artificial one or a real tree? Both have their pros and cons.

A real tree does feel somehow more festive, with the Christmassy smell of pine and the feeling of having a living thing to decorate your home with. However a real Christmas tree is a commitment, if a short term one. The dreaded 'needle drop' can largely be avoided if the tree is watered regularly – this applies to both rooted and cut trees, if you keep your cut tree in a special stand which can hold a water reservoir. Also, if the tree is allowed to dry out it can be a fire hazard, while an artificial tree will be fire retardant.

The next advantage of a real tree is its environmental benefits. According to Care2.com, one acre of trees grown for the Christmas market can produce enough oxygen for eighteen people. Properly managed Christmas tree farms will plant more saplings each year than the number of trees that they cut down, and provide a habitat for birds and wildlife.

When the festive season is over you do not need find storage space your tree; a rooted tree can be planted in your garden and a cut one can be recycled into mulch by your local council or government. Many provide roadside collection or easy-to-reach collection centres, open until well into January. The environmental benefits are however rather negated if your tree ends up on a bonfire or in landfill.

So what about artificial trees? They are usually much more expensive than real trees, however since it can last for several years this can work out to be more economical. You can also keep it as a standby if, for example, your cat savages the real tree or you forget to water it and it loses its needles before 25th December. Modern types of tree which successfully mimic real trees both look good and even smell vaguely pine like – at least for the first year. Needle drop is pretty much non-existent and perfectionists can place every branch at the perfect angle if they wish.

If however you go for the retro charm of a tinsel tree, you will find that the tinsel sheds mercilessly and you will still be vacuuming pieces out of the carpet in July. I have a soft spot for tinsel trees, having grown up with them, but remember having to put plastic ends on each sharp metal branch to prevent injury. These would definitely be best avoided where small children will be running around. Artificial pine trees tend to be designed with a clump of needles at the end so that the sharp part is covered.

Any artificial tree is unlikely to be recyclable in any way, and so when it is disposed of will inevitably end up in landfill. Therefore if you choose an artificial tree it should be looked after and carefully stored so that it gives many years service. Whatever type of tree that you choose, have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Jacqui O'Brien is the editor of eParenting.co.uk, the online parenting magazine and information resource for parents, with free printables and educational software. Visit eParenting at http://www.eparenting.co.uk/

For all your Christmas decorating needs, visit LightTheNight.com and be sure to look at the Custom Christmas Displays available.

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Written by Barbara Thorp

You could create a natural-looking Australian bush table setting by choosing items in a muted colour palette of creams, with accents of brown, khaki, and soft green. The key to making this arrangement interesting is to mix fluid organic shapes, such as handmade ceramic pieces with items from nature, such as shells, branches of Eucalyptus, pebbles and coral. Continue the theme throughout your house with Eucalypt branches scattered about and brown paper-wrapped presents.

HINT: Eucalyptus adds a wonderful earthy aroma to the house. Why not think of buying a reasonable sized Eucalyptus tree in a tub and decorate it with gorgeous Aussie Christmas decorations; not only is it unique but you can decorate it with all sorts of little soft life like Native Bush animals purchased online in bulk.

Have you ever thought about having a metallic Christmas theme? You could use silver wire, spray paint twigs and pine cones silver, buy metallic material. Then just mix and match with your decorations. You know finding everything you need for your Christmas table setting is as simple as booting up your computer. You will be able to find the lot online at two reliable and accessible online sites. The christmascave.com.au and OzFreeOnline.com are two of the best online sites to browse. With OzFreeOnline.com just register, login and start searching. Youll be amazed at the hundreds of free online ads, which are displayed, and you will find absolutely all you want for your table.

Buy a metallic silver Christmas tree and decorate it with silver, clear, and glittered baubles, setting the mood for a modern Christmas. Use silver ribbon bows, silver tinsel, and transparent ribbon. Use metallic lame fabric as a table runner and light grey napkins. Thread small silver bells on to fine wire and make napkin rings that look and sound wonderful and add a touch of Christmas cheer. Little silver metal boxes can be used to for small trinkets and left beside each guests plate. Silver name cardholders add a personal touch and complement the Silver Star garlands decorating each plate.

For a centrepiece employ a tall glass vase with scrunched foil inside, then pop in a few stems of Poinsettia; and it is gorgeous. Serve champagne in tall crystal flutes with a silver rim to complete your festive table. With your table organised you will have a very Happy Christmas.

Interior Christmas Decorating

Think about the early days of January and the sales to purchase your Christmas ornaments. In the first week of January, Christmas merchandise is discounted due to the New Years discount sales. Most stores want to sell all their Christmas items in order to replace its stock so that they can restock with new next season. This is the best time buy special Christmas decorations at discounted prices. You will find that many stores discounts can be up to 75% or more, so take the advantage.

Gather all your family, including aunty, uncle, and cousins, because this is the best way to decorate your home for Christmas. Everybody from the littlies to great-grandmother, love to help with the interior Christmas decorating. So many online sites sell gorgeous interior Christmas decorating paraphernalia, buying online, and having everything delivered before you get the family together for the decorating party. This will most likely be one of the highlights of your familys holiday festivities. When it has been finished and the final bit of tinsel wound around the computer you will really see that your home will be so full of warmth, atmosphere, and amusement.

When you go online to buy some of the fabulous stuff for interior decorating dont forget to buy plain and coloured paper as well. You could make use of all the ideas each person has about Christmas decorating and set them tasks to make their own favourite decorations. While you are all cutting, gluing, sipping hot Toddys, steaming hot marshmallow chocolate and eating butterscotch biscuits, perhaps you can play Christmas carols and have the family join in.

I know many of you might be saying, well I know my family would think I was crazy and would never do that, but really, we have done it for so many years and you would be surprised how quickly everyone gets into the mood and ends up rolling on the floor in laughter and having loads of fun.

Barbara Thorp recommends Ozfreeonline Classifieds, post free ads and more! See also Ozfreeonline Classifieds Blog for more shopping related articles.

For all your Christmas decorating needs, visit LightTheNight.com and be sure to look at the Custom Christmas Displays available.

Written by Adam Peters

If you are tired of fighting with the lights and installation of your Christmas tree, then you will want to consider purchasing a pre-lit Christmas tree. It will save you time and sanity!

If you are tired of dealing with miles and miles of Christmas lights and finding outlets for all of them, then you may want to consider a prelit artificial Christmas tree. It is sometimes frustrating to get all of the lights on the tree just to find out that they do not work. I have had enough of unwinding and stringing lights to last me for years.

This is why I am buying a prelist artificial Christmas tree. I am going to save that valuable time and my sanity by having the lights already on the tree. My old tree had seen better days and not that we have moved into our new home, we need a new tree, too.

I especially enjoy the fact that the tree and lights come all together in one easily installed unit. I have wrestled with my previous Christmas tree for many years and I am tired of the wrestling. It is very scary when the tree seems to have a life of its own and then getting the lights on it didn't help with the stress level.

If you want an easier way to put up your Christmas tree, then you will want to purchase a prelit artificial Christmas tree. They are about the same price as the regular, lightless version and will save you time, energy, and decrease your stress.

You will find that you can put this Christmas tree up in very little time and in much less time than your old tree. It will be simpler to put up and will give you more time for the more important things in life, such as sitting around the decorated tree!

It used to be that I would dedicate most of one day to putting up my Christmas tree and decorating it. Now I can put up my pre-lit artificial Christmas tree and decorate it within an hour or so. That is a huge time difference!

If you are tired of dealing with the old Christmas tree and lights, then you will want to choose one of these great new Christmas trees. By saving time with the tree, you will have more time to spend with your family and friends. Isn't that what you want?

Adam Peters is a freelance writer for http://www.home-decorating-reviews.com .If you would like more information on this topic please checkout his website at christmas tree

For all your Christmas decorating needs, visit LightTheNight.com and be sure to look at the Custom Christmas Displays available.

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Alternating Colors or Steady Burn


Bethlehem Star With Blue Center

Written by Sean Carter

Christmas decorations are a visual treat for all and sundry! From hanging wreaths and mistletoes to decking up the Christmas evergreen, the decorations are fun to no end. And for all the first-timers in Christmas decoration, here's listed some ways to spruce up homes in the holidays.

Christmas decorations are one inseparable part of the Christmas holidays, without which Christmas would lose all its color, spirit, warmth and charm. And it's also great to get together with all in the family or the whole gang of friends for the Christmas decorations. Isn't it a joy untold to watch the hand-crafted stars or bells hung up on the Christmas tree or on the wreaths ? Don't you feel the festive tickle to see Christmas-themed table-spreads, curtains, napkin-holders, or carpets ? Ideas for Christmas decorations are plenty to satiate the festive craving of all and sundry. And the stores dish out a huge array of Christmas decorations too. You can either buy them home or decorate your home yourself with your own ideas and designs. Here's enlisted a few for you to get started with your Christmas decorations and Christmas planning.

The easiest and simplest of all Christmas decorations–get empty boxes or cartons and wrap them up in red, green, blue colored papers or colorful Christmas wrappers. Tie ribbons around some and leave them sporadically around the base of your Christmas evergreen or on the mantle.

Hanging cute Christmas stockings make good decorations too for your Christmas d�cor. You can cut out papers or fabrics in shapes of stockings or candy canes, have them colored by the kids and stick them all around the room to add that festive touch on Christmas.

Umpteen stores sell battery-operated candles especially for this holiday and these look radiant in and around your home as also on your Christmas tree. Anyone would like to go for these hassle-free Christmas decorations and give their interiors a total face-lift for the occasion.

A fetching idea for your Christmas decorations would be to deck up your house plants with little stars and bells and to place them on window sills.

Get holly boughs and mistletoes home. Hang them around and watch the magic of Christmas unfold before you. These Christmas decorations are traditionally passed down through ages and never fall out of the hall of fame.

How about this ? Take a pin-up board and pin Christmas-related images or messages on them. You can also fix Christmas cards that you get for the year. This Christmas decoration would be best for your office cubicle or room. So bring your colleagues in the spirit of the holidays instantly as they step into your holiday 'den'.

Now here's another to rev up your Christmas decorations–take a white table-spread and stick little paper or fabric pieces in shapes of stars, bells, candy canes, gift-boxes, Santa hats and more.

Deck up your halls in Christmas streamers (bought or homemade) or in Christmas wreaths. You can hang a bunch of bells on the doorway too. Won't it be sweet to hear the jingles every time anyone enters during the Christmas season ?

Decorate white slender candles with red and green ribbons. Tie them into a bow or just spiral it around. They would swell for sure if placed in a cluster on your Christmas dinner table or over the mantle. Don't forget to leave a bell carelessly at the base. Your friends, folks or sweetie pie would surely love the shine and shimmer of the bell in the candlelight and you may collect few kudos for such thoughtful Christmas decorations.

For outside decorations, get some Christmas lights home. Glowing bulbs or lighted candles that run on battery would just suit fine outdoors. You can place a big cutout of Santa to welcome your dear ones too. Or you can let loose your own festive ideas.

Play Christmas numbers for the background scores to complement the tree, table and hall decorations. Well chosen Christmas songs are just the right fill for the holiday ambience.

Create cute bows for the special day and have them stitched to curtains or tied to door-knobs or around the glasses on the Christmas table. These Christmas decorations won't take much time and would be fun to do too. So get on with these.

Well then, welcome the season of joy and brace up to make merry with friends and family–it's Christmastime folks ! The merriest time of the year is here. So leave your worries behind, deck the halls with wonderful Christmas decorations and share the warmth and joy of the season with all far and near.
If you want to send a Christmas Ecard to your near and dear ones , you can find some at 123greetings.com/events/christmas .

Sean Carter writes on holidays, christmas and celebrations around the world. He also writes on family, relationships,womens issues birthdays, inspiration, religion, love and friendship. He is a writer with special interest in ecard industry. He writes for 123greetings.com

For all your Christmas decorating needs, visit LightTheNight.com and be sure to look at the Custom Christmas Displays available.

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