Yes, it is once again the Christmas season, and each of us has a favorite yuletide memory or a tradition that we include in our celebration each year. Yet, in our fast-paced world, time marches on and customs change. Just as real candles on the tree gave way to bubbling lights, twinkling lights, and now LED lights and hand-strung popcorn and cranberries were replaced by tinsel garlands and ribbons, Christmas 2012 brings with it new creations and unusual ideas which may well become traditions over time. Read on for the latest in tree and home decorations, stocking stuffers, unique gifts, and, of course, recipes.
Trends for 2012 include an emphasis on skinny trees, metallic trees, and multiple trees spread throughout your home. HGTV.com suggests thinking outside the box and reflecting your personality and lifestyle when it comes to decorating your tree(s). Consider, then, silk flowers in your favorite color(s), ornaments made from sheet music or old books, or depicting a theme. Nature-inspired motifs such as natural materials, birds, the sea, or your favorite animal are possibilities. Some with-it decorators even showcase their hobbies on their tree. Gardening, golf, cooking…?
Even tree toppers are changing. While angels, stars, and bows are still popular additions for the tree in your home, creative sorts are replacing those with a floral arrangement, feathers, Santa’s hat, Frosty, Yoda, a cluster of colorful balls, and even the Eiffel Tower. Click here for help in making unusual angels to crown your conifer.
Deck the Halls – and the Walls
Experiment with some low-cost “funky shui” in your home this year. With a can of spray paint, unwanted picture frames, ribbon, old seasonal greeting cards, and wrapping paper you can achieve the reputation of an inventive decorator as you create unusual wall art, festive displays of branches, colorful lampshade stripes and “Christmas package” pillows, and one-of-a-kind paint-swirled bottles and glasses.
Unexpected Stocking Stuffers Sure to Surprise
RealSimple.com and Perpetualkid.com have outdone themselves this year in terms of “who would have thought” suggestions for unique stocking stuffers for under $20. Have fun as you fill those Santa stockings with a robot tea infuser, a hand-held sound effects machine, a cupcake shower cap, or scented straws. Not full yet? You can also add paper airplane push pins, permanent bubbles, or HotWheels’ new Ballistiks. Not “outre” enough for you? Then embrace the trendy mustache craze and include portable kits for emergency use, bracelet charms, gummy candy, or a baby’s pacifier reflecting the latest fad!
Food, Glorious Food
Tired of relying on standard fare such as plum pudding, Santa cookies, green bean casserole, and traditional turkey? Dare you try saffron turkey, cumin roasted potatoes, pine nut parsnips, and braised red cabbage—all covered in white wine gravy? If so, click here to get started. Another appetizing menu has all the classics you want for the ultimate Christmas dinner updated with a stylish, modern flare. FineCooking.com. gives you recipes for champagne cosmos, horseradish bread pudding, lemon thyme spinach, and ginger cake trifle—each sure to please even the most discriminating
Let’s Not forget The Cookies
While chocolate chip, sugar, peanut butter, and candy cane cookies will never go out of style, there should always be room on the table in your home—and in your stomach—for newcomers of the delicious sort. Does your mouth water when you imagine chocolate/orange (or chocolate/hazelnut) cookie cups, gingerbread pinwheels, peppermint blossoms, or turtle bites? If so, then Pillsbury can certainly help satisfy your sweet tooth.
Present Day Presents
Yes, Furbies are indeed back, but they are joined by the not-so familiar WHISKEY STONES and a new WINE-OPOLY BOARD GAME, both available at Gifts.com. Want something more cutting edge? Allmodern.com provides suggestions in 15 different categories and features items such as a gear clock, a molecule building set, and Ipad/Mp3 accessories.
Amazon.com has compliled—and updates hourly-- a list of toys and games very popular with children this Christmas. Sought-after selections include Moshi Monsters, Lego Creationary Board Game, and any Angry Birds Star Wars Item. And, iIn spite of the advent of the IPad, Kindle, and numerous other electronic devices, many children still enjoy reading books and playing board games. Ask your public or school librarian for age-appropriate suggestions or peruse Amazon’s book lists.
Remember, too, that not all gifts need to be tangible. The sharing of your time and talents is most appreciated by all recipients, including children. Think about an outing to a museum or the zoo, a shopping expedition for an Angel Tree child, caroling, cooking lessons, or a project in which the entire family participates,
So there you have it—a modern-day take on many elements of Christmas. There is one more relatively new idea which is quickly gaining in popularity, however, and that is.the determination to slow down, relax a bit, and actually enjoy the season with friends and family. May your holiday be a rewarding and peaceful one!