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tips & maintenance

Holiday entertaining tips to brighten your season.

The holidays are synonymous with family, friends and get-togethers. After all, every event is more enjoyable when shared with people who mean something special to you. So make a good time even better with these handy tips for holiday decorating.

Keep it natural

One of the most enjoyable decorating resources is likely right outside your front door. Natural touches, like small evergreen tree branches or pieces of holly, are probably available in your yard, and make a beautiful and pleasant-smelling addition to your mantle, table or entryway.

Smells of the Season

Holiday smells are as much a part of the season as colored lights and wrapping paper. Make sure your decorations include something for the nose as well as the eyes. Try putting out potpourri or scented oils with holiday smells such as cinnamon, peppermint, pine or berry.

By doing so, you're helping to surround your guests in a holiday environment that indulges every sense. Put your potpourri or oils on the table, in the bathroom and in any area where guests may be gathering.

Lay down the tunes

Remember to take your guests' musical tastes into account when creating the background music that will play during your get-together. Holiday music is the default suggestion, but consider a few other genres as well. Jazz and classical can be wonderful additions, lending a subtle festive ambience to the background.

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Ornaments aren't just for trees

If your family trims a tree every year, consider using extra ornaments throughout the house as accents. Hang small ornaments off of picture frames or doorjambs.

Put a tray of larger ornaments and greenery on the table for a centerpiece. Or hang an ornament on the back of everyone's chair at the dinner table. Turn your whole home, and your whole party, into one large, bright, dynamic decoration.

Brighten up!

During the holidays, the weather is typically cooler and the landscape less colorful than the rest of the year. When guests arrive for a party, make your home as bright and colorful as possible, in stark contrast to the leafless trees, brown grass or white snow they've travelled through to get there.

If you have a programmable thermostat like the iComfort Wi-Fi®, maybe set it to warm the house up just a little before the guests arrive, then return to a normal schedule once the party is underway to prevent overheating the room.

Keep quaint, keep cool.

Few things are as welcoming as a roaring fire. But in a home full of guests, the heat builds up quickly. Instead of the fire, put electronic LED candles in the fireplace and let your furnace keep people warm.

Plan to relax and enjoy your labors.

Give yourself enough time to have everything ready long before your guests arrive. You've spent so much time and effort to make your home beautiful, you owe it to yourself to relax and enjoy the splendor you've created before everyone else does. Taking a breather before the festivities will also help put you in a calmer mood, which will in turn make you a more relaxed and enjoyable host.

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