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Getting ready for the holidays

644 364 Nisha Muire
The Holidays in Toronto are an exciting, cheerful time where neighbourhoods get into the festive spirit by decorating. As soon as the first snow falls holiday decorations can add to the excitement and anticipation and if you are looking to participate in this annual display of joy, you are in luck – there are hundreds of ways to spruce up your home at this time of year – and they don’t all involve a lot of money!
Draw inspiration from the great outdoors when it comes to simple and cost-effective holiday decorating. You can collect pine cones, spray them in gold or silver and cover them in glitter. These can then be used in a decorative tray as a centrepiece, they can be strung together to make eye-catching garlands and they can be used in floral arrangements. Spruce or fir boughs can be used to create temporary trees by sticking them into floral foam and putting them in decorative pots. You can further enhance them by spraying them with fake snow or hanging small ornaments from them.
If you want to spruce up your exterior with lights, try the new solar powered LED versions that are now widely available in stores. Not only do they save on electricity, they are easy to install and are a more efficient way of lighting up your home for the holidays.
A fun project you can try with kids is to build a colourful holiday fort using blocks of colour ice. All you would need are some old, plastic containers that you fill with water and food coloring in your favourite festive colours. Let them freeze and then use the frozen blocks to create a fun sculpture on your front lawn.
Want to create a fun snowman that will last indoors? You will need a few balloons, some string or twine, glue and glitter. You will also need as many disposable containers as you have balloons. Mix the glue and glitter together in a disposable container. Then pass one end of the string or twine through the glue/glitter mixture and begin winding it around one of the balloons. Wrap the string around the balloon in random patterns – it doesn’t need to be fully covered. As long as the balloon is fairly well covered your project will turn out fine! Repeat with the other balloons. Place the string entwined balloons on the disposable containers to dry completely. Once they are dry, pop the balloons and remove any remaining rubber from the inside of your spheres. Next, glue the spheres together. Add black pom-poms for the eyes and mouth and some orange felt for the nose. You can also add a hat if you wish and, voila! You’ll have a snowman that will last for years to come.
Preparing for the holidays on a budget needn’t be hard or too time-consuming. With just a bit of creativity, you can turn your home into a festive wonderland to keep the spirit alive.


Nisha Muire

All stories by: Nisha Muire