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Display Name: btoblake
Member Since: 1/26/11

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On the note of alternatives -
Hanging swag should be gorgeous, even a simple gold twist hanging off a big doorway really gave a great effect last year. You can attach ornaments, cards, ribbon, lights or nothing at all.
There's a small variety of wire trees designed for hanging cards. If your family is into correspondence, this can turn a pile of clutter into a brightly colored tree. (I've been considering this.)
You can get or make a fabric advent calendar tree covered with pockets, and fill them with candy or small presents for bonus December awesomeness.
To kick up the effect, either some quantity of real pine, scentsicles ornaments or a good candle can provide the scent. (The scent of cinnamon and baking is even better, if you are so inclined.)
However, holidays are about the classics, and I start to feel an itch for a tree. Wee trees are fun, because you can use all kinds of fabulous things (like vintage costume jewelry) as ornaments. If you're clever, you can choose a table that provides no room for cats, hang big, bright stockings right from it, and have room for artfully arranged presents underneath. It's consistently gorgeous. (Cheap pre-lit trees from a drugstore/amazon work just fine.)

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!
You're Way Too Big For My House! Christmas Trees & Alternatives for Small Space Dwellers

11/21/13 10:47 PM

If you don't have room for tools in your apartment, why not see if there's a local makerspace? They often have free nights for visitors who want to make cool things.

Make this Homemade Holiday Gift:

11/19/13 03:11 PM

This is a nice and versatile trick for making home look welcoming on dark, cold nights. It works particularly well for winter holidays, but it could really work for halloween or thanksgiving. Some people leave them up year round, and if they feel the urge, they pair them with seasonal decorations on the window.

I've experimented with this, and finally settled on simple plug in incandescent candles with an 8 hour timer. The brightness and warmth of the yellow are hard to match, and the lack of batteries means that it's possible to put a plastic seal right over the window with them inside, and not pull it back to fuss every few days. A bit of clear tape can keep them in place, and the cord out of sight. They pair well with light porous curtains.

Candles in Windows
11/19/13 02:56 PM

The dark color and insulation may make up for the lack of size, usually unprotected ones are about 3' x 3' so the center keeps warm. If your bin hasn't seemed to be heating itself from within, you can add microbes. (A sample from a friend's healthy compost heap has the perks of being free, something like compost plus would probably work too.)

Composting Project Update: It Froze!
1/26/11 10:40 PM