Like a gift from Santa, the December edition of Martha Stewart Living just ho, ho, ho'd its way into our mailbox, bringing with it nearly 250 pages of holiday cheer, from a sequined Lady Stewart on the cover to wreaths of all colors and gifts of all persuasions. One thing's for sure: this bunch doesn't just decorate—heavens, no. In Marthaland, boxed ornaments are nothing if not hand-treated with, say, glitter, Champagne glasses are Steuben, of course, and place cards are not made of paper, but rather cookies. The edible kind. We've read the issue cover to cover and extracted these, and many more, holiday-decorating tips. After all, it wouldn't be the holiday season without a side of inferiority complex. Here goes:
· "One of the many trees I set up and decorate thought my home [is] a pre-lit golden tinsel tree covered with animal ornaments that look just like cookies but are long lasting and 'iced' with glue and glitter!"
· "I like to serve Champagne in all types of old Champagne glasses: faceted, cut crystal, tall, thin Steuben flutes, and paper-think modern Swedish blown glass."
· "A collection of candle-filled shells brings natural charm to the table. Lustrous metallic paint gives them a glamorous holiday look."
· "Anyone with a Christmas tree should have this trick up her sleeve. Instead of hanging a fragile or antique ornament from a hook, secure it with a length of 28-gauge wire. Thread wire through hanging loop, wrap around a brunch, and twist ends."
· "Fashion wreathlike bobeches (candle-drip catchers) out of leaves snipped from your yard. These rings dress up a table and protect your cloth and candlesticks, too."
· "Tiny bells bring a festive jingle to your tablecloth or runner. Start with a linen cloth that has an openwork hem, weave ribon through the holes and tie bells to ends."
· "We love cookies as monogrammed place cards. Bu why stop there? Use custom cookie stamps and get personal with dessert."
· "In a child's room or hallway, a string-light tree is as festive as an evergreen. To create one, use adhesive hooks to hang lights. Felt star ornaments add to the twinkle effect."
· "Bring the winter wonderland indoors with magical, diamond-bright icicle lights dangling under a shelf. For a natural look, cluster the lights into uneven groupings and stagger their placement; hang them using adhesive hooks."
· "The napkin rings an the beading detail on the rims of the Nymphenburg porcelain plates are as simple and charmig as a spray of frozen raindrops."
· "In this twist on the traditional focal point, metallic foil paillettes hang from graduated wire wreath forms, creating a modern mobile that evokes a trimmed tree."
· Martha Stewart [official site]