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Haul out the holly…

There are just a few days left before Christmas.

Are you in the spirit yet? And more importantly, is your house?

We’ve already talked about how to keep your home safely and efficiently aglow with holiday lights – hopefully, you were able to let us help you make them look as beautiful as possible – but if you’re still looking for ways to, well, spruce up your home for family visits and general merriment, we’ve got a few Christmas decorating tips and ideas for you.

Here are some last-minute Christmas decorating tips and ideas for plants and other natural elements you can use to jazz up your surroundings in the few days before Christmas.

A classic pomander--an orange with cloves
A classic pomander–an orange with cloves

Christmas Decorating Tip #1 – Winterberries: Winterberries, actually a form of holly, lose their leaves late in the summer and leave behind tiny red fruit that are hardy in cold temperatures once they’ve matured. These little gems will add a beautiful pop of color to any outdoor planter, wreath or swag of greenery. They’ll also make a gorgeous table centerpiece inside, with long bits in a vase or nestled in napkins for place settings. (Post-holiday bonus: Native Americans once used winterberries for medicinal purposes, so you’ll be well for the New Year!)

Christmas Decorating Tip #2 – Fruit: Yes, fruit. Christmas decorating doesn’t mean you’re married to red and green, and oranges aren’t just for the toe of your stocking anymore. You may remember making pomanders as a child…relive those memories by studding oranges with cloves for a festively scented tablescape with a delicious explosion of tropical tangerine color. (Snack-time bonus: Vitamin C! Just be sure to remove those cloves first…)

Stems of red twig Dogwood serve as a centerpiece
Stems of red twig Dogwood serve as a centerpiece

Christmas Decorating Tip #3 – Sticks and tree branches: If you didn’t collect every single fallen branch from your yard this fall, you’re in luck. These can double as instant décor during the holidays! Add “thriller” plants to large planters near the door, or weave a rustic wreath that’ll last long past Dec. 25. Feeling crafty? Snag a can of spray paint and give those limbs a thick coat of red or metallic gold or silver. (Municipal employee bonus: Less yard waste for trash trucks to pick up post-Christmas.)

What other nontraditional Christmas decorating tips and ideas do you have? We’d love to share them with everyone – leave a comment here or, even better, send us a photo on Facebook. Happy holidays from all of us at Neave Group!

And for even more tips, check out our blog post featuring some beautiful images of Christmas decorating ideas.

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Today – I am writing simply to say thank you for a job well done.Your staff did our spring cleanup yesterday. The yard looks so much better, and to my delight – they cleaned up ALL of the debris – including the pile I built up at the head of our driveway.This is the kind of service that builds loyalty to an organization and just makes you feel good. Thank you for putting a smile on my face when I came home from work yesterday – just by seeing how nice the yard looked.
John and Linda B.Hopewell Junction, New York

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