Holiday entertaining doesn't have to be stressful. Follow these simple tips to host a boffo gala while still enjoying the spirit of the season. Home and Garden Television
• Forgo a traditional floral centerpiece on the dining table and instead create a charming holiday scene featuring gingerbread houses or ceramic Christmas-village miniatures.
• Rather than rushing out to buy expensive new china, glasses and silverware for a holiday get-together, consider renting it.
• A simple way to give holiday decorations a professionally done look is to stick to just two or three colors.
• Flickering candlelight is beautiful, but if small children or pets will be part of the celebration, substitute battery-powered votive and pillar candles for a warm glow without the worries.
• For a custom look that's easy to achieve, add ornaments, wrapped candies, children's toys or glittered greenery to a plain wreath.
• Adding a vintage element such as homemade gingerbread men, hand-strung popcorn or a cranberry garland to holiday decorations lends a sentimental, old-fashioned feel.
• Always test Christmas lights before adding them to the tree.
• Give your chandelier a simple holiday update by draping the arms with an evergreen garland and embellishing plain paper shades with an assortment of ribbon attached with hot glue.
• To cover an unusually shaped or extra-long table, simply drape it with fabric from the bolt. Measure the length of the table keeping in mind that 36 inches is equivalent to 1 yard. Add a few inches to each side to allow the fabric to puddle on the ground.
• Add fragrance and an unexpected touch to evergreen garlands and the Christmas tree by placing fresh flowers among the greenery.
• A lit fireplace is beautiful but can quickly heat up a room filled with guests. To get the look without the warmth, instead fill the hearth with lit pillar candles.
• Make your decorations shine by working strands of twinkling minilights into garlands, topiaries and table scapes.
Courtesy of Sandra Lee on hgtv.com