Whether you seek instant seasonal atmosphere or have a bit more time to set the holiday mood, you'll find a galaxy of great ideas in the vibrant pages of Carol Field Dahlstrom's Simply Christmas: 201 Easy Crafts, Food and Decorating Ideas. Seven chock-full chapters explain how to decorate, greet, nourish, give, entertain, light, and remember, in "quick as a wink" to slightly more involved projects.
If you're in a hurry, drape beaded garlands over the banister, dip candy canes in chocolate and sprinkle with colored sugars, or jazz up a candle display by surrounding it with fun accents like jingle bells or faux jewels. If you can spare a few hours, try painting lively designs on a sled or a pair of skates or even your mailbox; cooking up some Christmas Eve soup or sweet treats; or crafting ornament place-card holders that dinner guests can take home.
Besides complete directions and plenty of color photos, there are further suggestions for creating your own holiday traditions, such as recounting favorite Christmases past while the family trims the tree, or surprising overnight visitors with a special basket of goodies. Best of all, the book offers so many ideas, you'll be able to dive into it for new ones for years to come. --Amy Handy