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(Decorator Marie Andrews)

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Happy Holidays at Home

The décor trends for this holiday season were decided at ChristmasWorld  in Frankfurt, Germany, last January.

Buyers for department stores and boutiques from around the world spend a week in Frankfurt ordering products consumers will be using to trim their trees and decorate their homes.

Despite two world wars, the Cold War and everything in between, Germany has maintained its hold on the title of the Christmas capital of the world. Almost all of our holiday traditions from trees to nutcrackers have German roots.

What’s hot for the holidays?

* White Christmas is the current trend. It complements any décor; is easy to live with; and white can be paired with accent colours such as red, blue, green, silver, gold or black.

* Green isn’t only for the colour of your Christmas tree this year. Many people are looking for natural decorations such as evergreen branches, pine cones and dried citrus fruit A real tree, grown on a tree farm and harvested for the holidays, is better for the environment. Most municipalities collect discarded natural Christmas trees and chip them for use as mulching materials. Real trees are completely biodegradable.

* Handmade craft decorations add a homey touch to the atmosphere. Don’t go overboard with the country theme, though, or your guests may leave feeling like they’ve just been run over by Santa Claus.

* Gold and black are the way to go to add elegance and sophistication to your 2012 Holiday decorating. These colors co-ordinate perfectly with the Chinese year of the black water dragon falling in 2012 and will help you round out the year with good luck and fortune.

* You either love blue or you don’t. Stores will be full of Blue Christmas wreaths, garlands, lights, ornaments, stars, outdoor decorations and gift wrapping,

* Red and white checked patterns, tweed and Edelweiss motifs with traditional Alpine figures bring a little bit of snowy Switzerland into your home.

 

Canadians celebrate a hodgepodge of pagan, Christian, medieval, Victorian, commercial and family traditions at Christmas.

The Druids decorated with mistletoe and evergreens. The ancient Germanic people tied fruit and attached candles to evergreen tree branches in honour of their god Woden. Queen Victoria introduced the British Empire to the German custom of decorating a Christmas tree in the mid-1800s.

The image of a chubby Santa Claus in a red and white suit was introduced in a 1931 Coca-Cola advertisement created by artist Haddon Sundblom.

Some people like to begin to decorate for the holidays at the beginning of Advent. (This year the first Sunday of Advent is Nov. 30.) Many families, especially those who celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas, start decorating on his feast day Dec. 6.  Others hold to the 12 days before Christmas rule and keep decorations up 12 days after Christmas until the Feast of the Epiphany (or Little Christmas) Jan. 6. Traditionalists wait until Christmas Eve to trim their real evergreen trees. But thanks to artificial trees and greenery, there is no right or wrong time to deck the halls.

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