Christmas is the busiest time of year, but holiday decorations shouldn’t be reflective of that.
From safety tips to suggestions for decorating your home, read on for a look at five dos and don’ts when decorating for the holidays.
Ho, ho, hydration
As gifts begin to pile up around the Christmas tree, make sure you leave enough space to be able to continuously water the fir.
Water should be added to the tree daily. Not only could this help prevent a devastating fire, but it will also keep the tree fresh throughout the holiday season – maybe even longer.
From twinkling lights to electric toy trains racing around the Christmas tree, the holidays require a lot of electricity. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) advises against running cords under furniture or rugs, out of windows or across walkways.
Electric decorations, too, should be turned off before you leave your home or go to sleep for the night.
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If you find yourself rushing to the store to buy more outlet adaptors or extension cords, consider having an electrician add more outlets to your home, ESFI advises.
Additionally, electronics should only be used in dry areas. “As tempting as it is, you just can’t decorate your aquarium with icicle lights,” according to ESFI.
Underneath the mistletoe
Keep your pets in mind when decorating for the holidays as some decorative staples could be detrimental to the furry members of your family.
Mistletoe, in particular, contains the chemicals lectins and phoratoxin which can “affect the heart, causing low blood pressure and slowed heart rate,” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cats and dogs who eat mistletoe could experience diarrhea or vomiting, but “severe toxicity is uncommon and usually only occurs if your pet eats a large amount,” the FDA stated.
Poinsettia flowers, too, could make your pet uncomfortable, although the toxicity from the red holiday plant is relatively mild. Pets may experience drooling or vomiting, among other symptoms, which will usually alleviate after a couple of hours.
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Additionally, tinsel could be harmful to pets if they ingest it. It could block intestines, and pets would often need surgery to remove it.
O, Christmas tree
When decorating your Christmas tree, remember that order matters, blogger Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar has suggested. Put the lights on the tree first – walking around the fir and hiding wires away inside the branches.
“The most common mistake when setting up a Christmas tree is putting the lights on the tree last,” Taylor said. “Often we have emotional connections and memories related to various baubles that we rush to decorate the tree with them. The result is either a tree wrapped with unsightly wires or lots of damaged ornaments on the floor.”
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The tree, too, should be the star of your holiday decorations show. Make sure to feature the tree in a prominent spot in your home, ideally where it could be seen both inside and outside.
The 12 scents of Christmas
Evergreen trees. Freshly baked cookies. Peppermint candies. These are all the scents that evoke the pleasant Christmas memories, but they shouldn’t be combined.
Whether you’re a candle fanatic or you’ve received several as gifts for the holidays, be sure not to light contrasting scented candles at the same time. Instead of flooding your home with delightful holiday aromas, you could be creating a pungent scent.
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Aside from candles, consider stovetop potpourri this holiday season.
Fox News’ Madeline Farber contributed to this report.