HOLIDAY DÉCOR: OUT with the OLD and IN with the NEW

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Say good-bye to your old-fashioned standbys and celebrate the holidays with some new, yet affordable decorations for your home-both inside and out.

Make a tasteful statement
Two mini-Christmas trees, displayed at your door, are a nice departure from inflatable reindeer and Santa displays on your lawn. You can find mini-trees right at your local grocer--for around $10. Just place them in attractive plant pots, and decorate them with shatterproof ornaments, says Mary Kate McGrath, Senior Editor, Real Simple magazine. For more stylish decorating ideas, click here.

Think beyond conventional colors
Set your decorations apart from the ho- hum red and green and go with a mix of cool, chic winter colors instead.  “Try pale blue, white and silver, and mix in natural wood tones; pinecone, walnuts and garlands will warm up the room,” says McGrath. For an even bolder statement, sick to just one color!

Create fun, focal points
Just take some empty jars-of all different shapes and sizes-and fill them with your favorite candy, cranberries or apples.

Light up the room…
To update your clunky Christmas lights, try LED lights with invisible wires.  Not only do LED lights last longer and use about 80% less electricity than conventional bulbs, but they’re a much cleaner look than the thick green rubbery strands you’ve been using for years. Put them in an empty jar (they don’t emit heat so it’s safe to do so), and make a stunning statement on your mantle.

..Inside…or out!
Another option: flameless flicking candles.  Made with an outer layer of real wax, and available in a wide assortment of colors, these battery-operated candles come with remote-controlled timers. You can use them year-round, both indoors and out.

How are you be decorating your home this holiday season?

We want to hear from you! Send us your updates, and, always, connect with me on Twitter @veragibbons.

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