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Columbus & Central Ohio, United States
DeLena Ciamacco is a well-known, respected Top Producing Realtor in Central Ohio. Her myriad of accomplishments, recognition, and professional credentials as they relate to Real Estate, make her a perfect individual to provide insight to the masses on all aspects of Real Estate sales. Her creativity and honest approach to marketing Real Estate has enabled her to succeed in her career. DeLena’s philosophy is “An educated and well prepared Buyer or Seller is a smart Buyer or Seller”. Her desire is to inform the public, by pulling from her 20+ years of Real Estate sales & Marketing, what is necessary to get to a successful closing in these challenging times.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday Decorating 101

Getting Ready for the Holidays
With December arriving today, chances are you’ve already began the Christmas decorating process, or will be undertaking it shortly. Most people will be unloading boxes from attics and basements, untangling lights, and hauling home a fresh cut Christmas tree this weekend. However, there are a few things to remember before you begin your campaign for best light display in the neighborhood, or prettiest Christmas tree, and we’ve got most of it covered.

Lighting the Way

Perhaps the most hated task of holiday decorating, stringing up lights can be a real hassle, at least when it comes to replacing bulbs and checking fuses. Start by doing a simple visual check of the light strands you’re working with; if a bulb looks burned out or the actual cord looks damaged, you’ll want to fix that before plugging them in. Wrap potentially broken cords with electrical tape to prevent any nasty shocks, and replace damaged bulbs with any extras you might have. Once that’s done, you can move on to actually plugging them in. Even if you took the utmost care bundling them up from last season, exposure to extreme temperatures can ruin perfectly good bulbs, and you’ll want to check them before putting them up.

 If you plug it in and nothing happens, you’ll want to check the individual bulbs and make sure they are not loose from the plugs. Most modern lights will still continue to work even if a bulb isn’t working, but they won’t work at all if a bulb is missing or especially loose. If all of the bulbs are pushed in tightly and in working order, you might have an issue with the fuse, which is often located in the plug of the strand. Most lights come packaged with a little plastic bag containing extra fuses and bulbs, so replacing the fuse should be a piece of cake. 

Other than that, be sure to use outdoor-labeled lighting and extension cords for your outdoor displays. Also make sure that everything outside is plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). All outdoor lighting should be hung using insulated holders and hooks, and you should never leave your lights on overnight or when you’re out of the house in case of an electrical fire. Remember the steps you took at the end of the Christmas season to help aid in storing your lights again so that you can avoid any problems next year. 

O Christmas Tree…

When you’re ready to head out to pick up a Christmas tree, there are steps you need to take beforehand to ensure that it’s a perfect fit. Measure the space that you’ll be displaying the tree in, both horizontal and vertically to make sure you have enough room for it to stand properly. Remember to bring your tape measure along when you go to get the tree so you’re absolutely sure you won’t have to hack it down to size. Also give the tree a once over and inspect the needles; they should look shiny, green and fresh. Your tree should not have a lot of dried, brown, and brittle needles.
Some tree farms will let you know the type of tree they sell; look for a hearty breed like a Fraser or a Noble Fir. These trees will have thicker, stronger branches that can withstand heavy ornaments and decorations. When it’s time to take the tree to your house, a lot of people will be tempted to strap it to the top of their car and haul it home. This is fine; as long as you make sure the straps are good and secure. However if you want to ensure no damage comes to the tree, its branches, or the needles it might be a good idea to move it in a truck or SUV. Remember that if you go the real tree route, you’ll have to water it for the month of December. Plain old tap water is the best thing for the tree, and when refilling its container, make sure the water level sits above the cut line to ensure its sucking up enough H2O to keep it healthy. 

Festive D├ęcor

The holidays; quite possibly the one time of the year where all traditional decorating advice can be thrown out the window. “Go big or go home” is the name of the game when it comes to displays and decorations for the month of December, and we definitely encourage you to go big!  There are plenty of great sites for coming up with easy and ingenious ways to deck the halls. Our favorite is definitely Country Living's huge 101 Holiday Decorating Ideas photo gallery ( that has plenty of ideas no matter your style. Some of our favorites include…

-          Getting Crafty: Don’t underestimate your own creativity when it comes to Christmas and holiday decorations. There are plenty of unique ideas to use at home, such as sewing together old skirts to create a brand new tree skirt, using matchboxes to make the cutest advent calendar ever, and cutting out images from old botanical and nature themed books to make vintage style ornaments. 

-          Make your own Wreath: Who says you have to buy a premade wreath this Christmas? There are plenty of options for making your own! For the eco-conscious, try repurposing old newspaper and magazines to make a lovely wreath for your door, or even use family photos from Christmas’s past. Yarn balls in red and greens can make a cute and clever holiday wreath as well. One of our favorite ideas includes making a wreath from fresh herbs and plants for your door; the look is trendy and completely natural.

-          Vintage is in: This is the time of year to remember the past and all of those special holiday memories. Help revive them by including some beautiful vintage/vintage inspired decorations. You can display printed vintage Christmas cards, either hanging from string across your fireplace or on a lovely iron card tree. Vintage style present tags can make surprisingly beautiful and festive ornament ideas for your tree. Use an older, ornate tray or bowl to display some of your best vintage Christmas tree ornaments. 

-          The Power of Nature: While poinsettias are a holiday mainstay, consider a couple other types of flowers, plants, and even fruits to decorate your home. Amaryllis has long been considered a Christmas flower as well, and will look stunning in your displays. When it comes to your tree, why not consider a replacement that will live for several years to come, like a small potted pine or fir trees. Cranberries make great decorations when placed in vases with their shiny red exterior. For a real show-stopper, find a large branch the size of your dinner table and suspend it from the ceiling, with hanging Christmas tree ornaments placed sporadically all over. 

-          Unconventional Colors: Is anything more traditional than Christmas red and green? If you find yourself looking for a way to change up your holiday palette, try variations of the old fave. Light green and white create a wintery, fresh feeling while still being playful. For a real icy look, combine soft blue with white and silver, or go all out with pure white. Metallics, especially gold are eye catching, can be used with any combination of colors, and can be left up to ring in the New Year as well. For a thoroughly modern twist, use a bright turquoise/blue with either green or red.

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