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Christmas baubles in a bowl.

Liven up a tabletop this holiday season with a bowl filled with mini Christmas baubles, pine cones, and bells.

Decorating for the holidays

By Sue Jacobson

From eNews, December 6, 2007

For several hundred years Americans have been developing their own style of holiday decorating. Our melting pot of cultures has led to the development of the decorations we use today. Evergreens have been the most important greens for decorating since the late 1800s. Holly was very popular for wreaths in the 1920s and has remained an important Christmas green.

Poinsettias became important in the 1940s and by the '60s newer varieties were being developed that held their colorful leaves longer, and new colors were developed. Today poinsettias are available in red, pink, white, purple, and salmon, as well as speckled and other uniquely colored leaves. Painted poinsettias are plants that have been painted with an alcohol-based paint. They can be any color you can imagine, as well as blended shades, metallic, and glitter.

Decorating for the holidays should be as individual as each family. Feel free to decorate the way you like, rather than based on what you see in the stores or other houses. Let your decorations be an extension of your own personality and heritage. Start your own family traditions.

Here are some suggestions for fun, safe decorating:

Sue Jacobson is a horticulture instructor at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.