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Holiday Entertaining & Decor

Fun and beautiful ideas for making your house a cozy, welcoming home for the holidays

Red gingerbread dough painted with red food coloring was used for the look of stained wood in this Nutcracker created by Barbara A. of Florham Park, NJ. The nuts in the bowl, the green bag, head and votive candle were made from molded Rice Krispie treats covered with fondant. The hair is thin rice vermicelli. A Dremel, level, rulers, drill, sanding block, and paint brushes were used to build the Santa nutcracker. | thisoldhouse.com

Except for the key, this clock by Ann B. of Cary, NC is made entirely of gingerbread. The grape leaves were all formed and veined by hand. Two different colors of gingerbread dough were combined to give the clock a wooden look. The gold key is made from gum paste. | thisoldhouse.com

How to make your own inexpensive Eucalyptus wreath and enjoy the fragrant smell all winter long. | Photo: Jean Allsopp | myhomeideas.com

This house, created by Skyla D. of Asheville, NC, is based on the movie Up and earned the first place prize in the teen division of the 2010 National Gingerbread Competition. Each character was sculpted from fondant and gum paste. The colorful balloons are pieces of spaghetti topped with jelly beans. | Photo: Wright Creative | thisoldhouse.com

This 1930 Model T Ford, created by Ann B. of Cary, NC, is equipped with windshield wipers, gear shift, headlights, and horn. Santa, Rudolph, and Ernie Elf are along for the ride. The car, tires, and inside upholstery are made entirely of gingerbread. The toys and figures are made of fondant. | thisoldhouse.com

The silvery branches of the Fraser Fir turn slightly upward, giving it a full, compact appearance. Its fresh, mild fragrance is subtler than the balsam's. Thick branches will hold most decorations; it's easy to reach interior branches, so cords are less visible. | Photo: ©Bruce Coleman Inc./Alamy | thisoldhouse.com

A thin, spire-like top sets the pyramid-shaped Balsam Fir apart. Short, long-lasting dark green needles have a strong evergreen scent. Dense limbs can hold weighty ornaments and larger globe or C-bulb lights. | Photo: Neil Fletcher and Matthew Ward/Getty Images | thisoldhouse.com

  • Julie Hahn

    If you click on the image it takes you to the TOH site. The answer is: Balsam Fir

  • Sonja Charles

    My face is red. i actually clicked on the image and missed that. Thank you!

  • Julie Hahn

    It would have made more sense to have it on the text here. :-)

  • This Old House

    Sorry about that folks. I changed the caption to include the type of tree. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Julie Hahn

    Thanks! :-)

See all 7 comments

The most popular tree in the U.S., the Scotch Pine is symmetrical and dense-looking with bright green needles that resist shedding and have a lasting, pleasant piney aroma. The branches are sturdy, so bring on the heavy decorations. | Photo: DDCoral/ShutterStock | thisoldhouse.com

Just in time for your holiday party, we show you how to build a slender cocktail hutch with a handy and attractive place to hang glasses, store wine bottles, tuck bottle openers and napkins, and display spirits. | Photo: Ryan Benyi | thisoldhouse.com