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Holiday Entertaining & Decor

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

2014 Pumpkin Carving Contest entry of the day.

2014 Pumpkin Carving Contest: This Old House

Our favorite depictions of bad guys, and frightening and friendly ghouls from our annual Pumpkin Carving Contest.

40 Best Pumpkin Carvings of Monsters and Villains

2014 Pumpkin Carving Contest entry of the day.

2014 Pumpkin Carving Contest: This Old House

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. |

Editors' Picks: 99 Amazingly Crafted Gingerbread Houses

Replant entry pots with winter-hardy specimens, such as dwarf evergreens or boxwood, and ring the base with English ivy and a few faux berries for a festive shot of color. | Photo: John Gruen |

35 Super-Fast Fixes and Easy Upgrades

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. |

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

Easy, Elegant Holiday Decorations -

Nails and staples can damage your house and the wiring of holiday lights. We recommend zip ties or plastic clips that can be hooked onto gutters and shingles. Our favorite: Omni All-in-One Clip, $9 for 100 from christmaslightset... | .Photo: Fancy/Alamy |

24 Easy Upgrades to Create a Festive Holiday Home

The gum paste fairies in this Tree House, by Gabriella A. of Easley, SC, have faces drawn on with edible ink. The textured wood was made using chocolate fondant. | Photo: Wright Creative |

Editors' Picks: 99 Amazingly Crafted Gingerbread Houses

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 |

Editors' Picks: 99 Amazingly Crafted Gingerbread Houses

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. |

Editors' Picks: 99 Amazingly Crafted Gingerbread Houses

How to transport your holiday tree without risking life, limb, or damage to your house. | Photo: Chuck Franklin/Alamy |

How to Get Your Christmas Tree Home, Fuss-Free

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 |

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 |

  • 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 |

Before buying your Christmas tree, read our guide to five of the best-selling conifers this season. | Photo: Blend Images - Ariel Skelley/Getty |

Demystifying Christmas Tree Buying

For this Colonial Hall, Christopher C. of Cedar Park, TX., cut the gingerbread pieces to size before baking. The house is lit from within with a string of 50 lights and is topped with shingles made of cinnamon cereal. |

Editors' Picks: 99 Amazingly Crafted Gingerbread Houses

A first gingerbread house-making attempt by Beverly C. of Grand Junction, CO, this Cake Bakery was created using an X-Acto knife to trim the windows, a jigsaw for the base, and a brick impression mat on the walls. |

Editors' Picks: 99 Amazingly Crafted Gingerbread Houses

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 |

How to Build a Cocktail Hutch

This Christmas-themed cottage, created by Mary E. of Timonium, MD, is made from gingerbread, icing, candy rocks, and ice cream cone pine trees. |

Editors' Picks: 99 Amazingly Crafted Gingerbread Houses

This gingerbread house, created by Eduardo M. of Omaha, NE, stands four feet tall and is made with 40 pounds of gingerbread and 30 pounds of royal icing. |

Editors' Picks: 99 Amazingly Crafted Gingerbread Houses