Feel festive fast
Your shopping is done, your cookies are baked, you're catching your breath . . . but wait a minute, what in the world are you going to wear come Christmas?
Don't panic. Here are some quick tips for looking festive.
Keep things simple, and focus on the neck up. A last-minute hair-saving idea is to slick back your hair (long or short) with gel and do your best makeup job. Add a dynamic pair of earrings to finish off the look, suggest Emily Cho and Neila Fisher in "Instant Style" (HarperStyle, $12).
No one will even notice you're wearing the same black velour outfit you wore last year.
In a pinch, also remember that a ribbon can function very well on a special outfit if you don't have the right belt.
Feeling especially festive? Don't save holiday trims for the tree and gift packages only. Wear them! urges Christine Kunzelman in her book "Quickstyle" (Villard, $20).
She's not kidding. For instance, why not tack a rope of gold, silver, red or green foil tree garland to the hem or neckline of your black or solid-color clothing? she suggests.
Or how about this one: Snatch a couple of those fancy holly or ivy gift-package decorations -- you'll probably find some already wired to gifts under the tree -- and wear them as epaulets! Simply tack or pin them onto the shoulders of your favorite holiday jacket, and you're ready to celebrate.
Believe it or not
More than 70 percent of women in America are wearing the wrong-size bra, according to the Intimate Apparel Council.
"Most women gain or lose weight and don't change their bra size. They insist they're the same size their whole life," spokeswoman Karen Bromley told the New York Daily News.
White Christmas, indeed
It appears that the world has gone mad for all-white holiday decorating schemes. There's no shortage of white ornaments and decorative figurines out there. Red poinsettias are getting some competition from ivory ones, as well as from white amaryllis, cyclamen and paper-white narcissus. And magazines are pushing all sorts of white holiday decorating ideas to try at home.
There's even a new book on the subject -- Tricia Foley's "White Christmas: Decorating and Entertaining for the Holiday Season" (Clarkson Potter, $22.95).
But come on, white candy canes? One has to draw the line somewhere.
Go back to bed
If you're like many parents, you want your children to wait until you wake up before they start rummaging through the gifts under the Christmas tree. If you're like most parents, you don't want to wake up at 5 a.m.
Sooo . . . looking for a way to keep the kids in their bedrooms just a little while longer on Christmas morning? Here's a tip from Woman's Day magazine: Hang their stockings on their bedroom doors so they can open their stocking presents as soon as they wake up.
That way, parents can have a few more minutes' sleep, and kids will have something to do in their rooms besides sneaking out to ask, "Is it time to get up yet?"
And finally . . .
"Everything can be perfect -- the food, the flowers, the company -- but even the best dinner party can go wrong because of one basic, overlooked fact: If your chairs aren't comfortable, your guests won't be, either."
-- Elle Decor magazine.