Use evergreens and winter foliage to decorate your home.

This year, instead of turning to faux greenery for the sake of convenience, decorate your home with real holly, ivy and mistletoe. These plants aren’t terribly pricey and they add a traditional touch to your holiday decor. Try these ideas:

  • Holly was hung above doors to ward off evil spirits and over beds to encourage sweet dreams. Gather a bouquet of boughs and trim them with ornaments, garlands, lights and bows. Place it in cool water and out of direct light and heat, as with cut flowers.
  • Said to bring joy and good luck for the New Year, potted ivy is very hardy and requires little water. Use small pots to decorate the mantle, or cut some vines and wind them around the banister. Preserve cuttings with frequent misting and, if possible, keep the cut end in a small amount of water.
  • Give your husband a kiss under a sprig of mistletoe, believed to bestow happiness and good luck. Use a small cluster to finish off a decoration, such as a pine swag or a mobile of glass ornaments. Split stems and keep in cold water in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be displayed. When mistletoe begins to wilt, hang it upside down to dry.