Around the house
* Make holiday evergreen or floral arrangements. A piece of floral oasis purchased in the flower department of your grocery store can hold the stems in place.
* Prepare old cake pans for holiday baking. Fill with warm water and 1 teaspoon vinegar and stand overnight. Rust will wash off. New pans should be greased and heated in oven for about 15 minutes before using to prevent corrosion.
* Control kitchen clutter. Remove everything from the counter top that isn't used often. Old cookbooks, half-empty containers and seldom-used spices can take up lots of room. With a clear counter top, there is more space in which to work and there are fewer things to clean.
* Avoid placing bowls of candies and nuts within reach of small children. Tiny fingers can insert small pieces in ears and nose; toddlers can choke on certain bite-size snacks.
* Remove white marks from dining table. Rub a light lemon oil on spot with your finger. Or dip a damp cloth in a mixture of half toothpaste and half baking soda and buff till white disappears.
* Wrap large gifts with paper holiday tablecloths. The cloths are economical and can be used to wrap other gifts as well.
In the garden
* Fill an empty spray bottle with water and mist fresh evergreen decorations daily to keep needles fresh and reduce dropping.