Around the house
* If you need to seat eight at your small holiday table, try using a 48-by-78-inch piece of plywood on top of dining table. Secure with heavy tape.
* Keep holidays safe. Make sure decorative lights are unplugged whenever leaving your house; keep gift wrap out of reach of babies who can chew on colored papers that may contain toxic materials; secure electrical cords against baseboards and away from areas where people walk.
* Save energy. Reduce thermostat setting to between 50 degrees and 55 degrees when burning wood in a fireplace. Because heated air goes into the fireplace and out the chimney, lowering the thermostat will reduce heating costs.
* Wrap rubber bands or string around base of candles that will not fit into holders. Or try slipping a small fluted candy wrapper on the end of candle for a snug fit.
* Spray furniture polish on runners that hold two halves of dining table together. When you insert leaves for holiday dining, table will pull apart easily.
* Use pantyhose to remove lint from upholstered furniture.
In the garden
* Wrap gift plants in several layers of paper before transporting. Make sure cold air cannot reach plant.