O Canada! Celebrating Canada Day

Eucalan is proud to be Canadian owned! Every component of the Eucalan product line is manufactured within an hour and a half of our home office in Paris, Ontario, reinforcing our commitment to the beautiful Canadian environment. Each year we celebrate Canada Day and our hometown pride; here are some of our favourite ways to do both!

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Decorations!

Get in the holiday spirit with these fun crafts, activities and decorations. Set the scene right at your front door with this lovely wreath from The Penny Drawer. Adorn your tables with fresh flowers using these Canada Day centerpieces by Love Create Celebrate. Make a mantle more festive with this simple Canada Day bunting by Simple as That or add a rustic touch to any room with this gorgeous DIY maple leaf decor with driftwood by Sustain my Craft Habit. If you’re looking for an activity to do with the kids, check out these fun windsocks by Happy Hooligans. And if you’re hosting a celebration, take memorable photos by creating a Canada Day photobooth by East Coast Mommy!

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Canada Day Treats!

Nothing says celebration like some red and white treats to enjoy the day! Set the stage with beautiful summer appetizers like The Perfect Simple Tomato Salad by My Kitchen Love or Canadian Red, White & Bacon Skewers by Jo & Sue. Quash everyone’s thirst with these lovely non-alcoholic drinks, Oh Yummy Canada! By Visual Meringue. And don’t forget the desserts! Try these gorgeous Canada Day Fruit Kabobs by Frugal Mom Eh! or these sweet and chilly Canada Day Popsicles by Exploring Healthy Foods. Or let everyone build their own desserts with this gorgeous Canada Day Sundae Bar by Moms & Munchkins!

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Craft your pride!

If you’re itching to pick up your needles and hooks we’ve selected a few of our favourite knit and crochet projects to show your Canadian pride. Keep that head warm with the Canada 2018 Buffalo Plain Hat by STASH Lounge (celebrating the winter Olympics and the Canadian curling team!) or the Chinook Toque by Bethany Dearden. Create a simple cowl to keep you toasty with the Canucklehead Cowl by Jessie McKitrick. Looking for a portable summer project? We love socks! Especially Canada Deh! by Dana Gervais and these great colourwork ones, Oh Canada by Tippy Canoe Handmade. And if you’re looking to settle in for a larger project, check out this gorgeous Canada Flag C2C Blanket by Jessica McLean!

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We hope we’ve added a little fun to your celebration this year. Happy Canada Day from Eucalan!

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Euc Canada Day(1)

Think Spring: Crafting and Celebrations!

This week, we celebrated the Spring Equinox, also known as the official start to spring. Even if it might not feel that way just yet, now is the perfect time to start thinking about fun spring activities and Easter crafts. Did you know that we have a Pinterest board full of spring and Easter ideas?

Eggcellent Art

No celebration would be complete without some colourful Easter eggs! If you want to up your decorating game, check out How to Make Natural Easter Egg Dyes from Ingredients in Your Kitchen. If you don’t want to mess with dyes, check out this great Sharpie Easter Egg Decorating Idea. And if you’re up for something completely different, how cute are these Unicorn DIY Eggs?

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Sweet Treats

Whether you’re craving cute sweets or springy treats, we’ve got some great recipes for you to try. Add some flower power to your spring with these salty and sweet Spring Flower Pretzel Bites. Or try these adorably sweet Sparkly Surprise Carrot Cupcakes – ice cream cones give the carrots their shape and hold a cupcake within. And nothing says spring like fresh citrus – this Lemon Ricotta Cake with Almond Glaze makes our mouth water!

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Hop to it!

The animal of the season is definitely the bunny! We found these adorable bunny crafts that would be fun for you (and the kids!).

With some scrapbook paper and spare yarn, you can create this springy Pom Pom Bunny Tail Easter Garland in a Few Steps! Nothing says spring like fresh plants and flowers. With just a few crafty materials you can make these adorable Tin Can Bunny Planters and add some fresh flowers to brighten up any room. And if you’ve got some single socks without mates, check out these cute No Sew Sock Bunnies!

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Spring Ahead

Bring a breath of spring indoors with a touch of flowers! We love this this DIY Spring Planter Box, but if your flowers aren’t blooming yet, try these Pretty Peonies Made of Cupcake Wrappers. Or, add the smell of spring to your home with these 7 Amazing DIY Scents!

EucalanThinkSpring

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Joyous and Crafty Holiday Get-Togethers

The holidays are almost here and parties are in full swing! It’s not too late to organize your own get together. Try centering your gathering around a theme such as a festive holiday craft, a cookie baking or cookie exchange party, or revisit our post about hosting a gift wrapping party!

Craft Parties

If you don’t have a project idea, but would like to plan a holiday-themed evening of crafting with friends, we have a Pinterest board full of Holiday Cheer ideas!

Pick one of these DIY Modern Christmas Trees, make a yummy Sugar Scrub, craft beautiful wreaths (for Hannukah or Christmas), or craft something that isn’t holiday related but will add warmth to your home over the winter like our Easy DIY Fringe Wall Hanging with Pom Poms.

Cookie Parties

This season is full of sweetness and it starts right in your own kitchen. Invite guests to bring their favorite cookie or baked goods recipes and bake them all together in your kitchen. Stock your kitchen with basic ingredients and ask your friends to bring anything special they may need, plus copies of the recipes. Be sure to bake enough that everyone leaves with some to share; we just love this cookie wrapping station so everyone can take home their favorites.

Or invite friends over for a cookie swap. Have each friend bring their favorite baked good (RSVP with item in advance so you don’t end up with duplicates) with enough to share among all the guests. Again, bring recipes to swap so everyone can remake their favorites! Also set up a lovely hot chocolate or coffee station, and enjoy relaxing with friends and cookie tasting.

If you’re looking for some extra fun and games for the evening, check out these adorable Cookie Exchange Party Printables. Cookie trivia anyone?

Lovely Holiday Extras

No matter what activity you decide to do at your party, you can ensure a lovely evening with yummy bites and fun music.

For hors d’oeuvres, how about this beautiful Caprese Wreath, these tempting Apple Bacon Brie Bites, Gravlax with Mustard Dill Sauce, or any of these last minute make ahead recipes to name a few? Or surf Pinterest or rediscover your cookbook shelf for ideas. Don’t forget to check out our tips on how to set a beautiful table!

For music, curate your favorite list of holiday tunes on Spotify, turn on Pandora, set up a playlist on Youtube, or set your music collection up to shuffle and provide the evening’s entertainment. Or turn on the Yule Log (always available on Netflix) to set a scene with a roaring fire!

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration for how to host a crafty and yummy holiday get together!

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Jen’s Top 10 Holiday Décor ideas

Christmas is almost here! Today I share some of my favourite decorating tips to add a warm touch to your home during the holiday season. I hope these festive ideas inspire you to make merry – and if you need some great baking ideas, check out last year’s Top 10 list, found here!

1. Choose a theme / colour scheme. Start by looking for inspiration in your local stores, magazines or online. My inspiration for softer muted colours hit me a few years ago when I saw a set of ornaments I loved. Everything else fell into place after that. Yes, I try to make sure my gift wrap coordinates in some way, too!

2. I’m a sucker for little lights whether they are from candlelight, the fireplace, the Christmas tree…or all three! In particular, I’m inspired by French Country Cottage.

3. A simple and elegant table setting looks inviting during the bright daylight or in the evening. I love this one from Shabbyfufu. You can also check out our last blog post, 4 Tips for Setting a Beautiful Table, for more ideas.

4. If you’re inclined to decorate with food…sugar cookies fit any theme or décor! I tried my hand at them for the first time last year with all the supplies and instructions from Sweet Sugar Belle. I came across and old aluminum serving tray which fit them just perfectly.

5. I love how Christmas smells! Placing some simple, fresh ingredients in a pot of boiling water on the stove really sets the mood. There are lots of ideas on Pinterest, but here’s a link to a cute idea with a free printable to make gifts for your loved ones.

6. If lights and food and scents aren’t quite enough, music will surely put the finishing touch on any holiday event. I love classic crooners like Diana Krall, Anne Murray, and Michael Buble. And this underrated gem: Barenaked Ladies “Elf’s Lament” with Michael Buble:

7. Faux greens can really elevate a display (not to mention, they’ll last through the season!). Stone Gable has some tips and ideas on how to use good quality fakes and where to find them.

8. Gingerbread houses really fit into many categories. They’re food. They’re décor. They’re a great craft for adults and kids. The possibilities are endless! I’ve started my own Pinterest board for inspiration.

9. How about getting creative with snowflakes? They can be left up all winter long too!

10. Whether you imbibe or not, a bar cart is a great way to decorate and isn’t just for alcoholic beverages. I just love this one from Setting For Four.

11. One extra tip / idea that I love is to whittle down what you use for your decorations each year. If you don’t put out some of your décor for a couple of years it may be time to get rid of it.  Consider donating those items if no one in your family wants them. Someone else out there will love them as much as you used to.

Happy Decorating!

4 Tips for Setting a Beautiful Table

Now that you’ve got your guest bedroom ready, it’s time to focus on an important holiday tradition: gathering to enjoy a delicious meal around a table. Whether it’s your turn to cook or set the table, we have a few tips for creating a gorgeous space where everyone can enjoy your holiday meal.

1. Table Linens. Of course we’re starting with table linens, as they set the base for your tablescape. If you’re putting heirloom linens on the table, we have a special post on Caring for Vintage Table Linens just for you! For non-vintage linens, you can spot treat and wash in a basin with Eucalan, or launder in the washing machine with Eucalan using the gentle cycle, then drying on low heat. Napkins or tablecloths with embroidery will require a little TLC, especially if you’re planning to iron them – check out our post on Caring for Embroidered Pieces for more details. Even if you decide against a table cloth in favour of more informal dining, adding cloth napkins to the table will give your scene a warm, homey touch.

2. Dishes and Utensils. If you’re worrying because you don’t have matching service for the guests you’re expecting, stop! Some of the most beautiful tables can be set with mismatched dishes. Select a colour or shape and build on that theme, then stack dishes in layers (think chargers, dinner plates, salad plates and more) to create visual interest. If you don’t have enough flatware, consider mixing and matching there as well. Do make sure you include enough dishes and flatware to cover the courses you will be serving (don’t forget the dessert forks and spoons for coffee) or plan to clear the table and switch for new dishes between each one. Finally, ensure that you’ve got all the necessary serving utensils for each dish! Although this is a Thanksgiving tablescape, we love the tips found in this Hostess with the Mostest post.

Photo Credit: Madisyn Fecko

3. Place Settings. Once you’ve laid your linens, dishes and flatware, it’s time to dress up each place setting. You might choose to do this with fancy napkin adornments, or by adding fun place cards at each setting. For little ones, try adding activities at each place setting to keep children entertained throughout the meal. Again, go back to the colour or theme you have chosen and select adornments that complement the table. We just love this simple pine cone place setting from HGTV and this unique place card holder from House of Hargrove.

Photo Credit (L to R): HGTV and House of Hargrove

4. Centrepieces. The world is your oyster as you create a focal point for your table! You could lay a table runner, and create a centrepiece that runs the length of the table. Or, add fresh seasonal flowers to instantly brighten up the scene. If you’re looking for a bit more ambiance, add candles to the table to create an intimate dining atmosphere – we love the luminaries featured at Today’s Creative Life. You could also opt to group several seasonal items together to create your own unique centrepiece like in this collection of images from Better Homes & Gardens.

Photo Credit: Today’s Creative Life

Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Our final note isn’t a tip about creating a beautiful table, but on how to clean up after you host that amazing dinner. In How to Remove Common Party Stains, we delve into what to do just in case dinner gets sloshed or spilled on your table linens or carpets!

We hope these tips help you create the holiday table of your dreams this year. Need more inspiration? We have a Pinterest board full of great ideas for festive Table Settings and Tablescapes.

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Jen’s Top 10 for the Holidays – Best Holiday Baking!

Isn’t it funny how the holidays sneak up on us? Suddenly it’s less than a week until Christmas, and we are already in Hannukah! If you are planning on bringing something to a holiday gathering – or hosting people at yours – I thought I’d share with you my top 10 holiday baking ideas. All of them are total crowd-pleasers, and lots of them are super quick!

1. Festive Shortbread Bites

Who doesn’t love a small cookie? Hard to resist, and just so cute, these will get snapped up in no time. Recipe can be found here.

2. Candy Cane Brownies

Chocolate and a refreshing candy cane crunch- a perfect combo! These are wonderfully decadent, and if you like chocolate and mint together, there’s really no other time of year to make a recipe that is as appealing as this. Recipe can be found here.

3. Soft Baked Gingerbread Cookies

With a sparkly sugar coating reminiscent of fresh snow, these gingerbread cookies are incredibly soft and hard to resist. What are the holidays without a bit of gingerbread? Find the recipe here.

4. Peppermint Bark

It doesn’t get much easier than this wonderful chocolate peppermint bark! Melt chocolate, swirl on wax paper, sprinkle with finely crushed candy canes and cool. perfection! Recipe is right here.

5.  M&M Christmas Cookie Bars

Cookie bars are one of those baked treats that seem to instantly conjure up childhood memories. With all the best bits of a cookie but in a thick cut squares, these are sure to go really quickly at your next get together. Recipe is here.

6.  Christmas Sugar Cookie Truffles

If you are looking for a giftable food item, these would be a perfect hostess or holiday gift.  a wonderfully soft sugar cookie truffle center, dipped in white chocolate (or you could do dark chocolate if you prefer!) Recipe can be found here.

7.  Eggnog Cheesecake Cookie Cups

For something really special and decadent, you must try these eggnog cheesecake cookie cups. Rich and incredibly delicious, they are perfect for a special dessert table. Find the recipe here.

8. Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

What is fantastic about this recipe is that you could easily substitute any kind of cookie (even slice and bake store bought cookie dough!) and then dip them in white chocolate and finely crushed candy canes. They look perfect for the season, and taste amazing! Recipe is right here.

9. Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

For those who loves their treats to be sweet AND salty, this salted caramel pretzel bark ticks all the right boxes. Find the recipe right here.

10. No Bake Thin Mints

This is a great recipe for anyone who says that they ‘don’t bake’. Starting with store bought wafer cookies, you really just melt a bit of chocolate melts and start dipping! Find the step-by-step right here.

These are my favourites, but we have loads more recipes and last-minute holiday ideas over on our Holiday Cheer Pinterest board- check it out! Have a wonderful holiday season, everyone!

How to Host a Gift Wrapping Party

Everyone is busy buying presents at this time of year, but wrapping  them can be another chore on a long list of to-dos that crop up in December. Thinking of planning a get together to see your friends before everyone starts disappearing for holiday travel and family time? Why not host a gift wrapping party, and turn a chore into a fun, festive gathering with friends?

Step 1: Set a Date

Ideally, you want to set it at least a week before, so that people have a chance to do some of their shopping in advance. It’s unlikely everyone will have ALL their shopping done, but it doesn’t hurt to get a jump on all the wrapping!

Step 2: What Guests Can Bring

Suggest everyone bring a roll of wrapping paper, one type of gift label, and one spool of ribbon. If each guest brings a little bit of the wrapping supplies, everyone can share and have a wide variety of wrapping paper and ribbons to use on their gifts. Oh, and of course they should bring anything they want to wrap! You can even make it themed – wrapping paper and labels need to have snowflakes on them, or focusing on blue and silver paper and ribbons, for example.  This will make it easier to coordinate ribbons, bows, labels, and paper all together, even if you only brought one or two things.

Step 3: Clear the Decks

If you have a large dining room table, clear it off and set out as many pairs of scissors and rolls of tape that you have. Don’t forget pens or markers for labeling! Also bring out your contributions for wrapping paper, ribbons, and gift labels.

Step 4: Snacks &  Drinks

Keep the snacks simple, people are going to need clean hands for wrapping. A festive drink like hot chocolate or a cocktail is a great idea, as well as snacks like pretzels, veggies, and cookies. Be sure to have a lot of napkins on hand!

Step 5: Organization

Put a basket or two in the center of your table, and keep all the tags in one, and all the ribbons in the other.  You might even want an extra basket for other fun gift topper ideas, like pom poms, bows, or decorations. If you have room to keep the wrapping paper together, that’s great, too!

Step 5: Cue the Music!

Put together a fun festive playlist, or use a service like Spotify or Google Music that already has lots of holiday playlists to choose from. Or you can turn on the radio and let luck be your guide!

And that’s it! A fun, festive gathering that not only helps you get your holiday wrapping accomplished, but you’ve had fun with friends, too.

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Ideas for Celebrating Valentine’s Day With Friends

Valentine’s Day … totally overrated, right? Even if you are in a relationship, over the years February 14th starts to feel stale. So why not do something different this year and celebrate with your girlfriends instead? Our girlfriends have been there for us for years, and likely even longer than any romantic relationship. Take the day that’s meant to celebrate love by celebrating the love you and your friends share, having an adventure or spending time doing something fun! We have lots of memorable ideas for celebrating valentine’s day with friends, so read on!

Ideas for Celebrating Valentine's Day with Friends | Eucalan.com

Craft Night In. Gather the supplies to make a craft or two and put those Pinterest boards to good use. Everyone chips in on supplies, and you order some take out and have a crafty night in! Hopefully, it goes a bit better than in the photo below.

Valentines Ideas With Friends | eucalan.com

Clothing Swap. Have all your girlfriends bring any great condition clothes or accessories (like purses, costume jewelry, etc.) together and see what kind of outfits appear! Anything that doesn’t go home with a friend can be donated to a local women’s shelter.

Ideas for Celebrating Valentine's Day with Friends | Eucalan.com

Movie Date. Go out to the movies together and see something fun! Doesn’t have to be a romantic movie, either. Decide which film you’ll see at least a couple weeks in advance, so one of you doesn’t end up seeing it ahead of time.

Ideas for Celebrating Valentine's Day with Friends | Eucalan.com

A New Workout or Dance Class. Try something fun together! Adult tap, spinning, kickboxing, whatever activity would be a break from your typical exercise routine. Working out with friends is great for getting motivated, and you can laugh about how tough (or ridiculous!) it was afterward.

Ideas for Celebrating Valentine's Day with Friends | Eucalan.com

Zero-Stress Galentine’s Dinner Party. The secret to this idea is to divide the grocery list in advance. All guests bring their assigned items so that you can cook the meal together. Pick out a menu, make a grocery list, and then give everyone a few items from the list to bring. Chatting, having wine, and cooking as a group will be even more fun than sitting down to the meal.

Ideas for Celebrating Valentine's Day with Friends | Eucalan.com

Go For Coffee Somewhere New. Obviously, the restaurants will be packed- but there will be some great local cafes that you can visit for a specialty coffee or a dessert. Less busy and still a special treat!

Women Friends Enjoyment Coffee Times Concept

Old School Slumber Party. Doesn’t dancing in pajamas, watching movies, eating chips and popcorn and snuggling in sleeping bags sound like the best idea ever? You probably haven’t had a slumber party since you were kids, so why not revisit the fun – especially now that you can have all the wine and chocolate you want!

Ideas for Celebrating Valentine's Day with Friends | Eucalan.com

Volunteer. Contact local food banks, soup kitchens, or a charity that you are passionate about in your area and see how you can help.  Senior citizen care homes often have a shortage of people to come in to chat or play games with the residents. Helping others to feel less lonely is a surefire way to contribute more kindness to the world.

Ideas for Celebrating Valentine's Day with Friends | Eucalan.com

Don’t Forget Long Distance Friends. Schedule a Skype date, or record them a personal message to let them know how much you miss them. It will be a heartfelt gesture from you to your friend, and they are sure to appreciate it.

Ideas for Celebrating Valentine's Day with Friends | Eucalan.com

What are you waiting for? Get in touch with your friends today and make plans to have the most memorable Valentine’s Day ever! Let us know some of your plans in the comments below.

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Ideas for Celebrating Valentine's Day with Friends | Eucalan.com

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Jen’s Top 10: Favourite Things About the Holidays

There are so many wonderful things about this time of year, but sometimes it can be hard to appreciate them when we are all rushing around trying to get one more gift or attend one more party! Here’s my top ten things that are bringing me joy this time of year:

1. Peppermint on Everything – hot chocolate, mocha, cookies, crushed candy canes.

Peppermint | eucalan.com

2. Frost-covered wonders. Isn’t nature amazing?

Top 10 Holiday | Eucalan.com

3. Christmas music – I love classic crooners like Diana Krall, Anne Murray, and Michael Buble. And this underrated gem: Barenaked Ladies “Elf’s Lament” with Michael Buble:

And this utterly Canadian Classic is really my favourite Christmas song of all time.  Here is a wonderfully charming animated version:

4. Sparkle & Glitter are so perfect for the holidays:

Top 10 Holiday | Eucalan.com

5. Dogs in costumes:

Top 10 Holiday | Eucalan.com

6. Christmas babies!

Top 10 Holiday | Eucalan.com

7. Beautiful tea gifts:

Top 10 Holiday | Eucalan.com

8. Knitted headbands and ear warmers:

Top 10 Holiday | Eucalan.com

9. Baking! So many wonderful treats and recipes!

Top 10 Holiday | Eucalan.com

10.  Poinsettias Everywhere:

Top 10 Holiday | Eucalan.com

So many wonderful things to celebrate this time of year! I hope that wherever you are and whatever you celebrate, the holidays are filled with peace, cozy moments, and joy for you and those you love.

 

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Caring for Fabric Holiday Decorations

How to Care for Fabric Holiday Decorations | eucalan.com

Pulling out our treasured holiday decorations, many of which are handmade or have been passed down through generations, really brings out the love of family and togetherness this time of year. But sometimes fabric decorations- like stockings, soft ornaments and tabletop decorations – can begin to show their age (or some smears of chocolate)  more than we would like. Here’s how to care for all of your fabric holiday decorations, even if they are very delicate or very old.

Take a close look at all of your holiday decorations.  Sometimes it can be hard to notice water spots or other discolorations until they begin to yellow with age and being shut in a box for most of the year.  Or maybe some little ones got into the holiday treats and then picked up the knitted snowman that was on your coffee table display.  Whatever the reason that your decorations need a clean, read on!

How to Care for Fabric Holiday Decorations | eucalan.com

  • Check for any loose threads, beading, sequins, or any parts that might not be fully attached to the decoration. Take the time to reattach any loose bits before cleaning will help ensure that your precious pieces don’t loose their decorative details over the holiday season.

How to Care for Fabric Holiday Decorations | eucalan.com

  • Fill a clean sink with tepid water and a capful of Eucalan in your favourite scent.  Submerge your decorations, being careful not to put too many in at a time- you want the water to have good circulation around each item.  If they have some stubborn spots consider using a Eucalan stain treating towelette to help get the marks out.
  • Hang items to dry somewhere away from sunlight (which can cause yellowing).

How to Care for Fabric Holiday Decorations | eucalan.com

  • Iron any items that need it, such as tree skirts, table linens, and stockings. Make sure that the surface of your iron is very clean. Using a spray bottle to spray the fabric’s surface to ensure a smooth finish.  If your piece has any applique,  beading or sequins; use a light heat setting, in case the applique is made from polyester or other man-made fabrics. We recommend using a white pressing cloth (or clean white tea towel) to protect delicate fibers.
  • Enjoy! And remember,  give your decorations a clean again when the season is over before putting them away, and wrap them in white tissue paper to help prevent moisture and colour transfer from one decoration to another. This can help protect your decorations for many years to come.

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And if you are looking for fresh ideas for celebrating the holidays, we have a great Pinterest board full of stunning crafts, patterns, and great recipes!

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