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Making the Season Bright

Easy ways to add sparkle to your holidays.

November 25, 2000

Weather report: The forecast is for ice and snow at 2351 Basswood Circle in Tustin. Rather, that's how it will look after Don and Trish Grenick are through decorating their frontyard with four bolts of white cotton batting, hundreds of icicle lights, 200 yards of aluminum foil, and a snowman and a gingerbread man, both 7 feet tall. "Wander by today," Don says, "and we'll put you to work."

Don't get burned: Lighting fires for harvest celebrations and observances of the winter solstice (Dec. 21) was practical at first. It was cold! Then bonfires became part of the ritual. Time to abandon that tradition, fire departments say. Keep those comforting flames in the fireplace or limited to candles in menorahs, kinaras or other candleholders.

Making memories: "I will start my holidays with friends on Friday. We will drink hot chocolate, eat seafood chowder, listen to music and look at the electric lighted trees that sit in the bay." --Philip Righter, Newport Beach

Decor and more: Artist Steven Evans' "spirit boards," inspired by Native American art, are 2 feet tall and 8 to 10 inches wide, and made of polished wood, leather and stones, mostly turquoise. Meant to pay homage to nature, they're at Zia Jewelry, 31761 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 493-1322.

E-xpress yourself: Your computer can create Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas place mats, menus and ornaments. With a few extra keystrokes, you can send free e-greeting cards. Try:

Personal touch: At the Kids Make a Gift workshops, pint-sized craftsmen will build a birdhouse, toolbox or windmill. Call one of the county's 15 Home Depot stores for schedule and sign-up information. The free classes teach children about tool safety and techniques too.

Have a holiday tradition, tip or shortcut? Call (714) 966-7883, write Home Design, Los Angeles Times Orange County edition, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626 or send e-mail to Please include your name and phone number.

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