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ARA) - The holiday season is a time to step back from daily routines, reflect and spend time with loved ones. This year, take time to truly feel the holiday spirit by gathering family and friends together to decorate the home for holiday festivities.

Try these 10 special yet simple activities to be enjoyed with loved ones:

* Fill your home with the warm, beautiful light of candles. During the holidays, candles are available in all shapes, sizes and styles -- often decorated with glitter and sequins for an even more glimmering effect. Cluster them together in a fireplace as an alternative to a crackling fire.

* Create festive table decorations -- a fun and easy project to do with the kids! Grab some plain salt and pepper shakers, slather on some glue, then add glitter, sequins, silver stars and puffy paint . . . voila, these shining shakers are sure to add decoration -- with function -- the table.

* Top the tree with something extraordinary. Have an older guest and a younger one create the focal point of the room by topping the tree together with an eye-catching decoration. This season, Swarovski introduces a crystal Tree Topper, a beautiful large crystal star surrounded by six smaller stars creating the appearance of a large snowflake. Available in either chrome or gold plating, the tree topper creates a beautiful crown for a Christmas tree, a centerpiece for a holiday table or mantle decoration.

* Wrap silver or gold garland around lampposts, pillars and staircase banisters and drape tinsel on mirror frames and mantles. Add bows for some additional color and sparkle.

* Bake cookies! Use fun holiday-themed cookie cutters to create different shaped treats and decorate them with colored sugars and glossy icing.

* Catch the light. Swarovski?s Little Star Ornament can be displayed anywhere from the mantle to a chandelier against a window. Fill your home with these miniature six-point stars to bring cheer into every room. Hang multiples of the same crystal ornament from a mantle, interspersed with greenery, colorful berries and candles creating a personalized holiday display.

* Cover throw pillows with festive slipcovers or purchase simple ones and add on beads in holiday colors. All that is required is a needle and thread, some beads, trim and lots of creativity.

* Fashion napkin holders out of crystal ornaments and now place them around fancy cloth napkins to top off a festive holiday table.

* Sprinkle glitter on flat surfaces to make a holiday table, mantle, shelf, windowsill twinkle.

* To make the new tradition of decorating together even more special, give memorable gifts to each participating member this year. Swarovski?s 2003 Annual Edition Ornament is an eight-point star which beautifies the home by catching light through its 207 crystal facets. This collectors item includes a silver plate engraved with the year is suspended from the ornament?s navy blue ribbon. The ornament, which is updated each year, is a perfect gift to mark the years and start a holiday gift-giving tradition.

Fun with loved ones is what holiday spirit is all about. Celebrate each other. Make memories and traditions this year that will last forever.

Swarovski is available at department and Swarovski Gallery Stores nationwide. For local outlets, call (800) 426-3088.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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