Impress holiday guests with variety of unique decorations, floral arrangements

Decorating your home for the holidays can be a creative activity for the whole family and more fun than ever with help from these expert suggestions.

Plus, you really can impress your holiday guests this season with a wide variety of home decor ideas and floral arrangements beyond the typical poinsettia.

For doors, use lush wreaths in fragrant evergreens with matching garlands around the door frame.

Or try unique-shaped wreaths, like squares, diamonds or hearts. Tie them with mixed ribbons like metallics, chiffons and satins for added texture and a more interesting look.

For tables, make sure your centerpiece is appropriate for the occasion.

If it’s a sit-down dinner, select something that lets your guests view one another from across the table.

While centerpieces are beautiful, people also want to talk during dinner. A low centerpiece with candles is a lovely solution.

On the mantel, line up a collection of glass vases filled with antique ornaments, pine cones, fruit and other decorative items. Fruits, nuts, pine cones and other natural ornaments particularly are popular during the holidays.

For another mantel decoration with more simplicity, lay down a lavish garland of fresh evergreens to accent stockings hung above the fireplace.

Buy a lasting tree that you can use year after year. Be-sides avoiding the mess of pine needles, beautiful al-ready-decorated trees are a welcome convenience during the already hectic holiday season. And if you have your own family ornaments, you can get trees that haven’t been decorated or pre-lit. Plus, the practical size allows you to place it anywhere in the home for the holiday — and store it easily in the offseason.

Use floral arrangements in creative spaces. Few things impress your holiday guests more than fresh flowers in the powder room or kitchen.

Also, holiday plants are more than just poinsettias; there are many other plants that can be just as festive — red or white amaryllis, paper-white narcissus, Christmas cactus, kalanchoe and chrysanthemums are excellent ways to decorate early. And they have long lifespans so they can be enjoyed throughout the season. Simply add candles to floral arrangement or flower pot to create a beautiful centerpiece.

Use fruit and nuts in your décor. “Della Robbia,” a floral term coined after the Italian sculptor, is a decorative floral look that incorporates fruits, nuts and hearty evergreens for old-world charm.

Use pomegranates, apples, lemons, walnuts, chestnuts and the like. You also can make a fragrant pomander by pushing whole cloves into a small orange and placing it in a bowl of bright red pomegranates.

Floral arrangements also make a wonderful hostess gift.

Flowers are a gift that lasts long after the event, unlike a bottle of wine or a fruitcake. They’re also unique, unlike a bottle of wine or a fruitcake.