thank your lucky stars This festive three-tiered serving stand will add sparkle to your holiday table, as well as your Fourth of July barbecue and birthday bashes for your little star. Matching plates and bowls are also available. (Star Entertaining Stand, $69: potterybarn.com)

parenting.com december/january 2010

tree-Skirt twist Wrap your pine in one of these lush, supersoft throws In December, then cozy up on the couch with it come January. (Pom Pom throws, $44.95 each: pierl .com)

throw in the towels Simple red-and-white designs add a seasonal touch to your bathroom now—and can hang around after the houseguests hit the road. (Polka Dot and Multi Stripe towels, $9 to $29: potterybarn.com)

card corral Display ail holiday cards on this season, and afterward family snapshots. It holds up to pics. (Umbra Fotofalls Multi Desktop Display, $53; hanglngmobilegallery.com)

packing up the holidays

As if the long cold winter ahead Isn't punishment enough, you've got a rriajor bummer of a job putting away all those decorations.To the rescue; our Mom Squad organizing expert Kathy Peel, author of The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home, with tips on how to un-deck your halls and store your stuff so you can find it when you want it next year, 0 choose clear plastic bins You don't have to pony up for all the specialty storage containers available—just invest in some good-size, all-purpose containers that give you a peek into the contents,

# put things in order Store the decorations you'll need right after Thanksgiving in one bin, and label it "Open Me First." Include outdoor lights and seasonal storybooks and music.

# use what you have Leftover wine boxes are perfectly sectioned with cardboard dividers to protect larger ornaments—layer tissue paper, newspaper, or bubble wrap in between—and egg cartons are ideal for the tiny ones. Coil your lights, extension cords, and garlands around the cardboard cylinders that come with wrapping paper. # group like Items together Pack items you display together In the same bins. Store all your holiday linens in one spot, too. 0 label as much as you can manage Okay, it sounds a tad obsessive, but you'll be delighted next year when you can find items tagged "stair garland" and "inflatable snowman" without having to dig through every last box. —Jennifer Kelly Geddes

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