How to use holiday lighting, treats and decor to celebrate a white Christmas in Atlanta

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With white holiday lighting, inflatable lawn ornaments, seasonal treats and faux snow machines, you...

With white holiday lighting, inflatable lawn ornaments, seasonal treats and faux snow machines, you can make your Atlanta home postcard-perfect this holiday season. Move over icy weather, this winter your Georgia home can enjoy a white Christmas complete with blankets of fluffy, snow. Here's how!

Creating a winter scene

Do you dream of sending Christmas cards printed with a picture of your family gathered in front of your home, huddled in mittens and scarves, standing on snow? With a little creativity, it's possible.

Start by renting a snow machine. Large-equipment rental companies in the Atlanta area offer miniature versions of the faux snow-producing machines top ski resorts use on mild winter days. After all, the slopes have to stay white to keep the resort in business. Plan to run the machine during the evening when temperatures are cooler to add a layer of snow to your lawn and the roof of your home. You can take your Christmas card photo in the morning surrounded by the snow.

If family will be traveling to celebrate the holidays at your home, keep the snow machine handy. Add a fresh layer of the white powder to the lawn and sidewalks just before the gathering to get everyone into the holiday spirit. Imagine the looks on your guest's faces when they arrive and see snow. Plus, the children can make snow angels in the front yard after dinner.

Celebrate the holiday

Add a touch of the holiday to the scene by using Christmas decor. For a whimsical scene, install an inflatable Santa Claus figure or snowmen on the lawn to greet everyone who passes by. Add movement to the display by using motion-activated reindeer or elves. Light up your sidewalk with oversized candy canes or lollipops that would make even Santa's elves jealous.

If you prefer an elegant style, deck out the front door with a wreath made of Christmas bulbs. Set faux snow-covered topiaries on a porch, on walkways or by the front door. Then, add stationary deer sculptures to the front yard to create a simple winter scene. Use fresh swags of greenery (available at the same locations where you buy live Christmas trees) to decorate porches and handrails.

Whether you go for a Clark Griswold, over-the-top style or want to express your classic Southern charm, choose decor that evoke the cool weather. Large illuminated snowflakes, faux icicles and even an inflatable scene depicting ice skaters will give your home a magical, white Christmas feeling.

Delicious Christmas treats

Continue the celebration with seasonal treats that remind everyone of cold weather. Make a batch of homemade apple cider or creamy hot cocoa. Serve the drinks with a platter of Christmas confections, including powdered sugar-coated rum balls, pretzel sticks dipped in white chocolate and sugar cookies cut into the shape of snowflakes.

Baking supplies to keep on hand for the holiday season include coconut to mimic snowflakes on frosted cakes or cookies, peppermint candies to flavor hot tea and cinnamon sticks to stir cider or hot tea.

Add sparkling lights

Finally, give your Georgia home undeniable holiday appeal with white holiday lighting. Add strands of lights to trees. Even Southern palms and cypress trees can support a few strings of lights. Drape the lights over the large fronds and wrap them around the smooth trunks. Weave the lights around mailboxes and handrails to give your home a white Christmas look.

To add a major wow factor to your home during the holidays, have professional holiday lights installed by a landscaping company. You can choose clear white lights to create a white Christmas, multi-colored lights for a bold look or strands of changeable colored lights, such as red and green to highlight the holiday.

The lights are permanently attached to the roof of your home and garage, near the gutters or eaves. When cool weather rolls around, flip a switch in the garage and your home will glow. The best part? You don't have to take the lights down after the holiday. The lights are protected by a clear sheath so they last from season to season with minimal maintenance. Simply clear away leaves and the lights are ready to shine again.

Ready to have professional lighting added to your home for the holidays? Call an Atlanta-area landscape company to show you samples and give you a price quote. Ask for a list of homes in your neighborhood that already use the lighting system so you can see how the fixtures look during the day, when they are not in use.

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