Holiday countdown: Inspiration for decoration

The dining room of Lisa DeNicola's home in Mechanicsburg is decorated for the 2010 holiday season. I wish my apartment looked anything like this! (FILE PHOTO)

When I flipped open the November/December issue of Smart magazine a few weeks ago, I was taken aback by how great Lisa DeNicola’s home looked. She’s an interior designer based in Mechanicsburg, so she has the know-how to make a space look great for the holidays. Everything was glamorous and the colors matched and I have to admit, I was a little jealous. Even now, I’m gushing.

My apartment is a mismatch of flea market finds and attempts at being crafty, but elegant is a word nobody would use to describe it. My Christmas tree is a little lopsided, and my garlands are paper chains (notebook paper, because that’s all I had) made by my 9-year-old brother. I need holiday decorating inspiration — and perhaps an intervention — and I need it now.

For other design-challenged folks like myself, spend some time at the Mason-Dixon Public Library and Stewartstown Historical Society Holiday Home Tour today. Five private homes and Westminster Place will be open noon to 5 p.m., and I’ll bet they’re all fantastically decorated for the holidays — check out a list of sites here. Cost is $15 in advance or $20 the day of the tour. For details, call the library at 993-2404.

If you’d rather enjoy the holiday spirit without worrying about decor, catch the Gettysburg Annual Christmas Parade beginning at 7 p.m. Marchers gather at Gettysburg Middle School, then the parade heads north on Baltimore Street to Lincoln Square and then continues east on York Street. The route will turn south on Liberty Street to return to the middle school. Kids for Christ will sing before and after the parade outside the Gettysburg Hotel and the tree in Lincoln Square will be lit. For details, call For 334-1518, ext. 229.


Smart is showcasing something different each day of the holiday season. Some days it will be an event, such as a play or craft bazaar. Other days it will be a recipe you can serve during Christmas dinner or a suggestion for entertaining the kids. We’ll give tips to survive the holidays — all 61 days of them. View past posts by clicking on “Holiday countdown” under “Things to do” at the top of the homepage.

Sarah Chain

I'm an avid reader and book lover living and working in downtown York. Follow me on Twitter at @sarahEchain.

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3 Responses

  1. Kara Eberle says:

    We’re always looking for greatbdecorating ideas to feature in Smart. If you’re based in southcentral Pennsylvania, please contact me at keberle@ydr.com.

  2. Allison says:

    Maybe you’ll get good at turning those flea market crafts into something great! I know someone who does the same thing and I wish I was as good as her.

  3. Sarah Chain says:

    Allison — I hope so! I get caught up in shows like HGTV’s “Cash & Cari” and find all sorts of things I’d love to do.

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