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During the holiday season, the front porch needs more than just a welcome mat to create a warm holiday mood. Chances are you'll decide on a wreath.

Some of the thickest, sweetest-smelling and sturdiest fresh wreaths you'll find for Christmas '89 are made by hand in the hills of Appalachia. Crafted from long-lasting Noble fir, the McKee wreath is traditionally decorated with an oversize, weather-resistant tartan bow of red, green and gold; natural pine cones; and bunches of brilliant red holly berries. The wreath measures a generous 22 inches across and is 4 inches thick.It is the product of Christmas Ridge Handcrafts, part of a non-profit economic development program that helps create jobs in eastern Kentucky, where unemployment is more than double the national average. Each fall, when the farm work is done, unemployed local craftspeople are offered the "luxury" of a paying job from October to mid-December making fresh pine wreaths for the holidays.

The wreath-makers - mostly mothers, grandmothers and unemployed women - are thankful for the seasonal employment that allows them to contribute to the family income.

You can order these wreaths with your MasterCard or Visa by calling this toll-free number: 1-800-451-5411, Dept. RM. Calls must be made before Saturday, Dec. 9. Cost is $25.00 each, including UPS shipping, anywhere in the continental USA. They are guaranteed for pre-Christmas delivery.

An attractive wreath on the front door needs to be seen, especially at night. So why not show it off by highlighting it with a flood or spot light.

Robert G. Davis, manager of research for GTE's Sylvania lighting business, says, "Today's light bulbs come in a variety of colors and shapes, offering countless options for holiday decorating."

He points out that proper lighting not only enhances outdoor decorations, but adds to the safety and security of your home.

Here are some suggestions from the lighting experts at GTE's Sylvania lighting business to help you light up your home with holiday cheer.

-Make sure your guests see their way to your door safely. Use floodlights to illuminate pathways, steps and driveways. This can be of special concern when streets and walkways are covered with ice and snow.

-Experiment with color. Use red, yellow, blue or green light bulbs for lighting outdoor evergreens. Be sure to use weather resistant PAR bulbs, which have greater beam control in outdoor fixtures.

-Instead of multicolored lights, try one color theme. Remember, blue and green bulbs cast cool-colored light, while red and orange bulbs add to a cozy holiday atmosphere.

Of course, holiday lighting does not have to be limited to the exterior of your home. Here are some suggestions for the interior.

-Replace the bulbs in your dining room candelabra or living room lamps with specialty light bulbs of elaborate shapes and finishes, such as flame-shaped, amber or iridescent. There are even bulbs that flicker to simulate candlelight.

-To keep holiday time a safe time as well, remember to carefully inspect your electric Christmas ornaments before using them. Make sure that there are no frayed cords, especially if they are in storage.

-Don't overload the wall sockets in your home. Prevent power drains and electrical fires by using a separate socket for your holiday lights. Check local retailers for extension cords or additional attachments.

-Help youngsters see their way to the tree on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Use night lights in hallways and stairways to prevent mishaps.

-Bring back memories with the smell of Christmas. Try Sylvania's new Lite Scents light bulb in cranberry of pine fragrances to enhance the holiday aroma. Scatter scented candles and baskets of potpourri throughout your home.