By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When we go to pick out a tree, I always like to get one that has extra branches at the bottom that we’ll need to cut off for it to fit in the tree stand. That’s because branches are great for decorating and spreading that Christmas-tree scent around the house.

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You can make fancy arrangements in floral foam with red and white roses. But I love to just stick a few branches into a vase of water and hang ornaments on them like a mini tree for a dining table or a guest room.

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You can cover cut branch ends with plastic wrap to keep sap from getting on walls and woodwork, then tuck some sprigs along the top of a mirror, above an archway, or in among decorations on your mantle. Or you can craft a quick garland or wreath with the boughs along with other bits from your garden.

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And if you still have extra branches, use them to fill outdoor planters – just poke them in along with some holly boughs. Or lay those extra branches down in garden beds as a nice winter blanket for bulbs and perennials.