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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 121 > Articles > How To Decorate Your Island Neohome For the Holidays

How To Decorate Your Island Neohome For the Holidays

by _requiems_

MYSTERY ISLAND - Well, what are you doing, sitting there!? Giving's right around the bend, and your Bamboo hut is still without a single ornament! WHAT?! What do you mean you live on Mystery Island so it doesn't matter? Of course it matters! It's Giving! Now get off your sorry read-end and let's get to work; yessiree Bob (even if your name's not Bob), I'm here to tell you all about decking your beachside home with holiday cheer, and make you realize that no, you don't need to live anywhere near Terror Mountain to have a festive dwelling!

Lighting your tree!

You'll need:
-palm trees (if you don't have these, this isn't the article for you)
-lights

No, we don't have pines on our island; we have coconut trees, which can be quite useful -- but more on that later. Yes, I know, palm trees aren't made like pines. That much is obvious; you just can't put up your lights on those leaves, so don't even try. But wait -- haven't you heard of lanterns? You know, they string 'em up during Gadgadsbogen; yup, those. Well, we're going to use that concept.

It's quite easy: pluck the coconuts from the trees you want to light (store them in a safe place for later), and climb. You can have your pets do this, especially if they can fly. This will make them feel appreciated, which is a good feeling to have at any time, especially during the holidays.

Just wrap your lights -- not too tightly, or they'll break -- around the tree, at about three/four feet under the leaves, to be sure they're seen. Once that's done, repeat the process on each tree, while using the same cord. You might need two or more rolls of lights. Be careful not to make the cord between the trees too taut; keep it nice and slack enough to droop a little, in order to prevent damage. And voilà, in a few hours or so you should have a beautiful, festive, multicolored garland around your house to brag to your neighbors about!

You can do the same thing with regular rope outside, and tie in some hollowed fruits (Twirly Fruit, Ellecha, Taokicarrots and Lemwart are good). Put candles into those hollows and watch the spectacular result -- just remember to be careful not to get burnt, get small candles so as not to char the fruits (go see Jhuidah, as she has pretty magical ones that work like a charm for a low price), and get very solid rope! Fishing cord works best for this, and you can buy some at the harbour from any native; but don't be a tourist! Anything over a hundred Neopoints is theft!

Coconut floral arrangements!

You'll need:

-coconuts
-glue
-glitter (in any color you like; gold, silver, green and red are recommended)
-sand (doesn't need to be colored, but it's always a plus)
-flowers
-fruits (Kraku berries, Taokicarrots and Twirly Fruit work best)
-Maraquan lettuce
-small tea candles (Jhuidah sells these for a small price)

Yup, those coconuts we have in abundance can be pretty useful. If you've got a taste for coconut milk, enjoy yourself. If not, hollow them out some other way. I recommend keeping the stuff aside and checking out the recipes section below.

Grab your hollowed coconut and split it in two equal halves, if that hasn't been done already. Shave the bottom of each half until it doesn't tip over anymore; this is essential, so don't forget it. Now, cover the shells with glue, and sprinkle generously with glitter. This is easier if you can shave the fibers off the shell -- I'm lucky, I have a Shoyru and a Krawk at my disposition to do this for me. Thanks, Claw and Kala! You can even make patterns with your glitter; just apply the glue wherever you need it. I find that just putting some around the rim looks lovely, or making a several concentric circles, like a target.

Take your sand and fill both halves, then press your fruits into it so they stand; mix and match all you like, put flowers, rocks, anything you can think of is fine! A few leaves of Maraquan lettuce is great and colourful, and they have industrial quantities of oyster salad at the Fruit shop.

Now, leave a nice small spot in the middle of your arrangement and stick a candle in. Light it -- again, be sure not to burn yourself, or the fruits' leaves while doing so (Jhuidah candles are again recommended). Now all you have to do is set your creative new flower pot outside, and let your neighbors admire!

If you don't like coconuts, or find shaving the fibers too much of a hassle, oysters (from those handy-dandy salads) and seashells can also be used; and if you like variety, why not all three? Another spin-off of this is to have one or two branches of Kraku Berry bush in a single glass pot of red or green sand -- this looks extremely stylish and festive. Have fun!

Recipes!

Sweet & Sour Fruit Slushie
[serves 3]

Slushies, those infamous Terror Mountain treats, can now be served in your own tropical Neohome, using fruits you can find just about anywhere on the island! For ice, I'm afraid you'll have to take the trip down to either Neopia Central, Meridell, or Terror Mountain. That is, unless Jhuidah likes you. Hehehe...

You'll need:
-9 Vinberries
-6 Taokicarrots
-6 Twirly Fruits
-3 Nurako
-Crushed Ice
-3 Lemwart slices
-1 Blender

Extract the juice from the Vinberries, Taokicarrots, Twirly Fruits and Nurako; you can also add in Lemwart juice to even out the flavor, but I prefer mine more sweet than sour. Vary on the quantities of each you want in it to fit your preferences, even put in some Ellecha juice if you're daring.

Take the ice and the juice, shove 'em in the blender and have fun, or blend until you can't feel your button-pressing finger anymore. You can add milk for a creamier taste. The Lemwart slice, if not completely extracted of it's juice, can be slid onto the rim of your glass for decoration. You can even put one of those cool paper umbrellas that just scream class, if you can smuggle some out of the golden Dubloon. Serve these to your neighbors, and watch those jaws drop!

Fruity Neggnogg
[serves 5]

What Giving time is complete without a hearty mug of neggnog? If you can't beg some off Jhuidah (she loves that stuff, so don't bust anything trying), make some yourself.

You'll need:
-1 L cream
-2 L milk (can be replaced with coconut milk)
-3 lbs sugar (or less, if you don't like it as sweet as I do)
-4 or 5 neggs
-1 L grog (optional; for the more mature, responsible Neopian)
(this is if you don't have Neggnog. If you do, you don't need the above ingredients)
-any assortment of fruit you like

Extract the juice from the fruits. Mix and blend freely with your Neggnog (or 'nog ingredients) in a bowl; what you end up with should be creamy and taste faintly of the fruit you chose, while keeping it's sweet Neggnoggy goodness. If it isn't, you have a problem. If you succeed -- your neighbors will be begging for the recipe.

That's It, Folks!

Well, you've reached the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed it! I'd like to thank Clawberry and Kaladrionissa, my Shoyru and Krawk, for being so helpful with the coconuts and putting up the lights, Leuka the Peophin for coming up with the Neggnog recipe, and Foudroyant, my Lenny, for being so good at haggling and saving my wallet from starvation. I'd also like to thank Jhuidah the Island Faerie for her help in providing those nifty candles, and other useful things. Remember, she's there to help you, and she does NOT bite. Unless you're carrying Neggnog, but that's a whole other story. Heh.

Now go out, have fun, and happy holidays in your festive, decked-out beachside home! Just remember to close your shutters and lock your door to avoid the angry mob of envious neighbors you've been bragging to all week. *ducks to avoid a rotten Corn Ball flying towards her head* Erm, yes, 'till next time!

Author's note: All of this is off the top of my head; I live far away from even the shadow of a palm tree, so I wouldn't know. The recipes are tentative as well. If you happen to actually try them with real fruit, I would love to know the result!


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