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If lighting is key to the creation of mood, it's paramount during the holidays, when a warm glow is de rigueur.

In other words, don't even think about turning on those overhead lights: Opt for flattering candlelight instead. For larger dinner parties, set a row of candelabras down the centre of the table, creating a flickering tableau in the process.

To illuminate mantelpieces, line them with tinted tealight holders that match your holiday colour scheme. For extra drama, scatter a few mercury-glass hurricane lamps about a room, basking in their timeworn sheen.

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