When you think about cranberries, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Cranberry sauce?Cranberry bread? Cranberry juice? With cranberries on sale this holiday season, you can easily stock up, but what can you do with these bright berries besides cook with them? You can freeze them for next year, but here are a few other ideas to try as well.

Simmering Potpourri

Have you ever created a simmering potpourri to scent your home? Many air fresheners contain harmful artificial ingredients that I prefer not to use in my house as they aren’t safe for people or pets. Instead of using sprays or wall scents, I prefer to make a pot of simmering potpourri by tossing in orange peels, cinnamon sticks, and a handful of fresh cranberries. Just add a few cups of water and simmer on very low heat.

Decorate the Christmas Tree

Have you ever tried decorating your tree with garlands of popcorn and cranberries? This is not only festive looking, but it’s a fun activity for the whole family. Thread a needle with dental floss and string popcorn alternating with cranberries. (Dental floss is sturdier than thread, which is helpful when kids are working on the project.) When you’re finished, drape the garland as you would tinsel around your tree.

Create a Centerpiece

Because cranberries are such a vibrant red color, they are perfect for holiday decorating. For a simple tablescape idea, take a small grapevine wreath and place in the center of the table. Center a clear glass flower vase in the middle of the wreath. Fill the clear glass vase with alternating layers of popcorn, cranberries, and small pinecones. If you have room, you can add a glass jar candle. (Be sure that the flame from the candle doesn’t come in contact with any other part of the display.)

Floating Candles

If you don’t have a grapevine wreath, try this idea instead. Choose a clear glass vase with vertical sides. Fill it three-quarters of the way with water. Toss in a handful of fresh cranberries and place a floating votive candle in the center. (Be sure to use floating candles and not tea light or votive candles.)

Do you have other seasonal cranberry ideas?