So this is what I've come up with:
Our table needed a centerpiece that was easy and festive and could stand up to three children. I took a tray I've had for years, put clear glass marbles in some of the tray's divots, and added a 25-cent ring of artificial berries and beads from the thrift store to one of my usual table candles. Fire and ice!
We live in a raised ranch and I needed a focal point that would draw visitors' eyes upstairs instead of into the basement when they come in the front door. I took my kids' old rocking horse (purchased 9 years ago by my mother at a garage sale) and painted it red with some spray paint we'd used on a trash-pick wagon. I distressed it with some sand paper around the edges and added some decorations I'd found at the dollar store.
While I'm not Martha Stewart, I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. Who says you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear? Oink!