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Christmas stockingsJon Helgason/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The question

I don't have a fireplace (or a mantel) at my house, so where should my kids hang their Christmas stockings?

The answer

Even people with a fireplace often find it hard to know where to attach stockings, since mantels are so minimal today. Plus, if you make a hole in the drywall or in the mantel, it may haunt you all next year. (I still have a nail hole that I've been meaning to fix after hanging last year's garland.)

Instead, how about putting the stockings on the tree when they're empty and then, on Christmas morning, stuffing them and placing them at the foot of the kids' beds. Another option is to create a display with cedar boughs, ornaments and stockings on a console table. Just make sure the stockings are nice ones, so they'll conjure up visions of sugar plums, not dirty socks.

Finally, for a 21st-century approach, have a computer screen or TV display an image of the stockings and then – miracle to behold – bring them to life on Christmas morn, complete with goodies. No matter which way you go, the biggest challenge will be figuring out what to say when your kids (inevitably) ask how Santa got in without a chimney.

Architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace's new e-book, Dee Dee's Rules, is available on iTunes. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design problem? E-mail