11.04.2011

Tips to Create a Comforting Home for the Holidays


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It was a mere three days ago (the day after Halloween) when I noticed the Christmas buzz had already commenced.  Red cups at Starbucks!  The first scribbles of Christmas wish lists! Holiday decor up in the store windows luring you in with their twinkly lights!  I instinctively recoiled a bit at the though of it all being shoved down our throats already, when our Halloween candy wasn't even finished being shoved down them.  Fast forward a day later (I know, I'm taking you on a wild journey here) and my heart warmed up to it all just like I was hearing the Whos down in Whoville singing their songs.  Christmas really is just around the corner.   About 7 weeks and a few days to be exact.  With Thanksgiving thrown in between, it gives you even less time to prepare.  Panic started setting in.  Oh my god, I don't even know what I'm going to get for the girls! What do they even want?  What trips are we going to go on? What dates should we go visit my parents?  Fast forward a few minutes after those thoughts, (wheeeee!) and I calmed down.  Emotional roller coaster over here, right?  I shifted my focus to getting excited about preparing my home for the holidays.  Because in the end, those quiet moments spent at home with my family are what I remember and cherish the most.  Cuddling by the tree and reading Christmas books, sipping hot cocoa while watching the rain fall outside, watching Home Alone while wrapped in blankets on the sofa.  Here are a few ways I like to bring comfort to my home for the holiday season: 

1. Scents

Nothing smells like the holidays more than a yummy cinnamon concoction bubbling on your stove top.  The warm scent fills the air and with each breath you smile.  Here is a wonderful, economical  recipe for a stove-top potpourri:




One whole orange, or just the orange peel
1/2 cup cranberries
1 tbsp. whole cloves
3 sticks of cinnamon
a bit of nutmeg


Quarter the orange. Put all ingredients in saucepan and fill with water.  Place on your smallest burner on the lowest setting.  Refill water as needed.

And you are done!  One pot should last you the whole season, just make sure you refill the water as needed.

{Recipe and photo via Make it Do}

2. Warmth





Bring out those blankets (more on that in this post)!  Turn on that fire! Light up the tree!  Light those candles! Creating little spots throughout your home to keep warm and bask in a lovely glow is what it is all about. 







3. Decor





Of course it wouldn't be Christmas without some decorations right?  The prerequisite always being the tree.  Before we had kids, we had a tree with a bunch of matchy ornaments and bows, but now we love to fill our tree with a mishmash of ornaments collected over the years that each mean something to us.  We have ornaments for the girls' first Christmas, for the year we bought our new home, from trips we have taken, etc.  As we are unpacking the ornaments we all get excited to see which one is emerging next.  Other popular spots to decorate are the mantel, dining room table, side tables, entry table, the bannister if you have stairs.  I always like to put a little mini tree in the girls' room as well.  It is already pre-wired with lights and- don't tell anyone- I just store it every year with all the ornaments on!  It really is as easy as pulling it out of storage and plopping it in their room.

Source: google.com via Isabella on Pinterest


4. Cards

I am a holiday card fanatic.  I love checking the mail to see who has sent a card our way and then displaying them up in our home.  It's such a nice reminder of all those you hold near and dear.  I suggest incorporating them in your decor by coming up with creative ways to showcase them. I love the idea of hanging them from a garland, as seen below.  There are also lots of card display options you can buy out at stores during the holidays.





5. Books & Movies

I get giddy at the thought of bringing out all our Christmas books and movies each year.  One opening of the cover, or one "play" on the remote and it's like visiting old friends! It's a great way to spend some time with your family relaxing around the house.   Some of our family favorite books are "How The Grinch Stole Christmas", "Polar Express", "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and "The Littlest Christmas Tree".  Our favorite movies are "Home Alone", "Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Elf".

6. Traditions

Nothing brings a feeling of comfort more than a nice tradition.  Something you remember doing as a child and can continue on now that you are grown and perhaps with children of your own.  However, they don't always have to be what you remember from childhood.  If you run across a cute idea that you like, why not start a new family tradition?   Some examples of traditions of the season are Elf on a Shelf, Advent calendars, baking cookies to deliver to neighbors, letters to Santa, visiting a lights show/holiday parade/christmas tree farm.  The options are endless, but the premise is the same: a fun little activity to share with your family.

I hope you found some useful tips in this post on how to create a home of comfort for the holiday season.  I would love to hear some of your ideas and traditions that your family shares!




Comfort is the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday gift list, so be sure to take advantage of Tempur-Pedic's Buy 2, get 1 free pillow offer! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.

6 comments:

  1. I too am already SO excited for Christmas! I can't wait to get going on baking and shopping and decorating! I love the homemade potpourri idea - I will definitely have to try that!

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  2. Love that banister featuring christmas cards, very clever! might need to steal that idea!

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  3. I think I am ready for the holidays! Is it too early to pull out my Christmas CDs?

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  4. i love this post! i read every word. i love your writing jackie and this got me so much in the mood! i first need to take down all my halloween stuff. also this post somehow had me yearning for kids to share all of this with! gahhhhhhhh ;)

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  5. Thanks so much ladies!
    And @Holly better get on that kiddo makin! ;)

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  6. I love picture with chimney

    http://thestyleattitude.blogspot.com

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