3 Simple Steps to Make your House a Home for the Holidays

by Shea Homes on December 8, 2015

3 easy holiday ideas to make your home ready for the holidays.Whether you’re enjoying a white December, or perhaps just dreaming of one, the winter months are finally upon us and holiday cheer is in the air! Though this time of year is a season of tradition-making and gift-giving, it is most importantly a special opportunity to connect with loved ones and share life with one another. To help you create a merrier place to gather, we’re sharing some tips and ideas to make your house a home for the holidays.

1. Deck Your Halls with Holiday Décor

Even the simplest touches can make an entire room feel brighter for the season. To cozy-up your living space, here are some holiday decorating ideas that will help you prep for wintertime fun.

Snowy Pinecone Candle Jars

These beautifully re-purposed mason jars add a simple yet elegant detail to any table or fireplace mantle, and is a fun DIY craft to do with the family. To make these festive decorations from Crafts by Amanda, you’ll need:

  • Glass jar
  • Pinecones – if you don’t have them outside, they are also sold at craft stores
  • Hot glue gun
  • Epsom salt
  • Candle (or LED candle)
  • Snow-Tex (special textured paint found at craft stores), or white paint
  • Optional: lace and twine for added décor

If you are using lace to decorate, begin by wrapping it around the top of the jar, and secure it by tying some twine around the rim. Paste your pinecones to the edge of the jar’s mouth, and wait for the hot glue to harden. Then, using your Snow-Tex or white paint, apply “snow” to the edges of your pinecones. After the paint dries, pour a small amount of salt into the jar, and nestle the candle in the center. Now your creations are ready to be displayed around your house for that snug, winter-night feel!

Ribbon Wreaths

This project, from The WoW Style, is easy to make and very versatile with an array of ribbon patterns and colors to choose from. All you need is a metal ring (from any craft or hobby store) and spools of ribbon. To create the wreath, cut the ribbon into equal-sized pieces, and simply tie bows around the ring until you fill it completely. Choose a wider ribbon size for a fuller-looking wreath, or wired ribbon for a cleaner, sharper style. Feel free to experiment with multiple colors and textures!

What’s more – many holiday ribbons are already on sale! You can even try downloading a store’s mobile app for additional coupons.

Don’t have time this season for the DIY creations? You can still show your holiday spirit with things you probably already have around the house, or at least will only require a quick trip to the store. For example, string some spare lights around the edges of your living room window, fasten a large red bow to the center of your mantle, or hang some mistletoe over a doorway –get creative, and get festive!

When you’re ready to store all of your newly minted DIY décor creations, use these 8 tips on how to organize your holiday decorations.

2. Wine and Dine in Holiday Fashion

Whether you’re hosting a special meal in your dining room or attending a potluck with friends, these holiday dinner ideas and recipes add the perfect touch to any gathering.

Caramelized Brussel Sprouts (with bacon!)

When planning for a large holiday meal, often the biggest issue is having enough kitchen time – or oven space, for that matter – to get through all of those side dishes. Luckily, this popular dish can be cooked on the stovetop, and is fast and easy to make! Follow the pin for this tasty recipe from Laura Fuentes that the whole family will love.

Winter Sea Breeze Holiday Cocktail

Don’t think that eggnog is the only holiday beverage out there – if you’re hosting a classy holiday party and are looking for the right refreshment to treat your guests, check out this holiday cocktail by CatchMyParty that’s sure to become a holiday party favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. tonic syrup
  • 2 oz. soda water
  • Pomegranate seeds (10-12)
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Directions:

  • Fill your glass about 3/4 full with ice
  • Add vodka, grapefruit juice, and tonic syrup, then stir
  • Pour in the soda water
  • Garnish your glass with pomegranate seeds and mint leaves for a festive touch

Thumbprint Snowman Cookies

Need an easy holiday dessert that the whole family will enjoy? Making fun and festive holiday cookies is a great way to get the kids involved, and will add some seasonal delight to any table. You can package them up as giveaway treats for neighbors or your office, bring a whole batch to a holiday potluck, or even set them out on a plate for Santa! Follow the pin to learn how to make these adorably sweet thumbprint snowman cookies via In Katrina’s Kitchen.

3. Spruce Things Up for Your Holiday Festivities

Throwing a big bash to celebrate the season? We’ve included some of our favorite entertaining tips and holiday party ideas to create the perfect feel-good mood to get you and your guests in the holiday spirit.

Outdoor S’mores Station

If you live in a warmer climate area, consider having an outdoor option for your party – and what better way to create that comfy holiday feel than with a s’mores station that all your guests can participate in? Because these treats are so simple, preparing your station is easy. All you need is:

  • A fire source – fire pit, grill, canned heat
  • Sticks for roasting – skewers, wire
  • Large marshmallows
  • Chocolate
  • Graham crackers
  • Optional: Containers to hold your ingredients

Simply lay out all of your ingredients on a table, or arrange them in decorative containers, get the fire going, and socialize around these special snacks that will have everyone coming back for s’more. Add some extra festivity as the evening cools down by serving up hot chocolate topped with extra marshmallows (hint – see the next tip for even yummier recipes).

Indoor Hot Chocolate Station

If you live in a city where partying in the open air is not a reasonable option, bring the merriment indoors with a warm and toasty hot chocolate station. All you need is a hot water dispenser (or just boil water in a teapot), some hot chocolate powder in various flavors, and whatever mix-ins you’d like! Then, just gather up your mugs, and let your guests help themselves to a nice holiday warm-up.


Dress for the Occasion

Don’t have time to create activities or decorations, but still want things to feel festive? Give your party a fun holiday theme to get the celebration going (just let your guests know well in advance)! From ugly sweaters and holiday pajama parties, to glamorous tinsel-colored dresses and suits, your friends and family will have a blast playing dress-up for this once-a-year opportunity.

Whatever way you decide to celebrate this season, may it be filled with joy and everything that you love – happy holidays!

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