With the current pandemic and bad economy, many folks are feeling that this will be more of a Bah Humbug Christmas than a Holly Jolly one! While that is understandable, don't we all want to bring back those wonderful feelings you had as a child when you placed cookies on a plate as a snack for Santa? Remember how hard it was to fall asleep while you anxiously waited to see if he would bring the toys you listed in your letter? Let's all try to revive those memories.
During this season, many people like to follow old family traditions. If you don't have your own, you can easily start a few to lift your spirits this year and for years to come. A favorite of mine is to go to a department store and choose an "angel" from the Salvation Army tree. The "angel' will have a child's name, clothing sizes and wishes he or she might have for gifts. This time of the season is time for giving to those in need. There are other various organizations and charities that offer ways to help needy people, and animals too, in need during the holiday season. I guarantee that you cannot help but feel good when giving joy to someone else. We have all heard that it is better to give than receive and that would make for a great new tradition.
What are some of your unique Holiday Traditions? Most people use putting up the tree as their starting point to begin the holiday season. Whether you choose the real deal or an artificial tree, most of us can agree that it’s not until the tree arrives in our homes that Christmas really begins. When it comes to dressing up the tree you can choose to go into your attic and dig out treasured old ornaments or shop for the latest ones online but look for seasonal inspiration as well as traditional ornaments. You could opt for an eclectic mix of both and give your tree a diverse look. How you decide to decorate your tree is where you can really show off your individual style. Try decorating your tree with ribbons and bows or festive feathers. Hanging strings of cinnamon sticks and cranberries will provide a great aroma. Dress up your tree and make it as unique as you and your family might be. Don’t forget that singing along with Christmas songs can really put you in a festive mood while you adorn the tree.
There is no denying that Christmas is the season for giving so make your gift giving gesture even more meaningful with seasonal wrapping. Make it your new tradition to coordinate the colorful wrapping under the tree with the rest of your holiday décor theme. Coordinating your Christmas tree decorations with the colors in the gifting wrapping under the tree will give your home that “Wow” factor that everyone will enjoy. There are many great store-bought options when it comes to wrapping paper. You just need to do a search on the internet for some wonderful ideas. But do not forget to add your special touch to the gift wrapping which will make the gift more personalized and meaningful to the recipient. And because they will be so pretty, your family and friends might want to take their time opening their presents this year. Check out a few samples below and notice how these festive trees coordinate with the gifts under the tree.
Decorating your home’s decor also adds to spreading the holiday cheer. Traditionally, the living room is the main gathering place for the holidays so consider decorating the mantel. Adding plenty of garland wrapped with simple white string lights will give your interior a warm feel. You can use the same garland and lights throughout the house to create a seamless look. Don’t forget places like the fireplace, door frames, and drapery rods. Consider placing glass hurricanes on the mantel either filled with pillar candles or colorful Christmas tree ornaments. Your options are endless. Think about using seasonal objects like an Angel Wing Candleholder or Angel Figurine to add to your dining room centerpiece. Tossing a few Ho- Ho- Ho pillows on the sofa and adding a shelf sitter with a Nativity scene or a Holy Family Décor item on a table will be sure to impress your guests. Place a few Santa Gnome figurines in the foyer to add to the vibe you are trying to create.
There is no denying that one of the best smells in the world is the aroma of warm cookies baking in the oven. It fills the whole house with warmth and comfort. All you need is a big glass of milk! Try starting a holiday tradition of baking Christmas cookies for family and friends. Get creative and bake cookies and wrap them in a festive container to use as gifts. Everyone loves cookies and there are 100’s of cookie recipes out there that you are sure to find the perfect one for everyone on your gift list. Don’t feel like you must be a professional in the kitchen, there are some recipes that are completely effortless and stress-free to make. I have a Snickerdoodle cookie recipe that is one of my go-to’s for holiday cookies in a cinch. They are called “Eggnog Snickerdoodles” and came from a recipe on the Betty Crocker site. There’s a whole list of Ridiculously Easy Christmas Cookies! You should check them out-the word “easy” is literally in the title!
Other holiday traditions are piling up the family in the car to drive around viewing all the lights and decorated homes which is always fun and brings back your own childhood memories. Invite family and friends over to join you in watching classic holiday movies or board games while sipping hot chocolate. There are so many ways to celebrate the holiday season that are surefire ways to get you and your family in the holiday spirit. All the above suggestions will lift your spirits and help you enjoy the season.
Whether you choose to add one or all of my yuletide rituals you can’t beat the memories you will be making with your family that you will cherish for years to come. As you begin to feel merrier, try to realize that Spring will soon be here with the rebirth of all things in nature and a cheerier and healthier time for us all.