Posts Tagged Holiday planning

Easy Holiday Decorating

With a mere fourteen days left until Christmas it is now time to deck the halls for the holiday and for any upcoming events.  Holiday decorating can be subtle or sometimes outlandish!  We discovered a few wallet-friendly concepts that will keep any home or party merry and bright.

 

Bring the Outdoors Inside

Without the holidays, winter would just be one long cold season.  Thankfully, we have the great excuse of many celebrations to get us out and 20091229_IcicleTreesocializing, even on the coldest of days.  We like the idea of using nature as inspiration to achieve a familiar festive feeling that won’t break the bank.  Outdoor items like pine cones, birch branches, evergreen, and acorns can either be scavenged for or found at a craft store.  For a simple and elegant look, place tall birch branches in a large cylinder vase, fill the vase with pine cones, and hang with any ornaments that didn’t make it to your tree.  Make an easy centerpiece with four stackable bowls; fill each bowl with wintergreens, nuts, cranberries and smaller ornaments.  Or simply stack pine cones in a festive bowl.  To add extra sparkle, paint or glitter any of these natural findings.

 

Look to Your Grocery Store for Inspiration

321655598355825261_DNMiZCIY_cThe wonderful part about seasonal foods is that they often correlate with the celebratory colors.  Produce like cranberries, limes, kumquats, pears, and, oranges all can be part of festive decorations. Layer them in large vases adding evergreen branches.  Or float votives and smaller fruits like cranberries, or kumquats in a large colorful bowl.  Make an impressive punch bowl by freezing cranberries and evergreen twigs between two nesting bowls.  If you do not want to go that trouble, just freeze cranberries in an ice tray for a festive addition.  Pomegranate seeds are beautiful in champagne as they bounce up and down with the bubbles! For cute food displays cut a butternut or acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and rinse.  Fill with nuts or olives.  Don’t forget the candy aisle!  Look for foiled chocolates to set in vases or bowls.  Get creative with candy canes- tie them to napkins for place settings, hot glue peppermint sticks around pillar candles, make candy cane trees, or make a lovely candy cane vase.

 

Recycle! Give Old Items New Life!

Think about any unused items you may have and be creative with ideas on how to repurpose them for holiday DIY+christmas+topiariescheer.  For example, use old sweater sleeves to wrap around large candle holders or turn summer’s tomato cages upside-down and place lights on them for lighted mini trees. (We highly recommend using LED lights–their bulbs are becoming brighter and better!  If you haven’t made the switch yet, that is fine.  Keep using the electric lights until they are no longer working before rushing out to buy LED.)

Use plastic milk or soda cartons for rustic candle lights.  Use old sticky bows to make a wreath, use wine bottles to display greenery and evergreen, or wrap ribbon around coffee cans for a candy display.  Just be creative and see what happens–nothing to lose with things that weren’t being used anyway!

We’d love to hear you best holiday decorating ideas!

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Simplify Holiday Traditions

Thanksgiving came earlier this year, which means a longer holiday season.  For many of us that is great, more time to plan!  The downside to this is more time to stress, and hustle and bustle to get all our holiday tasks done.   We came up with a few tips to help negotiate this “most wonderful time of the year” and make the holidays more enjoyable!

 

Simplify

Start by simplifying things where you can.  For example: organize a secret Santa with the adults in your family instead of buying of bunch of gifts that put you over budget. Or decide on a determined amount of money for each adult to donate to an agreed charity.  You can also try going green with your gifts.   Instead of a fancy dinner party have a brunch.  Brunch can be easier, more affordable to prepare, and is a nice change from the sometimes stuffy holiday dinner.  If dinner is a must, host a potluck to take the pressure off preparing the whole meal.  For decorations use accents from your own yard, like pinecones or evergreen branches to make your home sparkle.  These can be arranged naturally or you can paint and glitter them for extra pizzazz!  Even look to your grocery store for inspiration like Clementine’s, apples, or cranberries.

 

Plan Ahead

Part of the reason holiday time can feel so stressful is because we are scrambling to get so much done at once.  Between stringing up lights, finding the perfect gifts for friends, family, and kids, attending office parties, social parties, family gatherings, finding outfits for each function, decorating the house, hosting out-of-towners, cooking, and baking, we barely have enough of our holly-jolly left for the season.  Planning ahead will help to ease the holiday stresses.  Start the season off with a detailed list including gifts, food and, holiday tasks.  Every time you are out shopping try to get a few items on the list such as wrapping paper or a poinsettia for as a hostess gift.  Having a list will keep you on track, organized, and help to keep your budget down.  Try to have all items on your list done three days before Christmas or your big event.  This will give you a few days to get organized beforehand without running around tying up last minute loose ends.

 

Start Something New

Between the media, the mall, and our kid’s excitement, it is easy for us to get caught up in the holiday hoopla.  Find new ways to get together with friends like hosting a cookie or recipe swap.  Get the family involved in charity work for a day.  Find a sledding hill and bring thermos of homemade hot chocolate or cider. Take a long walk to collect pinecones and branches to take home and paint or glitter… Most importantly, in order to really appreciate the holiday season, take moment to turn down the jingle bells and look at what the season means to you and your family.  Remind yourself of this when you find things getting chaotic. Try to let go of expectations for how a dinner or event should go allow room for spontaneity, who knows?  Maybe a new tradition will start!

 

Stay tuned to the Serendipity blog for more event and menu ideas for the holidays!  

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