With Christmas less than two weeks away, there’s no better time to inspire yourself and get into the holiday spirit! For everyone who may be feeling a little grinchy this Christmas, here are a few tips and ideas to help you channel your inner Buddy the Elf:
Stir up a Christmas cocktail
Nothing says happy holidays like a stiff, spiced drink! Click here to read more about my favorite Christmas cocktail.
Turn up the tunes
Listening to Christmas music is a sure-fire way to inspire holiday joy. I love listening to it while I’m working on projects in the studio. Bing Crosby on repeat, please.
Get your DIY on
Make a homemade ornament or gift! Words can’t describe how fullfilling it is to make something with your own two hands. And it only gets better when you give homemade goodies away to loved ones.
During this time of year, I also love making wreaths. Check out my tutorial here!
Turn the oven on and open the spice drawer!
Nothing makes me happier during the holidays than baking, especially cookies. This year my family started a new tradition: Christmas cookie baking day! Everyone brought two doughs with them and we spent the afternoon baking and sharing laughs over Christmas cocktails and record music.
Set up your own Christmas cookie baking day! Make up some gingerbread dough, invite your friends over and spend time cutting them out and decorating together. Pour some eggnog (or wine) and enjoy making memories.
Get away from the commercialism by taking a moment to remind yourself of all you have to be grateful for – there is no better time than Christmas! This year I am especially grateful, celebrating my first married year with Andy, and in our new house none the less!
It truly is a wonderful life.
Only 12 days until Christmas!
If you’ve been following my Instagram, you’ll have noticed that as per usual, I’ve been kicking off the holiday season in full force! In our household, the Christmas season officially begins on black Friday.
I’ve brought out the nutcrackers…
Designed our Christmas cards…
And spent the last two Sundays making holiday wreaths.
After participating in a craft class three years ago at our local nature center, wreath-making has become a favorite family tradition and was a craft I was able to show a group of friends over a glass of wine and a cheese board.
Whether you’ve made a wreath before I not, I promise it’s a very simple, very rewarding project and encourage you to invite your friends and family over for a jolly-good, wreath-making time.
For full instructions on how to construct your first wreath, click here.
It’s that time of year again! The most wonderful time of the year as a matter of fact, and everyone is abuzz with excitement and anticipation as Christmas day looms closer.
Though our culture tends to associate this season with gift-giving, most of us know that there is so much more to this holiday and that it is the traditions that make it special. While the Christmas season technically kicked off two weeks ago, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the activities and traditions that make this the most wonderful time of the year.
But perhaps you’re still in need of a little holiday spirit? Not a problem. Check out my Christmas to-do list for inspiration:
- Decorate the house and transform your home into a holiday wonderland.
2. Trim the tree, because it wouldn’t be Christmas without a grand and shining tree sparkling through your window.
3. Make a festive wreath to hang on your front door.
4. Bake an abundance of Christmas cookies (because calories don’t count on the holidays).
5. Watch a Christmas classic, such as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
6. Check out a Christmas show or performance, such as the “Nutcracker Ballet.”
7. Attend a Christmas-craft class or do one on your own!
8. Read a winter or holiday-themed book.
9. Sit back and enjoy the snow.
10. Spend time with the ones you love most.
It’s the little things in life that we remember, and the little things that count most. Be sure to make this holiday season count!
P.S. Only 18 days until Christmas!
Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a beautiful wreath hanging on your front door! But before you go out and spend what can be serious cash on a wreath or two why don’t you try making one instead? As I mentioned in my last post, I went to a wreath making workshop this past weekend at my local nature center with my mother and grandmother.
As it turns out, making wreaths is both easy and cheap!
Here is what you need if you want to try making one yourself:
- Floral wire
- Wire cutters
- A wire wreath frame (look for these at Walmart or your local dollar store)
- Pine branches (we used frasier fir, but any kind will do)
- Decorations (such as bells, ribbons, pine cones, etc.)
Now that you have gathered your supplies, here is what you’re going to do:
- Cut your branches into 5” pieces.
- Make small bunches out of your branches (4 to 6 pieces per bunch).
- Attach your wire to your frame by wrapping it around the cross section. In other words, wrap the wire where a horizontal wire meets a vertical wire.
- Lay one of your bunches down and wrap it twice with wire. Pull the wire tight to ensure it is secure.
- Place your next bunch so that it is slightly overlapping the first, covering the wire attaching the first bunch.
- Repeat this process until your bunches go all the way around the frame.
- Tie off your wire, wrapping it around the cross section like you did when you first attached it.
I wrapped a thick ribbon around my wreath to give it a little flare but you can also go for a very natural look, attaching only dried flowers, pine cones and other natural elements.
Wreath-making = incredibly simple.
I was truly amazed and impressed when I saw a room full of beautiful wreaths from people who had never made one before!
I would encourage anyone to try this holiday craft. After all, who wouldn’t want a beautiful wreath hanging on their front door during the holiday season?
It’s officially the Christmas season! This means the stores are decked out in Santa Clauses, the radio is blasting Christmas carols and the food industry is swamped with mint and gingerbread.
But what if, try as you might, you just aren’t feeling the holidays?
Well then, I have a solution! Below are a list of suggestions; tactics on how to become excited for the most wonderful time of the year.
- Decorate. Personally, nothing puts me in the holiday mood more than decorating the house. Christmas lights especially send out serious holiday-mood vibes. I am also a huge fan of nutcrackers and enjoy displaying my collection this time of year.
- Attend a holiday production. This year Andy and I will be attending a production of A Christmas Story in Syracuse, NY as his younger brother will be playing Flick in the play. Most communities put on holiday-themed productions and religious ceremonies so be sure to check out what’s going on in your city! (Check out the show schedule if you live in the Syracuse area and are interested in seeing A Christmas Story).
- Do a Christmas craft. Tomorrow I will be going to a wreath-making workshop with my mother and grandmother at the local nature center (more on this later). Check your local papers and Facebook accounts to see what holiday-themed events are happening in your neighborhood! Or perhaps do what I did below and spend time assembling a classy center-piece.
- Read. Whether it is a Christmas craft book or a holiday romance, I find that seasonal books can not only give you that warm,fuzzy feeling but also help you embrace the season. Recommendation: Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog
- Watch a Christmas movie. Gather your family and friends and indulge in a Christmas movie. Classics, such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Grinch are always a win but some of the modern titles such as Four Christmases, Elf and Fred Claus are both hilarious and delightful. Make some popcorn and enjoy a night in.
It is only the 4th of December, which means you have plenty of time to get in the spirit and have a fun holiday season. It truly is a magical time of year, so be sure to enjoy it while it lasts! (Just don’t go sneaking for presents like our naughty dog).
Feel free to comment below with other suggestions on how to create Christmas spirit!
(Photo credit for the last photo goes to Andrew Janitz)