As with most of your entertaining needs we suggest you plan ahead.
This year as Kathy began her holiday planning, which would include her home and a fund raiser she would also host, we sat down to see what we had, what was needed, the menu and music for the event, and in these challenging economic times, how best to save money.
Kathy loves a traditional Christmas setting and with her family’s collection of ornaments and Nativity scenes we wanted the decor to embrace the true Christmas spirit.
With all the trimming like twinkling lights, poinsettias, garland, pinecones and making sure that all the stocking are hung by the chimney with care, holiday decorating can be family fun, especially if you follow some of these holiday decorating solutions.
Trimming the tree
It’s really up to you and your family when you decide to do this; some people put up their tree as early as the day after Thanksgiving while other may wait until Christmas Eve.
When it comes to lighting your tree, keep in mind that it is not recommended that you use more than 4 light strands per connection. After the 4 strands of lights have been connected you should start a new connection.
Unless it’s a pre-lit tree, hanging of the lights can take quite some time. Kathy suggests you hang your tree lights while the kids are at school or later in the evening when the kids are asleep. This way you can take your time and the kids won’t be bored waiting to hang the ornaments.
If this is not an option, keeping the kids busy with a few of these holiday kid projects might be helpful.
Have the kids make their “what I want for Christmas” list.
Decorate pre-made Gingerbread Men (and women) cookies.
Have them string popcorn and or cranberries.
They can make their own special ornaments; you’ll be amazed with what can be done with a little glue, Popsicle sticks, glitter, Styrofoam balls and ribbon.
Adding fresh or artificial garland to your homes entrance way, mantle, and or buffet table will add greenery to enhance the holiday mood. By adding ribbon, ornaments and or pinecones you can design a holiday theme that all your own.
Make your table sparkle with color, crystal and character.
Crystal: Crystal will make your table sparkle. Use glasses, candle sticks and a single crystal bowl filled with ornaments as a centerpiece.
COLOR: Bold colors, reds, greens, gold and silver are great foundation colors to start with, then add from there.
CHARACTER: For character, add your own personal touch with pinecones, garland, holly, mistletoe, vintage ornaments, or a bowl of cranberries, pomegranates, or red pears.
Remember the only rule that applies here is to have fun.
Don’t forget the chairs and glasses;
Chairs are part of your table, and should not only be comfortable but can be decorated as well. Adding ribbon, artificial flowers and or ornaments are an easy way to incorporate your seating as part of your holiday celebration.
Is the glass half empty or half full?
Fill them with the napkin, tie a ribbon around the base, use them for the place card or as mini-vases for fresh herbs. Identification tags are what’s in at the moment, this way when and wherever a glass is left somewhere you will always know whose it is.
Let’s face it with today’s economy its all about holiday cost saving solutions, so here are a few of ours that we like to share with you.
For less stress entertaining; consider hosting a holiday potluck. Encourage guests to bring one of their favorite holiday dishes. You supply the home, dishes, music and ambience and let your guest bring the rest.
By adding fresh winter greens to artificial garland, center pieces and swags you can liven-up old holiday family favorites.
Inexpensive scented candles are a great way to add aroma and ambiance to your holiday soiree.
For some low-cost solutions, sometimes you don’t need to look any further than your own backyard.
Painted leaves: spraying leaves white, gold, red or silver is an inexpensive way to add to your décor.
Outdoor fun? When you don’t have snow, from our outdoor expert Nicholas Walker of Jadin we suggest Painted Tumbleweeds*.Make your own snowballs and snowman from tumbleweeds painted white.
The snowy days of winter can be a child’s delight; sleighing, snowball fights and building a snowman, can make the cold frosty white blanket of snow a winter wonderland. But what if your winter wonderland is more like a day at the beach? For our warmer friends we offer Thomas the Tumbleweed Snowman
3 Tumbleweeds, 1 large, 1 medium, 1 small
semi-gloss white spray paint
2 small pinecones
White lights (optional)
A pole or long stake to secure tumbleweeds together and anchor your snowman to the ground.
Make sure you spray the tumbleweeds in a well ventilated area (outside would be best). Cover area with newspaper or a drop cloth.
With hedge clippers, carefully shape the tumbleweeds, rounded on the outsides and flat on the ends that will stack on top of each other.
Spray tumbleweeds with white paint, allow to dry.
In the desired location (outside), assemble your snowman. Place tumbleweeds on top of each other, starting with the largest on the bottom, then medium and the smallest on top. Put the stake through the tumbleweeds to anchor them, from top to bottom.
If you chose to light your snowman, apply lights at this stage. Finish your snowman with spray snow. Add the pinecones as eyes, carrot for the nose and top him off with a festive hat.
Have fun with your snowman; by adding a scarf, corncob pipe, stick arms or even a Mrs. Tumbleweed snowwoman
Whether you’re hosting a tree-trimming party, a big holiday bash, an open house or just entertaining a small number of family and friends, remember the best affairs should awaken all of your senses…don’t forget you have 5 of them! Aromas (scented candles or simmering mulling spices*), Visuals (colorful decorations), Touch (soft napkins), Sound (holiday music*) and yes …TASTE (delicious holiday favorites)!
Have a fabulous Holiday Season!
Mixing traditional holiday music with a little modern jazz it sure to please everyone’s palette. We invite you to enjoy the sounds of the season with few of our favorites;
Frank Sinatra Christmas Collection
Let It Snow / Michael Buble
Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas
Diana Krall Christmas Songs
Fill your home with the aromas of holiday flavors, by combining cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, orange and lemon peel or zest, allspice, cloves and a little brown sugar.
You can steep the spices in either low boiling water, allowing the scents to fill the air; or you can use it for mulling wine or cider, and serve as a warm winter beverage. Place in double layers of cheesecloth and start your simmering!