Wednesday, December 15, 2010

easy holiday...

It's no great mystery to those that know me
that we are in the midst of my favorite time of year.

It really starts when the first sign of Fall arrives and last well into when the snow is no longer "charming and festive." I'm happy about the Season even when the white fluffy stuff has been turned into
what looks like a a 7-11 gray slurpee on the side of the road.

Here are a few of My Favorite Swell Holiday Things that
are Super Easy to do and can either add to your already growing Holiday giddiness
or maybe take the edge off your bah -humbug attitude.

Come on man, If flour, butter and sugar can't help you turn it around, I don't know what to say--other than, it's bummin' me out. Moooore cookies!

Everyone brings at least a dozen made (never store bought, but they can be the kind that you slice and bake) cookie with a recipe cards attached for everyone at the party to share in the recipe. It's a great way to throw a stress free holiday get together, since the holiday table gets filled without much effort and it's a fantastic way to break the ice with new people. Everyone asks about each other's baked goodness and people bring their favorite family recipes that they love to share with others. It really brings out the Holiday
baker in everyone...even people that never bake want to take part in this.

Also, you don't get to leave the party without being handed a small brown paper bag in order to make the rounds for take away cookies!

2) Hosting a Potluck Holiday Dinner
This is a win-win situation for all involved.

It not only makes my Holidays easy but fun! No pressure here and everyone shares in the memory of the meal--it's such a "shared event" that guests have all started pitching in with the clean up without any prodding! Seriously. Everyone has so much fun around the dinner table telling stories from their childhood holidays that are inspired by their dish that they brought, that they keep the conversation and laughter going during clean up! Good times had by all.

3) Stress-Free Giving
My good friend Gerda hosts Christmas Eve at her beautiful home every year for family and close friends. She does a $20 and under gift exchange. Everyone brings a single bought or home-made gift valued at $20 or under and then we pick numbers to see who gets to choose first. It helps to get a high number since the person with the next higher number has the choice to pick from the pile under the Christmas tree or a gift that someone before them has already picked. It's fun, loud, festive and a really simple and inexpensive way to de-stress the "holiday giving" aspect of get togethers.

4) Pool Your Holiday Decorating Resources
If you know that everyone is going over to a certain family member's or friend's
home for the BIG Holiday celebration, pool all your
decorations in order to help the host home get ready for the event.
This way the person throwing the event doesn't feel the pressure to go out and buy all new ornaments and decor for the big party. Also, offer to loan any holiday serving ware you may have for the the occasion.
This is a great way to partake in the giving spirit of the Season!

5) Recycle old Holiday cards
A simple hole punch can instantly turn them into tree decor or attaching them to an inexpensive wreath form
from a craft store can make for festive indoor decor. Also, attaching them to existing garland that may be over an entryway, fireplace, banister, etc can look awfully swell.

6) Light it UP
Nothing is more festive, simpler to execute or can be as money saving as just lighting a grouping
of candles--On a mantle with a few large ornaments and garland make for simple Holiday decor. A grouping of pillars in a non-working fireplace instantly casts a great glow in a room. Gathering your mismatched candlesticks and votives in the center of your Holiday table is a quick and inexpensive way to set the mood. There are countless ways to use candle creative!

7) Put Something in the Oven
Seriously. Even if you don't bake,buying the ready made slice & bake sugar cookies and sprinkling a
bit of sugar and cinnamon mix
on top before putting in the oven will
make your home smell like the Holidays!

This is an instant "mood fix!" Trust me on this one.

8) Leftover Lights
Use the extra string lights that seem to creep into your Holiday bins year after year as away
to light up dark corners of a room, bring a glow to a non-working fireplace or make the most
of an existing Holiday Display.

Even putting them in a bunch (you don't have to untangle them to do this) in a metal container behind an accent chair or small table will cast a warm glow in a dark part of the room.

9) No Brainer Holiday Rock Star Move
This is my constant, lazy-man's way of zushing (it's a word) up the Holidays with Soooo very little effort. Adding cranberries to a clear vase instantly ramps up your Holiday floral arrangement. Seriously, this couldn't be an easier fix!

Also, mixing them in with candles is another quick Holiday Wow.

AND...just adding the color red, wether it's in an accent pillow, a vase of flowers, a new lamp shade or area rug can instantly bring Holiday energy to any room.

Go Forth and Be Merry!


Anonymous said...

Hey, Angelo...

I love those many nostalgic memories for me. Mercury ornaments, candles, boughs. I really appreciate your decorating and all it's heartfelt meaning...Merry Christmas, Nancy

Angel Threads - NCG said...

...oh, almost forgot...that you really do bake? That brown sugar photo is actually yours? I love to bake! Kind of have the same photo going on here...only the gnome will

Beth said...

Clever ideas! I'm always up for a new way to use strings of lights!

Jen said...


Love these. Thank You and Merry Christmas to you!

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