Deck the Halls

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I have to say that Christmas is my favourite time of year! All of the colours and lighting, the fresh smell of pine and cedar, the carols, the cookies, “Home Alone”, whew! All the excitement can really inspire your decorating creativity. So, do you have any ideas as to what your home will look like for Christmas?Well, let me start by saying that neutral decor is always a good place to start if you are buying decorations for the first time. Year after year, you can always add a few more pieces for the colour of your choice each season. For instance, this year you may have seen a purple holiday table that totally influences your holiday “theme”.  Go out and get a few extra purple bulbs for the tree to mix into what neutrals you own, toss a little purple into your garland on the mantle and up the stairs, and finally, a few purple florals into your wreath, and voila! Your house is purple and glamorous!

Baking is always a big part of spreading the Christmas cheer, and this season get your hands into some cookie dough and you and your significant other can open a bottle of wine and reenact the pottery scene from the movie, “Ghost” Lol! Or, get the kids around the kitchen table equipped with sprinkles and icing for a fun holiday project. It doesn’t matter how you bake it’s who your baking with! If your cookies turn out as great as ‘The Cake Boss’, then it might be another great idea to put them in cellophane bags, wrap them with bows and strings, and give them out as Christmas gifts! It’s a wonderful way to personally thank school teachers or staff, to show love to family, and to treat friends!

Whatever you do, remember that this season is about loving one another, giving of yourself, and stopping your busy life for a moment just to take the time to see how great life is, and how good you have it! I made it a tradition in our family to wake up early on Christmas morning before opening the gifts, dress the children and take them to a nursing home to sing carols and hand out Christmas cards to the elderly who are often forgotten around this time. The smiles on their faces when my kids sing “Jingle Bells” are just priceless! My children get a chance to give before they receive, and that is the most important lesson I could ever teach them. Enjoy yourselves, and enjoy each other, make every moment count, and go holiday stress-free. It’s a lot more fun that way! Happy holidays!

 

Keeping up Appearances

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Believe it or not, the time has come to put “all things summer” to rest, and to bring the warm tones and textures of Fall to life within your home. Does this mean that you have to repaint every accent wall a deep wine red or a pumpkin orange? Absolutely not. The look is in the details, from the tree bark candles burning on the mantles, to the brown faux fur throws that are within arms reach that you cozy up with for movie night. The dried floral arrangements that you place in little nooks, to the wicker baskets that you fill with warm slippers for your guests at the door. This, my friends, is Fall at its best. Simply take the time to change the little things in your home for the overall effect, and you will be ready to welcome the cold too.

Make sure your Fall decor is not too difficult to “Winterize” or your efforts and budget may both be strained. For instance, if you purchase a Fall wreath for the door, make sure that with just a few hints of silver or gold glitter leaves, and a beautiful red bow tied proudly at the top, your wreath could go from Fall to Winter in minutes. It is the most cost and time effective way of getting the look you want for any time of the year.  You may also feel as if the holiday season has arrived too abruptly, with all of the Christmas commercials and  holiday displays in the stores that bombard your mind to start planning early. The early ‘holiday spirit’ arrival could also serve as a gentle reminder to get your outdoor decorating done while the weather is still in the pluses. It is alot more fun to put up the decorations when you could feel your fingers and your toes! You will also have alot more patience with the web of lights that you spend hours trying to pull apart. I hope my ideas keeps you warm, stylish and on budget this winter season. Have a good one.