The holidays are here once again. If you’re looking to give your home a more personal touch this Christmas, we’ve got a selection of ideas to get your house into the festive spirit. Do not let the pressure of the holidays prevent you from being a courteous entertainer. Use these tips to prepare your house for Christmas.
Clean the house. Your Christmas decorations won't look nearly as pretty if they're nestled in with cobwebs. Give the house a deep clean, dust, vacuum, mop, and polish, and clean out the refrigerator. Bring in any potted plants from outside if they won't survive the cold, and rake up any leaves left over from fall.
Make a to-do list. Establish a timeline for buying presents, shopping for decorations, cooking holiday treats and meals, and decorating the home. Make note of any preparations you will need to make for visiting guests.
Delegate tasks to family members. Preparing your house for Christmas is no easy feat, nor should it be undertaken by one person alone. Communicate with your family, and determine which tasks can be shared. If you are hosting guests, reach out and see if they will be willing to bring wine, side dishes, or desserts.
Put up a Christmas tree. You can buy one at a Christmas tree lot or use an artificial tree if you'd like. Set up your tree in a common area where everyone can enjoy it, and then start decorating. Put the lights on the tree first, wrapping them in and out of the branches for a fully "lit-up" look. Decorate the tree with ornaments, and finish off with a tree topper. If you like, do the decorating as a family, and encourage everyone to hang their favorite ornaments.
Set out festive decorations. If you collect Christmas novelties like nutcrackers, snow globes, and Santa dolls, take them out and put them on display. Hang stockings and garlands from the mantle, place glasses of candy canes on tables, and sprinkle fake snow on mantles or windowpanes.
Make and display homemade decorations. If you don't own many decorations, making your own is a cost-effective alternative for decorating your home. There are also many kid-friendly crafts that can help get the whole family involved. Make your own Christmas wreath from sprigs of pine. Craft your own paper snowflakes to hand around the house and in the windows. Make your own ornaments out of paper, felt, and other household.
Decorate the outside of your house. There are a variety of ways to enhance the Christmas spirit of your home through outdoor decorations. Hang wreaths from your door, and display mini evergreens on your porch or front doorstep. If you have a lawn, you can string lights and garland on the trees and shrubbery. Enhance your front walkway with pops of red, including flannel scarves, large ribbons, and lanterns.
Play Christmas music. Nothing spreads Christmas cheer like a soundtrack full of classic holiday tunes. Find a local radio station that plays Christmas music, buy a CD, or find a playlist on the internet. Additionally, some television stations play classic Christmas movies during the month of December. Having a Christmas movie playing in the background will help set the mood as well.
Make a gingerbread house. You can buy kits to make them or make them from scratch. They don't have to look store bought perfect, just put candy and icing wherever it looks good to you! Necco wafers, sugar wafers, and candy Lego blocks make great roofs and pathways for your gingerbread house, and candy canes make for festive gingerbread house furnishings.
Make cookies. If they're in danger of all being eaten before Santa arrives, tuck a few away or plan on making another batch closer to Christmas Eve. Gingerbread men and sugar cookies are popular choices.
Buy presents. The earlier you buy presents, the less stressed you'll be as Christmas day approaches. Once you're bought the presents, wrap them up! Store bought wrapping paper, newspaper, brown paper from grocery bags, and gift bags are all options. Ribbons, raffia, or fabric scraps can be used to top them off.
Put some of the presents under the tree. If you have children, it's best not to put any presents to them under the tree until closer to Christmas. If you have aunts, uncles, other relatives, friends, or neighbors coming by that you've shopped for, put their gifts under the tree as well. Presents under the tree look very Christmasy.
Build a fire. This will help set the tone for a cozy holiday gathering, and encourage your family members to gather around the fireplace. If you don't have a fireplace, cinnamon or pine-scented candles can serve as an alternative.
Prepare your Christmas dinner. It wouldn’t be Christmas without a warm, delicious meal with family and friends! Cooking in advance will help ensure this process does not interfere with other festivities. If cooking a Christmas dinner is an overwhelming task, you might opt for some pre-made items. Many grocery stores and bakeries offer take-and-bake dishes specifically for such occasions.
Set the table. Set out a holiday table runner, and choose festive placemats, table settings, and other decorations. Take out special plates, glasses, and silverware for the occasion. When it gets closer to dinnertime, you can set out snacks and beverages for your guests to enjoy.
At this point, your home is well-prepared for the holiday. It's time to exchange presents, sing Christmas tunes, and spend time with friends, family, and loved ones.
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