Well, the holiday season is in full swing, which means wonderful music, decorations, and events… and also extra responsibilities, events, and stress. Hopefully your December is trending more towards the wonderful-ness than the stressfulness!
If you’re like me, and some aspects of Christmas preparation make it seem like a harried race to get everything done by the 25th (Is my shopping done? What am I supposed to bring to the holiday party? Gotta mail the Christmas cards!), a few small things for the home can make it easier to stop for a moment and enjoy the excitement and traditions of the holiday season. Here are three extremely quick and easy things to do for your home that will help put a smile on your family’s faces and some extra cheerfulness in the air….
This has been one of my favorite traditions since I was a kid, and I love sharing it with my daughter now. All you need is ribbon or paper and tape! Cut a 6-8 inch strip (about 1 inch wide, or the width of your ribbon) for each day from now until Christmas, then tape the first strip into a loop and add connecting loops to that first one. Hang the chain someplace you’ll see it every day, and take off one loop each day. Since my daughter is 3, she loves seeing the visual of how many more days remain until Christmas. Every time she says “Christmas is COMING, Mama!”. And I admit, even as an adult, I love how it helps build my anticipation as well.
If you want a quick way to fill your house with a wonderful holiday smell, and you don’t want to use an artificially-scented candle, here’s an easy natural potpourri to make. (I got this from one of my favorite websites, www.moneysavingmom.com) Cut up 2 oranges and put them in a pot on your stovetop. Add a teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (either ground or whole) and 3 cups of water. Cook on medium until it begins to become fragrant, then turn down to low and simmer as long as you like. (But be sure to check and add more water if it’s getting low!) This makes the house smell AMAZING.
White or colored twinkle lights are such an inexpensive and easy way to add sparkle and magic to your house décor. I noticed a few years ago that most of my decorating was confined to the living room and dining area, and discovered that little lights are easy to put in almost any room. Try putting a strand in the bathroom around the mirror (held in place with tape or thumbtacks), or on your child’s curtain rod (kids just love having decorations in their room!), or around your computer, or even in the laundry room (hey, the never-ending task of laundry could definitely use some extra cheer!)
With even 15 minutes of time, you could easily do one or maybe all three of these ideas… and the season just seems a little bit more festive. Happy holidays, everyone!