Festive cheer is in the air, and nothing says “It’s Christmas!” like a sparkling tree, gingerbread cookies, and classic holiday movies. With the right playlist, some thoughtful touches, and the best festive-themed casino games at the ready to play, this holiday season is bound to be merry.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas right here, too, with these 10 top tips on creating a cozy, inviting atmosphere in your home this winter holiday. Ready to be inspired?
The most obvious way to bring festive cheer into your home is by putting up and decorating your Christmas tree – as early as you can. Traditionally, Christmas trees are put up at the start of Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas Eve. Whether you’re rooting out your artificial tree from the attic, buying a beautiful living tree, or keeping it low-key with a mini tree, string lights or photo tree shape on the wall, “the tree” usually becomes the centerpiece of the home during the festive season. Bond with your family or housemates as you decorate your choice of tree, and start to gather presents underneath it. For fun, you could even make a Christmas bed beneath the tree and have a little sleepover!
Nothing says, “It's Christmas!” like the smell of freshly baked biscuits. Whip out your gran’s recipe and the star, candy cane, and snowflake-shaped cookie cutters – and get to it! Whether you’re making sugar cookies, gingerbread biscuits or chocolate chip cookies, these delicious treats bring comfort and delight to the household (and your guests) like nothing else. And if you’re both a baking fanatic and a fan of slots, why not have a few spins of Baking Bonanza while the biscuits are in the oven?
Of course, no Chrimbo holiday decor is complete without stockings! From your classic, red-and-white stockings to cute, knitted reindeer stockings, or even white-and-silver ones for an elegant touch, whatever your style, stockings (eventually) filled with goodies are a must. When they’re hung up ahead of the big “eve”, they help to ramp up the anticipation. (Just remember to give yourself lots of time to squirrel away what to fill them with!)
Cheesy holiday jumpers announce the coming of Father Christmas – the uglier, the better. In fact, you could even host an “ugly Christmas jumper party” so everyone can show off their nan’s (or grandad’s) best work!
Handmade Christmas cards are a thoughtful and sentimental addition to gifts; pair them with the biccies you baked earlier and you won’t need to buy anything else. Whether you design them on the computer, put your calligraphy to use, or get creative with beautiful designs like snowflakes and popout trees, individually crafted cards are both fun to make and a true pleasure to receive. Remember to keep the designs fairly flat (less than 5mm thick) if you’re posting them on their own, though, or you’ll need to buy the “large” stamp!
The Christmas break is a great time to snuggle up and indulge in your favourite festive films. Be sure to include the classics in your viewing schedule, such as Home Alone, A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life, as well as some new releases, like A Boy Called Christmas and Love Hard, which are both airing on Netflix in November 2021.
Garlands are a tasteful way of adding festive decor to your home without overcrowding your space. They’re also a fantastic DIY project if you choose to make your own, and offer unlimited creativity – from bushy greenery decorated with silver bulbs and white ribbons to candy canes and paper-snowflake garlands. You can hang these beauties at the entrance to your home, around pillars, bannisters, or railings, along the mantel, or framing the main doorway.
Taking it one step further, create a warm, inviting atmosphere to your home even before you step foot inside by hanging a beautiful wreath on your front door. Again, wreaths can be a fun and rewarding DIY project, or you could always go the lazier route and buy one. Decorate your wreath with pine cones, eucalyptus, or baubles to add your own personal touch.
If you like your Christmas traditions, mistletoe looks beautiful and reminds you to show your love this festive season! You’ll need to go for the faux mistletoe, though, as European mistletoe loses its leaves in the frosty months, and can be harmful to some pets.
Whether you’re going all out, and adding flashing stars and giant sleds to the front of your home, or simply putting up some thoughtfully placed string lights to your tree and other areas of your space, sparkly Christmas lights create a cozy atmosphere to enjoy evenings on the sofa and around the dinner table. When they’ll all set up and twinkling away, you’ll appreciate how much they add to the ambience.
To accompany your well-lit and decked-out home, a jolly, upbeat playlist is in order! It’s impossible not to get into the festive “feel” with some classic carols ringing out (although you may have your alternatives of course). Spend some time creating a playlist, whether on Spotify or any other streaming platform. Make sure to include all the ones that make you go “awww”, and to mix things up with some more modern versions from Michael Bublé, Norah Jones, and Rod Stewart.
10. Sip on hot cocoa
With your house decorated and your fireplace (or heater) doing its thing, it’s time to make a steaming cuppa hot cocoa (with mini marshmallows) to go with those cookies, put your feet up, and enjoy the time spent with your loved ones. This is a heartwarming tradition to enjoy throughout the holiday season, and it’s one that never loses its charm.
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/ 21 December 2021