Simple Holiday Ideas

Hello again lovelies!  One of the upsides of this pandemic is that it's taken the pressure off for all the entertaining, baking, shopping, etc that we all seem to partake in during the holidays.  It's created a more low key season, where we can focus on a few simple things, important things, like gratitude and family.  

With that in mind, we can still make our homes feel festive, and be inspired to create some new traditions to stay connected to the holiday spirit, and to our extended friends and family. Here's a few ideas to get you thinking....

1. Set a festive table

Pull out your good china, or use some simple white dishes, and layer those with a runner or tablecloth and some linen napkins.  Add something decorative on each plate, like a simple bunch of greenery tied together with a pretty ribbon.  Include a personalized card, with a hand written love note to each family member.  The centrepiece on the table can include a simple grouping of candlesticks surrounded by boughs of pine, cedar or eucalyptus layered together.  Fresh fruit like pomegranates or clementines add some beautiful, natural colour to your tablescape.

Photo courtesy of @jennikayne

2. Culinary Treats

A gorgeous cheeseboard is the perfect snack to keep your family entertained while they play a game or watch Miracle on 34th Street.  Start with a good sized board, fill it with hard and soft cheeses, nuts, olives, cured meats, figs, crackers and fresh bread.  Cut the cheeses into different shapes, and add some bowls of dips to create some height.  Keep the portions small so it's easier to grab. Add some fresh rosemary sprigs or greenery to make it pretty.

Photo courtesy of @etuhome

3.  Serve a specialty cocktail

A yummy drink, whether it's alcoholic or non, can really put you in the Yuletide mood.  A classic sangria with a holiday twist is a simple recipe, and can be made ahead in a large batch so all you have to do is pour.  Sangria originates from Spain, and traditionally uses Tempranillo wine, but the key is to use wine that you like to drink!  To make a non-alcoholic version, remove the wine and brandy, and replace it with 1 cup cranberry juice and a bottle of club soda.   Here's the recipe:

4. Start new Traditions

Think of different ways we can connect with our families- schedule zoom calls on Christmas morning to enjoy coffee together, or play a game of charades over zoom- I've heard it can be done!  Spend time outdoors- if you're lucky enough to have a fireplace outside, get it crackling and bring out the blankets, sip hot cider and enjoy the fresh air.  

A smores bar is always a good idea and great way to entice the kids to get outside!  Set up a table with all the ingredients- the chocolate, the marshmallows, and the graham crackers.  Food is the way to the heart after all!  If you have little ones, do a candy cane scavenger hunt in the backyard.  

Photo from 2019 Holiday House Tour. Decor by House Warmings

The goal is to cultivate small moments of holiday cheer.  We're all looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020 and are hopeful that the New Year will bring fresh new beginnings.  Happy Holidays.