Thursday, November 18, 2010

14 Ways To Have A Fresh And Festive Holiday

One of the things I love about holidays are the sights and smells.  Decorating the house has always been fun for me, but having a five year old daughter makes it even more special.  Rosie loves to decorate with me.  I go down to my "magic basement" and bring up tubs of decorations that we pore through, choosing our favorites.  Then like little decorating fairies, we flit around the house, making it special for an upcoming holiday.

Here are 14 ways to have a fresh and festive holiday, creating special looks and smells for you and your family!

1.  Baking is my favorite way to fill the house with delicious holiday smells.  We love to make and exchange cookies with our friends at a cookie exchange.  Everyone brings five dozen of their favorite cookie recipe and then we exchange.  You go home with five dozen of everyone's favorites! 

2.  Cinnamon sticks and apple cider.  A great treat on a cold day!  We love to have apple cider with cinnamon sticks.   Twirl and swirl the sticks and spice up warm apple cider.  It's cozy and just makes the chill of a winter day disappear.

3.  Hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows.  Tonight we're planning on having a Polar Express party!  We're going to watch the movie and for the hot chocolate scene?  Well, our own hot chocolate, of course.  And it's extra special with tiny marshmallows.

4.  Centerpiece of winter fruits.  We were just in the grocery store admiring some of the more unusual fruits like pomegranates.  Isn't the centerpiece above gorgeous!  It's also a beautiful centerpiece, to find a cut glass bowl and fill it with pomegranates, pears, and walnuts.

5.  A craft project and a fun air freshener.  Have you ever made the cloved orange?  You stick cloves into the skin of an orange.  Hang with a festive ribbon.  It's a fun craft to do with the kids and creates a wonderful smell wherever you hang it.

6.  Slice lemons and oranges in a pitcher of fresh ice water.  I remember seeing this at a spa.  Water tastes best to me when it's icy cold.  Slicing in lemons and oranges makes it look as pretty as it tastes good!

7.  Set the coffee pot to start automatically in the morning.  Doesn't everyone love the smell of fresh coffee in the morning?  Mmmm, I love waking up to coffee brewing.  I remember my husband talking about his days as a boy scout and remembering that his Dad would always be the first one up and start a cup of coffee.  Smells are part of our memories.

8.  Are you having house guests for the holidays?  I always put 2 cans of air freshener spray in my guest room.  I like to leave the option of scent and how much to use up to the guests because it is such a personal preference.  Sprays leave the amount of scent to add up to them.  By having a choice of cans, they can use one they especially like.

9.  A bowl of potpourri in the bathroom is not only pretty, but if you use holiday items, it can also be a festive decoration.  The color of the potpourri can be coordinated to your decorating scheme and compliment the look.  The scent can also be associated with the holiday.  Cinnamon always reminds me of Christmas, and pumpkin always has me thinking of Thanksgiving.

10.  A pine wreath at the front door.  I love to greet guests with the smell of a Christmas tree.  We do still have a real tree, but even if you've switched to artificial, hanging a wreath of real pine at the front door, evokes those same feelings.  I recommend hanging it outside to keep it fresh.  Then when the door swings in, you get the blast of scent.

11.  Wash your towels with a scented fabric softener.  I love drying my face and smelling something wonderful!  If you use a scented fabric softener, your towels will come out looking, feeling and smelling fantastic.  It's just a feeling of luxury and pampering, don't you think?

12.  Hang an air freshener in your coat closet.  Closets can be a sneaky place for odors to hide.  You have shoes, boots, and winter coats - all items that can harbor unpleasant smells.  It's the perfect place to hang an air freshener and improve the air quality of that dark place!

13.  Cook bacon for a special breakfast.  Isn't the smell of bacon wonderful?  Even people who don't eat bacon, love the smell.  Its not something that you make every day, so it reminds me of a brunch or a breakfast on a special day or occasion.

14.  Leave a book in your guest room with information about special places in your area and special festivities for the holidays.  Guests are often looking for ideas of ways to celebrate and see unique celebrations in your area.  In makes for interesting browsing for a guest and gives them a sense of what's happening around them.

Memories are created by all our senses, but sight and smell are two of the most important for me.  I remember my mother baking pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.  I remember the turkey cooking in the oven.  I remember cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning.  Create those same memories for your friends and family.  You'll be glad you did!

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