The holiday season is a wonderful way to end the year. It's a chance to gather with friends and family, make our spaces beautiful, our food delicious, and celebrate the goodness of life with those we love.
If it's been a happy year, celebrating the holidays can be an expression of gratitude. If it's been a hard year, focusing our attention on creating beauty, giving gifts, and enjoying our loved ones can be comforting and healing.
Unfortunately, this can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. It can help to make a decision not to let ourselves commit to too many events, spend money we don't have, or do anything with the motive of impressing anyone.
If we focus instead on caring for ourselves and others, making the holidays more about people than stuff, we'll have energy and joy for what really matters.
Make Getting Ready for the Holidays a Reboot for Your Home
To be sure, it's work to get ready for the holidays, especially if guests will be staying with you. But if we start early and prepare a little at a time, Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever we celebrate, can be a deadline that motivates us to clean, organize, and renew our homes.
Here are some ideas for how to get ready ahead of the decorating and cooking:
Declutter Your Place
November is a good month to do this before more stuff starts coming into your home! Clear out coats no one wears, so guests will have space to hang theirs. Get rid of expired or unused food in your pantry and fridge to make way for food you'll need for entertaining. Give away toys and items you don't like or use. They might be just what someone else wants.
Get Ready for the Holidays with a Deep Clean
No one wants to be cleaning their oven on Christmas Eve, so think ahead about what kind of shape you want your place to be in when all the visiting kicks in. Before you decorate, take care of the tough stuff like cleaning appliances and carpets, vacuuming under couch cushions, and washing windows.
Winter Decorations for Your Guest Bathroom
Next, look around for what may be getting shabby or not working properly. Whether or not you choose to have holiday-specific items, a few new rugs, pillows, or towels can really freshen up a room. The guest bathroom deserves special attention; in addition to a floor-to-ceiling clean, consider a new shower curtain or bath mat.
In the guest bathroom, a plain mirror can get an instant DIY upgrade with a MirrorMate frame. A quality silver or gold framed mirror can beautifully offset chrome or gold fixtures. For example, the Bellemeade Vintage Silver Frame would look wonderful above a silver tray set near the sink, holding a festive candle, some holiday-scented liquid soap, and a hand towel with a touch of red. The mirror magnifies the light of the candle flames, giving the room a glow.
If you have a more modern aesthetic, the Broadway Slim Gold Frame can offset a clean-lined brass faucet, and you could add a holiday touch with a gold bowl or basket of travel-sized personal items like shampoo, a toothbrush, or mouthwash. Enhanced with a few ornaments or greenery cuttings, this adds a touch of thoughtfulness for their comfort that's really appreciated.
Preparing the Guest Bedroom
The best way to make overnight guests comfortable is to think about what they'll need in their bedroom. Most people don't sleep in their guest rooms, so they may overlook a few needs by mistake:
- Make sure there's an accessible plug near the bed where they can recharge their phones.
- Put a card by their bed with a quick welcome message and the wifi password.
- Clear a surface or two of your photos and knick-knacks so guests have room to place their personal items. If your furniture has a delicate surface, put down attractive placemats or trays where guests can set down things like coffee cups or cosmetics without worrying.
- Make sure bedding and towels have been washed recently; if they sit too long, they can gather dust.
- Leave them some space for their clothes in closets and drawers.
- Make sure there's a full-length mirror in the bedroom so guests can see themselves.
- Consider placing a few seasonal books or magazines near the bed. Along with tissues and maybe even a small dish of wrapped sweets, these little things create a big sense of welcome.
A Welcoming Entry Sets the Tone
Whether you have a grand tiled entryway or a door that comes right into a small living space, you can do something to signal to your guests that you're glad they came. A wreath on or near the door that reflects your style is a great place to start.
If you have an outdoor space with plant containers, give them a winter revamp by cutting away dead foliage, and mounting them with natural decorations like pine cones, boughs with berries, or evergreen branches.
On the inside, make sure people have somewhere to wipe their feet, somewhere to put wet shoes and umbrellas, and a place to hang their coats.
More Home for the Holidays Decor Ideas
Whatever our budgets or how much room we have to work with, there are always ways to make our living space special for the holidays. Some people go all out for Christmas, with color-coordinated trees, wrapping, and room decor. Others are happy with a few simple decorations and some greenery.
Whether your style is modern, traditional, boho, farmhouse, industrial, cottage, or any combination—amplify it with your holiday decor, working in what brings meaning, joy, and good memories for your family.
Whatever you have to work with, there is a magic in keeping all five senses in mind when we host people for the holidays. We can create order and beauty to please the eye and play music to please the ear. We can have a lovely scent using candles, potpourri, or simmering an apple cider with cinnamon. We can have soft pillows and throws that feel cozy on couches, chairs, and beds. We can cook people their favorite foods, even freezing meals and treats ahead of time to make visits easier.
Why Not Start Right Away?
The last few months of the year have a way of sliding by quickly, so why not start getting your home ready for the holidays this week? Whether you tackle cleaning a room, a decluttering project, or a DIY improvement like framing a mirror with a MirrorMate frame, it's not too soon to get started!