Thursday, November 18, 2010

14 Ways to have a Fresh and Festive Holiday

Happy Holidays, I've said it a few times already this year, but I'm pretty excited for it to be the first Christmas that Annabella will be having a blast at! So I intend to make this the start of a lot of traditions for the two of us, so that when she gets older she can have lots of memories like I do.  So I've been coming up with a few ideas in my head, and I've decided to share a few with you folks

  1. Get a real tree! I guess maybe its not the "eco" thing to do, but they smell so good! Walking into a house where the scent of pine is being released by the lights of the tree just feels like Christmas!
  2. Yankee Candles: my mom always burns Yankee candles, or at least she did when I was a kid the "Home Sweet Home" and the "Festival of Lights" are two that remind me of home, so I'm probably going to get a few for the holiday.
  3. Baking Pies: mmm is there anything better then the smell of an apple pie in the oven? Its probably the most melancholy feeling because you know you will just have to wait and wait for it too cook. But that smell and anticipation is one that reminds me of my grandma and gives me a warm fuzzy feeling
  4. Hot Chocolate: I plan to drink lots of it, and let Bella drink it too, Some nights with marshmallows, some with whipped cream, some with cinnamon sticks, or candy canes; maybe I'll even try some spicy hot chocolate this year! Yum! 
  5. Christmas Lights! We're going to go look at them in the car this year, especially since Annabella is big enough to look out the car windows at night, I'm already looking for great Christmas music to listen to in the car while we drive around. I plan to treasure this time where I can justify listening to Christmas music before my child wants nothing to do with it!
  6. Winter Greens: Here's a way to get some fresh greens into your diner, and enjoy the harvest of the winter. Cook up some Kale and add it to your dish, its hearty and yummy I'm dying to try this Butternut squash Tart with Carmelized onions and Kale, a great way to continue shopping at the farmers market since its open year round now!
  7. Hoop Houses: Make yourself some hoop houses so that you can have fresh veggies all winter, start now and give friends fresh bags of greens as Christmas presents you're sure to be a hit. Grow some mint and you can make mint tea for all your guests
  8. Christmas Sweaters: We are totally starting this tradition this year so it sticks. Christmas sweaters are tacky, fun and make for fabulous pictures. Whats more festive then the whole family dressed for a Brady Bunch special? Maybe we'll even host a Christmas sweater party so that friends can annually join in the fun.
  9. Make Beeswax candles: Beeswax cleans the air when it burns, and making candles you can smell in in the whole house, get some molds and make some ornaments, window hangings and candles to give as gifts or to keep for yourself and have memories of the holidays year round.
  10. Bring in Plants: In another effort to keep the air clean with all that fire burning and cozying up with closed windows, bring in some plants to keep warm in the winter, or get some new ones. Poinsettias do well inside and look so beautiful, but I won't put them where little ones can reach, even if people do say now that they aren't poisonous, I still get nervous! Keep a Christmas Cactus year round and see its beauty in the winter!
  11. Warm Apple Cider: Get out those cinnamon sticks (and the rum if you are feel like getting loose) I love warm apple cider with cinnamon donuts! Oh and don't worry about calling everybody to let them know its ready, their noses will tell them.
  12. Gingerbread House: I love making this, its great to pick at all day long, and I love using a decorator tip. I have come to making extra gingerbread because bites taken out of the walls are not great for holding up a roof.
  13. Popcorn and Cranberry chains: I like the old fashioned look because not only does it look quaint, but the birds love them after the new year! Kids can help if they are a little older and can handle a needle and thread. Though this can take a long time and sometimes requires patience.
  14. Cookie Party!: Have a cookie party! The adults can bring different cookies for everybody to get home and set up a decorating spot with the kids. Pre-cooked sugar or gingerbread cookies for the kids, some colored icing in tubes, some sprinkles and other decorations and let the kids go to town!
Well there you are some tips to keep your holiday as fresh and festive as it can be! Traditions that are simple are so important because no whether you are going through hard times or good times you and your family can keep those traditions alive for years and even generations to come!
Happy Holidays!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Snuggle blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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