Glow of light in hurricane candle holder with other candles in background in dark room
Easy Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Holiday Spirit

You don’t need to be an interior designer to tastefully fill your home with holiday cheer. A few easy enhancements are all you need to make the spirit of the season come alive in every room. These twelve ideas will have your family feeling merry and bright, all throughout the holidays! 

1. Candles

Nothing says “cozy” like the soft glow of naturally flickering light. Enhance the effect with a gentle scent, such as the soothing smell of evergreens, or a stimulating peppermint aroma. My favorite? Gingerbread spice. When my oven is not filling the house with wafting scents of baked goods, a burning candle is a welcome stand-in. 

2. Music

We all have our favorite albums. For me, hands down, it’s Nat King Cole, The Magic of Christmas. His calming, rich voice fills me with nostalgia and serenity. Of course, when my kids get a hold of the controls, Mariah Carey comes blasting through the speakers… which inevitably leads to a dance party. It’s all good! Play your favorite, close your eyes and revel in the holidays.

3. Decorate Your Front Door

A simple wreath, sized for your door, is not only the traditional way to go, it’s the best way to go. Paired with a nicely lighted entry, guests will delight in anticipation of what they will find inside. 

4. Kitchen Linens

A red and white dish towel hanging from the oven door, one imprinted with a snowy winter’s scene draped over a cabinet handle, or the reindeer oven mit you throw on when baking those cookies all enhance the holiday mood of your kitchen, which is, let’s face it, where you spend the most amount of time anyway. Even drying dishes can feel like less of a chore when an elf is helping you out. 

5. Plates and Servers

Don’t wait for when entertaining guests to take your Santa platter off of the shelf. Lift your family’s spirits any night of the season when you enjoy dinner from festive servingware. 

6. Holiday Mugs

This is where I give permission to get completely cheesy. My general rule is to keep the house decor under control to avoid the impression that Santa threw up in your living room… but let it all hang out with a Rudolf or Frosty mug. Then, fill with steaming hot cocoa and a bunch of marshmallows and smile. If you’re like me, warm spiked apple cider or mulled wine on a chilly evening does the trick. 

7. Nut crackers

A nutcracker standing at attention next to decorative bowlful of walnuts and almonds is a great way to enhance the spirit of your kitchen. Bonus, they’re a healthy snack for your family. 

8. Lighting

Of course, there’s the tree, but don’t stop there. Accent lighting will help set the mood, too. Opt for simple and understated. Begin outside. Solar-powered lights will elegantly light your walkway; no need to go overly kitsch with glowing candy canes. Inside, opportunities abound. Hang LED starbursts for a fun festive touch, or lighted spheres from the windows. Try twinkling branches or fairy lights in a glass jar on the mantle or a side table. Remember, less is more – aim for a soft, wintertime glow.

9. Garlands

Inside or outside, hanging greenery is an easy and economical way to add simple seasonal decor to your home. 

10. Throw pillow and blankets

Throw blankets and tastefully done holiday pillows can get anyone in the holiday mood. When nightfall comes early, and families gather together, there’s nothing like tucking in under a cozy blanket with a bowl of caramel popcorn and hot chocolate to watch your favorite Christmas flick.  

11. Cookie Jars

Is your cookie jar an heirloom that makes you think of Grandma every time you sneak a treat? Or an updated piece that adds flare and sophistication to your space? You can’t go wrong with either, especially when they’re filled with goodies from a cookie exchange. 

12. Create a Kid’s Corner

Get out your holiday story books ready and create a reading nook. Any corner will do! Throw a bunch of comfy pillows and blankets down, hang some lights and garlands, and cozy up with the kids or grandkids for a night of storytelling.

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