Thursday, December 03, 2009

Decorating for the Holidays

Holly Kissing Ball, at Williams-Sonoma


- Need to launder your slippers or fuzzy socks? With the colder nights, I've been wearing either my pink slippers or my two pairs of black plush slipper socks for several days now. Both pairs are in dire need of visiting the laundry.

- Do you use an Advent calendar with your children? Either the paper or wooden kind? Any supplies you need to get for your Advent calendar to be ready? Coins, stickers, chocolates?

- Know where your snow shovel is? Can you get it out when you need it, in case it snows in your area this month? Do you need to buy rock salt? Do you have an ice scraper in your car for your windshield and windows?

- How is your family newsletter coming along, if any? Holiday card writing and mailing going along schedule?

- Made a plan for your family's charity contributions and/or activities this season?

What I'm burning in my living room this week: L'Occitane Winter Forest candle

TODAY'S PROJECT: Decorating for the Holidays

Today I am removing the last vestiges of my fall and Thanksgiving decor (purple, green, orange and gold) from my home. I am swapping in my holiday candles, red tablecloths, red beaded coasters, Christmas kitchen towels, and a red vase or two. In my family room and living room, I'm swapping out brown plush throws and pillows for red throws, white throws, and crimson pillows.

I've hung our four stockings by the fire (one for each of my kids and one for each of their girlfriends).

This week I burned up the last of my orange and pumpkin-scented candles (except for one huge orange one that I'll put away until next fall, unless I need it in a power outage between now and then). Today I'll spend about fifteen minutes cleaning out candleholders and cleaning wax off my downstairs brick mantel.

I don't put a lot of kitschy Christmas stuff out around to clutter up the house (It's already cluttered enough with books and magazines!). I wouldn't have a plush Santa or an elf sitting on the mantel, I refuse to get hooked on collectible Christmas villages, and I won't have a wooden or plastic reindeer standing by the front door. I do use some garlands for the mantels (real, not artificial).

But I use holiday colors when I set my table, decorate my couches, set out coasters for drinks to rest on, arrange candles, and choose houseplants and fresh flowers. Our bathrooms now have Target's "Method Home" berry handwashes, instead of this fall's lemon verbena.

Tonight I'll go shopping for a wreath made of fresh evergreens and put it on my front door. I'll also start putting up Christmas lights in each window of the house - even the kitchen ones that you can't see from the street. They're there just for our own enjoyment.

LOVELY BLOGS: New England Through Yummy Mommy's Eyes

I don't often showcase Mommy blogs just because there are so many good ones out there, it just seems redundant. You all likely have your own friends' mommy blogs to keep up with, and sometimes it doesn't seem to make sense to spend the time to pry into a stranger's life on her mommy blog. I'd rather snoop around on my own real-life friends' blogs, if they would only update them more often (cough).

What drew me to this blog is her thoughts on living simply, which intertwine here and there in all her posts. I liked reading her viewpoint on the ways she chooses to live a simple life - and it made me smile when she admitted sometimes you just have to buy a cute outfit for your daughter or do the very occasional run to Starbucks for a latte.

I adore her candy-free Advent calendar idea. Instead of candy, she puts a slip of paper behind each window, promising treats such as watching a Christmas movie, making a Christmas ornament, or having a "nail salon party" with Mom.

Other interesting recent posts include 12 Christmas Experience Gift Ideas, 12 New England Autumn Activities, and 50 Kids Birthday Party Ideas.

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