3 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Home for the Holidays

The holiday season is in full swing and I’m excited!

I was in one of the home decorating groups on Facebook recently and I saw a comment that a woman made on another lady’s Christmas decorations. The commenter was bummed and she said, “I’m not doing anything this year because I don’t have the money. Me and my house will be sad this year, but oh well.”

Her comment made ME sad!

I wanted to reach through the screen and say, “Don’t give up so easily! There is much you can do for your home to make it feel warm and cozy and someplace you want to be!”

So I put together this short list of  3 ways you can instantly improve your home for the holidays:

  1. Turn on some tunes!
    Music is transformative. It has the power to encourage, empower, brighten and lighten you and the mood of your home! Whether it’s Christmas music in your favorite style or by a favorite artist or music from your high school or college days or even a favorite movie soundtrack, don’t underestimate the power of some good tunes to change the mood in your home for the better. And best of all, even if you went to buy music from a music store, vs a download, it’s very affordable, definitely a good bang for the buck.

    close up photo of a woman listening to music

    Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

  2. Put on your favorite scent!
    Burning candles or incense is another way to instantly transform your home. When you or your guests walk into your home and it smells amazing, it’s an instant atmosphere shifter and mood lifter! Even the smallest, darkest space is brightened by a burning candle, there’s just something about it that says, comfort. Most of us have candles tucked away that we have forgotten about or just don’t use, I encourage you to pull them out and burn them often to lift the spirits of your home.

    burning candlelight candles container

    Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

  3. Smile!
    This may seem obvious or even simplistic but it’s probably the most important. Our smiles tell ourselves and others that we’re optimistic about the future, grateful for the present and happy to be here! What it doesn’t say is, everything is perfect, we have zero problems and thousands in the bank, etc.. Those things don’t have to be true to wear a smile on our faces. However humble our homes may be, however humble our Christmas may be, we can still live in gratitude and that will always change our attitude.
    A smile says, welcome! It also says, I’m choosing to focus on all that I have vs what I’m lacking this season. Trust me when I say that a friend would rather share a bowl of ramen noodle soup with you in a cheerful, welcoming home than an fine meal in a highly decorated, squeeky clean mansion where they feel unwelcome or unwanted.
    Your smile can transform your home.. and you!

    pasta dish

    Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

So remember, it doesn’t take a lot of money or much effort to create a home that is cheery and inviting. We have got to resist the notion that is pushed on us from society that we need the latest and greatest things to have a nice home or a nice holiday. We don’t.

We are the makers and shapers of our homes. We set the pace and the priority.
We determine whether or not we have a good holiday. The choice is always ours!

 

Blessings on you and your home,

Catrina

Intentional Christmas

in·ten·tion·al

inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/
adjective
          done on purpose; deliberate. Conscious, premeditated, preplanned.

Christmas living room ©CatrinaAtHome

If you’re like me, the Christmas season is a time you look forward to all year long! I mean, what’s not to love? Most people are in a better mood, everything is made prettier with lights and greenery… and most importantly, cookies.  Priorities, people. We rightly want to squeeze every little moment out of December that we can.
If you’re also like me, some years you wake up on December 26th a little bummed out that “it’s” over and you didn’t do all that you wanted to and you know it’s going to be 11 months before you can start celebrating again. (sniff, sniff) Stuff happens and life just gets in the way, sometimes.
The idea of an Intentional Christmas is simply this:
Decide in advance what you want the Christmas season to look like for you (and your family). 
Do you want a relaxed/laid back Christmas season or one packed with fun and adventure?
What will work best for you and your family?
What are the top five things (in order of importance) that you want to do or experience during the Christmas season?
What new traditions do you want to start for your family?
Here are a few things you might want to add to your list of intentions:
1. Have a Christmas movies ‘n’ jammies night (once or as often as you want).
2. Go see Christmas lights together.
 Outdoor christmas lights 1
3. Read the Christmas Story in Luke, together.
4. Make cookies and/or treats together.
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5. Do an Advent calendar.
6. Have mandatory rest nights, 1-2 nights a week.
7. Decorate a gingerbread house together to eat Christmas morning.
8. Attend a Christmas Eve service at a nearby church.
9. Make simple Christmas cards and send them to family and close friends.
Christmas cards ©CatrinaAtHome
10. Have one night where you eat snacks and make paper snowflakes and paper chain decorations as a family.
11. Go ice skating!
12. Get all Christmas shopping done before December 20th.
13. Decorate the Christmas tree together.
14. Sleep in and watch cartoons on Saturday morning.
15. Make a homemade Nativity.
Christmas Nativity ©CatrinaAtHome
Most of us don’t have trouble thinking of new things to do in the Christmas season but saying NO can be a little difficult. Sometimes it’s those last minute invites that cause the most stress, am I right? They don’t mean to, of course, but figuring out what you’re going to wear, finding a babysitter, picking up a hostess gift etc. etc… can stress a girl out!  The good thing is, if you have written intentions for your season ahead of time, you can just say- thanks for the invite but our family has plans to relax/make dinner together/watch It’s a Wonderful Life that night. (whew!)
Four Tips:
  • Try working on your Christmas Season Intentions together as a family and post it on your refrigerator when you’re finished.
  • Pull out the school calendar and the family calendar and decide what you’re going to add in and what you’re going to skip this season.
  • Don’t forget to plan one or two rest nights a week to help everyone rest, recover and bond.
  • If you have the energy for it, add in a Surprise Night where you do something unexpected and fun with the family. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun.
Most of all, I encourage you to be gracious to yourself and your family during this season. Sometimes stuff happens that is beyond your control. The ability to roll with those punches will help lower your stress and have a more peaceful season.
So tell me, what are a few of your Christmas intentions for this season? I would love to read about them in the comments.
And please, have a very merry intentional Christmas season!
-Catrina
Setting intentions for an awesome Christmas. CatrinaAtHome.com