1. Plan Ahead
You can't do everything so make a realistic plan. Remember, it's about enjoying the holidays, not doing a complete home remodel.
2. Don't Stop at the Entry
Take the holiday decor throughout the entire home. Simple small touches in other rooms make a huge difference to the way the entire house feels. Poinsettias and a nice mantle go far.
3. Dim the Lights
It's a really simple trick and it makes a huge difference: buy plug-in dimmers for all your lamps. This easy-to-install and inexpensive item sold at most hardware stores brings instant ambiance. Add pretty twinkly lights around the house to make it feel holiday-like.
4. Cookies Are Essential
The holidays are all about treats. Even if you can't bake, slice up pre-made cookie dough and stick it in the oven. The smell of cookies baking puts everybody in a good mood. Need recipes? Southern Kitchen has recipes we love here.
5. Get Wrapping
Re-use interesting papers, bags, magazines and newspapers for gift-wrap. It's essentially free and eco-friendly. Add a unique ribbon, topper or accent. If you want to be more creative, draw a pattern on the paper with markers, pens or glitter. If you don't want to deal with wrapping, remember that most stores will do it for a small cost.
6. Decor Doesn't Have To Be Expensive
Ornaments from a discount store can look elegant and festive when grouped together. Try various sizes of clear or colored glass containers filled with similar colored glass ornaments on the mantel.
7. Less Is More
Don't overwhelm your home with too much decor. You don't want it competing for attention and distract from your beautiful and special pieces. Add festive flowers instead of a million lights and decorations.
It's about quality, not quanitity.
8. Involve the Entire Family
Don't go it alone. Let the event be about making memories. The more family members you involve, the better. Let the kids decorate their rooms, and don't be afraid to ask for help.
9. Plan For Unexpected Guests
If you have a lot of people coming in an out for the holidays, fill a large bowl or decorative box with simple, inexpensive, individually wrapped gifts. Stick to a dollar amount limit for each gift and go to town.
10. Breathe and Have Fun
Let go of the stress and remind yourself that this is the time of year to rejoice among people you love. Count your blessings and enjoy the moments.