The end of October when the weather gets chilly and we all begin making plans and thinking about Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s signals the time to make our homes festive to help get us in the holiday mood. Since our kitchens vary from “railroad” style to grand with every size in between, I’ll give you some basic concepts below to adapt to your own personal lifestyle and inclinations. If you use some of these tips and they help you to feel in the holiday mood, I’ll be a happy decorator! I wish you all peace, health, fun, and good things.
Let’s get started.
First, I’d like you to think about the 5 senses and try to do some decorating to satisfy each one. For example: SMELL: fragrant candles, wreaths, spices in an open jar, a collection of pine cones you can spray with a can of any scent or even perfume, or freshly baked pies and cookies if that’s your pleasure.
SIGHT: New table runners, cloth napkins, napkin rings, or placemats are always cheery for decorating a holiday style table. Even if an entire new set of dishes isn’t feasible, any or all of the above items provide a fresh new ‘look’. Large plates/ chargers, are effective beneath your existing dinner plates too. A small grouping of holly with a bell combined with pretty ribbons and other decorations can easily be located at craft stores and look fun and interesting off to the side of a place setting. Are your chair seats looking tired? Perhaps some pretty new cushions would do the trick.
HEARING: Holiday music in the background of your kitchen and eating area is a great way to help get us in the mood. You can even play a piece called ‘In the Mood’ which is a Glenn Miller Band recording from the 1940′s! Jazz, classical, holiday songs religious in nature or not are all delightful to contribute to the ambience.
TASTE: My personal favorite since I love to bake! Nothing smells as great as apples, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cookies, logs, and on and on and on. If you haven’t yet experimented with baking, I recommend it highly as a great activity with kids of all ages; it brings families and friends together for happy, memorable times. Sipping wine, cordials (for the big kids of course) or hot mulled cider with cinnamon sticks while cooking and baking: recipes are endless according to your level of accomplishments. It’s a satisfying, creative way to enjoy yourself. People appreciate the effort; it doesn’t need to be perfect. Enjoy!
TOUCH: How about a cozy area rug that feels great underfoot? It could be a runner perhaps, or just in front of your main workplace which in most kitchens is in front of the sink.
A good resource for purchasing reasonably priced holiday accessories is Pier One Imports, or Home Goods. I suggest you decorate your kitchen for the holidays and REMOVE the festive stuff afterwards. If you save it carefully for next year you’ll be creating a tradition. If you create a menu of special foods and baked goods enjoyed just for these months your family and friends will come to associate these treats with holidays shared with you - in your own unique style. And that’s an accomplishment to be proud of!