I haven't had a guest post on here for a while, so when Aimee at DIY Darlin contacted me about writing a piece for my readers, I readily accepted. One of my favorite parts about blogging is the huge variety of articles you can read and enjoy. Here, Aimee gives us some advice about decorating safely for the holidays, and how to throw a fun (stress-free) party. Enjoy!
Photo via Pixabay by Visor69
Decorating your home and throwing parties for the holidays is a given, but coming up with different ideas every year might not be as easy. Here are some simple but elegant ideas to try, along with some tips for a safe holiday season.
Emphasis on Safety
Getting a tree might be your first step as you decorate this year. Live trees should be very green when you purchase them and be kept hydrated. Check water levels every other day to limit flammability. Check to see that an artificial tree is labeled “fire resistant” before buying.
Recycle wrapping paper instead of burning it in the fireplace. Paper catches fire so fast that it can cause a flash fire and ruin your holidays.
Use teamwork when hanging lights or decorations above your reach. Find a secure ladder and have someone spot you or hold the ladder while you are on it.
Check all your light strands before using them. Make sure there are no frayed wires or damaged parts before plugging them in. Turn off all your holiday lights before you go to bed or leave the house as an added safety precaution.
Keep candles on secure bases and away from flammable objects. Be sure not to leave lit candles unattended.
Check your holiday greenery. Poinsettias are poisonous when ingested and should not be within reach of children and pets.
For more safety tips, check out esfi.org.
Deck the Halls
Start by switching out plain candlesticks for red, green, silver, or gold. This quick switch will instantly up your holiday pizzazz. Lighting can definitely make a difference, so also try using some frosted glass vases with tea lights inside for a warm glow on your mantel or inside your fireplace when not in use.
Hang groups of old fashioned ornaments from the ceiling or from light fixtures with colorful ribbon to create mini holiday chandeliers.
Fill unique, differently-sized glassware with items such as mini marshmallows, holiday candies, or silver bells for cute displays on countertops.
Make a wreath out of pinecones and spray paint it white, silver, or gold to hang on your door or windows. You can also customize a plain pine wreath with a big ribbon bow, ornaments, or any other theme you would like.
Faux Snow can be used in a multitude of ways to bring your winter wonderland to life. Sprinkle it on garland along your mantel, windowsills, or at the base of holiday displays of any kind.
A grouping of special mementos, such as nutcrackers, antique ornaments, or past holiday pictures, can add a personal touch to an end table or spot on the mantel.
Use objects like vintage sleds, ice skates, or buckets outside or on your porch. Stage them with some greenery, pinecones, ribbon bows, and lights to make a simple but beautiful outdoor display.
Planning Your Party
Start by thinking about how you can get most of the main jobs done ahead of time and make a list if needed. Stock up on staples such as crackers, cookies, and soda to have enough readily available when the time comes. Hearty winter soups are perfect for making in bulk ahead of time, and rewarm wonderfully.
Plan one festive cocktail instead of a full bar, like Red Apple Crisp. You can delegate other drink, dessert, or appetizer options to your guests to keep your time in the kitchen minimal.
Turn your dining table into a buffet table to allow guests to serve themselves and leave you more time to mingle. Pull the table away from the wall to make sure all four sides are accessible and avoid long lines in your kitchen or living room.
Arrange for pet care. If you have an overly excited pup who might bother guests it might best to hire a pet sitter to care for them for the evening or a dog walker before the big event, who can help tire your pet out. And be sure any decorations, especially dangerous ones such as poinsettias, are out of “paws” reach.
Don’t forget some holiday music to play in the background. Make a CD or playlist with enough songs that they won’t get overplayed during the night.
Your decor and holiday party can be simple, elegant, and easy with a little bit of planning and creativity. With that taken care of, you’ll have plenty of time to cherish time with family and friends!