Effortless Living: Organizing The House For Christmas
Welcome back to the blog!
Have an imaginary Christmas cookie and a slice of wine cake! If you're an overachiever in all other aspects of your life...you'll appreciate the current tactic that I'm utilizing to get the house ready for Christmas. I call my 2020 Christmas Christmas decorating activities..."Stress Free Christmas". Yours truly literally does one or two things every week till the holiday in order to get the house ready. It's not an overwhelming activity...and the process subtly hints the elements of Christmas without being too much.
The simple Christmas touches that you can incorporate into your holiday include:
1) Subtly incorporating Christmas themes into your decor. During last week's mission to create the family gift basket, I found myself in a situation where I have a wrapping paper overflow. The abundance of wrapping paper inspired me to decorate with it in as many ways as I can. As a start, I started decorating the soap dispensers in my immediate environment.
As the official rum bottle collector...in the initial stages of this quarantine exercise, I took the time to actually create a soap dispenser from a rum bottle. The shape of the bottle is what inspires me to utilize it for a particular purpose. The bottle of Angostura rum...just looked like the ideal bottle for a soap dispenser. For the current season, I've gone ahead and wrapped the bottle with my overflow wrapping paper. Utilizing a uniform baseline creates a nice consistent theme across the house. On my bathroom shelf, I usually pair the dispenser with a floral arrangement. It's a nice subtle touch...and when I am getting ready or unwinding at night...I'm able to feel as if Christmas is approaching. Of course...as the holiday ends, I can simply take the label off...and return the bottle to its original function. This one subtle change...took me all of ten minutes to cut the paper...and then glue it onto the bottle.
If you have smaller soap dispensers in your home, you can apply the wrapping paper to them as well. It creates a really nice seasonal touch. It doesn't have to be perfect, just neat enough to give a nice effect. The wrapping paper I chose this year...has a nice...semi rustic effect. For your theme, just utilize the wrapping paper that works with your theme. If you're going for a more glamourous look...find a wrapping paper that has either pops of silver or gold in it.
DIY COFFEE TABLE BOOK
Wrapping hard cover books with your Christmas paper, is a great way to create a decorative coffee table book. With poinsettias in season, you can take the time to accent the table with a plant and the book. Create layers and a focal point of interest by adding other elements to the book. In the image above, I found that I was able to place a nice floral arrangement on my book, and the book became a beautiful stand that the vase can stand on. Very elegant and chic.
HAVE A COOKIE!!!
One of the things that I love to do...is create pastry arrangements. These take me all of fifteen minutes to do once I have the ingredients and the vision. For the Christmas day itself, we do actually cook and bake, but for the interim between the start of the season and the time leading up to the New Year...the bakery works just fine for me.
Over the past few months I've been testing different bakery pastries and find that the one pound wine slice...actually tastes like Christmas cake. If you're on my Instagram feed...you'll know that it's a staple for my weekly tea time sessions. For a quick platter if guests pass by before or after Christmas...and you haven't quite baked yet...creating a cookie and cake platter is an excellent idea that you can you put together. Your guests will appreciate the thought...and you'll appreciate the fact that it was effortless. The primary reason that people don't like to host is the time that certain activities take. If you can make your life easier by putting together platter with baked goods from the bakery, you'll feel less stressed, and enjoy the process and the company more.
This year...I discovered mint chocolate cookies (the spiraled cookies). They come individually wrapped in the silver foil, so you can actually utilize them in a multitude of ways. If you want to serve them immediately, unwrap them and place them on the platter. If you want to give them to your guests as a take away token, you can actually just leave the cookies on the platter and they can take them as they go. Pairing more exotic cookies like the chocolate mint cookies, with butter Christmas cookies, adds a nice festive element to either your bar or your Christmas table.
For a balanced level of indulgence...I've found that sweet yogurt actually works just as well as icing if you don't want the overwhelming sweet that comes with icing sugar. For my display, I took some sweet Greek yogurt, chilled it, and placed it into a ziplock bag. I cut a small hole in one corner of the ziplock bag, and piped the yogurt onto the slices of cake, and a few alternate cookies. The yogurt actually elevates the look of the platter, by adding visual interest, and makes it look really high end.
For your Christmas tablescapes, you can be creative. With the excess wrapping paper and some scrap wood that we had from previous construction, I was actually able to wrap the wood, and create a tray for the display. If you don't have much time, just wrap the wood, and place the items on top of the wood. You can always take it off afterwards. The DIY tray makes a great centerpiece with the right accents.
If you're feeling extra...or have a little time while you're watching a Christmas movie...you can actually decoupage the wood with the wrapping paper. Watch the movie...and glue. This is the only time in life...(apart from when you're doing things like braiding your hair) that I encourage you to multitask. After a half an hour or so...you will have finished your tray...and it will be drying...and in the meantime you can finish the movie and feel accomplished yet relaxed. On the following morning...if you have extra decorative door handles...you can then either screw them onto the tray and give it handles...or just glue them on with a strong epoxy like E 6000.
Regardless of whether you go the moderate route...or the extra route...it all actually turns out quite appealing.
With that...I'll catch you on the next blog article. Enjoy some Christmas music from N Sync "It's Christmas". This album was integral to my millennial childhood.
I love you for reading!!
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