Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Ambiance

I typically love the holiday season. Family gatherings, listening to the laughter of family, simply enjoying one another to celebrate the holiday. Yes, we should get together through out the year but the holidays are special to me. I have special memories from my childhood and want to create special memories for my children and in the future grandchildren as well. Holiday ambiance is very important to me. It is one of the key ingredients to Holiday Spirit. I am a strong believer that you have to be touched by every single one of the five senses (Yes, I am talking about the five senses here: sight, taste, smell, touch, and hearing.) to create the correct ambiance. (Trust me, this is what I require for my house, I do not expect it at someone else’s house but I think it is as Martha Stewart would say “It’s a good thing.” Here are my tips to activate the five senses. Once again, if you have any other suggestions or tips, please feel free to comment.

This is a simple one. Decorations! Decorate your house with some sort of holiday decoration. If you like it simple, then keep it simple. It’s your tradition. I love to go all out when it comes to decorating. It takes hours to decorate and hours to take down (not my favorite part). I keep adding every year. The year prior to meeting Todd I bought a new Christmas tree, lights included. I only put this tree up one year because the following year I was with Todd and we used his. This year my plan is to put this tree up in addition to our main tree, both living rooms will have trees this year. Remember, I said I like to go all out.

Another simple one, baked goodies! Regardless if you bake them yourself or store bought goodies are another “It’s a good thing.” Where I work we have a cookie exchange. We bake 3 dozen cookies and bring them to work to exchange with those who are participating. Your traditional dinner you may have is another good way to incorporate taste. Christmas Eve in our house is always chili, oyster stew, and sandwiches. We try to satisfy everyone’s taste. Christmas dinner is a full dinner.

Smell can be activated by several methods, warming cookies, cooking the dinner, warming apple cider. I love candles so it is a guarantee to have cinnamon scented candles lit in our house. I also love Scensy warmers as well and have a cinnamon scent going in them too. If you are not into burning or the warmers, you could always put a saucepan on the stove filled half full with hot water. Add some cloves, cinnamon sticks, and/or orange peels and let it simmer. You may need to add water occasionally.

If you have a fire, a fire going will create warmth that everyone can feel. Make sure you have soft throw pillows out as well for seating.

Add children to the mix and you have a very enjoyable sound, laughter. I do not think there is anything better sounding in the world then to listen to children laughing. A classical holiday movie could be playing on the television. My favorite is “A Christmas Story”, thank goodness on Christmas Eve TBS plays this movie back to back. I just love that one! (Humor once again) Christmas music is another simple way to accomplish hearing.

Enjoy creating your own holiday ambiance. Do you have any holiday traditions that are satisfying to any of your senses?

1 comment:

  1. We used to always have oyster stew for Xmas Eve hate it so we started skipping it several years ago.

    The thing about traditions is that they get tweaked every so often. Now with grandbabies - we do our "meal" on Xmas Eve (usually a beef tenderloin roast with all the fixings) because that is the day that the children all come over and then just noshy/snacky things on Christmas. Works for us because Christmas morning is all about a big breakfast and playing with whatever we received from Santa.


    My favorite thing during the holidays though is taking a day with nothing to do...making a big mug of hot chocolate and playing soft Christmas music and sipping my hot chocolate with only the Christmas tree lights on. It's just a little moment of peace amidst what is usually a good bit of chaos the rest of the month.


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