The Christmas season is almost upon us! That means it’s time to deck the halls, sing some Silent Night, and over-indulge in delicious treats we’ve hidden in our secret stocking stash. But before you get too caught up in the festivities, you need to get your home ready for the Christmas break. After all, you want to create a warm and inviting space for family and friends to enjoy. So, grab your Santa hat and get ready to prep your home for the most wonderful time of the year!
Preparing the Shared Living Spaces
Spruce up the Front Door
Let’s start with the first impression your home makes: the front door. Give it a festive makeover by hanging a wreath or swag adorned with holiday cheer. Whether you prefer traditional evergreen plants, sparkling ornaments or a DIY creation, your front door sets the tone for what’s inside. Consider adding a welcoming mat with a seasonal message. “Ho Ho Home” or “Jingling All the Way” will surely put a smile on your guests’ faces as they arrive.
Decorate the Christmas Tree
Next is the Christmas tree; the centrepiece of your holiday decor. Whether you opt for a real tree that fills your home with the aroma of pine or an everlasting artificial tree, decorating it is a cherished and time-honoured tradition.
Start by stringing lights on the tree to create a sparkling foundation for your Christmas canvas. Then, let your creativity shine as you hang ornaments, garlands, and tinsel. Don’t forget the star or angel for the tree topper; it’s like the icing on the Christmas cake!
If you have kids, involve them in the decorating process. Their homemade ornaments and sweet enthusiasm will make your tree feel even more special.
Prepare the Guest Room
If you’re expecting overnight guests during the Christmas break, preparing a welcoming guest room is essential. Make sure the bedding is fresh and comfortable, and add some holiday-themed touches, like festive pillows or a cosy throw that keeps with the theme.
Remember to stock up on essential items like extra toiletries, towels, and blankets. Your guests will appreciate the thoughtfulness.
Perform a General Declutter of the House
Work first to declutter the central living and high-traffic spots in the house:
- In the kitchen, clear up the countertops, refrigerator, and pantry by removing unnecessary items and tossing expired food.
- Wash out the cabinets and give every plate, cup, and pot a designated space; this will make cleaning up after those late-night holiday celebrations easier!
- Dive into the coat closet by donating any old coats and shoes (the season of giving is here), and in the process, leave plenty of empty hangers for your guests to use.
- Think about going through toys with your children. They’re often more willing to part with things at this time of year when they know more is coming.
Setting up a Christmas Atmosphere
Create a Holiday Playlist
Music sets the mood, so create a holiday playlist loaded with your favourite Christmas tunes. From classic carols to modern pop hits, there’s a vast array of songs to choose from. Let the music filter through your home, bringing joy and festive spirits. You can even have a dance party or sing-along with your loved ones.
Light up the Night
Hang some twinkling string lights along your roofline or trees in the garden. It adds a warm and inviting glow to your home, making it feel like a winter wonderland.
Bake Delicious Treats
The Christmas holidays are synonymous with delicious treats, and what better way to get into the spirit than by baking some goodies? Gingerbread biscuits, shortbread, and fruitcakes are classic choices, but be bold and try something new too. Set aside a day for a baking extravaganza, and invite friends or family to join in the fun. The smell of fresh-baked biscuits will make your home feel even more joyful.
Set Up a Hot Chocolate Station
Hot chocolate and eggnog are winter staples, so why not create a hot drink station for your family and guests? Set out mugs, a variety of hot cocoa mixes, marshmallows, whipped cream, and even some flavoured syrups. Let everyone customise their perfect cup of cocoa — it’s a delightful way to warm up after playing in the snow or a long day of holiday shopping.
Decorate the Dining Table
The dining table is where many cherished holiday meals are shared, so give it some extra attention. Set the table with your finest dishes, glassware, and silverware. Consider adding a festive centrepiece with candles or a beautiful holiday-themed tablecloth and napkins. It can and WILL make your Christmas meals feel even more special.
Preparing Fun Christmas Activities
Stock up on Board Games
What’s a Christmas break without some friendly competition? Stock up on board games, card games, and puzzles to keep everyone entertained. Classic games like Monopoly or Scrabble are always a hit, but you can also find holiday-themed versions to add in that extra festive touch.
Plan a Movie Marathon
Planning a movie marathon is a great way to spend time with loved ones during the Christmas break. Pick your favourite holiday films, make some popcorn, and settle in for a comfy movie night. Whether you love classics like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or have new favourites like “Elf”, there’s a Christmas movie for everyone.
Send Out Invitations
If you plan to host a Christmas Eve dinner, send out invitations well in advance. You can go the traditional route with paper invitations or go for a digital invite via email or social media. Be sure to include all the essential details, like the date, time, location, and any special instructions or requests.
Prepare for Guests
If you’re hosting guests for an extended period, ensure they have everything they need to feel comfortable. Stock up on extra toiletries, towels, and bedding. Create a little welcome basket with snacks, water bottles, and any local information they might find useful. It’s these thoughtful touches that make guests feel at home.
Organise a Gift Exchange
One of the highlights of the Christmas break is exchanging gifts with your loved ones. Organise a gift exchange with friends or family, and set a budget to ensure everyone’s comfortable with the spending level. You can draw names, play Naughty Santa, or simply exchange gifts over a festively delicious meal.
Embrace the Spirit of Giving
While you’re enjoying the holiday season, remember it’s also a time to give back. Consider donating to a local charity, volunteering your free time, or participating in a Christmas toy drive. Giving to others is one of the most heartwarming parts of the Christmas season.
Capture the Memories
Finally, be sure to capture all the beautiful memories you’ll create during the Christmas break! Take photos and videos of your festive decorations, family gatherings, and special moments. These memories will be treasures you can look back on for years to come.
The Christmas break is a time for joy, togetherness, and celebration. With a little preparation and a lot of holiday spirit, you can create a warm and inviting home that will make the season truly magical. So, let the festivities begin, and may your Christmas be filled with love, laughter, and all the tasty treats you can possibly eat!
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