Have Blissful Holiday Season

Have Blissful Holiday Season

Happy December...

The days are short, the nights are cold, and the air still.  We gather round the hearth, we cook hearty meals with the seasons harvest, we light candles, and we settle down for a season of reflection and rest.  However you celebrate the season, there’s an underlying magic to the month of December, just waiting to be tapped into.

The holidays are centered around the family life, the home.  Though not unique to the holiday season, this time of year provides a special opportunity to consciously engage with our homes and transform the energy within them. If we take this energy into our everyday lives, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Joshes’ Go-to Holiday Decorating Pointers

No matter one’s age, we all know that magical feeling when you step into a beautifully decorated holiday interior.  When we decorate our homes for the holidays, we literally create magic! Holiday decorating is a chance to have fun, to tap into your creativity and imagination, to let your inner child come out to play.  Follow the guidance below for a truly elegant look that’s simple to create.

Bring the Outdoors In: Think Beyond the Tree
Ask yourself, “what can I use that represents and honors Mother Earth”, and she will guide the way.  If you live in the country, go for a forest walk and gather what catches your eye, or if that’s not an option, see what you can find at your local market or florist.  Pine, fir, cedar, eucalyptus, juniper, red dogwood, and winterberry branches all make for lovely materials that can be styled in so many ways.  Simply arrange your branches in baskets or vases, make wreathes and garland, or incorporate them into your holiday table setting.

Incorporate Antiques and Reimagine Everyday Items
One of the simplest ways to decorate is to use what you already have!  Yup – you don’t need a ton of seasonal décor that stays packed away for most of the year.  Take a vintage ironstone bowl or platter, for example.  Filling it with seasonal fruit like pomegranate, mandarin, and pear adds an organic sculptural quality.  Or throw in pinecones and make it a potpourri by incorporating cinnamon sticks, dried orange & cranberry, star anise, and rosemary sprigs.  And lastly, simply fill the bowl with glass globe ornaments. Easy, elegant, and so many options to play with!

Don’t Forget to Engage ALL the Senses
While decorating tends to focus the most on sight, remember to engage all the other senses for a well-rounded experience.  Incorporate seasonal scents with candles, simmer pots, and diffusers… place small dishes of candy or nuts around the house for nibbling… play your favorite holiday music softly in the background… and be sure to have plenty of throws and blankets around for cozying up!

Tips for Minimizing Stress

It seems like the list of to-do’s gets a little longer during this time of year, making it easy to get overwhelmed with all the seasonal festivities.  Instead of saying “I have to” reframe your thoughts to “I get to” and you’ll find this one simple trick can completely change your outlook.

For the Holiday Host or Hostess
When it comes to entertaining, keep it simple so you can enjoy yourself and your guests.  Set yourself up for success by planning your menu and buying ingredients early so you’re ready to go when the day comes.  Or make it a potluck and encourage your guests to bring a dish, alleviating some of the pressure off of yourself.  On the day of, set everything out so guests can help themselves and even further – set up a bar cart for self-serve beverages.

Practice Presence
The holidays provide us with the challenge of practicing mindfulness during hectic times.  When we stay present and focus on the now, we’re able to fully embrace the magic of the moment at hand.  Make a point to celebrate the little things – like the snow falling, the sound of a fire crackling, or a warm cup of tea in your hand.  This simple act does wonders for alleviating stress, making you better equipped to get through the season with ease.

Make Time for You
It’s important we don’t sacrifice our peace during the hustle and bustle of the season.  Remember, it’s okay to say no.  Don’t over schedule yourself, be realistic, and stay on track with your mindfulness and wellness practices.

Mr. Smith’s Sweet Potato Casserole

This cherished recipe is a tradition that goes back generations and has graced the table of the Smith family for decades.

3 cups boiled mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
Tablespoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs – mix together

1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup butter
½ cup self-rising flour
½ cup nuts
Sprinkle on salt & pepper

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cheers to a blissful holiday season!