by AINSLEY LAWRENCE
The holidays are finally here! Just because many Southern states don’t exactly experience a winter wonderland, we know how to do things right when it comes to decorating.
The holiday season in the South is a big deal – even without snow. It’s a time for celebrating with family and friends, and it’s not uncommon to have several large gatherings over the season. That’s especially true this year if you couldn’t get together with family last season due to the pandemic.
If you’re hosting your family this year, having a beautifully-decorated home will make everyone feel welcome and put them in the right spirit.
So, how can you deck the halls at home and prepare for some fun holiday festivities?
Make It Cozy And Comfortable
While the temperature might not dip into single digits, everyone wants to feel warm and comfortable during the holiday season. There are still plenty of ways you can accomplish that, even if the weather outside isn’t so frightful.
A few simple ideas that can add a touch of warmth to any space include:
- Festive throw blankets and pillows
- A blanket ladder for decoration
- Using warm lighting
- Layering area rugs
If you have a fireplace, use this time of year to accentuate it. Decorate the mantle with stockings and garland, and don’t be afraid to start a roaring fire on cooler days or at night when the temperature drops. It can still get a little chilly at times, and utilizing a fireplace is a great way to keep your home warm without relying on electricity that can raise your energy bills. You can also try things like a programmable/smart thermostat or electric blankets to keep yourself and your guests cozy and warm.
When you have relatives staying with you over the holidays, take a little extra time to decorate the guest bedroom with holiday sheets, greenery, and other festive items that will make them comfortable and put them in the Christmas mood.
Create The Ideal Gathering Place
When you’re hosting gatherings for family and friends, you might want to consider switching up a few things around the house. First, it’s important to have enough space. If your home doesn’t have an open floor plan, you can make each room seem bigger by rearranging some furniture, utilizing different types of lighting, and making sure everything is clutter-free.
You can also use the warm Southern weather to your benefit. You don’t have to have a huge home to host a lot of guests. If the weather cooperates, consider hosting your gathering outside.
Or, at the very least, open it up so people can mingle indoors and outdoors. This will give everyone more space to move around freely and have more conversations. You can decorate your outdoor area with festive lights, trees, and even set up a few games like horseshoes or cornhole. Creating some fun holiday-themed outdoor games could also be a big hit, especially if there are kids at your gathering!
Go Easy On Yourself
The holiday season is meant to be fun and special. While it can also be stressful at times, don’t overdo it by putting extra pressure on yourself. The most important thing is gathering together with people you love. Decorating your home is just the icing on the cake. If you really want to make your home festive, there are a few tips to keep in mind that can make it easier for you.
First, start early. Yes, you have permission to be one of “those people” who put up their decorations in November. Doing so will allow you to do it a little bit at a time. You can set things up exactly how you want them without having to rush through your boxes of decor.
Additionally, make decorating fun for yourself. It shouldn’t be a chore, or you’re going to dread doing it every year. Try some simple ideas to turn decorating for the holidays into an experience, including:
- Making yourself a cup of hot cocoa or cider
- Turning on some Christmas music
- Watching a holiday movie while you put things up
- Getting the family involved by giving everyone a special job
Decorating your Southern home for the holidays is a great way to get yourself into the spirit, especially after such a long year. So, one final step when it comes to your self-care is to appreciate everything you set up.
Once you’re done decorating, stop and look around. Enjoy sitting on the couch in the evening with the lights on, or cuddling up with Christmas bedding. There is a calming effect that holiday decorations tend to have, and after all of your hard work, you deserve to enjoy it.
So, whether your gatherings are big or small this season, focus on comfort, warmth, and joy for everyone who enters your home. With that, take the time to enjoy the decorating experience this year, and the happiness it will bring to the people you love.