The holiday season isn't about gifts or the perfect decor: it's about that wonderful feeling when you're surrounded by twinkle lights, delicious smells, and the sounds of jingle bells and laughter. Whether you'll be entertaining a crowd or just a few close friends, here are some easy ways to create that holiday ambiance in your home this year.
One: A simmer pot. So long as you can boil water, you can make your home smell like the holidays! To a medium-sized pot, add water, sliced oranges or lemon, whole spices like cloves and cinnamon sticks, slices of ginger, a small piece of pine (maybe snuck from the back of the Christmas tree), and/or a few cranberries. Put the pot on a back burner on low and let it simmer and perfume your home with the smells of the season.
Two: Twinkle lights. I don't care what you celebrate or if you don't celebrate anything at all. Twinkle lights are always a good idea. They give you that warm glow of a candle without the fire hazard (hello, pets and kids!). To keep it elegant, stick with white lights woven into a garland or small fairy lights intertwined in a table centerpiece.
Three: Lots of layers. Let guests know they should make themselves at home by layering in extra pillows and blankets on the sofa. It creates a cozy spot for folks to curl up and enjoy some conversation and a few bites of something delicious.
Four: Yummy nibbles. Speaking of something delicious, be sure to offer up some unpretentious but delicious things to eat. I make this easy cake every single year for Christmas dessert, and I can't recommend it enough! For a savory option, I like to make warm, marinated olives. Just simmer whatever olives you like in a pan with olive oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and lemon peel for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with bread and cheese--so good!
Five: A festive beverage. You can't serve up snacks without something to sip! There's nothing wrong with a bottle of wine or Prosecco, but if you want to be a little extra, try mulled wine. Here's an easy recipe, but feel free to experiment with your add-ins. I set mine up in my Instant Pot on the slow-cooker setting to stay warm and keep my stove top free for other things.
This post is part of my Holiday Entertaining Series. Stay tuned for more decorating tips, hosting ideas, and maybe a recipe or two!
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