AH, the holidays are here. Long sweaters with leggings and boots are everywhere, the Movember beards are in full growth (some more sparse than others), and the smell of cinnamon in the breezeway of every store will hold your nostrils hostage from now until we celebrate the New Year.
Speaking of overpowering scents… avoid too much “scent” when you entertain guests. There’s the smell of food, a fireplace burning somewhere, people all spruced up with various cologne or perfumes, and then the hostess lights candles for ambiance. Lighting candles for ambiance is great! Lighting scented candles for ambiance isn’t. Keep it simple, light decorative unscented candles or use the LED fake flickering candles for ambiance.
Have appetizers and drinks available for your guests and use them as Holiday décor. Food can be colorful and placed on decorative plates. Use contrasting colored serving dishes from the food to make it more presentable. Even though people are at your house to eat a big meal, providing something to drink and munch on while they mingle keeps their hands busy, gives them something to talk about, and in general, helps avoid awkward situations between strangers. Just try to keep the appetizers bite-sized so when someone asks a question, your guests aren’t trying to finish an awkward big bite before being able to respond.
Now, before these guests are even invited to come over, you’ve been busy unearthing your holiday décor, preparing your menu, and figuring out your Holiday presentation. Everyone has their own style. My mother-in-law has multiple Christmas villages she displays. She clears space in her hutches and on her tables and replaces the “normal” items with her holiday decorations. Her villages take days to set up and are a collection of many, many years. There is snow, lights, people, and moving parts, but because she clears room for them, it doesn’t look too cluttered.
My sister-in-law takes down all her regular artwork and replaces each one with Christmas and Santa artwork. Nightlights are replaced with Christmas lights, she has Christmas dishes and silverware, and usually does a simple Christmas tree with 4 stockings hung on the mantle. It’s simple, yet every bit as festive as a house that’s decorated in Christmas from floor to ceiling.
Because they clear away their day-to-day items and replace them with the Christmas décor, it doesn’t get too cluttered and still looks tastefully done. Sometimes less is definitely more.