How to Make Loved Ones Feel Welcome this Holiday Season
The holidays will be upon us before we know it and many of us will be hosting family and friends in our homes-- some for the first time in a while! With that in mind, it’s normal to want this holiday season to be extra-special. If you’re looking for ways to let the people you love the most know how much they’re loved, here’s a few easy ways. Making your home feel especially cozy and welcoming can be a simple task. Read on for ways to help make the winter holidays memorable this year.
Scents of the Season
Scent is the sense most strongly tied to memory. A home full of sweet, seasonal fragrances can help guests feel right at home, even if they’re far from where they live.
A simmer pot is a great way to spread natural fragrance through your whole home. A simmer pot can be as easy as setting up a crock pot in an out-of-the-way spot, filling it with water, orange and apple slices, cinnamon sticks and cloves. This can also be done in a pot on the stove-- bring the ingredients to a boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat down to low and let it go all day long. Make sure to check on the pot and add more water if it starts to get low!
Candles are another great way to make your house welcoming. They pack a punch of fragrance, and the soft light can make a family dinner or party with friends feel more intimate. Seasonal favorites like cranberry, apples and cinnamon, and pine can enhance the holiday mood and bring the outdoors inside. Scents like Artemis’ own Evening in Paris or Santorini Sunset offer rich, warm scents that are perfect for setting a festive vibe.
Don’t forget about the bathroom. It’s a great place to add a candle like the New Moon Recharge Crystal Candle with refreshing notes of lemon, peach, musk and leather.
Sights of the Season
Visually, a well-lit space is inviting, but lighting that’s too strong can overpower and sometimes lead to headaches. One of the tenets of hygge, the Swedish philosophy of comfort and happiness, is suitable lighting. Candlelight is the most popular option, but too many scented candles run the risk of clashing; try supplementing your favorite fragranced candles with LED candles, which will give the same comforting light without adding extra scent (or upping the risk of a fire!)
If you have a large space, or are running low on surfaces to pack with LED candles, another popular option is curtain lighting. These come in a variety of colors, but warm white will make your home feel cozy. Look for curtain lights with different settings-- we love a twinkle pattern that mimics candlelight!
Sounds of the Holidays
Any party will have a lull in conversation, usually when the meal is first served. Having some background music to fill the silence as everyone digs in will certainly be a welcomed touch. Seasonal ambience is always a great place to start. Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, or winter in general, there are countless YouTube videos to put on as peaceful background music during a meal.
It’s also time for holiday music! Artists are starting to put out their holiday albums, and it’s a great time to find a new favorite. Jazz-pop darling Norah Jones’ album I Dream of Christmas promises to hold some new classics. Grammy-winning group Pentatonix are back with Evergreen, their fifth Christmas album. For a country spin on the holidays, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood both have new holiday albums out this year-- When Christmas Comes Around and My Gift (Deluxe Edition), respectively. Whatever your taste in music, look for new albums coming out soon-- these are only a few of the releases to keep an eye out for!
Tastes of Festive Times
What would the holidays be without good food? Making your guests feel welcome might mean a home-cooked dinner, a potluck with a wide variety of favorites, or a cookie decorating party with lots of hot drinks to enjoy.
Before anyone even arrives for a get-together, make sure you check in with guests about dietary restrictions. With a wide variety of allergies and diet plans out there today, making sure that everyone has something to eat is vital this holiday season. Look into vegan spins on holiday classics, and try this gluten- and dairy-free stuffing for guests with allergies.
When guests start arriving, they want to be welcomed with style! A crock pot full of hot chocolate or mulled cider will help guests warm up after coming in from the cold. Plates of appetizers are great for starting the festivities while the main course cooks, but many of us are being conscious of the current health situation; serving up appetizers that can be picked up individually might make guests feel a little safer.
Get in Touch with Conversation Starter Games
Nobody likes to see a party grind to a halt. To keep your guests entertained (and from spending all evening on their phones) have a few ideas on hand to keep the conversation rolling! Conversation starters are a great way to keep people talking, and having a party game on hand can pick the mood up if it starts to drop. We’re a big fan of Mixtape, which presents entertaining scenarios that you and your guests get to create a soundtrack to! Look for games that focus more on conversation than competition, and don’t worry if the game stops when people naturally begin to converse-- that just means your guests are getting along great!
Creating a cozy atmosphere that welcomes everyone into your home doesn’t have to be complicated. Make sure to address all the senses and before you know it you can turn your home into a warm, inviting wonderland!