Hello friends! I am excited to be joining a team of amazing bloggers for the Simply Seasonal: Holiday Edition Blog Hop this week! All week long, we’ll be sharing what we love most about the season along with our favorite tips for making your home feel festive and cozy this holiday season. Hopefully this will also help take some stress out of the holidays!
I’ve been hard at work the past week or so getting my home decked out for the holidays. I still have some work to do, but today I’ll be giving you a peek around as well as sharing five ways to create a cozy holiday home this Christmas season.
If you’re coming over from My Life from Home, welcome! I’m so glad you’re here. Isn’t Amy’s home beautiful!? Amy and I actually friends in real life, and I can tell you that her home is even more stunning in person!
My home decor style is a blend of traditional, modern, vintage and glam, but at the holidays (and especially in recent years), I gravitate more towards vintage and rustic decorations. To me, they have a feeling of nostalgia and instantly make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Many of my Christmas decorations are handmade items and pieces passed on to me by my mom. I look forward to pulling them out each year and remembering who made them and thinking of all of the other Christmas memories that they’ve been a part of. For me, the holidays are all about family and making special memories together, whether it’s baking favorite recipes with my mom or our annual trip with my in-laws to pick out our Christmas tree. This is my favorite holiday and my favorite time of the year, and I try to soak it up as much as possible!
Last week I shared my Christmas mantel, which you can see here. I am putting the finishes touches on my full holiday home tour for this year, but here a few other looks around…
Now I’d love to share a few of my favorite ways to bring warmth and comfort to my home for the holiday season.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Five Ways to Create a Cozy Holiday Home
1. Include family heirlooms and meaningful items
From our Christmas tree ornaments to our stockings and Nativity scene, many of our holiday decorations have been in our family for a while or hold a special meaning for us. Both my parents and my husband’s parents gifted us new ornaments each year when we were kids, so we had a nice collection going when we got married. We continue to collect ornaments when we travel, or to commemorate special occasions.
We bought this angel while on our honeymoon in Maui. She’s made from all-natural materials native to the Hawaiian Islands! This is one of my most favorite ornaments.
My mom made this needlepoint stocking for me when I was very young. The detail on it is amazing! The stocking holder is also mine from when I was a kid. Sometimes I think it’d be nice to have a matching set of stockings for my husband and I, but I can’t bring myself to not put this one up.
This shot of our Nativity scene is from a few Christmases ago—I haven’t put it up yet this year. But this set is very special to me because it was purchased by my grandfather in 1952. We always used this Nativity when I was a kid, and I was constantly playing with the animals (don’t worry, they’re plastic!), to the point that my parents always joked that they’d just wrap them up and place them under the tree for me on Christmas morning. The other special thing about this Nativity is that it’s still stored in its original cardboard shipping box, with the original postage stamp and hand-written address on it. These are the details that I love re-discovering every Christmas.
2. Add texture around your home
The easiest way to add texture, which I’m sure you’ve heard before, is with throw blankets and pillows. I have a pair of plush faux fur pillows I bring out every winter (similar options available here). Keep a basket full of cozy throws nearby for chilly nights, or just to dress up your sofa.
I also like to add texture to my decor through Nature. A few evergreen clippings in a mercury glass vase or even faux snow are great ways to bring some extra texture into your decor and give your home a cozier feeling.
3. Have a cup (and plate) of cheer!
I am a coffeeholic, so I always have my Nespresso and milk frother out on the counter so I can make my daily latte. As soon as December rolls around, I also bring out mason jars full of hot cocoa mix.
And it’s a rare day during the holidays when we don’t have some sort of cookie, sweet or bowl full of candy canes around. One of my favorites are my grandma’s old-fashioned butter cookies. I shared her recipe in this post last year.
4. Caroling, caroling
I am also carol-aholic, if there is such a thing. I. Love. Christmas Carols. I can sing them 24/7-365, much to the chagrin of my husband. I found these amazing vintage hymnal cards at the Country Living Fair earlier this year and have been so excited to display them on our piano this Christmas (yes, I do play, but am a bit out of practice!).
5. Scents of the season
Last but not least, one of my favorite ways to ready my home for the holidays is by making it smell amazing! Have you ever tried a simmering pot? I discovered these a few years ago and love making them. They are so easy to put together, use all natural ingredients, and make your home smell incredibly cozy.
This is one of my favorite “recipes” for the Christmas season:
Holiday Simmering Pot Recipe:
- one orange, sliced
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- 5-6 dried cloves
- a splash of vanilla extract
Add all ingredients to a saucepan and cover with water. Place on the stovetop over low heat and bring to a simmer. Add more water throughout the day as it burns off.
Now be sure to head on over to Old House to New Home to see how Amanda is readying her home for the season! I’ve included the full schedule for this week’s Simply Seasonal: Holiday Edition below so you can check out all of the wonderful posts throughout the week. Many thanks to Caroline of Organize Nashville for organizing this hop!
Monday, December 5
Tuesday, December 6
Wednesday, December 7
Organize & Decorate Everything
Thursday, December 8
Friday, December 9
Finding Your Joy in The Journey
I’ll have to try the holiday simmering pot recipe. Could it be moved to a warming pot? Pinning and sharing!
I think this would work perfectly in a warming pot, Jeanette! Great idea 🙂
Obsessed with the snowflake mantle! Shared and pinned: )
Apparently, I’m on a huge music sheet kick, and I’ve seen several great plays on this idea in Christmas Home Tours! I love that you have Christmas Carols stuck in little photo holders. I’m going to have to add that to my flea-market shopping list. 🙂 Your mantel is LOVELY.
Thanks so much Lora! I love anything book page or sheet music, and the latter fits in so perfectly at Christmastime 🙂
Love your snowflake wall so fun and festive!
Very nice! I will for sure have to try out that recipe for the christmas scent!
Thanks Kristen! It smells delicious 😉
I love your holiday home! its very pretty and so so cozy. I love that you shared your grandma cookie recipe, so sweet! I’m giong to create some cookies with that recipe! I’ll think of you!
Maria Brittis recently posted…DREAM.CREATE.INSPIRE LINK #76
Thank you Maria 🙂
Love these Christmas ideas Emily!!! I might have to make your holiday pot recipe now 🙂
Tara @ Lehman lane recently posted…A Very Farmhouse Christmas Home Tour
Thank you Tara!
Your mantel is so pretty!!!! I love the snowflakes too. What a creative and inexpensive way to create a holiday feel. I just love it.
Thank you so much Sue!
Great ideas! I love all your decorations and that you include meaningful pieces as well. It makes it much more meaningful to you! Beautiful. Merry Christmas, friend!
Amy @ my life from home recently posted…Creative Gift Ideas with At Home/ #myreason
Thank you so much, Amy! Merry Christmas to you, too!
Love the entire vintage crate vignette – so adorable and festive. We will definitely be making your simmer pot recipe. We love to experiment with holiday fragrances. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
Thank you ladies! I hope you both have a wonderful Christmas season 🙂
I love your snowflake mantel! I also love your idea on setting up a coffee station!
Julie @ Love My Simple Home
Thanks Julie! I use my coffee station year-round, but it’s extra important during the holiday bustle 😉
Love your house! The sheet music in the little Snowman is so cute!! I love the cookie jar too! That would be a big hit in our house!
I am in love with your stocking and all the vintage pieces in your home. Its beautiful. Makes me want to hang out and eat those cookies.
Thank you so much Aurie! You’re welcome to come by for cookies anytime 😉
I just adore your mantel! It’s so simple but makes such a statement. Your home is beautiful! Merry Christmas!
Thank you so much, Leanne! Merry Christmas 🙂
I wanna come visit! What a wonderful and beautiful home Emily! Pinning.
April R – Uncookie Cutter recently posted…Toy Box – A homemade gift DIY project
Thank you April! Come by anytime 😉 I’d love to have you!
Love all of your festive and meaningful touches around your home. That’s so special that you have so many pieces from when you were a kid, it makes decorating that much more fun!
Meg @ Green With Decor recently posted…A classic Christmas family room plus easy gift wrapping
Thanks Meg! It’s so much fun to remember the memories around each one; my mom bought a lot of ornaments based on what I was into that year, so I have a lot of horse ornaments for the years I was riding and competing, and an ice cream cone for the year I worked at Graeter’s 🙂
Emily, I love how you decorated for the Holiday. Your paper snowflakes look so pretty over the fireplace & I love the deer! The handmade touches really make it so inviting! Merry Christmas!
Michelle James recently posted…Make A Candle Luminary Sleeve-American Home™ by Yankee Candle®
Thank you so much Michelle! Merry Christmas!
I’m OBSESSED with your fireplace decor! Perfection! Side note–as soon as I typed “perfection” I realized I have turned into Chandler from Friends. lol!
Hahaha! Thanks Samantha!
YAY! I love meeting new bloggy friends! I’m so glad you joined us for the hop!! Your home is gorgeous! Your ceramic tree is amazing!!!! I have 3 white ones… and I’m obsessed. hehe! Pinned and Shared! XO
Thank you so much! This hop has been wonderful – everyone’s homes look beautiful 🙂 I love those vintage ceramic trees too!
I love it! I love using lots of handmade items to decorate and I always have a bunch of holiday goodies too! I’ll have to try a simmering holiday pot this year as I’m sure it will make our home smell wonderful.
ERLENE AMAT recently posted…12 Days of Christmas Ideas – Festive & Creative Christmas Wreaths
Thank you Erlene!
Such great tips Emily. I love the scents and the caroling. These are just the simplest! I love the tradition that you both were gifted ornaments from your parents each year. It is a very nice way to use something that is just so meaningful!
Thanks Zan! It’s so much fun to pull those ornaments out each year. There is a special memory attached to each of them 🙂
So the first thing I did was sing through that hymn you used. The music teacher in me just couldn’t help it! I’m also a carol-oholic – we had our annual carol party just this weekend. I love how you incorporated family heirlooms into your decor: for me, it’s not the holidays if you don’t bring out pieces with a story!
Haha, that is awesome Sarah! I want to host a carol party! I agree – the personal pieces are what make the holidays so special 🙂 Merry Christmas!
I love your touches of vintage and nature Emily. Soo pretty! That little tree on your mantel is just so small and cute 🙂
Thank you Lisa!
Your mantel looks beautiful@ And I have always wanted to try the holiday simmering pot! I think I will try it for Christmas eve!
Amanda @ Old House to New Home recently posted…The BEST Gift Idea for the Home Decor Lover
Thanks Amanda! The simmering pots are so easy to throw together, and it’d be great for Christmas Eve!