Create Your Winter Bucket List

Photo credit: Pinterest / Attagirlsays
Photo credit: Pinterest / Attagirlsays

When the temperatures drop, it can be very tempting to hibernate in your home, but don’t let the season get away without making memories. Create a winter bucket list of fun activities that are best done at this time of year, and start checking things off. Here are 10 ideas to get you going:

 

  • Decorate a gingerbread house
  • Make peppermint bark
  • Hold a snowball fight
  • Go on a horse-drawn carriage ride
  • Participate in a secret Santa gift exchange
  • Go for a drive and look at the Christmas lights
  • Volunteer at a local food bank or shelter
  • Bake cookies
  • Toast marshmallows in your fireplace and make s’mores
  • Go skating on an outdoor rink or pond

 

What are your favorite wintertime activities?

 

Be Inspired by Celebrity Holiday Décor

Looking for a little holiday inspiration when it comes to your Christmas décor? Why not take some hints from the glitter of Tinsel Town itself. Here are five celebrity trees that might spark your holiday decorating imagination.

 

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Photo credit: Pinterest / HGTV

Former NFL player and current sports announcer Tiki Barber has his New Jersey home decorated in glamor and glitz. His palette of gold and white is stunning and bright.

 

Photo credit: Pinterest / HGTV
Photo credit: Pinterest / HGTV

Actress Joely Fisher gives her Los Angeles home a warm, woodland feel with traditional green and red, and simple touches like handmade bows and plaid-wrapped packages.

 

Photo credit: Pinterest
Photo credit: Pinterest

Elvis Presley wasn’t known for his simple taste, and his Graceland estate keeps his spirit alive with original holiday decorations from the King. This room features a white Christmas tree with beautiful red and gold trimming.

 

Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

Another celebrity who likes a display is Kris Jenner. This tree is decked out in white lights and red ribbons, to coordinate with the garland and bows that drape the staircase.

 

Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

Actress and singer Lucy Hale has her living room all aglow with this pretty little tree dressed in red and gold. An abundance of lights creates a captivating mood, setting the tone for something special.

Choose Your Holiday Style

The holidays are the time to deck the halls. If you were to define your holiday decorating style, what would it be?

Our Creative Director Broc Clark said there are four hot trends when it comes to holiday décor. Take a peek and find the one that speaks to you!

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Opulent Luxe

Rich and luxurious, Opulent Luxe holiday style is a mood that combines plush surfaces with light shiny metallics and heavy embellishment. This style is reminiscent of a Silent Night filled with glitz and glitter.

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Wilderness

This winter wonderland draws its inspiration from the landscape of Northern Michigan. It brings the feeling of nature into your life through materials and shapes. The design includes colors of white, blue, dark green and red.

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Playful and Bright

This holiday style centers on a sense of whimsy with touches that are festive and fun. Unexpected Seuss-ified shapes catch the eye, and colors like apple red, emerald green and crisp white brighten the home.

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Northern Escape

This look brings a sense of serenity to your home with a mood inspired by remote northern landscapes and the natural beauty of winter light. Your home becomes haven against the elements using artisanal touches combined with modern technology for contemporary yet natural mood.

How to Pick the Perfect Tree

With Thanksgiving over, those who celebrate Christmas will start thinking about their tree. If you get a live tree each year, you’ll want to bring one home that fills your room with not only beauty but a wonderful scent, as well.

Here are some tips for finding the perfect tree from This Old House’s landscape contractor Roger Cook:

1. Before you head out to the tree lot, measure the height of your ceiling so you know what size tree you need. Be sure to consider the height of your stand and tree topper.

2. When you find a tree you like, test the branches. Grab any branch on the tree between your thumb and forefinger, gently clamp down and pull towards yourself. If you end up with a handful of needles, the tree is already past its prime.

3. Crush the needles in your hand and then check the scent. If the tree doesn’t smell enough, don’t buy it.

4. Bounce the tree by holding it a few inches above the ground and dropping it. Needles that fall off from the interior of the tree are normal, but if exterior needles drop it’s a bad tree.

5. Make sure the tree’s trunk fits your stand. Trimming the diameter of the tree by cutting away the bark will strip the tree of its cambium layer, which absorbs water.

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Details

Thanksgiving is this week, and in the midst of your holiday preparation it is easy to overlook a few details. Here are three quick tips to help you with your last-minute planning:

1. If your turkey isn’t completely defrosted, don’t despair. Immerse the bird in the plastic wrap and put it in ice-cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes to avoid dangerous bacteria from developing, according to Butterball. It will thaw quicker than leaving it in the refrigerator.

2. Double-check your menu. Go over each recipe and make sure you have all of your ingredients. You don’t want to have to run around on Thanksgiving morning looking for a store that’s open because you’re out of flour.

3. Count your place settings. Make sure you have enough plates, forks, knives and napkins for everyone. Don’t forget the settings you’ll use for serving food, and have a couple on hand in case someone brings an unexpected guest. If you’re shy a few settings ask someone to bring extra.