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Ensuring your home is ready for the holiday season

'Merry days to everyone, thank you for reading and God bless you all'

Decorating for the holidays is always fun and it’s also tons of work! The unloading of the bins and going through memories and nostalgia is always fun, I am amazed at how I can forget year to year what sort of decorations I have. I’m also realizing how glittery my Christmas décor is as I have been sweeping up sparkles since I began the process – and I haven’t even begun to put up the tree!

It is my tradition to replace household décor with my Christmas magic and I find that it makes it more festive and merry. Some people put up ornaments and décor beside the existing stuff in their home and it can make it look cluttered and hectic. Take various places in your home and create clusters of décor, candles and centerpieces and put away the existing items into the bins or boxes you have just emptied. This will create pockets of festiveness in different parts of your home.

Scent is important to creating Christmas magic and if you aren’t baking cookies 24/7 you should have those flavours infused into your home. My favourite is pine scent. Even though we have a real tree the scent of pine from a well-made candle is essential to making the home smell like an enchanted forest. When I say well-made I mean stay away from the ‘air freshener’ variety of candles and splurge on a richly scented product that will allow you to bathe in the freshness. Of course, pine is my Christmas fragrance of choice but there are so many other versions available like vanilla, gingerbread, peppermint and pumpkin.

If you are looking for an inexpensive way to entertain this year for those people who drop by; have a variety of hot chocolate and toppings available on a festive tray with equally festive mugs. Mini marshmallows, crushed candy canes, shaved dark chocolate, nutmeg and cinnamon in sparkling containers can double as a delectable display on your table and will come in handy if you have unexpected guests. Even if you buy a variety of rich and indulgent mixes, it is a beautiful and inexpensive way to decorate and entertain and everyone will have fun creating their own special drink. Make sure to keep a can of whip cream in the fridge to top things off perfectly.

Music never fails to create an atmosphere in your home when you are sitting watching the lights twinkle on your tree. Every musician from jazz to rock have made Christmas albums and it’s easy to download or purchase a few favorites. Streaming audio is also a good solution to play in your home so you don’t get tired of the same rendition of Jingle Bells. A few of my favorite albums are from Michael Bublé, Andrea Bocelli, The Good Lovelies and Harry Connick Jr. They always put me in the mood for the holidays.

The festivities are not just secluded to one day but to the many days preceding that magical 25th of December. I hope you all have time to reflect and enjoy the magical feelings, sights and smells of Christmas. Merry days to everyone, thank you for reading and God bless you all.

Kim Wyse is a Central Alberta freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Realtor/Ask a Designer’.