Post-Holiday Warmth and Cheer
I love to decorate and my holiday décor makes my home feel so magical! My children describe the atmosphere in our home as “warm and fuzzy”. But now that the holidays are over, the house seems bare. The dismantling of our décor each January is always done with a weird cocktail of emotions. Relief that the holiday blitz of sales, bargains and door-busters are over. But also a bit of a malaise because loved ones have gone back home, the children are back in school and Christmas carols are now literally “so last-year”. January is often seen as a barren time. The leaves are gone. Old Man Winter is making his presence known and everyone is all partied-out. Many of us have a more than a few pounds to lose and budgets are tight. Good times…
As I drive through neighborhoods in January, I hate to see Christmas trees still twinkling, outdoor décor still trying to keep us in the holiday mood. It just doesn’t work. That season is over. Although I wouldn’t do it, I understand it. We want to keep the good times rolling and maintain that feeling of welcoming warmth that the holidays usually bring. So, what can we do to maintain the “warm and fuzzy” feeling without leaving the Christmas tree up? What can the Proverbs 31 wife do to keep her home feeling like a place of warmth, love and peace, while staying in fashion?
Here are 6 very quick and easy tips:
Not the ones that people stick in every gift bag that you never use and leave in the bathroom to collect dust. There are candles on the market that have such warmth and appeal that they will literally change the atmosphere of your home!
I love candles and I’d be embarrassed to tell you how much I’ve spent on them. Scented candles are the absolute best! Buying unscented candles is a waste of money (unless you are buying them for the all-important emergency kit, which we should all have). The ones I am referring to are not just candles that we decorate our homes with but the ones we actually light. There is no better compliment than someone coming to your home and asking, “What is that smell? Your house always smells so good?” The candles I have chosen smell great and the scent lingers. They burn slowly and each successive lighting has the same effect. Many of them can be purchased at stores like Nordstrom or other boutiques that carry candles. Or you can order directly which will require international shipping in some case. Here are a few of my favorites:
· Diptyque Baies Scented Candles – These pricey French candles are so worth it. I absolutely love these candles. Your whole house will smell wonderful from one small candle in a room.
· Seda France – Equally wonderful perfumed candle. You can’t go wrong with this brand either and they are more affordable.
· Trapp Candles- Trapp Candles were my first introduction to scented candles to give my home that aromatherapy needed for the after holiday blues. They are affordable and pack a wallop in giving your home a warm coziness through the senses. This is true aromatherapy in a bottle without breaking the bank.
· Bath and Body Works – Known for their body products this store has created a line of candles that I find quite good for their price point. I also love the fact that this store provides coupons and will often have sales enabling you to stack up on your favorite scents. You can also buy smaller sizes until you create your list of favorites to go back and purchase in larger sizes.
· For those of you who are leery of an open flame, try Scentsy. They use a unique method of light bulb to heat a wax pellet which emits a great scent in your home.
(NOTE: Never leave an open flame unattended)
2. Fire Place
Now that your home is free of holiday décor, the candles are burning, the next step is light up the fireplace. Fireplaces scream cozy. If you don’t have one and you don’t have the money for an electric one, don’t worry, you can purchase a DVD of a fireplace to play on your television screen. This may be difficult if you want to watch your television but it is an option. And who couldn’t use a little less TV watching. Be content to grab a good book, like The Bible, and cuddle up next to your “fire place” for some “me-time”.
3. Live Plants
Most people think live plants are a lot of work but it depends on the kind you purchase. Do your research, taking into account your home’s sunlight exposure before purchasing. Live plants make a statement and you will feel their presence in any room. If you have visited a hospital room, the plants draw you to them. My only explanation is that by bringing in live plants you are bringing God into a room. So even if your thumb isn’t quite green there are plenty of plants that require very little water or sunlight that will serve the purpose of bringing warmth to your home.
4. Soft Music
Keep the music calm and low. Not too loud where people have to talk over it. Music should be for background purposes unless you are dancing or in the car alone then you can crank it up. Skip rap music or anything too melancholy that may cause sadness. Elevator music, soft classical, jazz or beautiful instrumental selections will work great to create a warm atmosphere. Most cable providers carry music channels for almost every genre of music. Also most smart TV’s allow you to access your Pandora account for listening from the TV. All easy and free options!
5. A Good Soup
Nothing makes a home feel better than food but January is that month where we are all watching our weight and we can’t over indulge. But soups are hearty, filling and they can be made without too many calories. This comfort food gives a certain warmth to a house which will complete the magic. For this time of the year, any soups with sweet potatoes, squash or carrots provide a great juxtaposition to the bitter weather outside.
Everyone knows that the lights in your home add to the ambiance. It speaks when you aren’t speaking. Adjust the lamps in your home to create a warmth that will tell all that enter the way you feel. Natural light is always best! It lifts your mood and brings life into your home. Brighter lights say “Come on it and grab a game piece! It’s family game night!” Dimmer, softer lights are more calming, even romantic (wink wink for the hubs!). Never completely dark because that’s for sleeping and may appear depressing for some so adjust the light to your mood at the time.
These are all things that anyone who enters your home will enjoy! Your husband will be blessed after a stressful day at the office. Your children will appreciate it after a noisy day at school. And your guests and visitors will be marking their calendars for when they can visit again!
First Lady Lynda