All families start their Christmas decorating according to their traditions, whether it's the day after Thanksgiving, the first day of December, or 12 days before Christmas. But what happens when December is done, the tree comes down, and there's still months of winter left to enjoy? If you love the spirit of the holidays, consider little ways you can make your home look — and feel — festive all winter. To keep that festive cheer going, try these tips and spread joy all season long.
The sight of Christmas wreaths on your front door instantly evokes that festive feeling you love about the holiday season. Branch out from tradition and put up wreaths inside the house, like over the fireplace. Get a collection of smaller wreaths to hang on everyone's bedroom door, too. All that holiday spirit will keep your home bright and warm. Get your wreaths to last even longer by misting them with a spray bottle at least once a week.
If you'd rather avoid something that requires upkeep, consider creating your own wreaths out of materials around the yard or house. A simple idea for crafting includes spry twigs wrapped around themselves, with a few sprigs of eucalyptus and delicate ornaments placed around the ring. Another option is to grab an embroidery hoop and hot glue some pinecones and dried fruit along the rim. You can also opt for artificial wreaths you can display all season (or year) without having to replace or maintain them. There are some creative and beautiful creations, like wreaths built of faux-succulents, or entirely of bright and tightly-huddled ornaments.
Setting the stage outside is the first step to all-season festive feelings. Every time you walk outside and look at your home, or come back from a long day away, you'll be filled with warmth and excitement. Your outdoor decorations definitely come down to personal taste. You can go with soft or super-charged lights, holiday-specific or subtle seasonal touches, or a combination of each.
One approach is to add traditional elements like large ropes of garland around your windows or door frame to give your house an inviting and joyful touch. Weave gentle white lights around the garland for a soft glimmer, or for a more palpable exterior, choose winter-themed wire or blow up decorations like snowmen, deer, elves, or igloos. String icicle or multi-colored lights on any trees in your yard to really light up your home.
Once the tree has been retired for the year, you might start to miss seeing those lovely lights, bubbly baubles, and classic Christmas ornaments every day. Keep some holiday accents around for the rest of the season, like your Christmas throw pillows and Christmas throws so everyone stays comfy and cozy. Display snow globes, trinkets like little felted gnomes, or put out a ceramic winter skating scene that will keep that joyful feeling going strong all winter.
Invest in a few packs of delicate fairy lights for choice spots in shared spaces like the living room, kitchen, and entryway. The soft light will warm any room with its gentle glow. Drape them across the mantle, wrap them around curtain rods, wind them around the staircase, or set some into a glass jar on the kitchen table. You can even lay your lights across your Christmas kitchen and dining room table runners.
Think about the scents of your childhood Christmases — freshly baked pie, cranberry sauce, cinnamon, cocoa, and peppermint. The sense of smell is powerful and closely tied to memory, so consider filling your home with festive fragrances to keep that cheer going all season.
When you're missing the fresh pine of the Christmas tree, pull out your seasonal candles to spark your holiday happiness all winter long. Oil diffusers and plug-ins are other ways to disperse the smells of the season, and are a bit safer if you have little ones around the house.
A big part of feeling festive is exactly that — it's a feeling. While you can create a visual winter wonderland inside and outside the home, try to inspire that same feeling in your family by doing things that evoke the spirit of the season. If your family loves jolly holiday jingles, keep the Christmas playlist going all winter. Start doing game nights once a week, where everyone can snuggle around the fireplace with cookie tins and hot chocolate.
Don't have a fireplace or mantle? You can find countless videos of yule logs burning to loop on your television. Keep the TV off-limits for most of the day, too, so you can tune into each other instead. After all, the most festive feelings you get during winter months come from family time spent laughing, cuddling, and playing games.