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2 Nov

Creating a Home for the Holidays

JSJ Builders

Rounding the corner to the end of each year is so exciting as it brings with it numerous opportunities to celebrate, especially for those in a JSJ Builders’ home. Of course, the anticipation of the holidays can also be dampened by a lengthy To-Do list. Decorating your home for this most festive span of the year does not have to be intimidating. A simple tweak in the perception of this annual project will help ease that overwhelming feeling and put it on a much more enjoyable path.

Rather than challenging oneself with redecorating an entire home, inside and out, think of the assignment as “re-accessorizing.” And rather than attempting to tackle your entire floorplan at once, break down the process by working from room to room, including exterior spaces. Whether your preference is to keep it simple by adding holiday-themed throws or to commit to all things embellished, a great game plan can reduce stress while creating a beautiful atmosphere.

As decorations are unpacked, separate them into two categories: showcase and filler. From there, determine which showcase items will adorn which room. Let those special, nostalgic pieces serve as the main event, and then fill in any empty space with those items that don’t hold quite as much sentimental value. A great place to start this method is with holiday ornaments which tend to accumulate quickly, becoming a challenge to display as space on the holiday tree disappears.

Ornaments typically offer stories from our pasts as they are passed down as heirlooms from one generation to the next. Accessorize various places within your home to flaunt those trinkets that are most important to you. Hang several from a chandelier using a pretty ribbon or carefully organize a handful within a glass vase. Have each family member pick out a few of their most-loved ornaments and create a whimsical table centerpiece. This is also a great way to share stories with guests as they, too, enjoy your special displays.

New homeowners may face the opposite problem - a decoration shortage - as they have yet to build up inventory. While it may be tempting to load up a shopping cart with random baubles, save both time and money by crafting embellishments from items found right at home. Garland never goes out of style and is always fun for the whole family to make. A standard popcorn string can be kicked up a notch by adding dried orange slices or cranberries. Or borrow some cinnamon sticks from the pantry to hang on the tree with a bright red bow.

Holiday cards will never go out of style as the joy of opening a mailbox full of colorful envelopes cannot be resisted. While these treasures arrive with tales of the previous twelve months from friends and families, they can also serve as additional home decor. Holiday cards offer a simple way to create a growing display, whether by setting them across a mantel or pinned to a corkboard covered in playful wrapping paper. To ensure that your own mailbox spills over with cute and unique cards, send out your own to those you may have lost touch with in the course of the busy year.

Bathrooms may be the easiest rooms to transform as a simple switch in hand towels or soaps is all that it takes. Brighten up your guests’ visits by hanging some handmade artwork. If you have children, have them write their wish lists early and arrange them in simple frames on the powder room wall. This is also a great way to hang on to the memories of previous years - save this year’s holiday wish lists to exhibit next year.

Living in the land of the pines means unlimited access to pinecones - as abundant as they are versatile! By dipping the tips of their scales (actually called “prinkles”) into bright paints or using glue and glitter, pinecones can suddenly become a homemade holiday favorite. Hang them with seasonal ribbons from curtain rods, and frame bathroom mirrors, or build them into a wreath for the front door. Of course, no one can resist a basket of scented pinecones and they are so easy to make! Combine one cinnamon stick for each large pinecone in a large pot and boil, covered, for ten minutes. Set them out to dry and enjoy! Not a fan of cinnamon? Add vanilla beans to the water instead!

Converting outdoor space can also be less complicated with the addition of large apple baskets and holiday bows. Use the baskets to house your outdoor planters for the season, giving them a more wintery vibe. Hang colorful, plastic ornaments on your trees (a great spot for leftover filler!) or tie large, festive bows around their trunks. If twinkling lights are part of an annual tradition, remember that they can be hung weeks ahead of time and left “off” until ready to light up the neighborhood. Make sure you take a picture of your outdoor display for easier setup next year.

The holidays in North Carolina are always a special time with many local opportunities to celebrate. Prepping your home in stages will leave plenty of time to enjoy all that is offered in and around your community. Once done, reward yourself with a mug of warm apple cider enjoyed while strolling through your decked-out neighborhood.

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