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Sweet Holiday Decorating Ideas for Kids

Want to give your favorite kiddos an extra helping of holiday cheer? Add one or more of these sweet seasonal touches to a child’s bedroom or play space and make little spirits bright. Pour yourself a mug of hot cocoa and read on for all six ideas…

Ave Styles - holiday kids room
Ave Styles

1. Tiny tabletop tree. Itty bitty and totally touchable, a tiny tabletop tree (either real or fake) makes a fun addition to a young child’s room. Pick out a small selection of soft, non-breakable felt and fabric ornaments, and top the tree off with a mini stuffed animal or finger puppet.

Christmas 365 - chalkboard christmas tree
Christmas Around the World

2. Chalk wall tree. Do you already have a chalkboard wall in the bedroom or playroom? If so, you’re potentially mere moments away from one of the most cheerful holiday decorations around: the chalkboard tree! Sketch out a simple Christmas tree shape on the chalk wall and decorate with a taped-on garland. Or, for an even quicker setup, add ornaments drawn on in colorful chalk. Pile up pretend wrapped gifts (try wrapping wooden blocks from a set) and cute stuffed animals to create a festive scene.

Young House Love
Young House Love

3. Petite tree. For children a bit older, nothing beats having their very own kid-size Christmas tree right in their own room! Complete the setup with strands of twinkle lights, soft ornaments and a swath of pretty fabric wrapped around the base to conceal the Christmas tree stand.

Modern Mrs Darcy
Modern Mrs Darcy

4. Book “tree”. You can make this purely decorative or (and I think this is more fun!) you can let your book tree do double-duty as a literary advent calendar. Wrap up books — they can be from your home collection, the local library or new books — and pile them up with the largest on the bottom and smallest on top. With each layer, turn the book a quarter turn to create the spiral effect shown here. When your book tree is complete, decorate it with a few shiny ornaments or a tiny strand of battery-powered twinkle lights.

Christmas 365
Christmas Around the World

Yvestown - colorful striped stocking
Yvestown

5. Sweet stockings. In England and some other regions of the world, Christmas stockings are traditionally hung on the bedposts. But even if Santa will be filling the stockings hung by the chimney, it can be a cheerful touch to put a bonus stocking in your little one’s room as well. A small stuffed bunny rabbit peeking over the top makes an irresistible finishing touch.

Yvestown - red chair with presents
Yvestown

6. Something fluffy…and something red! Fluffy sheepskin, faux fur or even a super-soft knitted throw makes an inviting addition to a child’s room or play space. Try draping a fun throw over a chair or on the bed to provide a cozy spot to sit and read. And finally, consider adding something red. This undeniably bright and cheerful hue tends to be a big favorite with kids year-round and looks especially festive in midwinter. Perhaps a red rug would fit the bill? If so, keep scrolling to see 6 of my favorite cheery red rugs perfect for the holidays and beyond.

Christmas Rugs

Rug Shopping Guide: 1. Santino by Feizy Rugs in red; 2. Kilim by Safavieh in pink; 3. Kenwood by Kaleen in pink; 4. Awning Stripes by Couristan in red; 5. Montauk by Safavieh in red; 6. Montauk by Safavieh in red and ivory.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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Easy, Natural Holiday Decorating Ideas

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of decorating your home for the holidays, I’d like to encourage you to take a deep breath and relax. A trip to the grocery store or a trek in the great outdoors is all that’s needed to create lots of holiday cheer, all around the house. So pour yourself a hot cup of tea or spiced cider, and get ready to deck those halls.

http://emiliajane.pass.us/danielle
Photo: The Everygirl

First up, my favorite quick trick for creating a festive holiday mood: evergreen garlands and wreaths. You can find garlands and wreaths premade at many grocery stores, nurseries, and Christmas tree lots at this time of year. And while a wreath on the front door and a garland over the mantel are popular places to deck with greenery, consider branching out and draping a garland over a window, too. Hang a wreath from ribbon in front of the window to complete the look.

Simple Natural Christmas
Photos: Top row, The Everygirl; bottom left, Trendenser via Apartment Apothecary; bottom right, The Merrythought via Apartment Apothecary.

Next, consider where you can tuck smaller bits of greenery throughout the house. Try placing a few swags of greens around a bar cart, tuck a mini tree onto a tabletop, prop a small wreath on a bookshelf, or fill the bottom of a large glass hurricane with greenery, and top with a tiny strand of twinkling lights.

When you come up against a holiday decorating dilemma, try brainstorming ways of using natural elements to solve your problem before hitting the shops to spend (more!) money. No mantel to hang the stockings? Attach a branch foraged from outdoors to the wall using Command hooks, and hang your stockings from the branch. Short on holiday-themed gift wrap? Cut a simple tree or star shape from a potato, and stamp it on plain paper to create your own design. Need a gift embellishment? Tie on a sprig of greenery with twine for a charming finishing touch.

Simple Christmas 2
Photos: Lark & Linen

And remember, you can always tweak these ideas to fit your location. Those in the South can use magnolia garland and a wreath featuring natural cotton instead of evergreen! Get creative and use what you have.

Simple Christmas 3
Photo: The Waves We Make via Apartment Apothecary

I love to keep a bunch of potted bulbs on hand for easy hostess and last-minute gifts. Amaryllis, paperwhite, or hyacinth work well, and you can pot up a dozen or more bulbs in a matter of minutes. They look so beautiful lined up on a windowsill, you’ll want to be sure you have a few extras for yourself!

Wintry Rug Picks

Looking for a new rug to make all of your holiday gatherings extra-special? A soft, textured rug in a warm neutral hue (like the four shown above) will make your natural holiday decorations and twinkle lights really sing.

Rug shopping guide: All rugs from the Jaipur Rugs Fables Collection (clockwise from top left) Alicante; Malo; Greek in frost gray; and Mythical in ivory and gray.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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Holiday Party How-To

cookie swap

With the winter holidays sneaking up around the corner, now is the perfect time to begin planning a gathering of family and friends. Choosing a theme for the festivities makes things easier to pull together … and more fun, to boot!

cozy cookie swap

Party Idea No. 1: A Cozy Cookie Swap. First up, we have the classic cookie swap. I vote for giving this party a cozy twist by serving hot drinks like apple cider, hot cocoa, or hot toddies, and setting out a stack of plaid throws for guests to wrap up in. Invite your friends to bring enough cookies to share, along with a tupperware container to bring home their assortment of cookies, and get swapping! If you would like to provide food as well, choose an easy and comforting one-pot dish like chili.

Harvest Potluck1
Harvest Potluck

Party Idea No. 2: A Harvest Potluck. Whether you are hosting a ‘friendsgiving’, or simply want to hold a fun and low-stress gathering, a harvest-themed potluck is a wonderful way to do it. Give guests plenty of notice, as they will be expected to contribute a dish or drink. Pick up some seasonal fruit and greenery to decorate the table, and keep table settings simple with rustic linens and clear glassware or jam jars.

Christmas Candlelight1
Christmas by Candlelight

Party Idea No. 3: A Candlelit Christmas Celebration. Embrace the Christmas spirit with a peaceful candlelit evening filled with magical details. Warm your hands on mugs of hot drinks wrapped in knit cozies, hang wreaths of greenery and white twinkle lights from the rafters, and light candles all around. Make the dining area more comfortable with throw pillows and blankets, and play a soundtrack of holiday tunes, either modern or classic. For a handmade detail that will really set the evening apart, make your own menu cards using white pen on black cardstock in the style of a chalkboard sign. Your friends will be super impressed!

Rug Picks

No matter which party you choose to throw, consider warming your toes on a festive new plaid area rug. Or, change out a piece of art for the season with a Christmas-themed sign, like the one shown above. And remember, less is more! Just one or two decor tweaks is all you need to transform your home for the season.

What about you? Will you be hosting any parties this holiday season?

Shopping Guide: (clockwise from top left) Joy Carpets Whimsy Bit O Scotch; American Rug Craftsmen Dryden Billings rug; Joy Carpets Whimsy Bit O Scotch rug in Bark Brown; Barn Owl Primatives Dasher Dancer Print.

Photo Credits: (from top to bottom) Style Me Pretty100 Layer CakeThe Yellow Table100 Layer Cake.

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