holi-tips & tricks

While we are all quite consumed and over-saturated with gift guides these days (not complaining!), I thought I would offer a few holiday tips and tricks that I use often this time of year.

Below are my top 10 suggestions.

1.  Don’t forget “tree food”.

If you don’t have a green thumb and an extra watering can lying around, no fear. To water my tree, I save and use empty wine bottles and San Pellegrino glass bottles instead. They have the perfect neck to fit in a tree stand and water won’t spill all over the place. Appropriately so, I also label mine so they don’t get thrown away (see below). Water often.

2. Fill the house with “fresh balsam” air freshner.

Whether you have a real or faux tree or no tree at all, this scent plus candles are my favorite to make any room feel and smell a lot more like Christmas. I don’t really think this is cheating either, do you?

3. Scatter scented cinnamon pinecones.

Along the same lines, I pick these up at Whole Foods every year and place around the house in vases and baskets. Most grocery stores have them for purchase near the checkout aisles.

4. Host a “favorite things” party.

This is a big one and one that orginally started with my high school girlfriends and I years ago. We used to do a “Secret Santa” every time we were all home for the holidays throughout college. Well, this soon turned into “favorite things” instead and is a tradition I follow with my DC friends now too. Spoiler Alert: I am hosting my party this weekend with the help of the lovely ladies at Nico and Lala so you’ll get a full recap soon. The idea behind it is that everyone shops for their favorite thing, wraps up their gift sans a tag and brings it to the party. We play a game and at the end of the night, everyone leaves with someone else’s favorite thing. In years past, I have toted along Drybar products, jewels, candles and beauty products that I already own. (More details and photos from the party next week!)

5. Order Holiday/New Year’s Cards.

I posted earlier some of my favorite places to order holiday cards. However, if you’re late to this train, another great idea is a New Year’s card instead. Tiny Prints offers adorable customizable ones that fit any style with super fast shipping.

6. Hang personalized stockings.

This should not be a surprise that I prefer mine monogramed. Right now, Pottery Barn is having amazing sales on their stockings and you can personalized them too. Quick shipping! One of my roomates just ordered hers!

7. Decorate the tree with bows.

If you don’t have time to gather and buy 100 complimentary ornaments or aren’t the best at decorating, the bow tree is for you. In fact, I picked up a few dozen gingham and gold bows from Target this year and turned our real Christmas tree into a bow tree with lights. No ornaments for us.

8.  Order magazine subscriptions with airline miles.

As the end of the year approaches, some airline miles will expire and a few like US Airways and Delta let you redeem unused miles for magazine subscriptions. I stock up in December on all my favorites from People to Southern Living and even Vogue. This is also great to do if you don’t have enough miles for a flight, you probably have enough for a magazine or two and you can “gift” them to friends and family. It makes for a easy and thoughtful gift that lasts all year.

9. Purchase and decorate with real wreaths.

If you don’t have room for a tree or don’t want to be vacuuming up pine-needles until June (like myself), a real wreath is a great way to add a little festive-ness to your house or apartment. They smell just like a Christmas tree and are easier to maintain. No “tree food” required.

10. Light those Holiday candles.

The Ralph Lauren Holiday Classic Candle is worth every penny and lasts forever. We get a few each year and it’s by far one of my favorite holiday scents.  I also love the Rewined holiday scents (“Spiked Cider” & “Wine Under the Tree” – post coming soon on those!)

What Holi-Tips & Tricks do you use this time of year? Share below or email me!

9 Responses to holi-tips & tricks

  1. Hill says:

    That’s a great tip about using your airline miles for magazines! I had no idea some let you do that

  2. I love RL’s Holiday Calendar! Great tips!!!

  3. Lauren says:

    Wait, Number 1 is soooo smart. Thanks for the tip!

    PS we are having some fun giveaways on our blog this week if you’d like to enter (winners announced on Friday)

  4. Kaitlyn says:

    Those are the CUTEST invitations! Where did you get them? The liner is so perfect for the Favorite Things party

  5. BAC says:

    Kaitlyn – these are from Nico and Lala – there is a link in the blog post as well and I am working with them on the party so stay tuned next week for more photos!

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