This 2020 holiday season looks very different from any other we’ve ever seen, so we need to approach our celebrations with a little more patience, creativity, and intentionality than in years past. While circumstances may not be ideal, these unusual times have given us a rare opportunity to change the way things unfold, to create new traditions — and invite deeper meaning — into our holiday festivities.
Resource Furniture asked our staff how they are making the most of the holidays this year. The result is this 2020 Holiday Guide, packed with helpful tips and inspiration on how to share and cherish the season in these trying times. From décor tips to fun activities, to seasonal recipes and more, we hope these ideas spark some inspiration and help make your holidays a little brighter.
Most surfaces in our homes already have enough décor in place as it is. Here’s a handy tip to keep your home festive and clutter-free through the holidays: for every piece of new holiday décor you put out, take away an existing piece.
Bookends can be swapped for seasonal items like snow globes or ornaments; existing wall art can be replaced with festive prints or Advent calendars; and light throw blankets can be stored away for the season to make room for cozier, quilted alternatives. However you swap, be sure to follow this simple one-to-one exchange rule to keep your holiday décor from overwhelming the space. This simple tip helps set a festive mood and make your loved ones feel welcomed into your home, even if it’s through FaceTime.
A great tip to simplify your holiday decorating routine (while setting an ultra-luxe vibe) is to stick to a single color palette. Whether you choose gold, white on white, or classic red and green, stick to a clear direction and make sure that items you use in your holiday displays tie into your palette.
You don’t have to stick to traditional color palettes, either — this year, try experimenting with unconventional colors like blue, coral, cream, or even pink for a fun twist on tradition.
It isn’t necessary to buy all-new holiday decor. In fact, some of the most beautiful décor items can be found right outside your door (and for free, no less!) This year, consider turning to nature to source your holiday décor. Cut pine boughs for your stair railings or mantle; gather pinecones for a DIY wreath; or collect twigs and leaves to make your own handmade ornaments.
Incorporating elements of nature not only brings a sense of calm, but it also makes your home smell naturally great! For families with small kids, consider turning your foraging adventure into an outdoor scavenger hunt!
Earlier this fall, we wrote about the Danish lifestyle and cultural concept known as hygge, which celebrates all things comfortable, convivial, warm, and cozy — think the feeling of propping your feet up by the fire with a good book, nuzzling into your favorite blanket, or laughing with friends over a beer and a hearty meal.
The concept of hygge has taken the world by storm in recent years (it was even among the finalists for Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year in 2016) but it has come to occupy a particularly prominent place in our collective psyche after such a stressful year.
Give yourself some well-deserved warmth and comfort this holiday by incorporating hygge elements into your home. Surround yourself with comforting items like cozy blankets and plush throw pillows; candles and string lights for ambient lighting; natural materials like wood and stone; and calming, neutral color palettes. Really, anything can be hygge as long as it brings you comfort and joy — but if you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve curated our favorite hygge-inspired pieces from our collection to help you set the calm, cozy mood.
Bonus tip! To really up the hygge factor, break out your favorite scented candles to infuse your home with the comforting scents of the season. We love the warm, delicious smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweet orange this time of year.
It’s hard to imagine the holidays without food. Luckily, you can still share a mouthwatering spread with loved ones, even if you won’t be eating under the same roof. Here are some ideas to help you share your favorite holiday meal traditions, no matter where you are in the world.
Consider doing your holiday meal planning as a family. Exchange your favorite comfort foods, old family recipes and other holiday must-haves. Find at least one dish on the holiday menu that you can all make from your respective locations, and set a time to prepare it together via Zoom or FaceTime! Not only is this a great way for everyone to gather in the kitchen, but planning your meals together is an excellent way to build positive anticipation ahead of the holidays.
You’ve heard of signature cocktails for weddings — why not create one for every special occasion? While you’re planning your holiday meal, consider adding a signature cocktail to the menu. It could be a tried-and-true winter classic, like an eggnog cocktail or mulled cider. Or feel free to use our Snowflake Martini recipe:
Using a lemon wedge, wet the rim of your martini glass. Dip in sanding sugar until rim is coated. In a cocktail shaker, combine white chocolate liqueur with vanilla vodka and heavy cream. Fill shaker with ice and shake well. Strain mixture into prepared martini glass and serve!
Of course, you’ll need to top off that meal with some dessert — and what could be more comforting than baking together during the holidays? Add a little sweetness to your holiday meal with this simple cookie recipe:
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, cream together margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in walnuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!
After such a taxing year, we could all use a little more joy in our lives. Here, we list some simple ideas to help you spread meaningful cheer this season — not only to others, but also to yourself.
The pandemic has changed so much about how we shop, so gift-giving is bound to look a little different. This year, instead of traversing shopping malls and big-box stores, add a personal touch with a sentimental gift. Create a photo album looking back on your memories togethers, or collect all of your family recipes into a cookbook.
Charitable donations are another thoughtful option that both you and the recipient can feel good about. Think about the causes and organizations that matter most to your loved ones, and consider making a donation in their name. Many companies also donate a portion of their proceeds to charitable organizations when you purchase a gift — at Resource Furniture, for example, you can make a $100 donation in your recipient’s name to one of 20 charities when you make any purchase through the end of the year.
Finding meaning in the holidays means being present and cherishing time spent with the people closest to you. If you are fortunate enough to share your home with family members or roommates, perhaps the best gifts you can give yourself (and those around you) this year is a digital detox.
Consider taking a break from your devices, even if only for a day or two, and focus on quality time. After the constant deluge of news in 2020, your mind will thank you!
We may not be able to gather indoors this year, but there are still plenty of seasonal activities you can enjoy with your social pod — you just have to head outside! Try organizing an outdoor event, like a holiday drive-in movie, ice skating outing, marshmallow roasting, or an outdoor scavenger hunt (see our tip on Turning to Nature)!
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