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How To Make Your Home Welcoming for the Holidays

December 29th, 2012 Seasonal

The holiday season is officially upon us, which means many young couples will be entertaining their extended families for the first time for Christmas dinner or Hanukkah gift exchanges. Luckily, making your home welcoming for your relatives isn't as hard as you might think. A few cozy touches can make a world of difference when it comes to setting the scene for a fun, friendly week with your family.

Whether you want to deck the halls or just add some extra charm to your living room, these foolproof tips will help you get in the holiday spirit - and make your guests feel comfortable and relaxed from the moment they step in the front door.

Sparkle and shine Winter is the time to let your inner Martha Stewart work her magic. With the temperature dropping outdoors, you may not be eager to head out into nature. Don't worry, there's plenty to do to inside to stay busy - including crafting unique decorations for your home. Get inspired by glittery white snow and design some holiday centerpieces for your mantlepiece or dining room table in a matter of hours.

Sticks gathered from the yard and dusted with a bit of silver glitter make an excellent decoration when gathered in a vase and tied together with a red ribbon. Pine cones in a bowl will add a delightful holiday scent to your household while helping to ring in the season, as well. Mix in a few red, blue and silver ornaments to add a pop of holiday color.

These simple, easy and nature-inspired decorations can add just the right amount of holiday spirit to your home, making it a welcoming place for family and friends as we prepare to ring in the new year.

Get baking Nothing's more welcoming than a plate of soft, gooey chocolate chip cookies waiting on the kitchen counter when guests arrive! There are many holiday recipes that make for an excellent treat on a cold winter day. Sugar cookies are a perennial favorite - especially when they're cut into fun snowflake and pine tree shapes to celebrate the season. Gingersnaps and peanut butter cookies are also popular. For even more holiday cheer, try a recipe for a holiday fave, like peppermint bark or eggnog.

If you have kids visiting this holiday season, baking can be a fun activity that adults and youngsters alike can participate in. Kids love to create shapes with the soft dough, smother the cookies with sprinkles and - of course - snack on the finished product.

Not much of a cook? Don't worry. A mug of hot cocoa is just as festive - and considerably easier to prepare.

Set out pictures Even if you're a new homeowner, you can make your space your own by decorating with family photos. Wedding pictures, family portraits, group shots and candids look just as excellent placed on the mantle or a table in the foyer as they do blown up and hung over the stairs.

To add an artistic touch, focus in on unique details - like cute kids' feet or your parents holding hands in their vacation pictures - and crop the photos to fit into small frames.

Surrounding yourself with photos of your loved ones is an easy way to show your family just how much you love and value them.

Decorating for the season with personal touches, yummy treats and pretty pictures will keep the holiday spirit alive in your home, even after the holidays have passed. Even when your guests have left, you'll have reminders all around of the love you have for one another.