Today is July 25 and you know what that means...6 months until Christmas day. Yippee!!! Pour yourself a steaming mug of pink hot cocoa and let's get festive! Never heard of pink hot cocoa??? That's okay...let me be the first to introduce you. If I had a recipe I would share it but instead we buy ours at Sur La Table...and it is sooooo good! And before I get started, I want to apologize for the fact that I am cramming so much into one blog post. First up is the whole pink/white theme, then some family traditions we have always done or ones I wanted to do. I hope you leave feeling joyful and looking forward to the Holidays rather than dreading them. Thank you to Maggi for hosting this blog party!!!
Okay, red & green are traditional colors and they are beautiful, but how about a festive pink or white theme? Think soft, fluffy, delicate, simple, elegant, fun, pretty...how nice does that sound? Of course, it goes without saying that the overall decor of your home would probably need to be light and/or neutral to really pull this off so if you have that, go for it. I promise it will be one of the prettiest Christmas decors on the block! We did this for years and whenever friends came over to the house, they all thought it was so magical and wintry. I remember the first year we did this while my husband was out of town and when he came home, he loved it...surprise, surprise!!! hahaha Anyway, I have some photos I found while cruising around on the internet to inspire you. I cannot afford to buy new decorations every time I am in a new phase and you are probably the same, so I'll give you a few cost-savings tips to help you pull it off.
Here are some things to start looking for when you're planning your look:
White twinkle lights
Tulle...pink, white...lots of it and it is cheap. (Makes great gift wrap, too!
Those bags of fluffy white fake snow
White "snow" in a can
White and/or pink cardstock for rings and paper ornaments...lots of hanging paper chains like in the movie "Elf". Everyone loves when we do this!
Crystals in any shape or form...garland, beads
fishing line...for hanging things from the ceiling, chandelier...
white spray paint for pinecones and branches to make white "trees" or to paint any artificial Christmas trees you have
pink bottle brush trees...buy or dye your own
white or soft pink feather garlands
Clear ornaments...Number ONE decorating tip
silver mercury glass...check Target or yard saleswhite candles
fabric remnants in white silk or satin for centerpieces
cheap snowflake decorations...mini ones to embellish packages or tie on
various items such as candlesticks
cherubs and angels...these are mine:-)
Sometimes I think a bit of greenery for contrast is pretty
For flowers...pink or white poinsettias, white amaryllis or my favorites~~paperwhites.
Now that you've decorated, how about a "White Christmas Party"? This is such an elegant party and you can do it up or keep it simple and have a sweet dessert party.
Think about it...layers of white fabric or tulle on your table, as well as snowflakes, candles in little votives, tall paperwhites in silver spray-painted pots...
White chocolate cheesecake bites
Green grapes...plain and sugared
White cheeses and crackers
White chocolate dipped strawberries or anything else dipped in white chocolate, such as pretzels, fortune cookies, white chocolate dipped candy canes...
snowflake or star cookiesbrownie pops
Decorating Tip #1:
Clear ornaments. You can do ANYTHING with these, from painting them...even simply painting dots on them, embellish them with scrapbook images, stickers or rub ons, fill with colored shreds or pieces of fabric in your color theme, swirl paint on the inside, fill with artificial snow, and my new favorite...decoupaging scrapbook paper on them. SO pretty!!!
Decorating Tip #2:
Use what you have. As I said, I can't afford to buy tons of new stuff each year. I find the prettiest arrangements often include what I have around me...in the case of Florida, that means seashells. White starfish are perfect additions to a Christmas tree or arrangements mixed with ornaments Do you have pine cones where you live? Take the kids to gather pine cones. We used to bake them to make sure there was NOTHING still living in them and then use glue with colored glitter or spray paint them white for your white Christmas. Gather long twigs to spray paint and tie large plastic crystal drops (Joann's or Michael's) from them with fishing line. (Works for other holidays, too) Cheap and easy...I like it!
WREATHS!!!* Shell wreaths, button wreaths, "snowball" wreaths, ornament wreaths...use small toys your kids have gathered as well as other special mementos. Lots of ideas!
Decorating Tip #4:
Create little vignettes of things that compliment each other, even if they aren't really holiday items. Just add a little snow and voila! Also, hang stockings everywhere. Instant decorating. (The same goes for gift-wrapped boxes)
Sigh...Yes, I'm dreaming of a White Christmas:-)
Christmas traditions and ideas for the family:(This is our house)
My family loves Christmas and we are always on the lookout for some new ideas and traditions, so I can't wait to visit the other blogs to get some. We did have some pretty neat ones of our own and a few I found recently that I would definitely do if I could.
~Christmas tree in every room: Family room-family tree, living room-mommy's pretty tree, kids rooms-their theme (Barbie, sports...), master bedroom---hate to say it but this is where the dogs sleep so this is where the doggy tree is:-)
~Gingerbread houses...make great decorations and wonderful gifts to give. Think of the sweet lady who used to make these with her children and now lives alone. What a way to sweeten the Holidays for her!:-)
~Gingerbread Cookies. Have a gingerbread cookie party for the kids or do what we did one year. On Christmas Eve, my kids delivered gifts to neighbors. Inside, gingerbread men unfrosted with all of the toppings...frosting, candies...and a tag that said "From our family to yours...Merry Christmas!" Gingerbread families...get it??? hahaha
~When the tree goes up all of the stuffed animals in the house or at least the special Christmas ones were placed under it to wait for Santa.
~Thanksgiving Shopping Party: I had a friend who held an open house the day after Thanksgiving, to kick off the Christmas season. She had leftover turkey sandwiches as well as cookies and a few other goodies. She sent out invites telling her friends to stop in for some Christmas cheer in between shopping. it was always a big hit!
~Make up "Christmas Survival Kits" for friends, other busy moms... Buy empty paint cans at Home Depot and decorate with paint, ribbon, cardstock... Fill with a candle, a favorite Holiday book, bath salts, hot cider mix and a few yummy chocolates.
~Always, always, always make copies of your children's Christmas letters to Santa. I did this...thank goodness. I will always cherish the letter from Jordie to Santa asking for only 4 simple things when she was 5...a limo, a puppy, a rainbow and a unicorn. Hooray for puppies:-) I think Santa decided she needed an outlet for her creative mind and she got an art easel!:-)
Taylor just asked for every Barbie ever made...and I am NOT kidding. She did serious research into this every year. One list asked for Mermaid Barbie, Nutcracker Barbie and the Prince, Sleeping Beauty Barbie...and the Prince, Wedding Barbie, Chocolate Barbie, Citrus Barbie, Disco Barbie, Teacher Barbie, Marie Claire Barbie, Spanish Barbie and drum roll please...King Kong Barbie. No kidding! hahaha
~Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with a tiny gift each day to your kids. They will soooo look forward to this and it helps with the wait for the big day.
~Christmas rings...we made 25 rings each year and on each one, I wrote something special and festive we would do. Each day, we took off a ring and would go for a ride in the convertible with hot cocoa to look at Christmas lights,
make gifts for family, go shopping for other children from the "Angel Tree" at the mall, watch a Christmas movie, have dinner by the tree, sleep by the tree...silly little things that made their day! The 25th ring said Merry Christmas!
Well, obviously I could go on and on but I've probably lost my party guests already. hahaha Guess I'll just have to spend the next 6 months adding in all the stuff I forgot!. Lucky you!!!:-) Hope you liked my early Christmas and be sure to visit the others at Maggis party hop. Thank you so much for stopping by and have a jolly Christmas in July, from my family to yours!!!
P.S. I have had a few emails asking for recipes and instructions and I will try to do this sometime next week.