Just the word “cozy” conjures up thoughts of a crackling fire and feelings of warmth and comfort. The colder it is outside, the more we gravitate into the cocoon we make in our home. Creating this comfortable nest comes naturally. The addition of a few finishing touches to your home will give an immediate cozy feeling with little effort. How can a home emit warmth and comfort to share with family and friends?
Begin at the front of your house. Get a fresh start by getting rid of all Fall leftovers. Focus on the door by painting it a “catch your eye” color. Of course, red is an immediate decision. Magnolia and evergreens can be made into attractive natural wreaths and garlands. Add baskets filled with red berries and tied with outdoor ribbon for a welcoming introduction. Complete this festive look with an outdoor spotlight directed to the door and tiny white lights in the greenery. Regular porch lights may distract from holiday lighting. If so, they should not be turned on during this holiday.
Entering the home should be an escape into a feeling of comfort and happiness. To create the spirit, there must be an appeal to the sounds, smells and sights of Christmas…
A crackling fire in the fireplace.
An abundance of nature brought inside with bare branches in an antique urn, a basket of pinecones with dried hydrangeas, a bowl of fresh oranges pierced with whole cloves, a clear vase filled with Paperwhite bulbs just ready to burst, brass buckets loaded with recently cut evergreens—all speaking of winter’s presence.
Thick, fuzzy throws over chairs and sofas.
Lighted candles urging us to slow down and enjoy the present time.
Lamps rather than ceiling lighting.
A stack of books beside a chair just waiting to be devoured.
A large freshly cut tree with collected ornaments carrying the tales of Christmases past and present.
Let the entertaining plans include inviting family and friends to enjoy your Cozy Christmas. Having guests over for drinks and appetizers is the easiest type of gathering. It will accommodate the most number of people in the widest age range. Success lies in keeping it simple. Plan the presentation with the same idea as your cozy home feel. Take advantage of the resurgence of antique copper and pewter popularity. These metals look so at home on a natural burlap table cloth while reflecting the fire and candle light. Greet each guest in the front hall with hot soup ladled from a tureen into mugs or tea cups and saucers—no spoons necessary. Hint: place a doily or cocktail size napkin on the saucer to keep the tea cup from sliding.
As folks make their way to the food table, a gorgeous arrangement will await them. Have the table set with serving pieces of various heights. Tiered servers may be presented with flowers or chocolate dipped strawberries at the top. Snack mix served in decorative paper baking cups adds interest and is so simple. A punch bowl filled with crushed ice will present the fresh shrimp in an unexpected style. Block cheeses served on a tray with dried fruits and sprinkled with nuts show a seasonal winter approach rather than fresh fruit. Serving a specialty drink and chilled cranberry juice from a decorative drink dispenser will eliminate the need for a person to pour drinks. Layering gives every serving option more WOW! A Christmas patterned plate placed on a tray or a buffet plate will be a more interesting presentation than placing a single plate directly on the table. A copper bowl setting on a pewter tray is mixed metal layering which has become quite popular. A Styrofoam cone placed on a platter can be completely covered with fruit cake balls rolled in sugar by using tooth picks. Around the base of the cone, arrange an assortment of holiday cookies. Creativity is unlimited when the hostess will try something new.
May the thoughts of Christmas 2014 be cozy, comfortable, creative, shared, simple, soothing, warm and blessed.
Happy Shared Christmas!