5 ways to get into the holiday sprit - 2020 version
Dec 12, 2020
Welcome to my very first blog post! I am super excited to share home decorating and event ideas along with well, anything creative that comes to my mind.
So, it’s that time of year again…THE HOLIDAY SEASON!! Although, this season is unlike any other and a lot of people are not feeling up to celebrating due to the pandemic, isolation, political fatigue and social unrest. I’ve come up with 5 simple things you can do to bring the holiday cheer back in 2020.
I think we can all agree that lights and sparkling things put you in a good mood (even you guys out there). There is something about changing your everyday space into a fantasy land. Whether it is a winter wonderland or an enchanted forest a visual touch of the holiday spirit may be just what you need. And it doesn’t have to take a lot or be expensive. Dollar stores, for example, have very nice décor items that you can use to enhance your home, neighborhood or spirit. Here are some pictures of what I did around my house. Side note: decorating the outside of your home will help increase the holiday spirit in your neighbors as well.
2. Holiday Playlist
Music is the chicken soup for the soul, at least it is in my world. Music can make you feel happy when you are sad and add to any celebration. Although holiday music is a slightly controversial topic. Some people hate it and some people love it. If you are the later this playlist will make you feel like you are wrapping gifts at the North Pole. If you don’t like holiday music this year might be the year to give it a chance again. The songs will generate some nostalgia memories of better times when we were with our family’s and friends celebrating. If you haven’t already made a play list, I made a list of all my favorite holiday songs to share with you all. Check out my Spotify playlist! Click the link below.
3. Give back
The holiday season always includes a big indulgent meal but for thousands of Americans this is not the case. Many Americans are food insecure due to the pandemic and depend on local food banks to provide food for their families. If you are blessed enough to have food on your table, giving back is the ultimate reason for the season. Helping your fellow man is not only something we should do during the holidays but throughout the year. Myself and my family decided to buy food to donate to our local food bank right before Thanksgiving. Doing this gave us a sense of community and we will be donating twice a month. If you would like to donate go to the Feeding America website (link below) and search for food banks or food pantries in your area.
4. Share recipes
You may not be able to have Grandma at the table this year but you can have Grandma’s potato salad or Aunt Dee Dee’s rolls. Having your family’s famous dishes on your table will be like having them as your guest. I encourage you all to exchange recipes with family and friends through email or text then make the dishes for your holiday meals.
This year we had a family member share a fruit cake with us by leaving it on our stoop. This was unexpected and definitely got me in the mood for the holidays. So I decided I would share some recipes with you!
Shannon’s Banana Pudding
Prep time: 20 minutes
Approximately 330 calories per serving
· 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
· 1 (5 ounce) package instant banana cream pudding mix
· 4 cups of cold milk
· 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
· 2 (12 ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed
· 1.5 box vanilla wafers
· 8 bananas, sliced
In a large mix bowl, whisk both packages of instant pudding mix with milk. Whisk in can of sweetened condensed milk. Until smooth. Fold in one container of whipped topping. Set aside.
Layer wafers, bananas and pudding (repeatedly) in a large glass serving bowl. Top with one container of whipped topping and crumbled wafers. Chill before serving.
Holiday Chicken Salad
Prep time: 25 minutes
Approximately 160 calories per serving
· 1 store bought rotisserie chicken, shredded
· 2 stalks of celery, diced
· ½ cup onion, chopped
· ½ cup dried cranberries
· ½ cup pecans (optional)
· ¾ cup mayonnaise
· ¼ cup ranch dressing
· 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
· 1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
In a large mixing bowl combine chicken, celery, onion, cranberries, and pecans. Add mayonnaise, black pepper, ranch dressing, and poultry seasoning. Mix well.
Chill and serve with crackers as an appetizer.
5. Fill your home with holiday scents
In this blog we have covered three of the five human senses, sight, taste, and sound in celebrating this season. Now let’s talk about smell. The sense of smell is closely linked with memory, probably more so than any of our other senses. That’s why when you smell pine, gingerbread, cinnamon, cloves, and hot chocolate you think back on times of wrapping presents or decorating the Christmas tree. Here is a tip to get you reminiscing of holidays past….light your favorite holiday candle or defuse a favorite essential oil. Below are the candles and oils I have been using this year.
A set of 6 for $16.94 on Amazon by Eternal Essence Oils
(my favorite is almond coconut milk)
A set of 3 for $30.00 on Amazon by Wax and Wane
(Perfect for gifts)