Holiday Home Prep Week 3: Final Touches

Add Seasonal Scents

Have your home smelling delightful with holiday-scented candles or stovetop scents that will warmly welcome your guests as they enter your home. Try a simple stovetop potpourri! Simply add your favorite ingredients to a large pot of water and set it on the stove to simmer. Try these:

  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole Allspice
  • Whole Cloves
  • Whole Star Anise
  • Cranberries – fresh or frozen
  • Orange slices
  • Optional – fresh rosemary or bay leaves

Set A Holiday Table

Most families spend time around the table during holidays. Keep the atmosphere festive with some special touches. Bring out the fancy dishes that you rarely use. Create a lovely, festive tablescape complete with printable place-cards, color-coordinated dinnerware and fresh, seasonal blooms.

Build a Cozy Fire

Up the coziness factor with a crackling fire going as you entertain your guests. Keep fuzzy blankets handy for those not as close to the fireplace.

Baby- and Pet-Proof

Even if you don’t have young children in your home, you may have some visiting during the holidays, and it’s helpful to spend a bit of time making sure your house is baby-proof. If you expect pets, you’ll also want to consider them as well. Just being aware of what a baby or pet can reach is a great start.

Holiday decorations can pose risks to children and pets. Both tend to be attracted to those shiny, delicate ornaments hanging on the bottom branches of Christmas trees, and the sparkling tinsel and ribbons that can be choking hazards. Cats may feel tempted to try to climb your tree, and your dog’s wagging tail can easily wreak havoc, too.

Also keep in mind that some traditional holiday plants can be toxic, including holly (particularly holly berries) and mistletoe, so make sure those are kept out of reach, too. And when it comes to lighting holiday candles, never leave open flames unattended.

Fire-Proof Your Tree

If your holiday decorations include a live tree, you’ll need to take a few extra and important safety precautions. Christmas trees are a major contributor to house fires. You’ll want to make sure your tree stays as fresh and well-watered as possible to reduce that risk.

When you get it home, cut an inch or two off the bottom of the trunk before quickly placing it in water. Make sure that it always has enough water to cover the base of the trunk – expect to refill the water at least daily. Set the tree up away from heat sources and out of direct sunlight, and consider using a humidifier to help prevent it from drying out.

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