Holiday decorating and entertaining without the stress

Easy decorations for the holidays

We love lots of company. Four kids running around plus their friends and our friends popping in and out means our home is pretty much like a party all the time. Although Halloween is our favorite holiday, entertaining and decorating for the upcoming holiday season is starting to get very exciting.

Because we have so many people in and out all the time, we keep snacks, hors d’oeuvres and fresh baked bread from the bread maker on hand. The fragrance from the breadmaker makes our home smell welcoming all winter. Once a week, I make double batches of soup in the crock pot before I leave for work; one for that night’s dinner and one to freeze so it’s easy to prepare for unexpected guests.

My caramel popcorn recipe was given to me by my Aunt Ilene. Friends and coworkers look forward to those clear plastic corsage bags tied with a bright red ribbon filled with addictively delicious popped golden kernels every year. Sorry, I am sworn to secrecy on the recipe but I’m sure you can look up a great one and keep plenty on hand for quick gifts and special treats.

Decorating for the holidays is also pretty quick and simple at our home. Over the years I’ve saved all the glass vases from flower deliveries. I fill each one with bright shiny balls and place them around the house. I also love putting colored strings of lights around each door inside the house to add holiday twinkle.

Our table will be set with holiday fare the entire month of December. I have my grandmother’s Christmas dishes, bowls and mugs and each year when I unwrap them, lovely memories flood my heart. We don’t save anything for “special occasions” so the dishes are used for every meal. I have a few favorite holiday table cloths from scavenging yard sales and these are rotated every few days for washing.

Family and friends visiting, lots of good food made from passed down recipes, decorating with familiar objects d’art, and enjoying the “good dishes” make for fairly unstressful holiday preparation. All that’s left to do is find that elusive “it” toy of the season before they’re all gone.

Do you go all out and decorate for days or bring out a few shiny bobbles and call it done?