*products were received to facilitate a feature, all opinions are my own.
Every year, I try to take the stress out of the holiday season by getting as prepared as I can, as early as I can. This means shopping during the year, not just in December, and also getting my Christmas cards prepped in….October! It makes for a much smoother holiday season, when I can really enjoy it, rather than feel stressed. I love to send out Christmas cards to friends and family and I want to be able to enjoy the act of doing it instead of feeling grumpy because it’s taking up too much time. To make that task easier, I rely on a great online company, like Mpix, to help me out. I can easily select the perfect format (there are so many gorgeous templates to choose from), upload my photos that I want to use, and before you know it, my card is ready to go. I can customize every aspect of the process, including being able to have envelopes pre-printed with return addresses. The entire experience is enjoyable rather than stressful and within a very short time, my physical cards have arrived. They are really great looking, high quality cards, printed on thick paper. Now, when the time comes, all I have to do is address them and mail them out. Super easy and fun, actually! I can’t recommend them enough!
I love to light candles in my home, so naturally, I love burning holiday scents. Yankee Candle always has great aromas that have a strong throw, which I definitely prefer. This year, I am excited about four new scents that have arrived in stores and online: Aromatic Orange and Evergreen, Cascading Snowberry, Balsam and Clove, and Spicy Pepperberry and Spruce. I can’t even pick a favorite scent, so it’s good I have multiple rooms to burn them in. These would make great gifts for friends and neighbors, and a special holiday treat for yourself!
I love to have unique Christmas decorations on display. I have always been fond of nutcrackers, especially. Recently, my son has gotten me interested in Russian nesting dolls. I’ll be honest, I never really associated them with Christmas, but throughout our travels, I am seeing them on shelves all over the place. Along the lines of the nutcrackers from Germany, I have quickly grown fond of these nesting dolls from Russia. I think having items on display from around the world is a pretty cool way to show that we universally recognize the importance of Christmas in different cultures, in different ways. I love the nesting dolls available at The Russian Store. Whether is is a beautiful traditional Red Roses, a cute nesting of Santas one or a festive Christmas tree with dolls like Santa Claus, snowmen, within, I am very excited to add to a relatively new collection and build upon it every year. The Russian store offers a huge assortment of hand crafted, hand painted dolls that you will adore, for every budget imaginable. They are stunning and well made.
Nothing is better than blasting some great Christmas music while enjoying the season. I love to listen to Christmas music constantly from November to Christmas, so it’s good to mix it up a bit. I adore The Piano Guys: Christmas Together album. These selections are traditional (and some new) Christmas songs mixed with classical arrangements by The Piano Guys–who are not just musicians who play the piano, they are so much more than that! Absolutely gorgeous and the perfect peaceful music to listen to as we remember why we celebrate the season.
For the holidays, Hallmark is great to visit. I love to give personalized Christmas ornaments for my kids to remember something they really liked that year. That way, when we look back on our Christmas tree, we can easily spot things that spark memories of our children as they have grown. It’s a really fun way to make our tree personalized. No matter what your interests are, Hallmark is bound to have something to represent them. Favorite characters, sports teams, movies and more all have ornaments at Hallmark! I love the Harry Potter ornaments (always!). This year, Hallmark is offering some really cool Harry Potter ornaments that we love, such as the Gringotts Wizarding Bank ornament. This one allows for your Christmas light string to fit inside, illuminating the entire ornament, which makes for a magical effect.
Also available is the Harry Potter: A Dangerous Game ornament that takes us back to where it all began, The Sorcerer’s Stone. This ornament actually has sound and dialogue from the movie, which is a fun feature for the biggest Harry Potter fans.
I love these handmade Christmas napkins for special occasions from Etsy shop PorterLaneHome. Each linen napkin is 19″ x 19″ and hemmed on all sides. Imagine setting your dinner table with some festive and unique pieces like these. Just the special touch needed! You can find these “be merry” napkins, as well as a large assortment of others, online at this amazing shop!
To go with the festive napkins, I love this plaid table runner, stitched to order from Etsy shop Greenwood Corner. I adore plaid and up until this season have had a hard time finding it. I was on the lookout all last December and I was sadly out of luck. This year, though, it is everywhere! Makes me a happy camper! I will be shopping this gem of a store, as they have lots of other great plaid items, like scarves, pillows, and Christmas tree skirts. I’m stocking up on my favorite Christmas print now, while I can! You’ll love shopping here!