4 festive ways to make your holidays brighter, merrier, and more thoughtful

1. DIYing.

Flowers make everyone happy. That’s my theory, at least. So I love to make my own seasonal flower arrangements to put around the home.

I like to get resourceful, so I go in my backyard and see what I can pull together. Realistically you may not have everything, and may have to make a quick run to the craft store (The craft stores aren’t as crazy packed as the mall anyway, so it’s bearable, promise).

DIY Festive Flower Arrangement

Flower arrangement can be made with:
– Roses, filler blossoms and pine from the backyard ($0)
– Holiday gift toppers from Michaels (On sale for 44 cents each)
– Small gold vase from Michaels (On sale for $5)

Any other flowers you may have will work fine. Be creative! I had orange roses, which I didn’t think would be season appropriate, but when paired with the color coordinated gift topper, it all tied together nicely.

Also, a cute alternative to the vase is mason jars, which are about $1.40 each at Michaels.

2. Holiday partying in style.

I have been opting for pants over dresses/skirts all year long, and these occasions are no different.

Paired with a silk top (love the gorgeous blue color!), a black and white tweed coat, and simple strappy black heels, it’s a subtle, sophisticated look that still makes a statement.  The high-neckline of the top exposes the shoulders and shows just the right amount of skin.  (That, along with a bare back or exposed collar bone, are the sexiest body parts in my opinion).

Party your Holiday pants off

3. Listening to Holiday tunes.

THEE quintessential album that is the first I play come the holiday season is Nat King Cole’s Christmas album. Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas without his version of Christmas Song. And his rendition of ‘O Holy Night’ can bring me to tears.

This time of the year is so special to me more for nostalgic reasons than anything. I find that doing the things that I used to do when I was little with my family makes me the happiest. So it’s no surprise that the music I enjoy the most is what my parents enjoy and used to play. From Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra to Andrea Bocelli, my parents’ Christmas music selection is what I like to draw from.

Favorite Christmas music

But of course I have to throw in some “classics” of my time, if you know what I mean.

Christmas playlist musts

4. Being thoughtful.

This is a time where we should be thankful for what we have, but give to those who are less fortunate. But because it’s also a time where everyone is so caught up in the chaos of it all.

A way to make someone’s day that really doesn’t take much? Letters.

There are several causes out there, but this year I wrote to Recovering American Soldiers, through an organization my mom’s friend informed us about.  You can also go to operationchristmascard.org, and as always, the American Red Cross offers ways to help, all year round.

May this Recovering American Soldier's days be merry and bright

Writing a letter may not seem like much, but putting forth that extra thought and energy to make even just one other person smile — someone who may be more in need of one than you could ever know — is a beautiful thing.

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