Each of us probably has a slightly different vision of what makes a home extra inviting at the holidays. What comes to mind when you think of a “cozy Christmas”? A welcoming place to come in from the cold? A softly lit tree? Sweet smells drifting from the kitchen? Everyone talking and laughing around the table long after they can’t eat another bite?
Whatever your unique vision, there are some surefire ways to help bring it to life. And the nice thing is, you can go as all-out or as low-key as you like with your decorating. Here are a few key places to focus your attention to make your home cozy at Christmas.
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This could be a spot in front of a fireplace, or a couple of cozy chairs next to a table glowing with candles (flameless or flameful, depending on your family’s needs). This is meant to be your place to plop down, unwind, and take it easy with your favorite people. The dress code is lounge pants, a warm sweater, and fuzzy socks. The mood is one hundred percent hygge, which, if you haven’t heard it before, is a Danish word describing a simple feeling of cozy contentment. (It’s pronounced “hue-guh.”)
Wherever this “hygge” spot is for you, think about pulling in softness, warmth, and light however you can:
- Layering textured blankets and pillows creates a cozy atmosphere.
- Twinkle lights, candles, and firelight warm up the space.
- Baskets are great for collecting different objects such as blankets, pillows, and firewood.
- Knit, felt, or quilted stockings add a nice bit of texture.
- Fresh evergreen on the mantel brings a little bit of the outdoors in, reminding you how nice it is to be cozy inside when the weather is frightful!
Of course, no cozy holiday spot would be complete without something hot to sip. May we suggest hot wassail or a nice mug of hot cocoa?
The next place to focus your welcoming energy is a spot that invites guests to get in here, have a seat, catch up, eat a cookie, and just generally feel like they’re being wrapped up in a room-sized holiday hug. To do this, think “hygge” once again, and bring in seasonal touches of warmth and softness. In addition, think about those extra thoughtful touches that make you feel right at home at someone else’s place:
- Somewhere to put coats, bags, and shoes when they come in
- Slippers or socks to lend if you prefer shoes off
- Enough seating for everyone
- Enough light to see each other’s merry faces by
- Snacks and drinks laid out
- OR permission to head to the kitchen and help yourself
- Coasters for drinks
- Tissues for sniffles
- An easy-to-find trash receptacle
- Excitable pets corralled
- Throw pillows to hug and blankets to wrap up in
Think about inviting aromas, too. A live Christmas tree or fresh greenery could add this. So could a scented candle or essential oil diffuser. Having something yummy roasting, baking, or brewing in the kitchen does the trick as well!
It’s not a bad idea to have an activity planned either. The little bit of structure it provides can help bring everyone together. A board game or list of conversation-starter questions works. So does a white-elephant exchange.
Whatever you do, relax and remember: You don’t need to make your space or your snacks picture-perfect. You just want to put your guests at ease, and make the time together warm and comfortable for everyone.
Sooner or later, everyone ends up where the food is, right? It’s pretty much the number-one law of gatherings, holiday or otherwise. In your home, this might be a table or buffet spread with treats and munchies. Or it might be the kitchen itself, especially if you’re the type who doesn’t mind a few extra cooks lending a hand, or a stir, or an oven check…
In general, creating coziness with food is all about making it delicious and making it easy. Here are a few tips:
- Have baked goods and comfort foods ready to go for guests. Need a few ideas? Try one of the treats from this globally inspired list.
- Spread the love (and the work): Invite guests to bring a snack or dish to share.
- Don’t forget to provide a little salty to balance out all the holiday sweets.
- A cozy and comfortable table setting to have a conversation is always inviting.
- A side table with an in-progress puzzle or crayons and coloring pages gives everyone a relaxing option to pass the cold day and nights.
- When making and baking with friends, have tools and ingredients out and ready.
Go ahead and leave the dishes for later. A big part of creating a welcoming holiday home is being present with the people you care about. And who knows—maybe some jolly elf will sneak in and do them for you while you’re busy chatting!
What’s your favorite way to create a cozy Christmas? Let us know! Share your cozy Christmas pictures by tagging @hallmarkstores on Instagram.
Could it be any cozier?
Front door → Yep. A wreath and lights add a welcoming touch.
Sofa → Yes, with throw pillows and blankets.
Hot cocoa → Yes! Just add marshmallows.
Glass of wine → Yes! If enjoyed in great company.
Sugar cookie → Yes! If eaten while wearing your favorite sweater.
Strings of lights → Yes, if you embrace a strict “more is more” approach.
Reading by the fireplace → Yes! Just add fuzzy socks and/or furry friend.
Holiday hug from a loved one → Nope! That’s about as cozy as it gets.