Christmas, Christmas Ideas, Christmas Inspiration, Cozy Christmas ideas
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Easy Ways to Create A Cozy Christmas in 2023

11/29/2023 21:02:00 +0000
As Christmas gets closer, I long to create a sense of coziness in my life and for those around me. The rest of the month is a bit of a frenzied event...and that's okay with me. There is lots to do to get ready for Christmas as well as attending to normal life and the end of year!

But as the week before Christmas approaches, I start taking steps to intentionally slow down, quiet my heart and mind and create a sense of cozy.

There is still lots to be done, but it's closer to home – wherever home is that year. I'm normally in someone else's home for Christmas and I bet you are too. How do we create a sense of coziness, of welcoming, of warmth, comfort, and relaxation?

Here are seven ideas to create a sense of Christmas coziness where you are celebrating, whether its in your home on somewhere you are traveling to.
Sit Down & Enjoy Some Inspiration
I realize all those holiday magazines and books are meant to inspire us to decorate and do all the things before the season starts. Ofteh, I don't give myself the time to indulge in forty-five minutes of Victoria magazine's Christmas edition or Nigella's Christmas book that sits on my shelf or the new Bake From Scratch magazine (pictured here). 

But the week before Christmas when the to-do list is almost done and the applesauce cake is in the oven for an hour, I take time to grab a soft blanket, a cup of peppermint tea (or coffee) and curl up with one of these holiday delights.

Sometimes I'll get an idea for the Christmas table or an upcoming gathering, but usually I just love seeing how others put together the holidays, read stories and look at pictures of soft lights and beautifully lit trees. It is a feast for my eyes and heart to take in all the Christmas beauty.

Maybe this is the time you'll take for forty five minutes of reading a novel or that book you really wanted to finish before the end of the year.

Also, for those of us who are the busy bees, it helps our family and friends relax when we relax too! I had a hard time with this, but I've learned its so nice to settle down for a bit. It gives others "permission" to settle down too.
Treasure Past People with Beloved Recipes
We are all made up of our years and stories and family gatherings and those family members, many who are not here celebrating with us anymore.

Most years I make my maternal Grandma's Applesauce Cake. It's a dense, but flavor-filled loaf cake that has a bit of a kick (lots of allspice, cinnamon and other spices) and topped with a vanilla icing. Grandma made it every year for decades. It doesn't quite seem like Christmas without it.

Making this recipe reminds me of the deep love and commitment to gathering and feeding people that my grandparents had. It reminds me to keep that tradition alive: the tradition of making good, hearty, homemade meals.
A recipe I make every year for family and friends is gingerbread cookies. My mom made gingerbread cake each year for Christmas Eve and these cookies remind me of those years.
They travel well and the spicy warmth of these not-as-sweet cookies are a pleasant contrast to the richer desserts of the season. 
Feeding people is loving people. There are few things sweeter than walking into a home filled with the fragrance of traditional Christmas recipes. It releases such a sense of home and comfort.
Remember the Reason for the Season
The season of Christmas is a wonderful time to reunite with Jesus. Too many times over the years I found myself being busy doing things for Him (so I thought) and neglecting to spend time with Him.
This year I'm spending time with the first few chapters of Luke, reading and praying, entering into the story, talking to Jesus, worshiping Him, listening, and simply spending time with Him.
As a past mentor said, "Time spent with Jesus and His word is never wasted time!" So true. Being with Jesus is beautiful. Let's lean into the quiet moments this week and rest in Him and be with Him. 
Bring in All the Senses
We've all been told how much we communicate via non-verbal communication. Allegedly, 80% of the way we perceive others is through non-verbal forms of communication (which is terrifying to those of us who love and treasure words as a way of communicating).

But this works to our favor at Christmas time. Concerned about the dynamics of the upcoming gathering? Even if we have nothing but high hopes for the joy of the events that will take place, we can create a sense of calm and coziness through all sorts of ways: the lighting, background music, the scents, how "busy" the room is with stuff.
All of these things add to a sense of cozy – or sometimes of chaos! I've had both in my home.

Soft lights, a few candles, the nativity in a prominent place, not too much décor out, lots of pillows to rest against, gentle Christmas music playing (Kenny G and Celine Dion remain my favorite artists to play at Christmas gatherings) all contribute to a sense of warmth.

And of course, my own heart and attitude top it all off. Am I rushed or calm? Can I let mishaps and unforeseen delays and accidents go? Do I keep that spirit of giving in my own heart (and on my face?). This makes such a difference.
What else do you do to create an atmosphere of welcome, rest, and joy?
Create your own personalized name cards!
Take Time to Create
I suppose I'm biased because I'm an artist,  but I do think it is life-giving to create something you can hold in your hands Christmas week, just for fun, just for joy.

You could paint a cozy watercolor wreath from a recent YT video or a Christmas home from the Home for the Holidays course.
Jeanne Oliver has a wonderful Christmas course geared for creating lovely décor, making DIY gifts and ideas for holiday gatherings.
And there is a plethora of ideas on YouTube, Instagram and in the marvelous Christmas books and magazines.

Maybe it's an embroidery project, coloring Christmas pages with a child, or painting ornaments. Years ago I made candles of all shapes and sizes. It feels a bit like a luxury to slow down and create something tangible! And there is something terribly cozy and comforting about homemade things.
Write Things Down (just a few minutes a week)
Grab that journal off the shelf. Yes, the one that doesn't have an entry since 2021. 😊 Once a week for ten minutes, write down everything sweet about this season. Write in a way that is easiest for you. Bullet points, long run-on sentences, traditional journal entry, it doesn't matter how you write, but that you write. Ten minutes a few times this month.
If you can make the time a habit (ten minutes on Sunday morning with a cup of coffee when the day isn't rushed), it will be easier to stick to.

Writing things down cements them in our brain. It's also a gift to our future selves about the grace received in this present season.
And, if writing before Christmas just isn't happening, take time after Christmas. I love to curl up in bed the day after Christmas with a cup of coffee and my journal and sit there and linger over the memories, the conversations, all the gifts of the season.
Light some Candles

My mom is good at lighting candles frequently, but I forget how this simple practice can create an atmosphere of calm.

During Christmas, white pillar candles of various heights are my favorite. They give a soft, welcoming glow, especially against all the color of the décor, gifts, and food.

I love something that creates a sense of cozy without too much effort! I've collected and played with ideas over the years and my favorite "cozy Christmas creators" seem to be the one that are high on experience without a lot of extra effort. With so much being put into hosting, cleaning, cooking, shopping, and other activities, I love to create a sense of cozy and cheer within minutes.

What about you? What activities and traditions usher in the warmth and cheer of the Christmas season? I hope I've brought some ideas to you mind from yesteryear or provided some inspiration to start this year!

I'd love to hear from you. You can send me a note [email protected] or on Instagram. Merry Christmas! May you have a warm and cozy holiday :)

Author: Melissa AuClair
Hi, I'm Melissa! I'm a floral artist and the author of "Don't Let Christmas Kill You: A Woman's Guide". I teach art and creative workshops to help women create space & beauty in their lives by discovering time for fun & relaxing creating, especially during the holidays.
Search all the courses I'm currently offering on the workshop page here.
California, United States
The Creative Season © 2021

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