Are you ready for Christmas? Recently we were thinking back on the little paper advent calendars that we had as children — it seemed that with the arrival of December 1, time would just slow down to a crawl — it felt like an eternity between each day that passed before it was time to open the next window! In the hustle and bustle these days, it hardly “feels” like Christmas before it’s already here, and this unique year is no exception. Our friend and entertainer extraordinaire Stephanie Booth Shafran knows that all too well (back in March, we joked with Stephanie that her new book, You’re Invited, would temporarily be known as “You’re NOT Invited — at least not for a while, anyway!” But as an expert hostess, Stephanie has effortlessly translated her hospitality insight into advice we can all apply this holiday season to bring maximum Christmas cheer at home with our most precious of company: our families. Here are Stephanie’s nine tips for a festive Christmas celebration at home:
1. Lots of holiday music, so the house feels alive with the sound of Christmas cheer!
2. When decorating your house, decorate all of the shared spaces and add small bowls of Christmas candy to every room.
3. Use the old traditional décor: for example, there is one large ornament ball filled with candy in our kitchen that has been around for years and it is kind of unattractive and the kids think that is what makes it fun. Their motto: ugly is okay when it comes to tradition, because sentiment matters more!
4. Traditional family bites. Have food during Christmas that is unique to the holidays. Two examples are the Hotel Bel Air homemade ding dongs that we love and sausage rolls that we have on Christmas morning.
5. It’s never too late to start new family traditions. One of the longstanding traditions in our house is that everyone gets matching fun pajamas every year. We’ve all donned PJs in prints from leopard to candy canes. This year, we did custom monogrammed ones in red flannel with white trim, a classic touch.
6. Here’s a fun gift idea: personalize a gingerbread house with your friends’ or family members’ names written on the rooftop in frosting.
7. Everyone should have a stocking with his or her name on it, even pets!
8. Make time to celebrate with your spouse, too, in private. Steve and I wake up a a little early Christmas morning to sip coffee and exchange gifts.
9. I often put something on the stove to fill the house with the spirit and the scent of the season, such as mulled cider. It smells just like Christmas.
Thank you, Stephanie, for these wonderful holiday tips, and for sharing a glimpse inside your exquisite home! If you don’t already own a copy of Stephanie’s book, You’re Invited, you can read The Glam Pad’s review here, and it can be purchased via Amazon. To learn more about Stephanie Booth Shafran, please visit her website and follow @stephanieboothshafran on Instagram.
And if you are still looking for Christmas gifts, we recommend Amazon’s Same-Day Store for last minute gift ideas broken down into category and delivered as fast as 5 hours. Merry, merry!