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9 Simple Holiday Ideas to Try This Year

The holidays are in full swing here in SoCal --
and Christmas is only two weeks away!

The season always seems to fly by come December 1st,
and it can feel challenging to try and
cherish every moment
while also fitting in every holiday task & activity!

In hopes of bringing some joy (and ease)
to you & yours this holiday season,
I’m sharing 9 of my favorite simple
holiday ideas that I’ve loved incorporating 
in our home over the years!

From festive candle arrangements, 
to hostessing tips, 
to an easy Christmas cake,
these ideas are quick ways
to add more cheer to the season!

1. Homemade Christmas Potpourri

The smells of Christmas are almost as important as the decor,
And once you make this potpourri you’ll understand why!

This recipe is an instant way to put holiday in the air,
And it’s a quick way to create cozy Christmas feelings.

Simply slice one orange and lemon,
and add to a pot along with
4 cinnamon sticks,
½ cup fresh cranberries,
2 tablespoons whole cloves,
And 4 cups of water.

Leave the pot simmering on the stove,
and replace water as needed!

2. DIY Christmas Candles

These candles may be one of my favorite easy projects
to bring in some extra holiday cheer!

I like to use clear empty jam jars
but any glass vessel you have will work!

Add fresh cranberries and pine,
then fill with water.
Top with a floating candle and you’re set!

These festive candles will last a week or more,
and make the most beautiful 
illuminating arrangements when lit!

Grouping them together is almost an 
instant holiday centerpiece
Or sprinkle them around for Christmas ambiance!

3. Paper White Bulbs

Paper whites have long been a 
winter tradition at my house.

Every year around Thanksgiving,
I plant dozens of bulbs in
various containers,
using them both inside and outside!

It’s so fun to watch the bulbs sprout
throughout the season,
eventually blooming into a forest of
gorgeous white flowers.

Keep in mind, they do tend to grow fairly quickly,
so plan your planting time accordingly!
Once they are full grown,
simple wooden skewers can be used
to help prop up the sweet, tall blooms.

4. Fresh Citrus Arrangements

If you’re looking for the easiest
holiday arrangement,
look no further than your 
grocery store's produce section!

At the holidays, I love incorporating
fresh citrus around the house and gardens
since it adds the perfect California pop of color.

Add fresh lemons or oranges
to a basket or bowl,
tuck in fresh pine sprigs 
or citrus leaves,
and your arrangement is done!

5. Felt-Ribboned Presents

I love finding alternative ways of 
wrapping presents, other than traditional paper & ribbon.

Over the years, 
my biggest tip for wrapping has been
to use fabric as ribbons!

You can pick out as many yards of it as you need
at the fabric store, 
or use extra fabric that you have at home.

Simply cut it into desired widths, and you’re set!
One of my favorite fabrics to use
is felt, which comes in a plethora of colors.

It holds a bow shape incredibly well
since it’s a stiffer fabric,
And looks wonderful accented with 
fresh pine or jingle bells!

6. Fresh Pine Accents

At the holidays,
I love bringing in all different types of greens
to freshen and liven the space.

Whether it’s bouquets of fresh cut pine 
from Trader Joe’s,
Potted pines, 
or fresh produce,
these are one of my favorite ways of 
finishing off decor!

Potted pines on the mantle look gorgeous
next to hurricane candles 
ringed with cranberries.

Fresh cut pine & holly works well 
when incorporated into a 
centerpiece with candles,
or simply added to clear vases with water 
to create a festive look for not much money!

I even like to work in sprigs
in our bar area,
on shelves,
or in bowls of produce.
And once they dry, they can easily be replaced!

Another quick tip that brings in 
a holiday punch of color
is to use red ornaments
as filler for potted pines!

7. Showcase holiday glassware

After years of collecting holiday glassware,
I’ve accumulated quite a collection!

Pulling them out and putting them on display
is such an easy way of adding more
holiday cheer to your home!

I like to set out our vintage glasses 
on mirrored trays on our bar,
which makes them easily accessible for use, too!

These pretties have such a 
short lived season every year,
so they deserve a spotlight!

8. Simple Holiday Cocktail Party

The holidays can see overwhleming at times
with to-do lists, 
crafting, & baking.

But throwing a holiday party 
doesn’t have to be a chore!
Pulling together a festive soiree 
can be done with a few quick elements.

Champagne is a must --
and gold bottles, if you can find them,
make them the star of the party!
I like to place them in an 
oversized champagne bucket,
but any bucket you have works!

Champagne glasses are next,
and simple ones can be bought in sets at Target!
Dress them up with quick wine charms --
I made some with a simple red jingle bell and wire.

Add a cheese & charcuterie board,
holiday cake,
and some pine springs throughout,
and you’re ready to host!

9. Easy Winter Forest Cake

There’s nothing easier and more festive
than this darling winter cake!

If you aren’t much of a holiday baker,
or find yourself with little time 
to whip something up,
then look no further!

This festive dessert starts as a simple
white bakery cake from the grocery store!

Next, it’s ringed with fresh cranberries,
topped with bottlebrush trees
2 cinnamon sticks
and a dusting of powdered sugar!.

You’ll be amazed how adorable it is
with such minimal effort required!

As always my friends,

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life


  1. love how you decorate and love seeing your beautiful house and garden x

  2. Stunning! Sitting here with my jaw dropped open. One photo and idea is better than the next. Can I come to your house for the Holidays? Really gorgeous and creative. Love, love, love.

  3. You're so creative Tamera! I especially love the idea of using felt. The grey-blue color is gorgeous. Thanks for posting because we all enjoy getting a peek inside someone else's home, especially if it's beautiful like yours.

  4. What a treat to see and read your Christmas decor ideas Tamera. The use of citrus is brilliant, and really pops against the Christmas red. Love it all! xxo

  5. Wow!!! Such amazing ideas (which I have saved). You are so creative and artistic Tamera xx

  6. This was an absolutely beautiful post. Thank you for all the gorgeous pictures and great ideas!

  7. Tamera... brilliant and creative. YOU NEED YOUR OWN MAGAZINE. I'm sure all will agree.

  8. Tamera, I love all these ideas! I really appreciate your California chic by bringing in all the citrus and greenery! Your ideas are easy and green. I have to share this on my Facebook Page. I am going to try the cake idea. So darling! Wishing you a beautiful Christmas with your family! xo Kim

  9. OH gosh!- I had missed this post!! It has all the answers I'm looking for!!! I love your Christmas decor posts! You've been my Christmas inspiration for the last several years!!! And suddenly - my family thinks I have this renewed brilliance!!! hahahaha!! Wishing you the best always Tamera! Cheers & blessings, Roxanne