Holiday tips that are easy and impactful!

holiday tips include sweets
Filling the table with simple treats, adding candlelight, and great holiday music make the best celebrations!

The holidays can be stressful. Trust me, I know. I am going to share a holiday tip or two that gets me through. They are all easy and make a BIG impact on your planning and also your work/life balance through the season! I promise it will help!

Holiday Tip #1: Great Gifts and Decor

Cedarburg, Wisconsin

Store front Leap of faith
Leap of Faith

The best place to get great gifts is in Cedarburg, WI. Leap of Faith has the best options around. They have little things that mean something. Journals, trinkets, jewelry, baby gifts, gifts of faith, and the best paper weights around. I think I bought 6 gifts there this year. They are pretty, simple, and they have something for everyone.

The Settlement also has special things. Lots of great items to decorate your home, the best holiday ornament shop I have ever seen, and also a great place for lunch. The winery also has great Christmas wine, and something for your Thanksgiving table.

Take your best friend, your husband, or your mom and go! Shop, enjoy each other’s company, and have lunch at the Cream & Crepe Cafe. You will have a great time. PROMISE!

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

Vintage of ada
Vintage of Ada, W4024 WI-32, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020

There is also a little vintage and antique shop in a small town near Elkhart Lake, WI named Vintage of Ada. It is in Ada, WI. They have the cutest antiques and vintage items. I just love it. It’s the kind of a place to get great ideas, and also round out your decor with something special and unique.

They also stock an entire wall of vintage pyrex just in case thats what you love or collect. A great vintage pyrex dish stuffed with old ornaments and some greens makes a gorgeous, simple centerpiece any day!

Holiday Tip #2: Simple recipes made special!

I don’t make a lot of fancy Christmas treats. I have learned to doctor up some simple things over the years. These sweets always make a big impact. They taste fantastic, are super easy to do, and also very colorful. Here are a few of my favorites….

holiday tip cookie
Try Christmas Peanut Butter Cookies

Christmas Peanut Butter Cookies

Your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe with added sprinkles on the top also will be a HUGE hit. With a cocktail or coffee, peanut butter cookies always win. They will be gone at your next party promise!

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods
Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

Pretzel rods dipped in chocolate with sprinkles is one of my all time favorite Christmas treats. Dip them in milk or white chocolate, and sprinkle on red and green. HUGE impact and easy to do. They also add a TON to a table setting! BIG IMPACT

pretzel rods
Get crazy, white chocolate pretzel rods

Holiday Tip #3: Dress the part, it’s fun!

holiday tip:  spend it with your mom
Me and my Mom

Wear red, green, or plaid. Get dressed up. It feels good. Wear fun Christmas pajama pants while you bake and decorate. It adds to the spirit.

Work can be a lot, trust me I know. Downtime is just as important now as it is during the rest of the year. Wear elf leggings, a red cape, a great plaid shirt, or whatever your favorite is. Just do it. It will make you feel better and you’ll smile more, and there are lots of people this time of year that need to see that smile.

Make a difference for someone else! It will make you feel good!

Your foyer is your first impression. I like to add vintage family heirloom ornaments to the buffet. It makes me feel like my grandmother’s are still here. A little piece of each of them gives me a hug from heaven! Even though I can’t see them I know they are here watching over me! I would give just about anything to have them here and entertain them for the holidays like they did for me!

Holiday Tip #4: Make your Christmas tree stand out!

I have been obsessed with Christmas tree’s my entire life. Simple lights, ornaments that glisten, and things that mean something. Decorating is my favorite. I LOVE TO wrap a Christmas tree in gorgeous ribbon and sit back with a cup of coffee and just take it in. I do admit it’s a lot of work. But when it’s done it’s so worth it.

I’ve been told I need to do a “how to” or give away some secrets so….I’ll give you a few of my big impact simple tricks.

I’ll start by telling you to go to the National Forest for your tree. There is a blog post all about how to do it. You can find the link here. It is an adventure you will never EVER forget: Click below for the information!

Top Tree Decorating Tips

  1. Keep a theme when you do your tree: family ornaments, a color scheme, soft furry things, outdoor elements, old fashioned Santa’s, whatever. Keep that theme and build on it year after year. It’s cheaper and it will always stand out.
  2. Ribbon, ribbon, and ribbon…….the more ribbon you put on a tree the better. More glittery ribbon equals a shinier tree. If you don’t like shine then use old school tartan plaid. I add 4 or 5 types of ribbon to my tree. I recommend adding at least two different kinds of ribbon to your tree. Make sure to get enough. Start at the top and wrap the entire tree with ribbon tucking it in as you go and slipping it between the branches. You can be creative and go straight down or wave side to side. It’s up to you.
  3. Lights are also super important. If you start with LED’s it will make a HUGE difference. Simple LED lights make the biggest impact on your tree. They are bright, they save lots of $ on electricity, and they are GORGEOUS!
  4. Put the tree on a timer. Start it at 4:00pm and end at 2:00am. It will be on when you get home from work and light the house with a feeling that will take your entire day away. Trust me, a simple timer makes the biggest difference.

Holiday Tip #5: Get outside and breath!

Get outside. Take a simple walk in the woods, around the block, or down the driveway. Breath! The holidays can be really tough. They are amazing but also a ton of work. I must admit the past few days has been hard for me. The older I get, the more I do, and it catches up with you. I have to learn to take my own advice and slow down a little.

Make a list. One or two things a day. I really try to have everything done by the first week of December. Gifts wrapped, parties planned, cookies made, candy ready to go. I try to keep it simple and then if I want to try something new I have time to do it. You are also able to enjoy the season.

Let’s face it. Us ladies do most of the holiday work. It’s up to us to get it done, make it special, and also make an impact. If we focus on doing it early we can also enjoy all the special memories. If not we are wrapped up in things to do and miss all the fun!!

drive way

I’ll keep the tips coming as we go. It also helps me to write them down.

Bonus Tip: Play the Right Music

Keep it simple, full of color, and play the right music. I collect vintage Christmas albums. When I’m overwhelmed or down I just put one on and it makes all the difference.

This time of year is about kindness, joy, and giving. Nothing reminds me of that more than Christmas music.

holiday tip play johnny mathis
He’s my favorite, brings back the most memories for me, and his voice is so soothing!

Have an incredible holiday season everyone ~ Amy

  1. BARBARA NOVAK says:


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Holiday tips that are easy and impactful!

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