It’s my favourite time of year! With the snow falling outside and all things warm and sparkly inside, it’s hard not to be in the festive spirit. Tradition and togetherness are the two things that are most important to me during the holidays. I have always been crazy for the holidays; from a very young age I would do anything in the name of Christmas, including trying to start numerous new traditions to the point that our family festivities are now all day every day for pretty much a whole week! I have embraced some of the nicer names I have been called through the years, like Manda Claus, The Christmas Boss and the list goes on; needless to say, I am obsessed!
Get Original With Your Tree
Each year I visit my family for the holidays, but that never stops me from decorating before I head out and there are many festivities to be had all December long. One thing I have been known for, are themed Christmas trees. Last year I did a Black, Gold and White Christmas Tree, and in the past I have done peacock coloured, purple and pearl, and more! This year I wanted a tree that represented me and my style, so I knew it had to be colourful with lots of pastels. So I came up with this unusual floral Christmas tree.
The tree is filled with 154 handmade paper flowers (check out the DIY Tutorial below). It is very vibrant and at first glance doesn’t feel typically festive, but one thing I have learned over the years is that there is so much more room for colours in the holidays beyond red and green.
Deck the Halls
Speaking of unusual holiday colours, I also included pink and rose gold in some of my decor this year. Adding cute details to side tables is a great way to make your home feel warm and jolly. I also always have candles burning this time of year (I usually opt for pine scents since I have an artificial tree).
In my opinion, holiday parties are not complete without some bubbly. Plus these holiday wine glasses make it even more special. You can easily create these with a stencil and craft paint (make sure you use paint that says it can be used on glass!).
Hot Chocolate Bar
One of my more recent holiday traditions, that has been quite popular amongst guests, is this Hot Chocolate bar, or as I like to call it the HoCho Bar! Each year we try and perfect the hot chocolate recipe, with all the fixings! Some ideas for toppings at the bar:
- Marshmallows (Obviously! Pro tip: Try flavoured marshmallows!)
- Candy Canes
- Chocolate Shavings
- Mini Peanut Butter Cups
- Caramel Sauce
- Chocolate Sauce
- Whip Cream
- Marshmallow Fluff
- Pirouette Cookies
- Whip Cream
- Chocolate Chips
- Chocolate Mint
- Caramels (or Salted Caramels)
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Chocolate Spoons
- Cookie Crumbles
Paper Flower DIY
So as I said I chose some non-typical holiday colours, but you can use this DIY with red and greens, and other traditional colours to fit your theme.
- Cardstock (1 ½ sheets per flower for a medium sized flower)
- Hot Glue gun
- Hot Glue Sticks
- Floral Wire
- Cut petal shapes out of the card stock.
-You can select what type of flower and shape you will want. Here I am cutting rose shaped petals.
-You will need 3-6 petals in each of the 4 sizes depending upon how big you want your flower (I cut 4 of each size for this demonstration).
- Curl the top of each petal out, so they begin to look like natural petals.
- Take the floral wire and cut approximately 50cm off. Pierce one of the smallest petals close to the bottom. Pull the wire through to the halfway point, and then twist to secure.
- Place a dot of hot glue on the outside bottom of the petal, and roll the other side to create a cone-like shape, and secure onto the glue.
- Continue to layer the petals one by one, staggering them as you go. Try and ensure the tops of the petals are curling out to create the fullness of the flower.
- And you are done!
Note: You can create endless flower types and appearances by changing the shape of the petals. On some of the flowers I curled the tops in, creating a peony look. Also, you can use these flowers as a wreath, decorate a side table, swap out for a bow on a present and more!
These are just a taste of some of my holiday decor and traditions. I would love to hear how you celebrate this time of year, and how you make it your own!