Coming Home for Christmas: Readying Your Home for the Holidays

Invitations are out, kids are back home, and the smell of evergreen fills the air. Set the perfect seasonal scene with these home holiday prep tips.

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Coming Home for Christmas: Readying Your Home for the Holidays

During the holiday season everything around us transforms, and home becomes a place for family, friends, cheer, cherished memories—and a just a tiny bit of stress. To help you navigate the season with elegance and style, we've gathered some top holiday prep tips and tricks for creating the perfect festive abode.

Decide on a holiday décor theme.

From flamingos in Santa hats to six-foot outdoor menorahs—with holiday decorations made for all tastes and traditions, it's hard to know what to choose. Creating your own winter décor theme will help you create a well-balanced space and keep you organized and focused in your holiday endeavors.

Before decking the halls, think about a theme that best expresses your personal style or just what the holiday season means to you. If you're a down-to-earth simplicity fan, you may want to use cream tones and neutrals, and accessorize with natural elements like pinecones and evergreens. If the holidays to you mean laughter, fun, and hosting parties, you may want to try a jingle-bell theme, using red and gold metallics.

Light up the outside.

There's nothing like arriving at a welcoming and festive destination. But if breaking out the ladder and Christmas lights isn't in the cards this year—first, we don't blame you. Second, there are plenty of other decorating avenues to choose from that will still leave your housefront merry and bright.

Vases filled with flameless candles along walkways, on planters, or by the door are a warm yet low-maintenance way to welcome family and friends. For the porch or deck, poinsettias in planters or tables and lanterns or large bowls filled with Christmas bulbs creates a cozy vibe for gatherings—particularly with a basket of decorative throw pillows in arm's reach. Likewise, wrapping porch supports and pillars in garlands with white lights is a tasteful look that can last into the New Year.

Give guestrooms some holiday love.

'Tis the season for hosting. And with a few quick steps, you can add cheer, impress and make your visitors feel right at home.

It's hard for us to know if a guestroom runs warm or cool, because we aren't the ones sleeping there. To be on the safe side, make sure your guests have plenty of extra bedding and heavy blankets close by where they can find them. Bring in the holiday spirit by filling rooms with spice-scented candles and throw pillows, and add holiday towels, hand soaps and baskets with extra toiletries to bathrooms.

Bonus: Be mindful of technology and modern-day essentials. Have your home's Wi-Fi username and password written out and waiting on the dresser, and place an extra phone charger or alarm clock on the nightstand.

Create a warm and fuzzy living room.

Clear up clutter around the house, move furniture around, and do what you can to ensure your living room is an open and inviting place for people to gather. To set the mood, add candles in groups of three on end tables, coffee tables or windowsills, make a holiday playlist (not too loud, not too quiet) for others to enjoy, and fill candy bowls with sweet treats or seasonal nuts to snack on. To add to the magic, hang old stockings from holidays past and adorn the mantle with a few extra photos and keepsakes—your living room is the heart of your home, where memories are made and shared.

In need of more holiday prep tips? Visit Ryan Homes on Instagram and on Facebook for home inspiration for every season.