Make holiday magic

We're getting ready for our first holiday party at our new house, which got me thinking about unexpected ways to create a little holiday magic. Want to see what's up my sleeve?

The trick is to think in layers. You can make your home beautiful with an incredible tree or dramatic menorah, but if you want a magical holiday, don't stop there. 

Create a scene

A great focal point looks even better with a supporting cast. It takes your space from a living room with a good-looking tree to a gorgeous spot that feels transformed.

If you're not sure where to start, look up or to available open wall and floor spaces and ask, "what else could I add to take this ALL the way?" Here's a few great ideas:

Hanging stockings? Great, now, think about what to do on top of that mantle.

Cool bottles and branches add just the right modern meets vintage touch. Harper's Bazaar

Cool bottles and branches add just the right modern meets vintage touch. Harper's Bazaar

Have some empty wall space or a blank window you want to take over the top? Here's an option:

String ornaments on ribbons from a piece of garland. @buzzfeed

String ornaments on ribbons from a piece of garland. @buzzfeed

Having a party? Set the table but don't stop there...

Inexpensive frames, craft paper, metallic pens and voilá! Bonus points for the deer's head. Harper's Bazaar

Inexpensive frames, craft paper, metallic pens and voilá! Bonus points for the deer's head. Harper's Bazaar

Make it glow

Nothing says holiday like warm, golden lights.

DIY that's actually doable. Lights, pine cones, branches, and you're done. Apartment Therapy

DIY that's actually doable. Lights, pine cones, branches, and you're done. Apartment Therapy

Painted soup cans... Who knew? Chai & Home

Painted soup cans... Who knew? Chai & Home

Fill a bowl with water, add holly and a votive. Don't stir. Inspire Me Heather

Fill a bowl with water, add holly and a votive. Don't stir. Inspire Me Heather

It's in the air

Make your holiday a feast for the senses. I'm a sucker for yummy smells. Put this on the stove in the morning and enjoy all day.

Want the recipe? Just click the image and get to sniffing. Half-Baked Harvest

Want the recipe? Just click the image and get to sniffing. Half-Baked Harvest

The best tip of all

If you're anything like me, you'd like to find oceans of stuff to make your home look incredible for as close to zero dollars as physically possible. Well, here are some of my favorite spots.

If you're into online shopping check out Save on Crafts and H&M Home.

For brick and mortar lovers, head to Michael's (after going to their website for the inevitable coupon), HomeGoods/TJ Maxx/Marshalls, Pier One, and Cost Plus World Market. I made out like a bandit this weekend.

And for greenery that won't take all your green? Trader Joe's has wreaths, poinsettias, holly, etc.

So, what's your favorite way to make the holidays special? We're all ears!

PS, here's a few archived holiday posts for you:

7 ways to beat the holiday blues

The secret to a great holiday party

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