In case your momma didn’t teach you the festive fine arts, we thought we’d show you how it’s done. Short of owning an elf, this is how you achieve maximum holiday spirit.
WRAPPING PAPER cuteness gets you points. Coordinating paper in the same color scheme or theme? That’s determination. 6.25 Paper carries a ton of Rifle Paper Company’s floral and holiday patterns as well as a lot of gold and silver designs.
Most rolls sell for $8 to $9, with single, flat sheets available for $4.95. “A gift is more special when you can tell that someone took more time and care to make it look beautiful,” said 6.25 Paper owner Abbey Fowler. Check out the store’s gift wrap workshop on Dec. 11.
ORNAMENTS—the quirkier, the better. To marvel at a tree filled with ornaments purchased on trips or clumsy, glitter-bombed kid creations always brings a smile. You can never have too many ornaments as they “remind us of a special occasion, milestone or moment in our lives,” said Bailey & James owner Amber Kneibel.
The shop is packed with selections including a skirt-wearing mouse and a handsome lumberjack. Giving ornaments as gifts means “that you hope someone remembers you every year when they decorate their tree for another Christmas season.” (ornament prices vary)
COOKIES can be considered the seasonal diet—Santa’s too. “Everyone can appreciate a very beautiful, yet equally tasty decorated butter cookie—never too pretty to eat—but close,” said Cakabakery owner Jason Kakabaker. The shop can customize cookies toward your specific party theme, bringing a sense of excitement to the table.
“It’s fun to stagger cookies in groups within your foodscapes,” Kakabaker said. Cakabakery has even baked them for customers to take home for their own cookie decorating parties. Want a lesson? Cookie decorating classes are offered at the Cakabakery West location. Cookies run $42 for a dozen.
FESTIVE ATTIRE means wearing copious amounts of red and green or loads of silver and gold and anything with reindeer, snowmen or Santa on it. You can get away with kitschy and glitzy. Ugly Christmas sweaters are the new black and it’s blasphemy if you don’t own Christmas pajamas (matching as a family is preferred). Reinspired Treasures has the most precious pair of children’s rompers from the maker Chasing Littles Handmade. The prancing deer and snowflake pattern locks down holiday charm. ($30)
CHEERY DECOR at every turn. Whether you’re into light displays inside and outside the home, a decked-out mantel, or showing off your vintage snowman collection, you do you, but do it in abundance, okay? If every movement inside your home feels like you’re looking into Santa’s soul, you’re doing it right.
We’ll let you start small with this vintage-inspired pennant pillow from Fabric Scout Studio. It can fit into many different styles of decor and runs around $54 at The Found Cottage.
POINSETTIAS immediately announce that the holiday season is upon us. According to Holly Haveman of Kennedy’s Flowers & Gifts, “Flowers make your house look fabulous—even if you haven’t had time to clean.” While red is the favorite, they also come in white, pink and a variegated “jingle bell” color.
Think of poinsettias as the perfect decor for holiday parties and the ultimate hostess gift. Consider the store’s Winter Garden monthly special ($99) or the Scatter Joy holiday arrangements ($30), which are refillable for free through the month of January.
HOLIDAY WINE, because everything’s overdone this time of year so why not have a signature wine flowing (it’ll combat stress, too). Rishi Makkar of Rishi’s International Beverage suggests the Robert Mondavi 50th Anniversary Red 2013 ($49.99). “This rivals a lot of $200 wines,” he said. “It’s a wonderful holiday wine because of the soft, silky smooth tannic structure that’s complemented by dark, purple fruit that glides seamlessly across your palate as they pick up dark chocolate and toasted oak along the long, harmonious finish.” If that doesn’t sell you, it also pairs well with a wide variety of red meats and hearty stews you might be serving.
CARDS for family, friends and really anyone that crosses your path. It’s that time of year to send everyone a little merry stationery, not a text! Share handmade kindness and happy snail mail from maker Kari Palazzolo, owner of PinkaZolo Papercraft Goods.
“I make handmade paper crafts for people, but I really like to think that I specialize in making people smile.” A set of six Smitten Mitten holiday cards with envelopes are $24.
HOSTESS GIFTS are a true sign of class and that you’ve got this giving thing down. Pink Lemonade Boutique carries so many hostess goodies including the merry tartan plaid linen tea towel ($12.95) that’s so Christmas we can’t stand it. Paired with the locally made, hand-burned, wood indigo spoons ($16.95), these items bring all the holiday cheer to your bustling kitchen. Other great hostess gifts in the shop include small Kate Spade appetizer plates, Michigan wine glasses, a pineapple corkscrew (necessity) and Lilly Pulitzer tumblers.
CHRISTMAS CANDLES in fragrances like Daddy Found the Whiskey or Who Isn’t Wearing Deodorant in this Overly Heated Store? ring true this time of year. Kidding—maybe. Classic scents like pine and peppermint set the tone but Apothecary Off Main’s Tacky Christmas Sweater has us laughing. The yuletide-y candle smells like a gingerbread cookie and has a 70 plus hour burn time and is made from all-natural U.S. soybeans. Though you probably have 10 candles under the tree as gifts, deciding on one for the home is a task we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. ($16)
*Main photo courtesy of Bailey & James