If you want your home to be especially inviting for your family and the guests that visit this holiday season, consider these ways to do it up right.

1. Make it smell like the holidays

A home filled with holiday cheer is tightly connected to the smells of the season, like peppermint candy canes, the scent of a fresh cut Christmas tree, cookies baking in the oven and cinnamon-spiced mulled wine.

While you could use chemical filled plug-ins, an air freshener spray or paraffin candles to give your home a holiday aroma, those store bought products contribute to its toxic load. Using an essential oil diffuser not only helps it last longer, many of the oils offer health benefits along with a pleasant smell without the potentially hazardous side effects. If you don’t already have a diffuser, there are many brands that are quite effective yet very reasonably priced. Ultrasonic diffusers work especially well because they disperse oils in a micro-fine vapor that allows them to be suspended in the air for extended periods of time and to be better inhaled, thus enhancing the scent and effectively filling the room with their lovely scent.

Another option is to simply pour some boiling water into a ceramic bowl or a glass, and then add a few drops of desired essential oils, letting the scent fill the room. The only downside is that you’ll have to refill the water frequently, but it is the easiest and cheapest way to diffuse essential oils.

2. Declutter

It’s hard to have an inviting home for the holidays when your stuff is all over the place.You don’t want your guests to have to worry about tripping over things, and with so many people coming to visit during this busy season, it’s important that it looks and feels organized.

The living room is probably going to be one of the busiest areas of the house, so it’s a good place to start. Get rid of old magazines and newspapers that are laying around, and open and sort through that stack of mail that’s been piling up. Declutter your shelves too, this is the perfect excuse for finding items that can be donated, putting them to a better cause and putting you in the holiday spirit. Keep in mind that extra space can make your home feel bigger and more relaxing. Don’t forget about the kitchen, decluttering it is a great way to make room for all those holiday delights.

3. Don’t be afraid to glitz things up

The holidays are the one time of the year you should really go big. It’s your chance to do it over the top, from dazzling lights and shiny metallic garland to flashy ornaments and more. Go well beyond the tree, for example, collecting metallic trinkets and putting them together for a tablescape vignette. Think shimmering crystal too, from magnificent candlesticks that make for the perfect centerpiece for that buffet table to stemware, dinnerware and even a chandelier that hangs over the table.

You could also take a beautiful, holiday-style glass or metallic bowl and load it up with coordinating Christmas ball ornaments for a pretty and unique centerpiece. And, don’t forget about the outside – while the interior is always the main attraction, you should brighten up exterior features too, like adding lighting to railings and walkways for extra sparkle.

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