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Get your home holiday ready

Maris Callahan is the author of "In Good Taste," and, as an avid self-taught home cook, is widely knowledgeable about all things culinary. She is especially passionate about helping women on-the-go cook healthy, delicious meals and snack...

Regardless of whether you celebrate one of the major winter holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah or embrace other cultural traditions, the holiday season is a festive time and with festivities comes decoration. You might not want to deck your halls Griswold-style, but you can still add classic touches of seasonal elegance throughout your home - and you can do it without spending your entire holiday bonus in one shopping trip.

Febreze Home Collection

scents and sensability

It might be December, but with friends and neighbors dropping by unannounced bearing gifts and baked goodies, you'll want your home to smell April fresh throughout the season. To keep odors away, the Febreze Home Collection features a line of decorative, blended soy candles that bring the cozy ambiance and warm, festive scents, including Anjou Pear Spice, Yumberry Sangria, Cranberry Pear and Gingersnap Vanilla. A side bonus? People will think you've been baking all day.

 

Plan for the Grocery StorePlan for the grocery store

A lot of people plan for their holiday parties, dinners and baking activities separately and buy what they need as they need it. According to Teri Gault, CEO of TheGroceryGame.com, this shopping method is a surefire way to deplete your holiday budget. "Take a list of all the items you'll need throughout the holiday season every time you go to the store," Gault recommended. "Whenever an item on your list goes on sale, you'll be prepared to strike while the price is hot. This way, you'll gather all the ingredients you need over the course of a few weeks while saving money and time."

 

KEEP A STOCKED BAR

Keep a Stocked Bar

Guests are likely to arrive to your party or for overnight visits toting wine as a hostess gift, so event planner Sara Gaum of VendorBar.com likes to keep a few essentials on hand, such as champagne, orange juice,  cranberry juice and whole cranberries."These items are the basis for so many different drinks," said Gaum. "Serve champagne with whole cranberries in it for a festive toast. Add vodka, cranberry juice and cranberries for a before dinner drink. Mix champagne, orange juice and peach schnapps for post-holiday brunch bellinis." If you have the fundamentals on hand, it's easy to turn yourself into a mixology maven.

 

Let Your Plates Pop - Oneida Culinaria CollectionLET YOUR PLATES POP

A lot of people use good china for holiday entertaining, but if you have a crowd coming for dinner (or too many small children underfoot to risk accidental damage) try a colorful set of dinnerware like the Oneida Culinaria Collection. Opt for a bright red or blue color that will complement your seasonal decor, but will still fit in on your table in February once the holidays pass.

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