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Five Secrets to The Best Holiday Season Ever

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It's the most wonderful time of the year! By now, you've probably done all your holiday shopping and are perfectly relaxed by the fire, right? Well.. maybe not. But that doesn't mean this year can't be relaxing, exciting, and fun. We're here to help.

Here's five ways to make this the best holiday season ever:

1. Make sure your home is decorated to bring you JOY! 

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Decorating for Christmas doesn't have to be daunting.  One of our owners, Michele Sedgwick, has some tips to getting the simple, rustic, Christmas look you've always wanted. In addition to planning PURE's holiday decor, Michele decorates next door at Alpharetta's event facility, Next to PURE.  

In order to get the simple rustic look, Michele recommends a natural and organic base pallet. Although she chooses to decorate a bit differently depending on a restaurant or space's personality, most of her designs are a base of neutral decorations with some pops of color. Most people won't have rustic beams in their homes, and that is okay. In order to get a natural, organic wood look, supplement with drift wood decorations like wooden trees, ornaments, and wreaths. Pair these things with simple greenery. 

Speaking of Greenery, what kind of greenery do you primarly use and recommend for a rustic look? 

I primarly use hand-cut magnolia branches, cedar garland, and juniper. If you can, cut your own magnolia if you have it in your yard- it will save you some money!  A live tree can add a very unique look to a home as well. It would be a great addition to a smaller home or apartment.

Where do you purchase your Greenery?

I get most of my greenery at Reeves, though I will hand-cut some things if they are in my yard. Depending on your area, you will likely be able to find a live tree several places, however, I recommend Pike Nurseries. 

Because Michele is also an owner of Theo's Brother Bakery, the artisan spot has a multitude of seasonal decorations. Many of the pieces Michele uses from Roost and other stores can be purchased there. While you are headed that way for your seasonal goodies, pick up some cute ornaments for your tree!

2. Get in the Spirit with a Good Holiday Playlist. 

Make your own mix on Spotify with all your favorite classics.  Listen to it everywhere- On the way to work, while decorating your house,  while cooking dinner. Don't have the time to make a playlist? We've got you covered.  Listen to our PURE Christmas Playlist or get some inspiration from some of our other favorite playlists below: 

Classics: Classic Christmas Favorites 
Indie/Alternative: A Merry Alternative Christmas
Relax: Cafe Christmas @ Foodstory

3. Try Something New this Year. 

Whether its volunteering your time helping others, going on a ski trip with your loved ones, getting out of town for the holidays, or simply cooking something different for Christmas dinner, get out and try something new this year. You never know which new thing you try might become a beloved tradition each and every year. 

Sick of the traditional Christmas dinner ham? Make some Tamales this year!  The tradition of making tamales runs deep in Mexico. In a New York Times article,  Gustavo Arellano explains the tradition and  process of making tamales as  the way "culture is communicated across generations, encompassing the value of family, nourishment, and collectiveness. "  FERNANDA SANTOS,  Wrapped in Tradition . 

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Check out an authentic homemade tamales  recipe by "How to Feed A Loon" here.

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4. Stuff your Stockings with Care.

What are your favorite things to pull out of your stocking Christmas morning? Socks, chocolate, gift cards, makeup, gadgets? What about tequila? Spice up the traditional stocking stuffers with mini tequila bottles like these.  Warm up the family  with a classic Mexican Ponche recipe like this one or with some Mexican Hot Chocolate.  Add a little bit of the tequila from your stocking  for an extra kick. 

5.  Make Time to Celebrate

Every year for nine days leading up to Christmas, Las Posados celebrations take over the streets of Mexico. Each night, friends and family gather together to celebrate the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlahem. Children and adults dressed like shepards and angels, typically with figures of Mary and Joseph travel  from home to home carrying candles and singing songs until reaching "La Posada", translated as "The Inn" or "The Shelter".  After reaching La Posada of the evening,  friends and family sing the traditional Las Posadas song, sung by those on the outside and the inside of the house.  The celebration emphasizes the difficulty for Mary and Joseph in finding shelter each night on the way  to Bethlahem. However, at the end of the song, everyone comes together to celebrate and pray with food, ponche, and a good old  piñata.

This season, take the time to spend time with your family and friends. Don't let the chaos of gift shopping, cooking, and preparing things get in the way of enjoying and celebrating the season with the ones you love. Whatever you do- whether it be holding your own Posada celebration, hosting a holiday open house, volunteering with your family, or hosting a cookie decorating party- make sure you enjoy and savor it. Enjoy the season by taking the time to celebrate. Don't let it pass you by. 

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PEYTON SEDGWICKComment