Tips for Starting Your Own Holiday Traditions

Family traditions are an important part of the holiday season – They help you feel close as a family unit and give you a fun way to spend time with those you love. Whether you’re ready to start new family traditions or kick the old ones up a notch, we’ve got some tips and ideas for making this holiday season, and those to come, extra special for you and your loved ones.

Take Family Photos: Use the holiday season as an excuse to update the family photo albums – Take festive photos to use on holiday greeting cards and give to grandma and grandpa as gifts. Make an effort to take one photo that is the same each year so that you can watch your family grow as the years go by.

See the Lights: Bundle the kids in their pjs, fill a thermos with hot cocoa and pack up some snacks – Then hit the road to check out the holiday light displays in your town! Map out a route in advance to make sure you hit all of the best displays, crank the Christmas tunes and have the kids vote on their favorite displays. Be sure to change up the route every year so you’re always seeing something new!

Host Brunch with Santa: Start a tradition with family and friends who have small children by hiring SantaSanta to come to your home for a visit! Invite everyone over for brunch and have plenty of activities and crafts for the kids on hand. When Santa arrives, each child receives a small gift and can spend time chatting with him – Unlike in the busy malls! Be sure to take plenty of photos too. Sites like can help you find a reputable Santa in your area!

Buy a Keepsake Ornament Each Year: Each year, buy your children a special ornament – Let your child choose his or her ornament or buy from a collection, like one of Hallmark’s Keepsake Ornament collections. When the kids grow up, they can take the ornaments they’ve collected over the years to start the tree in their own home.

Give Back: When the holidays approach, have your children choose toys that they no longer play with to be donated to the Salvation Army or your local Goodwill. Toys that are still in good condition can make Christmas for someone else extra special! If an organization in your town does an “angel” or gift tree for families in need, let your child pick the gifts for the family or child chosen. As you do these things, explain the importance of giving back and helping those in need all year round.

If you’re considering starting a new tradition with your family this holiday season, think outside the box. No matter what you do, being surrounded by the love of family and friends will make this, and every other, holiday season memorable!

How To: Upgrade Your Bathroom

The average person will spend just over a year and a half in the bathroom during their lifetime – So shouldn’t you love yours? If your bathroom is underwhelming, a few simple updates can take your bathroom from blah to ah in just one weekend.

bathroomHere are some of our favorite projects to give your bathroom the refresh it needs:

Update your floor tile: Nothing brightens a bathroom quite like a freshly-tiled floor. Choose from laminate, porcelain, ceramic, cork or luxury vinyl tiles to give your bathroom a quick update. We offer tile options to suit any budget – Check out our online catalogs [link to:] for inspiration!

Clean up your shower ledges: Running out of ledge space in your shower or tub? Install a hanging wire fruit basket, like this one from Bed, Bath & Beyond to keep things organized.

Add unexpected freshness: A small bud vase of blooms adds extra color and freshness to your bathroom or powder room naturally.

Give your walls some color: Choose a tranquil blue-green shade to give your bathroom a relaxing, spa-like feel.

Update the cabinets: Give bathroom cabinets new life by painting or refinishing them and adding new, modern hardware.

Get a new counter-top: Top off revived vanity cabinets with a new counter-top – Formed laminate counter-tops and slabs of granite install easily and can often be found in remnants so you don’t blow your budget.

Replace towel bars: Eliminate the need for folding and perfect placement and keep towels off of the floor by replacing towel bars with hooks.

Install a shower door: Keep water where it belongs, inside the shower, by replacing flimsy shower curtains with sturdy shower doors. This tutorial from This Old House provides step-by-step details for the DIY weekend warrior.

Your bathroom should be a relaxing oasis, not just a place to get cleaned up – Give your space the update it deserves. For more bathroom inspiration, visit our Bathrooms board on Pinterest!

Getting Your Home Ready for the Holidays

Thanksgiving has ended and the Christmas season is officially upon us – Now is the time to get your home ready for holiday guests. Aside from choosing, and decorating, the perfect tree and putting out a holiday light display to rival Clark Griswold, there are a number of things you can do to make sure your home is looking its best this holiday season.

Our experts offer some of their best tips for getting your home holiday ready:


  • Give the carpets, hardwoods, tile and laminates throughout your home a good cleaning and scrub all baseboards, doors and door knobs.
  • Dust, dust, dust!
  • Save on energy and give rooms elegant flair by replacing existing window treatments with draft-containing, chic velvet curtains.
  • Take all trash cans outside and give them a good scrub before the snow flies.
  • Give the living room, family room and guests rooms a cozy feel by replacing light throws with warm chenille or faux fur versions.
  • If you have a wooden dining table, now is the perfect time to condition and treat it so lasts for many holidays to come!
  • Now is also the time to make sure your fabric furniture’s Scotchguard protection is refreshed and ready for anything.
  • Iron table linens, organize china or holiday place settings and make sure your best silverware is polished to perfection for elegant holiday entertaining.
  • Clean out your refrigerator to make room for party trays, leftovers and extra beverages and snacks. If you use baking soda to eliminate odors in your fridge, replace it now!
  • Check your fire extinguisher, CO and smoke detectors and replace them or change batteries if needed.
  • Assess all of your bed linens and towels to ensure they’re in tip top shape for overnight guests.
  • Make sure you have sidewalk salt on hand to treat steps and sidewalks for guest safety.
  • If it snows, shovel driveways, sidewalks and entries to give guests a clear path to your front door.

The holiday season is all about family, friends and showing love – Why not also show your home some love this Christmas? You can get more holiday-friendly tips, tricks and decorating ideas by checking out our Happy Holidays board on Pinterest.