This isn’t going to be our usual holiday season. We’re going to be spending more time at home with family. We’re not going to have holiday parties to go to—at least not in person. Holiday celebrations have to be at home so we can all stay safe. But, we don’t have to have dreary holidays. We don’t have to spend the entire Winter counting the tiles on the backsplash.
We can start making our homes a little homier and even find some ways to share the joy of the season with friends safely and joyously. We can find the little things that will brighten this season.
Wayfair has great deals on everything you need to make your home jolly and bright no matter what holiday you celebrate. From furniture to decor to appliances, Wayfair can be your one-stop shop for everything you need to make your house merry and bright.
Ready, set, bake!
The holidays are about baking. Baking is home. And baking lets you have tins and bags of yummies to give to friends. Who wouldn’t want to have a knock at the door and be greeted by a tin of cookies and a friend waving from the sidewalk?
For my money, nothing beats Nordic Ware sheet pans. They are durable, heat evenly, and don’t warp in the oven. Match those up with a Silpat mat and your Holiday cookies are going to be extra special. Sheet pans are awesome for one-pan dinners and carting ingredients from the pantry.
Speaking of cookies, sand tarts are a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch cookie made at the holidays. They are crispy, light, cinnamony, and have the extra yum factor that only butter brings. These are great cookies for family baking. All you do is roll them out thin and cut into whatever shapes you want. Hearts and circles are traditional, but this year make your own tradition.
Pennsylvania Dutch Sand Tarts
- 1 c (2 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter
- 1-1/4 c white sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 c flour
- 1 egg white (for brushing)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/4 cup white sugar for sprinkling
- halved pecans (for the top of the cookie)
- Cream butter on medium speed in your mixer until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes)
- Add sugar and mix for a 2-3 more minutes
- Add egg and mix until well incorporated
- Turn your mixer down to low and slowly add the flour a bit at time until blended in. If you add the flour all at once you will have a flour explosion all over
- Take the dough out of the mixer. Pat dough together and divide into four equal pieces
- Flatten each piece into a nice disk
- Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill overnight in the refrigerator. The dough can keep for several days if you want to bake in stages
- When you take your dough out of the fridge, preheat your oven to 350F
- Take one piece of dough out at a time. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out thin (1/8 in or thinner)
- Cut cookies into whatever shapes you’d like (hearts and circles are traditional)
- Put cookies on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet
- Brush with beaten egg white (helps the sugar stick and makes the cookies super crispy)
- Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on each cookie and place a pecan half in the center
- Bake in the center of the oven for 9-10 minutes. After about 7 minutes start watching them closely in case your oven runs hot
- When nicely browned, take out of the oven and cool on a wire rack
- Makes 4-5 dozen cookies (which might be just enough), store in an airtight container so they stay crisp
Set aside a night, make some cookies and hot cocoa (or buy cookies, we’re not judging), and decorate the house as a family. Have some fun with it. Here are some fun decorating ideas you might like to try:
- Cut out paper snowflakes and tape them to windows
- Make paper chains
- Make popcorn and string cranberries and popcorn
- Get some oranges and whole cloves and make pomanders
This year is a good year for some homemade decorating fun. Wayfair has a whole decorating advice section on their site to go through. You’re sure to find some inspiration there.
Get a new special thing
Every family has the special thing brought out for the holidays — a special ornament for the tree; a platter for latkes handed down for generations; the bowl for nuts that only appears around Thanksgiving and stays around until New Years.
These have strong memories attached to them, but they were all new once. One year someone bought it and ever since it’s a Holiday staple. So, this year find your special something — a ceramic figure; a new ornament; a special dish to leave for Santa, something new to serve cookies on.
This year, start a new tradition. 2020 is an unforgettable year and let’s wrap it up with good memories.
From hot chocolate to mulled wine, kid-friendly punches to grownup things to sip, have mugs and glasses ready. You need something fancy to sip from for your virtual Holiday parties. Time to do it up a bit.
Want to make the best hot cocoa ever? Try using an electric milk frother. Sure lattes and cappuccinos are a great way to chase off the winter chill, but nothing beats hot cocoa. Extra marshmallows please.
Start at home and spread outward
Find a few gifts for friends too. Everyone needs a little extra dose of holiday spirit this year. The best gift for a friend doesn’t need to be expensive — a cozy blanket for binge watching Netflix; a journal or sketchbook for the aspiring writers and artists; a funny mug for morning coffee. We have so many special people in our lives, a little something to show it right now is going to mean a lot.
Let’s start the merry and bright now
This has not been a fun year. The holiday season doesn’t officially start until the end of November, but how about we start feeling the season a little earlier this year? You don’t need to decorate yet. You don’t need to deck any halls. How about we all take a moment and start spreading some joy early?
Say hi to a neighbor. Check on the seniors in your neighborhood and let them know you’re thinking of them. Bake a little something and give it away. Do something nice for a stranger for no reason at all.
This year more than any, we can all use a little extra warmth and cheer.
Get more from Wayfair with Moola
We’ve worked with Wayfair and gotten some special savings for Moola users on Wayfair gift cards. Whatever you need for your home, Wayfair has thousands of brand-name items for you to choose from. From furniture to decorations, dishes to appliances, Wayfair has everything you need for your home this Holiday Season.