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Name that movie: “Well, I see it still smells like pine needles around here.” Hint: It’s a classic holiday movie released on Christmas Day in 1946.

Mood Board Monday: Pine NeedlesTree | Cocktail | Necklace | Tassels | Print | It’s a Wonderful Life | Tea | Napkin Ring | Embroidery

It’s a Wonderful Life is my all-time favorite holiday movie. Every year, I watch it on the big screen at our local historic theater. That’s definitely one of my favorite traditions of the season. Share yours!

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

BRIANA: Over-the-top holiday light displays aren’t exactly a new fad, but this 2013 trend list suggests that social media and Pinterest are inspiring people to get more creative. Themes like “winter wonderlands, candy canes, Santa’s workshop and character themes” are apparently in-demand and hey, looks like someone found a way to tip a hat to that fox trend, too. Some homeowners have even gone high-tech with smartphone apps so they can orchestrate the whole setup with just a tap or flick of the finger. So, what do you think? Are souped-up holiday light displays merry or scary?

Are over-the-top holiday lights merry or scary? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

MARIANNE: Do I love to take my kids out in their Christmas jammies for a holiday light tour? Definitely. Do I put lights on my house? Nope.

KAYLA: I’m with you, Marianne. They’re great to look at it but I’ll never, ever, ever put lights on my house like that. I’d rather sit on my sofa and sip a hot toddy. I do appreciate those that go the extra mile, though.

MORE HOLLERIN’ ABOUT HOLIDAY LIGHTS

With less than a week left till Christmas, I’m betting that you —  like me – are spending a fair amount of time wrapping gifts. Which, to be honest, I don’t mind. Wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things about the holidays; I like to come up with new ways to package them each year.

Here are a few of my gift wrap ideas from 2012 with links to instructions below:
Wrapped Holiday Gift Ideas
* Left and bottom right: Easy doily gift wrap plus how to make a yarn pom-pom
and upper right: Menswear-inspired ribbon rose plus how to make a chalkboard gift tag

This year, I decided to shake things up a bit and use fabric trim instead of traditional ribbon for smaller gifts: Fabric Trim Instead of Ribbon as Christmas Gift Wrap

And cover reusible containers, like this mailing tube, in fabric for pretty packages that can be reused by the recipient as year-round decorative storage:
Easy Fabric Gift Wrap*The fabric is HGTV Home’s “Ring Around Peacock” in turquoise – available at your local JoAnn store.

Here’s another view, I just added a wired bow to one of the mailing tube’s plastic caps to finish off the wrap:
Easy Fabric Gift Wrap

Ready to make your own no-sew fabric gift wrap? It’s easy and your friends and family will thank you for the cute container they can use again and again. Get crafting with all my tips and complete step-by-step instructions>>

You guessed correctly if you chose option A. Erin Loechner made this stocking out of plywood and included a removable magnetic box in order to easily put a Christmas surprise inside.

Plywood Christmas Stocking

Get the Full Instructions Here>>

We randomly chose one person from the comments, and Marilyn is the winner of an HGTV tote bag, green zip-up jacket (size L), mug and a copy of this month’s issue of HGTV Magazine. Congrats!

Check back with us in a couple of weeks to decorate a new space. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

If you’re planning a sweet treat for your upcoming holiday festivities, cotton candy may not be the first dessert that comes to mind, but why not? When you infuse white sugar with spices inspired by chai tea and dust with edible glitter (yes, edible glitter!), your guests will be charmed by these nostalgic-turned-chic puffy white clouds of spun sugar. Wouldn’t this be amazing alongside a glass of champagne on New Years Eve? I’m on a bit of a cotton candy kick, it seems.

Not a fan of chai? Feel free to customize your spice combinations. I might have to try grapefruit zest + vanilla + rosemary next time I bust out the cotton candy maker, or perhaps bring a little heat with smoked paprika and lime zest? Who knew cotton candy could be so creative?

Chai Spice Cotton Candy

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

On Christmas Eve/Christmas morning I’m typically tapping my toes waiting on water to boil while trying to time one dish with another, then fitting in a sitcom while waiting on my oven to preheat (ridiculous!). My ancient appliances take all the fun out of holiday cooking. If you’ve seen our Holiday House kitchen remodel, then you know a modern update can make a huge difference, especially during the busiest time of the year.

Modern Gray Kitchen Makeover

Designer Laurie March outfitted the once contractor-grade kitchen into a cost-saving yet custom masterpiece with brand-new appliances just in time for holiday cooking. To create a more space-saving solution, she chose a microwave range above the induction cook top. This frees up countertop space and is more cost-efficient, too.

Modern Gray Kitchen Makeover

So, what do you do with all that extra countertop space? Set up a sweet and savory holiday brunch buffet, of course! Laurie’s efficient kitchen layout is perfect for holiday entertaining. The remodel’s biggest splurge, a storage-packed, concrete-topped island, is the ideal spot for setting up a Christmas morning spread. Plus, it’s right beside the oven for a quick warm-up.

Holiday Brunch Ideas

Get your home in tip-top shape before the holidays with our must-try projects from HGTV’s Holiday House.

Frigidaire Gallery Freestanding Induction Range helps you get your holiday meals to the table faster. The induction cook top has a Quick Boil feature that brings water to a boil in less than 2 minutes. The oven also has a 6-minute preheat, so you get all of your dishes in faster. Since induction heats the pan and not the cook top, spills can’t burn to the surface, reducing overall cleaning time. Induction cooking uses the pan as a heat source rather than the cook top, creating more versatile, efficient and responsive results. You will also be able to keep all of your side dishes warm in the Keep Warm Zone that keeps food warm until everything — and everyone — is ready.

Just like pumpkin in the fall, I flavor everything with gingerbread during the holiday season. Traditional gingerbread cookies are great, but why not spice up cocoa, pies and cakes with this classic flavor? Try out some of our favorite ideas just in time for Christmas guests.

Mood Board Monday: GingerbreadMini Houses | Sweater | Cookies | Skirt | House | Cocoa | Cheesecakes | Cake Pops | Ornament

Our favorite ways to use gingerbread:

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

Home for the HolidaysWhen it comes to hosting, I’m all about making the party look like a million bucks without putting a significant amount of effort into it. Your company is likely coming because of you and those around you, so the food and drinks are just a bonus. Hence, today’s post: dressing up a store-bought bottle of champagne with tasty garnishes … in seconds. I’m serious. I prepped most of these the night before, then popped them in the glass right before our holiday party shoot. Voila! You’ll basically have five fun drink options for your guests right from one bottle.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Our Five Garnishes:

Star Fruit
Gold Sugar Sprinkles
Candied Cranberries, Raspberries + Blueberries on Skewers
Rosemary Sprigs + Pomegranate Seeds
Rock Candy

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Keri sips on champagne garnished with rosemary and pomegranate, while Kristen drinks the party’s signature cocktail.

For the Star Fruit Garnish: Slice the star fruit while on its side into 1/2-inch thick slices, and then cut a slit halfway down the middle so the star can sit on the rim of the champagne glass.

For the Gold Sugar Sprinkles: Sprinkle gold sugar onto a plate. Wet the rim of each champagne glass, then dip into the sprinkles so the rim is entirely covered.

For the Candied Fruit Skewers: Skewer assorted fresh fruits (cranberries, blueberries, raspberries) on a small wooden stick. Rinse with water, then generously sprinkle with sugar. Freeze until ready to use.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Marianne drinks champagne flavored with orange rock candy.

For the Rosemary and Pomegranate: Sprinkle a few pomegranate seeds into the champagne, then top with a fresh sprig of rosemary.

For the Rock Candy: Put a rock candy stick or rock candy crystals (any flavor you desire) into a champagne glass. Pour champagne over the rock candy in the glass. Watch the drink fizzle and the color change. Soon, the drink will take on a sweet, candy-like taste.

Get more ideas from our holiday bar:

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

Homemade gingerbread houses can be a bit intimidating, but you don’t have to be a professional baker or create a three-story Victorian house to get in on the fun. I make a gingerbread house almost every year — from scratch — but I don’t aim for perfection. Here’s a mini house I made this year:

Make Your Own Gingerbread House

Sure, the mortar is a little bit oozy and the roofline isn’t quite straight. Do I like it any less? Of course not! It’s about the process more than the result. (And its flaws give it character.) No matter what your baking skill level, all gingerbread houses start with a great gingerbread recipe, lots of royal icing and a pattern. Here are 5 houses to try out this weekend.

Five DIY Gingerbread Houses

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