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Wrapped-Gift-Boxes-hero-Stress and holidays are two words that should never be associated with the other. The holiday season should be filled with thoughts of gratitude, togetherness and joy—not stress, hurry, and worry. The perfectionist within has to be reminded of this each year which is why putting together a news segment on stress free holiday decor was therapeutic for me. Over the weekend, I made my first solo television appearance on Fox 5 Atlanta’s Good Day Atlanta to share with viewers three holiday projects that are both inexpensive and stress free! I received so many encouraging phone calls, emails, and social media messages from my fellow Atlantans who saw the segment and loved these simple ideas! Thank you! And so for my friends (you guys!!) who missed it, I thought I’d do a recap on the blog.  ErikaWard_Fox5 Project #1 – Create a DIY Beverage Station

For you harried hosts and hostesses out there, give yourself a little break by creating a DIY or serve yourself beverage station. Each glass features a different patterned ribbon so guests know which belongs to them. Offer a signature drink, in this case Cranberry Spritzer with a twist of lime. A place card has been repurposed as menu signage to let guests know what they are sipping. Indicate on the card if the beverage contains alcohol. Add a stack of cocktail napkins then a serving dish of nuts and candies so you have one less thing to worry about. CloseUp_Spritzer-2

Snack Station for Stress Free Holiday Decorating Project #2 – Use Gifts as Decor

Allow your wrapped presents to also serve as table decor. They key to pulling off this look is to keep a tight color palette for a cohesive look. Here, my colors are black, white, silver, gold, and red. Burlap bows are added for interest and texture. Stack boxes at varied heights to encourage “eye movement” across your tablescape.Wrapped-Gift-Boxes-2 Project #3 – Add Embellishments to Your Existing Decor

If you own a statue of some sort, embellish you existing decor with ribbon and garland. My fair lady is donning my grandmother’s pearl necklace and a custom ribbon necktie. She’s dressed to the nines and serves as a gorgeous greeter at my table.Statue-Dressed-2

Last but not least, add fresh flowers. Don’t be afraid to go against tradition by choosing red roses instead of poinsettias.  The emphasis is on color and the intimacy of family and friends during this special season!

Roses-2You may or may not be surprised to learn that all of these items, unless otherwise noted, were purchased from my local Big Lots. This segment was pulled together in conjunction with their National Decorate Your Home for the Holidays Week going on November 16-22. To get more information on how to participate, click here.BigLots_NDYHFH_Logo-v8BL[2][1]

Please follow along (and join the fun) with Big Lots, read about the challenge I’m participating in with six other wildly talented bloggers, and lastly follow the #BIGHoliday hashtag on Big Lots social media channels to gain more inspiration for making this year’s holiday decor memorable!






This post was sponsored by Big Lots in celebration of its #BIGHoliday campaign for National Decorate Your Home for the Holidays Week. All opinions, solicited and unsolicited, are my own.


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  • These are great ideas, Erika! I told my husband that we are going to be using gift boxes as part of our decor and he looked at me like I was crazy. Ha! Now I can show him this and tell him I’m not! You looked beautiful on your segment. Can’t wait to see your big reveal!

  • So sad I missed your segment. I will try to find it online.
    And the ideas you shared are great. ‘Tis the season!

    • Thank you Shelly! I’ve been scouring the web for the segment. Guess I’ll have to make a call to the producer. I’d love to have to back for a holiday guest post if you have time. Your last one was a hit!


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