DIY: Gold Holiday Laurel Leaf

‘Tis the season to dress up your front door or mantel with something merry and festive. But instead of a traditional fir wreath, make this elegant, gilded laurel using foraged leaves and spray paint—it’s an easy DIY project and is guaranteed to make your front door stand out.

DIY Gold Holiday Wreath with Fresh Leaves

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Easy Christmas-Brunch Cocktail: Blood Orange “Pomosas”

What’s the last thing I want to do on Christmas morning? Cook up a complicated brunch for our family drop-ins. My solution: easy bites that everyone can help themselves to, along with a make-ahead fizzy drink with bright flavors to perk up even the Grinchiest of holiday-morning moods. This simple riff on a mimosa recipe (a pomosa, to be exact) is made with vibrant-red pomegranate juice and a hint of green in the form of a thyme garnish. It’s the perfect apéritif for Christmas morning.

Blood orange and pomegranate sparkler for holiday brunch

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DIY: Printable Family-Trivia Game

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Kim Dietrich Elam
Where you’re based: Cincinnati, OH
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2011
Favorite thing about the holidays: Spending time with family

My dad’s side of our family is rather large—he’s one of ten children!—which means the stories shared at family gatherings are both too numerous to count and too entertaining not to recount. There’s an endless supply of trivia, and since there are so many family members, it’s pretty much guaranteed that no one knows all the answers. Some fun family facts I’ve recently learned: In 1971, my Uncle Jay defeated my dad and his seven brothers at ping pong. My grandmother, Anna Louise, always displayed her nativity set in the fireplace every Christmas. My Uncle Bobby caught the sailfish that hung in my grandparents’ basement.

One year, to preserve all of our family’s wonderful stories, I made little tins for everyone that contained cards printed with family-trivia questions, with the answers on the back. They were a big hit and made such a wonderful family keepsake, and I thought they might make a lovely little tradition in your family, too.  —Kim

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The Perfect Cocktail Party Playlist

If you’re hosting a holiday soirée this weekend but aren’t sure what tunes to cue up, look no further. I’ve compiled the perfect party playlist for those in need of fresh, mingle-ready melodies.

Selecting music is one of the most fun steps when you’re hosting a party—I usually try to pick a mix of songs that are upbeat and festive, but aren’t overly recognizable and distracting. This playlist includes mix of musical genres, and all songs are guaranteed to induce head-bobbing and mingling. Just remember to set the volume at a moderate level—conversation comes first, so keep it low enough to talk easily, yet robust enough to give your gathering a vibrant energy. Print the track list below in case any inquiring minds want to know; you could also give the playlist to guests as a take-home party favor. Enjoy!

Listen to Brandy’s Perfect Cocktail-Party Playlist right here (total listening time: 1hr 10min).

Photo: Cover image via The Simply Luxurious Life

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Design to Dish: Peppermint Bark Thumbprints

christmas holiday cookie exchange swap recipe

One of my favorite things to do every holiday season is to make Christmas cookies; I can’t remember a single Christmas that didn’t involve lots and lots of flour, butter, and sugar. My family has a few all-time favorite cookie recipes that we make every year, but I’m always on the lookout for new, delicious Christmas treats to try out. A holiday cookie swap is the perfect place to discover dozens of amazing goodies in one fun-filled afternoon!

When I think of holiday flavor combinations, chocolate and peppermint jump out as a clear favorite. These Peppermint Bark Thumbprints start with sweet, buttery shortbread cookies, and are topped with two kinds of chocolate as well as a hefty sprinkle of crushed candy canes. They’re insanely delicious and pretty cute too, which makes them perfect cookie-swap material. Have you ever hosted a holiday cookie party? What show-stopping cookie would you bring this year?

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DIY: Retro Painted Ornaments

Take some cues from the bright colors and iconic ornament shapes of a mid-century Christmas and make this colorful collection of glass baubles for your tree. To make this project easier, you can start with solid colored ornaments and use the spray-bottle technique to decorate them.

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DIY: Snowman Place Cards

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Bob Daly
Where you’re based: Reston, VA
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since August 2012
Favorite thing about the holidays: Sugar cookies
On my holiday wish list this year: Things for my toolbox
This never fails to get me in the holiday spirit: Cheesy 80s holiday rock songs
Favorite holiday tradition: Decorating cookies with the kids

For a festive (and fast!) way to dress up your dinner table for the holidays, Bob shared this adorable and easy-to-make snowman place-card tutorial.

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How To: Throw a Tree-Trimming Party

I love any reason to throw a festive holiday fete… One of my favorite ways to celebrate? Inviting friends over for a tree-trimming party! It’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit and have some fun decorating with your loved ones. To host a festive tree-trimming party of your own, check out my four quick tips for pulling off a perfect pine-inspired party.

prism tree trimming invite

Click through for Kelli’s tree-trimming party tips

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