Make your home cozy and inviting with wreaths or holiday arrangements, pillows and blankets, and more natural light

Chop down your own Maine Christmas tree for a seasonal indoor cheer. Jill Brady / Associate Photographer

With the long, dark winter approaching and the pandemic dampening holiday gatherings, we will all be spending a lot of time in our own four walls. Why not make it as cozy, warm and welcoming as possible?

We’re not talking about major renovations, we’re just talking about small things that can make a difference. Since it’s holidays, part of it can be bringing in a freshly cut Christmas tree or making a Christmas wreath, but we can also come up with some ideas Stealing from our Danish friends, who know about long, dark winters, and from their cosiness philosophy called hygge blankets, pillows and carpets can also help

Here are some ideas and resources to help you unleash your inner coziness this year

The spirit of the season can be found in a Christmas tree in Maine Andy Molloy / Kennebec Journal

At this time of year, the smell of a fresh Christmas tree is the most welcoming thing about their home for many people.We all have more time to spend So why not get the freshest tree – full of fresh scents – by cutting down a tree yourself on a tree farm in Maine? The Maine Christmas Tree Association website lists more than 45 selected farms across Maine with addresses and information. Enter your zip code and find farms within 30 miles. The South Portland zip code contains listings for farms in Kennebunkport, Raymond, Scarborough, Dayton, Wells, Lewiston, North Yarmouth, Kennebunk, Windham, Cape Elizabeth, Durham and Standish

It’s a good idea to check each farm’s offerings, their hours of operation, and any COVID-19 restrictions. Felling trees is an outdoor activity and the farms are big enough that you don’t have to get too close to anyone once you do Having the tree in your home will surely make you feel a little cozier thinking about it was grown on a farm here in Maine. To find a tree farm near you, go to mainechristmastreecom

First and foremost, it’s pronounced hue-guh, and for Danes, according to the VisitDenmark website, it basically means “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people” Winter and Christmas are hygge weddings in Denmark because this country, like Maine, is known for long, dark winters.The term actually comes from an old Norwegian word. It first appeared in Danish writings in the late 18th century Century and the philosophy has since been adopted by the Danes. Hygge has become a lifestyle phenomenon, so it’s easy to find hygge tips on blogs and websites

If you’re trying to keep an eye on hygge, have a basket of blankets handy Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Lighting candles all over your home can be part of hygge living to bring warmth and light. Take the time to enjoy warm drinks like mulled wine or hot apple cider that go with hygge as well, some hygge blogs and pages say that a basket of slippers can help you create a cozy atmosphere at home So when you walk into the house, put something warm and cozy on your feet.Also, you can have a basket of blankets ready so everyone in the house can take one if they need to be wrapped in warmth, including layering blankets or sheepskin on furniture the pieces more inviting and comfortable. For more ideas inspired by Hygge, see hyggelifecom or Hyggehousecom

Wreaths look inviting and cozy in any season of the year.But even more so during the holidays.You could also get a warm feeling if you make your own wreath this year, maybe go out and collect evergreen branches yourself, Or you can branches – together with wire and other wreath making equipment – buy at local gardening stores and nurseries If you’ve never made a wreath before, the University of Maine Cooperative extension has step-by-step instructions online on how to make them with Balsam Fir in the guide learn how many “tips” or ends of branches to use for different sizes and how to bundle them together before putting the bundles together on the wire structure of the wreath. The guide includes 11 specific illustrations of the different steps, plus a video on how to harvest balsam sustainably -Tree tops See instructions under extensionumaineedu / publications

Bring some winter berry from outside before the birds eat it all to keep your home warm and welcoming Andy Molloy / Kennebec Journal

You don’t really have to do anything to bring seasonal warmth into your home You can just walk out there and you will find Tom Atwell, author of the Maine Gardener column on the Maine Sunday Telegram, suggests searching your garden or the nearby woods and being open and frank about what could serve as décor and bring you a few Take pine cones with you and put them in boxes or baskets around the house or on your coat or coffee table. Look for brightly colored plants like winter berry branches and they will add a beautiful, warm, red color to any place you want to put them up in a vase or on a windowsill, birch twigs with their wintery white would be a nice accent in a dark room and of course evergreen twigs can be placed almost anywhere for more ideas on how to scour your garden for decorations, see Atwells Nov. 1 column at pressheraldcom

Interior designers make rooms feel and look in their living room, also cozy and inviting Vanessa Helmick of Fiore Home in Portland suggests placing a decorative, oversized mirror near a window in a darker room for more Creating natural light She also says that a beautiful piece of art – maybe a print – can help. Bringing in flowers or driftwood that you find outside can also create a “protective” effect, she says

One of America’s most famous home experts spends at least part of the year in Maine at her Seal Harbor home Martha Stewart has tons of ideas on how to create a vacation feel in your home from interior designers and others on her website.It’s an idea that Replacing pillows for cozier, warm pillows made of wool Another option is to use soft ambient light, possibly from a series of lights or candles, instead of harsh high-powered lamps. For more decorating ideas for the Christmas season, visit MarthaStewartcom

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Deck the halls

World News – GB – How to decorate the halls for a long winter at home