Make Your Home Holiday Ready With These Niceties and Necessities

From candles to cozy throws—and wine!—10 must-haves for your home during the winter season and holidays.

There is a certain squirrel-like pleasure in stocking up for cold weather (and potential power outages). From the essentials, like flashlights and warm socks, to the fun stuff, like bottles of wine and new board games. Knowing that you have all you could possibly want tucked tidily away is a wonderful way to kick off the season of coziness—and make a home ready for the holiday season. Here, 10 things to have on hand during this most wonderful time of the year.

1. Firewood. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, stocking up on good, dry wood is key before winter really kicks in. Although wood does look inviting stacked up inside, it’s probably best to store the bulk of it outdoors to prevent critters from entering your home. A covered porch is a good transitional space for keeping a woodpile, and a neat stack of wood is a cozy thing to see as you enter your home on blustery days.

2. Cozy bedding and throws. Fresh bedding is an instant pick-me-up for winter. Think layers of warm coziness: flannel sheets, wool blankets and thick duvets. And an assortment of soft throws is a must. On cold days there’s nothing better than toting one around from room to room (along with a mug of hot tea, of course) to warm your shoulders or toes.

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3. Books. Piles of books provide an open invitation to read all afternoon during holiday breaks from work. Here’s a tip for those who are attempting to pare down a book collection rather than accumulate more tomes: Trek over to the library and check out an armload of fascinating books (think: large scale art and design books or beautiful cookbooks). When you’re done, just return them and grab another set.

4. Wine. If you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, it feels good to know you have some of your favorite varieties in reserve when the snow is flying. Just looking at a nice collection of wine in the cupboard or on a wine rack is comforting, And when guests come by to celebrate or simply drop in—or there’s a storm and you can’t drive—you can rest assured there will be a good bottle to share.

5. Candles. You’ll want both the ambient and emergency variety. (Although really, is there much difference?) In a power outage, large pillar candles give off the most light, and they also look lovely on a regular evening. Whatever type you prefer, having a drawer full of extras on hand will ensure that you’ll never be stuck in the dark.

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6. Warm socks. We all deserve warm new socks at the beginning of winter, don’t we? Plush, thick socks can stand in for slippers and make boots more comfortable, and they look far nicer in your drawer, wardrobe or armoire than regular ones. Try some in cashmere or washable wool. They make nice stocking stuffers too.

7. Kitchen treats. Think: tea, hot cocoa and casseroles and soups in the freezer. Whether you're coming in from shoveling snow or a regular day at the office, there is something about winter that increases the appetite, so keep your kitchen well stocked!

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8. Household basics. Light bulbs, batteries, bottled water and yes, toilet paper, can be a major pain to run out of when icy streets make getting to the store difficult. Stock up as much as your storage space allows. You'll need extra for holiday guests as well.

9. Games. Snow days call for old-school amusements. Pick up some new games and puzzles to add to your collection. And if you play an instrument, treat yourself to some new music to practice on long winter evenings or for holiday sing-alongs.

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10. Sunlight. Like the classic children’s tale Frederick, if only we could soak up the sun like the little mouse in the story and access it in midwinter when we need it most.
—Laura Gaskill

Written by Houzz for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

We are adding HealthWise Low Acid Coffee to the list! A great way to start, enhance and finish your day of decorating and getting cozy!


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