A Room with a View

Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

How To Decorate for the Holidays

December 11th, 2014 by Ray Rosset

Lookout Point ChristmasJust in case you haven’t yet decorated for the holidays, I have five suggestions to help your home achieve Christmas cheer without making you crazy. Begin by getting out the décor that you already have in storage boxes.

1. Cull! Remove old, tired decorations and Christmas ornaments unless an item has a very special emotional bond for you. If it’s your Grandma’s homemade ornament, keep it and use it. Otherwise, discard/give away the stuff that has seen better days and do not repack to have to deal with next year. Tired wreaths with sagging bows do not create a welcome on your front door!

2. Organize and group items by themes, textures or colors. For example, gather your Santas together, the snowmen in a separate spot, all of your purple and white ornaments together, etc. Whatever you have in your collection of décor, separate and look at it carefully. Your collections have greater impact when grouped together, so give it a try.

3. Now decide the spots in your home that will really highlight your collections. Is it a mantle over the fireplace, the top of your china cabinet, a bookshelf, a tea cart, or a Christmas tree?

For example, on a mantle at the inn we grouped a couple of St. Nicks together with greenery and ornaments in coordinating colors that are happy with the art work already on the wall. It was so easy, and looks great.

4. Look for objects in your home to enhance your collection that are not holiday décor.  I gathered a collection of snowmen to place on top of a sofa table. A couple of the small, fabric snowmen were “squishy”, so they are now sitting in old-fashioned champagne glasses for a little elevation and quirkiness. Use colorful books or boxes to place under objects in order to provide a variety of heights and interest.

At the Inn, we placed several of our small vases used for weddings, and added them to the mantle and lobby table to complement the mardi-gras themed decorations this year. Jewel tones of purple, green, and blues are featured on the tree and throughout the inn.

5. To decorate the tree, a color scheme or theme makes this job easy. First place the lights. Decide on your color or theme, and then gather those from your stash. At the inn, we adjust or change the color scheme every year, adding a few new ornaments of varying sizes for interest. Don’t limit your tree decoration to ornaments, either. Big, bold colorful flowers are beautiful on a tree, and hide gaps in the branches. The colorful netting, the can be purchased in rolls, adds great interest.

Another idea: gather small tree branches from the yard, and spray paint in a sparkly color that suits your theme. Use wire to fashion your own creative tree topper!

Another theme for your Christmas tree might be simply ideas from your childhood. How about a Barbie tree, or firetruck tree? Just add ornaments and ribbons of complementary colors, and you’re set with a lovely tree that brings joy and smiles.

Finally, when it’s that dreaded time to take down the holiday decorations, CULL! In 2015 you’ll be glad you completed that step.

When to See the Holiday Lights in Hot Springs, AR

October 30th, 2014 by Ray Rosset

Hot Springs Downtown AssociationOne of the best things about Hot Springs National Park is the holiday season. I love all of the cheer—the bright lights, festive music, and sense of compassion. This really kicks off downtown near Thanksgiving, when the Hot Springs Downtown Association hosts the Chili Cook Off.

In addition to all-you-can-eat chili, the event is the beginning of the holiday lighting season in Spa City. For four hours, guests eat on Central Avenue while waiting on the colorful display to begin. The historic area takes on a new level of glee, delighting onlookers and preparing them for the holiday season.

This year, for the 12th Annual Chili Cook Off, chili will be available in the Exchange Street Parking Plaza from 4-8pm. Lights will be turned on after the event. All proceeds support the Deck the Park Challenge (the catchy name for decorating the downtown area every year), and the cost is $5 for as much chili as you want!

Cooking begins at 1pm for participants, so you can see the action begin as you walk along Bathhouse Row. While you are in town to see the festivities, consider staying at Lookout Point. You can relax with some hot chocolate while enjoying the gorgeous views of Lake Hamilton. Reserve your stay online or call 501.525.6155 for more information.

Bring New Traditions to the New Year

December 19th, 2013 by Kristie Rosset

happy new year 2014Lookout Point is gearing up to start the New Year off right. Whether you are looking for luck, prosperity, adventure, or peace, we have some ideas from around the world of how to bring new traditions to your New Year.

For peace in the upcoming year, many traditions start with dispensing with the bad spirits from the year before. In Ireland, they hit the walls and doors of the house with the Christmas bread at midnight; the bread symbolizes abundance taking the place of the bad spirits being scared away by all the noise. Some people write down bad things from the year prior on a piece of paper and burn it, to symbolize a new start.

Of course, you can always follow the Austrian tradition of waltzing as the New Year clock strikes. There is sure to be peace, joy, and music all throughout your year if you begin it that way! Or, you can carry around an empty suitcase in the hopes of attracting adventure like they do in Columbia.

For a little bit of luck, you can leap off a chair at midnight. In Denmark, they do this to literally represent “jumping” into the New Year. In Mexico and Bolivia, people wear yellow underwear when the clock strikes twelve, in the name of luck.

For some prosperity or fortune in the upcoming year, try wearing polka dots and eating round foods. In the Philippines, the round represents prosperity; they even go so far as to follow their ancestors’ footsteps and eat 12 grapes (to represent the 12 months of the year) right before the clock strikes.

first footing traditionThe Scottish do a little bit of everything! They begin the year by singing “Auld Lang Syne” in caroling groups. The first caroler to come to your door is invited inside, and their hair color determines how your next year will go. You’re hoping that a tall, dark-haired person will show up with coal (so the house will always be warm), bread (so the house will never go hungry), salt (so the house will always have flavor), and whisky (for good luck). The tradition is called first-footing, and it certainly starts the year off on the right foot!

You can always participate in the Southern tradition of eating a spoonful of black eyed peas for luck, some greens for prosperity, and some bread to represent an abundance of food. My family also bangs pans together to ring in the New Year, scaring away the bad spirits from the year before.

Whether you are celebrating your own New Year’s Eve traditions or looking forward to starting some new ones, consider ringing in the New Year with a peaceful getaway at Lookout Point. We would love to welcome you, and January, with hope and cheer. You can reserve your room online or call us at 501.525.6155 for more information. Happy Holidays!

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