When I imagined us moving 3 hours north of the city to a little log home by the lake, I admit had visions of how beautiful Christmas would be. I thought for sure there would be snow by now, but it’s been the mildest winter. The lake isn’t even partially frozen over. I’m not complaining, but my romantic vision of a log home Christmas includes snow.
Snow or not, the date on my boys advent calendar reminded me that it’s time to start getting into our home into the holiday spirit. We like to stay simple. This includes sticking with decorations we already have, items we can gather from nature or ones we can make with minimal DIY skills. Since that’s my skill level.
Right now, I’m singing along to Baby, It’s Cold Outside, although it’s not that cold, while I gather together the ingredients for my ‘signature’ homemade holiday air freshener. It makes my home smell like Christmas without the toxicity of commercial air fresheners. These typically contain the term ‘fragrance’ in their ingredient list which is an umbrella for a host of chemicals including phthalates that have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption and asthma. When you plug-in or spray an air freshener indoors, you contribute to the build-up of VOC’s in your home.
Holiday Citrus Air Freshener
- 2 cups of water
- Orange slices or citrus peels
- 1/2 cup of cranberries
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks (powdered cinnamon works too)
- 1-2 tbsp of cloves
- A sprinkle of anise
- 1-2 stems of rosemary
- 1 stem of vanilla or just add a splash
- A few small sticks of a pine tree
- Simmer on stove for hours. Add more water if necessary.
This recipe is super adaptable so don’t be afraid to change up the ingredients to find your own signature holiday scent. Ginger is a nice addition. I often collect citrus peels from lemons, oranges and winter time mandarins in a mason jar on my kitchen counter. Making your own natural air fresheners are one of the easiest changes you can make in your efforts to raise your family green. I wish you could smell the lovely “Christmasy” scent right now as it bubbles on my stovetop.
I’ve been gathering up all the ingredients into jars I have around the house to make for as extra gifts for friends who drop by and as hostess gifts. This is a really low-key handmade gift. I created a printable label that you can download and attach to the jar with some butcher’s twine or ribbon. Meanwhile, I’ll be wishing for snow for Christmas.