It’s finally the time I wait for all year long.

Homemade Holidays- Let's Make the House Smell Like Christmas | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Thanksgiving week is here and that means the holiday craze is beginning! Yes!

Here’s the thing, every year I always make these grand plans in my head to do all my favorite holiday things. Like all of them. Cut down the family tree, decorate the tree, make sugar cookies, decorate the house, make gingerbread houses from scratch, send out christmas cookies to everyone, find the best gifts, watch ALL the Christmas movies, go for a snowy sleigh ride, make hot cocoa with giant marshmallows and loads of whipped cream, go ice skating, make the most grand Christmas dinner – with the table set all cute and festive. The idea is pretty much just to have the perfect Christmas season, which for me started with our big snowfall last week.

Here ‘s the reality though, I maybe do one or two of those things and then Christmas comes and goes and I am wicked sad it’s over because I didn’t even get to cross off half the things on my list. It honestly happens ever year.

Homemade Holidays- Let's Make the House Smell Like Christmas | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Homemade Holidays- Let's Make the House Smell Like Christmas | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

So this year, I am just accepting the fact that I will never get all those things done. Especially with how busy I am right now, it’s just not possible. Instead, I am bringing the Christmas fun to the blog and making my work not work like at all. Gotta love that. I have decided that there are just way too many things I want to tell you guys all about this December, so now the weekends will be filled with Christmas cheer.

So exciting right!?!? Ok well exciting for me any way.

Homemade Holidays- Let's Make the House Smell Like Christmas | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Homemade Holidays- Let's Make the House Smell Like Christmas | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Homemade Holidays- Let's Make the House Smell Like Christmas | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Today I am kicking things off with some crazy easy, holiday potpourri that simmers on the stove all day long. Don’t think I am all old and lame trying to tell you guys to make some homemade potpourri, I promise you will love this. Just trying to make the house smell like Christmas – like home. If you’re a candle person, you’ll love this potpourri.

The best part is, you can really use whatever you have on hand. The must-haves in my opinion are cinnamon, citrus, ginger and vanilla. Nothing makes it feel more like the holidays than those smells. So good.

I have seen the idea of potpourri that simmers on the stove all over the place lately and I am so glad I finally tried it, and especially that I tried it on a cold, snowy weekend. I just let this simmer all day long, adding more water as needed, and every person that walked through the house said “wow, it smells so good in here, like Christmas.”. Trust me, if you are having guests over this is the perfect thing to have simmering away on the stove. So try it at Thanksgiving. It’s a great easy fix that makes people feel warm, cozy and welcomed!

Jeez, I am so cheesy. It’s the holidays, they do that too me.

Homemade Holidays- Let's Make the House Smell Like Christmas | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Homemade Holidays- Let's Make the House Smell Like Christmas | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Homemade Holidays: Let’s Make the House Smell Like Christmas.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3 tangerines, halved
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise (optional) gives a strong black licorice smell.
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 vanilla bean + 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 small branch fresh pine
  • 1 cup apple cider, pomegranate or cranberry juice
  • water

Instructions

Combine all the ingredients in a medium size sauce pot. Fill the pot with water until it reaches 3/4 the way full. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, adding more water as needed. I let mine simmer for close to 4 hours and then let it cool over night and simmer again the next day. Just be sure to keep adding more water.

Homemade Holidays- Let's Make the House Smell Like Christmas | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Simmering.

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