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

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

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

Watch the How-To Here:

Christmas Potpourri from Half Baked Harvest on Vimeo.

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 | @hbharvest

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

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

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

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

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

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories Per Serving: 580 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


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


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


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    1. Hi Marilla,
      Are you able to get frozen cranberries? Those would work for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

    1. Hey Lisa,
      Lol, the calculator is something we have to have and is controlled by Google, Google does not recognize that this is not food:) xx

  1. 5 stars
    Why use a tangerine over an orange? I’m assuming that you smell similar but just curious why you prefer a tangerine for this recipe. Thank you so much!

    1. Hey Annie,
      Either one would be just fine for you to use:) I hope you love this! Let me know if you give it a try! xx

      1. Love the comment about wanting to do it all for Christmas but having to scale it back because of the other (very good) things of life 🙂 Thanks Tieghan!

    1. Hey Margaret,
      So sorry, I have never tried this so I honestly don’t know if that would work, but maybe! xTieghan

    1. 5 stars
      How did you manage to burn your house down with a pot of boiling water? 😳 What did you do, light the pine twigs on fire first? I’m genuinely curious. I’ve used this recipe and similar ones for years every Christmas. I’ve never seen anything catch on fire.

  2. Trying this now. I scrolled through the comments but didn’t find an answer to my question—could you please clarify the amount of vanilla extract?

    1. Hey Carina,
      This will last for 1 day. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Holidays! xTieghan