Holiday Nesting: 5 Ways to Happily Hibernate All Season


The pandemic has made sheltering in place the “in thing” to do this season, and though you may be missing the usual parties and festivities, chances are it will be a nice break from some obligations, too. Done right, staying put can give you and your family all the comfort and joy you deserve, especially if you make your home feel extra inviting. Here’s how you can create an environment that will make you happy to hibernate all season long.

Featured image via @ms_ozi

Psst! We love seeing your social-distancing New Jersey adventures. Be sure to tag your photos with #NJMOM and @njmom for a chance to be featured in our round-up next week.

Bring your Christmas magic inside this year, and after the season, take off the decor and leave the potted trees on a windowsill via @jm_homeandgarden

Bring in plants and other natural elements

Bringing the outdoors in is a great way to add warmth, life (literally), color, and texture to every room of your home.  Skip the fake stuff this year—instead, go for live plants and greenery, like draping your mantel with garland and placing potted trees on a table or windowsill. Add some succulents or an orchid to your coffee table, and keep a festive rosemary tree in your kitchen. You can even tie some dried eucalyptus to your bathroom’s showerhead for a bright scent that warms every time you shower. Whatever ways you decide to indulge your green thumb, know that besides looking nice and boosting your mood, adding live plants to your home will also purify the air, creating a healthier environment for you and your family. Still need another reason? Indoor plants increase humidity, which is particularly beneficial during these drier months and can even make it less likely to catch a bug. J&M Home and Garden, in Madison, NJ, has live seasonal decor and plants for inside, like Christmas cacti and poinsettias, and will deliver.

Can you say cozy? via @homesense_us

Load up on textiles

Warm-up and boost your room’s cozy factor by mixing and match winter textiles and fabrics (think velvet, wool, flannel, fleece, and fur). Decorators recommend you keep a basket of blankets for easy access or have throws within arm’s length at all times. Another way to add a natural touch? Bring in a fuzzy sheepskin rug for a festive and cozy look.  Whether you get one that’s faux or real, they look especially homey when draped over seats and other furniture or layered on over your existing rugs.

Fill your home with good times and even better aromas via @sajewellness

Make your home smell great

Your sense of smell is closely linked to parts of the brain that process emotion and memory, so choosing ways to fill your home with warm, welcoming aromas can boost your mood and remind you of happy times. Candles are one way to subtly scent your home (Birch House Candles are an #NJMOM favorite), but if you’re lighting up more than one at the same time, stick to a similar fragrance to avoid clashing aromas. An essential oil diffuser is another great option to enrich your personal space. Saje Natural Wellness has a large inventory of thoughtfully designed diffusers. Though their Short Hills, NJ store is temporarily closed, items are available for purchase online.

Light up the happiness this holiday season via @_alovelylittlelife

Set the mood with lighting

Lighting is a game-changer when it comes to making sure your home gives you and your family all the feels. Tree lights, of course, will give you a festive glimmer, but why stop there? Swirl twinkle lights around a railing or drape them on a mantle or around a window for a radiant touch. Set out table and floor lamps and put out votives and pillar candles to give your home a seasonal warmth. And to get the light the way you want, add plugin dimmers to your lamps. This way, you’ll be able to instantly change up the mood of your rooms and turn any cold, dark areas glowy.

Make it a point to take a daily family dance party break to put you in the festive spirit all season long.

Jam to your favorite tunes

Listening to music regularly in your home can create a more joyful environment and lift your mood. Surprisingly, it can make you healthier. Listening to music you love — including holiday music – can decrease your blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels. There’s also the get-up and move factor—dancing can not only get your heart pumping but also improve your mental health overall. If “old-school” style is more your jam, Scotti’s Record Shop in Summit, NJ has over 20,000 new and used Vinyl LP’s as well as new and vintage turntables that will make your family dance party breaks super hip. In-store and curbside pickup available.


About Author

Nancy Weinberg Simon lives in Summit, NJ with her husband and two children, a 20-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter. She's a former beauty editor whose work has appeared in print and online in Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens,,, and, among others. After living in NYC for almost 20 years, Nancy returned to the Garden State when it was time to raise her family. She loves reading everything and anything she can get her hands on, entertaining friends and family, traveling the world, scouring estate sales, and crafting jewelry.