5 ways to elevate your holidays this year

(BPT) - The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to create magical experiences with friends and family. However you celebrate the holidays this year, why not find new ways to add special touches to make them extraordinary? For small household gatherings or virtual celebrations, bringing unique decorations and flavors together with a festive flair can make this year even more memorable.

1. Streamline your decor

You’ve probably heard the expression “less is more.” This approach helps designers make striking statements in a space, using a simplified color palette or focusing on a single visual feature to make any room stand out.

For your holiday decor, apply this approach by selecting one or two colors, or a single visual theme, to make your living space even more elegant and beautiful this year. For example, you could choose only silver and blue — or red and gold — decorations to trim the tree, or display only snowflake or reindeer themed decorations.

Or you could find one single visual focus for each room for a dramatic visual statement, whether it's a gorgeous holly and pine centerpiece on your table or a wreath made from greenery and crimson ribbons for the wall. You’ll be amazed at how lovely and refined your rooms can look when you decorate with a more thoughtful focus.

2. Toast with the ones you love

Choose a delightful, celebratory sparkling wine to grace your holiday dinner table and New Year’s evening. For example, Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco is the perfect choice for any occasion, with its light effervescence and refreshing fruitiness. This versatile, delicious prosecco pairs well with foods from spicy chicken wings on game day to roast turkey for your formal dinner.

Need more gift ideas? Send out a couple of bottles of sparkling wine via Wine.com/NinoFranco to friends and family ahead of the holidays. That way, you’ll be able to toast together during your virtual gatherings.

3. Take your appetizers up a notch

Try this scrumptious and easy-to-prepare recipe from Katie Workman at TheMom100:

Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Smoked Paprika

These are lavish-looking appetizers suitable for any party or get-together with your family.

Prep time 15 minutes; Cook time 6 minutes; Total time 21 minutes

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 and 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound jumbo shrimp (16/20 pound), shelled and deveined with tails left on

4 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips

Instructions

Preheat broiler and place cooking rack about 4 inches below heat source.

Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, paprika, and pepper. Add shrimp and toss until coated with the seasoned olive oil.

Wrap each shrimp with a strip of prosciutto, spiraling it up the shrimp until the shrimp is encased. Place shrimp on the prepared baking sheet.

Broil for 3 minutes until the tops are crispy, then turn and broil for another 3 minutes until the other side is browned.

Serve with little napkins, with the crispier side up. Serves 6.

4. Gift with grace

If you have the time and talent, make something special for the ones you love. Whether a handcrafted toy, knitted scarf or jar of homemade treats, something you took the time to make means more than anything you could buy. Not too crafty? A beautiful handwritten card sharing memories or expressing good wishes for your loved ones can make a real impact.

5. Create new traditions — and revisit old ones

Explore new ways to celebrate the season. Ask your family about traditions that are meaningful to them, and find ways to include them in your holidays this year. Recall the best memories from your childhood holidays and see how you can share them with your family.

Then imagine new traditions. How about dressing up for family dinner, caroling from your car — or making little gift bags to leave on your neighbors' front doors? What new traditions can you create together?

Use these ideas for inspiration, then find your own ways to make this year's celebrations unique and festive. What makes the biggest impression is focusing on what means the most to you — friends and family.