12 Ways to Celebrate National Cuddle Up Day

Settle in for a night of guilt-free relaxation.

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Though I just discovered National Cuddle Up Day this year, I think it’s earned a spot in my top five favorite holidays. It’s not every day you’re given a totally legitimate reason to hit the sofa at 5 p.m. — and stay there all night. There are health benefits involved, too. Cuddling releases the hormone oxytocin, which reduces pain and gives you the warm fuzzies. And when it’s this cold outside, we could all use a dose of the warm fuzzies.

I’m sharing 12 ideas to make your cuddle sesh top notch. So, beat the cold temperatures and embrace #nationalcuddleupday.

Pull Out All the Faux-Fur Things

Faux-Fur Throws

Faux-Fur Throws

A pile of super cozy faux-fur throws are just the thing to keep the chill off in outdoor spaces.

Photo by: Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

Cuddling requires all the fuzzy, furry, soft things you can find. Locate those faux-fur blankets and pillows, and put them to good use. Lacking in the faux-fur department? Do some online shopping while you’re at it.

Simmer Stovetop Scents

Cook up an aroma that’s as warm and sweet as your snuggle session. Try one of our 11 easy stovetop scent recipes.

Light Candles

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Cozy home. Candles, book and cup of tea

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/topotishka

©iStockphoto.com/topotishka

Candles create instant ambience. Their soft glow will help set the tone for a relaxing evening.

Make Warm Cocktails

Add Brandy and Serve

Add Brandy and Serve

Before serving, add brandy , then gently reheat the mulled wine until right before it begins to simmer.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Take the chill off with some toasty, tasty cocktails.

33 Cold-Weather Cocktail Recipes

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Boozy Chocolate-Covered Cherry Hot Cocoa

A magical blending of orgeat syrup, brandy and creme de cacao ensure this warm and creamy cocktail tastes just like decadent chocolate-covered cherries. Get the recipe.

Hot Cranberry Mule

Mule cocktails aren't just for cooling off on a hot day. This warm-and-toasty version gets the summer staple ready for holiday entertaining. Get the recipe

Maple Nut Goodie Cocktail

Banish winter blues with this creamy coffee-based cocktail that's perfect for fireside sipping. Our homemade butterscotch syrup is the perfect finishing touch. Get the recipe.

Slow Cooker Sangria

Think sangria is only for summer? Nope! This slow cooker version makes it a snap to whip up a big crowd-pleasing batch of this spicy, fruity wine-based cocktail. Get the recipe.

Tipsy S'mores Cocktail

What would fall be without chocolatey, gooey s'mores?! This adults-only sip combines all the goodness of the campfire classic with a soul-warming boozy kick. Toasted marshmallows add a tasty finishing touch. Get the recipe

Hot Cherry Pie Cocktail

Cherry, vanilla and amaretto give this cocktail all the flavors of a hot-from-the-oven cherry pie. The whipped cream and pie crust crumble make it as pretty as it is tasty. Get the recipe

Boozy Peppermint Patty Hot Cocoa

This warm cocktail pairs the chill of peppermint with the warmth of steamy hot cocoa. Topped with crushed peppermints and whipped cream, it's sure to please. Get the recipe.

Coconut Cream Pie Cocktail

When it's cold outside, warm up with this indulgent cocktail that tastes like rich coconut cream pie. Topped with toasted coconut and graham cracker crumbs, it's a boozy twist on the classic dessert. Get the recipe.

Spiked Chai Tea

Spicy, sweet and creamy, this hot toddy can be enjoyed with or without an extra kick of bourbon. Get the recipe.

Hoppin' Hot Scotch

Butterscotch schnapps, hot chocolate and amaretto combine to create a decadent dessert cocktail sure to warm up holiday guests. Get the recipe.

Classic Eggnog

Get a head-start on holiday celebrations with this rich and creamy favorite. Top with one of our free printable flags for a festive finishing touch. Get the recipe.

Spiced Cappucini Cocktail

Stir Old Tom gin, Licor43 and Kahlua into strong brewed coffee then top with whipped cream and freshly ground nutmeg for an after-dinner drink that's perfect to enjoy while catching up with family and friends. Get the recipe.

Mexican Hot Cocoa and Puff Pastry Cinnamon Sticks

Spike this traditional, pepper-infused Mexican cocoa with your favorite tequila — or even rum, coffee-flavored liqueur or whiskey — for a soul-warming sip. Get the recipe.

Mulled White Wine

Spice up your fall or winter get-together with this aromatic, brandy-infused white wine cocktail. Get the recipe.

Spiked Hazelnut Hot Cocoa

Add a splash of hazelnut liqueur to this made-from-scratch hot cocoa recipe then top with whipped cream, chocolatey hazelnut spread and chocolate-covered cookies for a chill-busting drink that borders on being a dessert. Get the recipe.

Hot Rasapple Rum Cider

Welcome Thanksgiving or cold-weather guests with the warm and cozy aroma of this spicy hot cider. Get the recipe.

Irish Coffee

Irish whiskey and a dollop of whipped cream are all you need to turn a cup of coffee into this cold-weather classic. This drink isn't overly rich so it pairs well with dessert yet is tasty enough to serve on its own. Get the recipe.

Warm Apple Pie Cocktail

This apple-cider-based cocktail gets its kick courtesy of Tuaca, a delicious Italian liqueur made with citrus peels, spices and vanilla. Before serving, add a fresh cinnamon stick for an extra bit of spice. Get the recipe.

Hot Buttered Rum

Gather with friends and family around a roaring outdoor fire to enjoy this soul-soothing cocktail. Hot milk, brown sugar, dark rum and real butter give this drink its signature flavor. Get the recipe.

Mulled Red Wine

Mulled drinks have been at the center of holiday celebrations for centuries. Give your Thanksgiving feast a traditional twist by serving this spiced vintage. Get the recipe.

Hot Spiked Cocoa

Knock the chill off outdoor holiday activities with this tasty twist on homemade hot cocoa. Kahlua, light rum or silver tequila give it an extra kick. Get the recipe.

Hot Peppermint Rod

With a healthy helping of both peppermint schnapps and vodka, this holiday cocktail is sure to warm you up. Get the recipe.

Toasty Hot Chocolate With a Kick

Almost a dessert in itself, this cold-weather cocktail is warm, chocolatey and creamy. For guests with a sweet tooth, it's the perfect late-night or after-dinner cocktail. Get the recipe.

Cranberry Hot Toddy

This twist on a classic mulled apple cider gets a double shot of cranberry flavor with the addition of both cranberry vodka and juice. Get the recipe.

Butterscotch Bedtime Warmer

Milk, honey and butterscotch schnapps come together to create a delicious warm cocktail to cap off a cold winter's day. Get the recipe.

Cocoa Raspberry Heaven

Chambord and white crème de cacao lend this warm-and-toasty cocoa a rich and fruity finish. Get the recipe.

Hot Apple-Ginger Toddy

Apple cider, bourbon and candied ginger combine to create a flavorful twist on the classic hot toddy. Get the recipe.

Spice Up Hot Chocolate Mix

Take storebought cocoa from boring to blissfully boozy with a shot of your favorite flavored liqueur — peppermint, cinnamon and butterscotch schnapps are safe bets  — or liquor, like bourbon, whiskey, tequila or vodka. Make your cup extra creamy using a combination of half and half and milk. 

Photo By: Sweet Louise Photography

Arturo's Positano Winter Sunset

Relax with this popular drink direct from sunny Italy. It's just what the doctor ordered on a chilly fall or winter night. Get the recipe.

Hot Hard Apple Cider

Greet Thanksgiving guests coming in from the cold with this warm, richly scented hard apple cider. Get the recipe.

Hot Pear Cup

Pear cider, brandy, cinnamon, lemon and honey combine to create this warm and quintessentially English cold-weather cocktail. Get the recipe.

Rosario's Rumpope (Ecuadorian Holiday Eggnog)

Rumpope, pronounced "rom-poe-pay," uses eggs, condensed milk, peaches, vanilla extract and cinnamon for a sweet, silky holiday beverage. Get the recipe.

Classic Hot Toddy

This classic combination of whiskey, lemon and honey not only is good for what ails you but its mellow flavor is the perfect complement to rich Thanksgiving desserts. Get the recipe.

Make Soup or Stew

A cozy night in calls for a hearty bowl of soup or stew. Try one of these five healthy recipes that won’t interfere with your New Year’s resolution.

Put Your Slow Cooker to Use

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Man Topper

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Man Topper

Step 1 - Combine Ingredients in Crock Pot Set slow cooker to the low or warm setting. Combine all ingredients for hot chocolate into the slow cooker and stir together.

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn, FlynnsideOut

Brian Patrick Flynn, FlynnsideOut

If you’d rather not move from your sofa, throw dinner or dessert (because I won’t judge you for eating dessert in place of dinner on a night such as this) in the slow cooker before you plop down. Get 12 easy, delicious slow cooker recipes.

Hang String Lights

Cozy Family Room Features Playful Lighting

Cozy Family Room Features Playful Lighting

Whimsical lighting steals the show in this cozy family room. Behind the sofa, string lights gracefully adorn the wall, and above the armchair, a lighted art installation adds a cool, crisp pattern to the space.

Photo by: Claire Esparros for Homepolish

Claire Esparros for Homepolish

Feeling a bit sad about taking down your holiday decor? Consider hanging string lights like these for a cozy but stylish living room update.

Decorate Your Mantel for Winter

Contemporary Black and White Fireplace Decor With Natural Elements

Contemporary Black and White Fireplace Decor With Natural Elements

Bright whites and simple natural elements dress up this winter mantel display . Terra-cotta pots painted in metallic colors add shine, as do the glitter highlights on pine cones gathered from the woods. Candles and lanterns provide a warm glow, great for cold winter nights.

Photo by: Jessica Wangelin

Jessica Wangelin

I have this slightly obsessive quality where I can’t quite relax in a space until I’m satisfied with the decor. If you happen to share this compulsion, you might want to decorate your mantel for winter before you cuddle up. Or you might not, which is totally fine, too.

22 Winter Mantel Decor Ideas

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Use Warm Textures

You can easily transform your everyday decor into a winter wonderland using neutral elements. Warm things up by covering glass vases with remnants from old sweaters, and implement rustic decor pieces like antlers for a seasonal touch.

Modern + Graphic

Evoke Scandinavian style in your home this winter with an all-white, minimalist display. Cassie Freeman of Hi Sugarplum! accented her white fireplace with a geometric mirror, silver candlesticks, white reindeer and a vase of magnolia leaves from her yard. A flokati rug draped over the base of the fireplace adds warmth and coziness.

Find Winter-spiration

The soft creams and browns in this picture of Salt Lake Temple reminded Leanne Jacobs of winter, providing the basis for her winter mantel. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, Leanne wanted a simple, toned-down display, so she paired a few silver candlesticks with ornaments and a glittery bird. Glittering snowflakes hung with clothespins on baker's twine create a sparkling banner that adds shine to the muted mantel.

Photo By: Leanne Jacobs

Holiday or Not? Transitional Mantel Display

Love the idea of dressing up your mantel all winter, but can't imagine it without the usual stockings, mini trees and other festive knickknacks? Go transitional. Create a base of winter greenery and lights, then layer on the Christmas. After the holidays, switch out the Christmas music candles for plain ones and pack away the trees and stockings. Leave the flocked evergreen garland, shiny votives, crystal and silver candlesticks and even the boxwood wreath for a fantastically decorated fireplace focal point for the remainder of the cold-weather season.

Photo By: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Sleek, Shiny and Silver

Silver often plays second fiddle to its more audacious golden cousin when it's time to break out the holiday decor, but don't overlook this shining shade. In this display from Pottery Barn, just a few candles are enough to create a gauzy glow, thanks to silver's reflective sheen. It's all about brightness here: Crystal spheres, shimmering snowflakes and delicate white flowers shooting from etched-silver pots add up to create a warm and wintry fireplace focal point.

Photo By: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Dressed-Up Midcentury Modern

Decorator Erin Cochran uses the minimalist shelving of her midcentury-modern home as a staging ground for her fireplace finery. In keeping with the home's feel, she chooses to artfully arrange clean-lined, wintry-colored vintage pieces. Strings of white lights run in the back, creating a soft glow through the timeworn glass bottles, milky-shaded pottery and delicate paper-craft art. Pinecones and shoots of evergreens add visual interest by breaking up the smooth white theme with their sharp colors and lines.

Photo By: Erin Cochran

Green + Sparkling Neutrals

Alissa Ditta keeps her blog's 33 Shades of Green theme going by blending hues of bright green with silver and brown. Cedar topiaries and a peace banner made from glittered cardboard letters make the mantelscape great for the holidays, but the display isn't so Christmas-y that it can't stick around all season. Mercury-glass vases and candleholders are a sparkling accent to the natural elements.

Let It Snow

Andrea Schuneman makes an enchanting snowy display using framed photo prints and white vases. After layering a large mirror, the vases and picture frames, Andrea still had space to fill, so she found a quote she liked and put it on a lattice-framed chalkboard. A teeny hourglass is a reminder that spring is right around the corner.

Photo By: Andrea Schuneman

Alternative Winter Display

Winter doesn't always have to mean just pinecones and evergreens. Joan Ross strays from the norm, mixing natural elements like a topiary, a tree conk and a beehive with brass candlesticks and antique French confit pots. The pots add earthy warmth to the mantel while their imperfections give the display a one-of-a-kind look.

Photo By: Joan Ross

Borrow From Nature

Decor Adventures' Jessica Wangelin dreamed of lush greenery, so she adorned her mantel with thick pieces of faux garland layered with real evergreen branches and glitter-tipped pinecones. Instead of buying the antiqued mirror, she made one by cutting a door mirror, distressing it and then piecing it back together inside a poster frame.

Photo By: Jessica Wangelin

Keep It Cozy

Vase "sweaters" made from an old pair of socks, gold poinsettias and a cute "Brrr" printout set the perfect mood for curling up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. Beaded icicle garland and snowflake ornaments add cool whimsical touches to this warm display. Design by Erin Cook

Photo By: Erin Cook

Budget Winter Display

Nicole Wilkinson proves an elegant winter display doesn't have to cost a lot: She made these cozy vase covers from a thrifted sweater and filled them with soft brown grass from her backyard. The old windowpane ties the arrangement together.

Photo By: Nicole Wilkinson

Sparkling Snowflakes

Snowflake candleholders, decorations and scrapbook-paper snowflakes make Gina Martello's mantel a charming display. Inspired by cold, snowy weather, Gina keeps the arrangement simple with two hurricane vases filled with silver berry garlands and a white metal container filled with pinecones collected on a trip to Maine. An empty wooden frame creates the perfect backdrop for the arrangement's centerpiece — a large shimmering star from Pier 1.

Photo By: Gina Martello

Chalkboard Winter Wonderland

Hoosier Homemade author Liz Latham's playful winter display makes every day feel like a snow day. Drawing inspiration from her favorite winter activities, Liz created a colorful scene on a chalkboard (actually a very old piece of slate). She then matched it with antique skates, snowmen and a long piece of wool fabric bunched up to look like a blanket. She also added aqua mason jars to her arrangement, filling two with Epsom salt and a battery-operated tea-light candle and one with plenty of marshmallows.

Photo By: Liz Latham

Orange: Not Just For Fall

Orange is typically thought of as a fall hue, but when used carefully and creatively, it's a lively accent color perfect for winter, too. Here, designer Jenna Burger creates a warm and inviting atmosphere by blending orange with brown and cream colors. A lantern and vintage cheese box give the display a rustic feel, while bright, fresh flowers create an energetic vibe without being too overpowering.

Photo By: Jenna Burger/SAS Interiors

Simple and Natural

Bright whites and simple natural elements dress up this mantel in Jessica Wangelin's 112-year-old upstate New York home. Terra-cotta pots painted in metallic colors add shine, as do the glitter highlights on pinecones gathered from the woods. Candles and lanterns give off a warm glow, great for cold winter nights.

Photo By: Jessica Wangelin

Take Advantage of Texture

Stephenie Atkins mixes different textural elements, including a wreath made of old sweaters, vintage bottles and a basket of antique fabric balls. A monogrammed plate adds a personal, homey touch.

Photo By: Stephenie Atkins

Think Outside the Holiday Section

Forget garland and glitter — sometimes all you need to make a winter scene is an arrangement of the right colors and textures. Lima beans are the perfect creamy white, while a coffee filter-lined mirror captures the light and airiness of winter. For an icy, snowy look, try filling vases or mason jars with Epsom salt. Design by Maryann Caballero

Photo By: Maryann Caballero

Rustic Winter Display

Created by the design team of Christi Cline and Sallie Hallmark, this mantel at Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colo., pulls off a festive winter look with nary a garland or light string in sight. By choosing accessories like berry-laden wreaths, raffia spheres and even a vintage lantern, they created a visually interesting and rustically authentic display that delights guests all season long. Photo courtesy of Vista Verde Guest Ranch

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Vista Verde Guest Ranch

Shop Your Yard for Greenery

Cassie Freeman wanted a magnolia wreath to decorate her home throughout the holiday season without breaking the bank. Luckily, the Hi Sugarplum! blogger had a magnolia tree growing right in her backyard, so she made one herself. Head outside to get inspired by the evergreen trees, berry-filled shrubs or even dead branches in your yard.

Photo By: Cassie Freeman

Rustic Checkerboard Fun

To fend off winter dreariness, Kendra Joyner used a handmade checkerboard tabletop as the focal point for this fun winter arrangement. Old and new metal, woven mats, old wood and winter wheat add loads of texture.

Photo By: Kendra Joyner

Lit Up and Toned Down

While grand and gilded works for some fireplaces, it's not right for all of them. This display, created by Roxanne Cave for the Fairmont Chateau Whistler in Whistler, British Columbia, skips the evergreen shoots and poinsettias, but not the seasonal feel. Large off-white vases filled with snow-colored tulips flank the firebox, while candles of different height and intensity create light and interest on the mantel.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Tallevi Studios

Make Scented Pinecone Fire Starters

DIY Pinecone Fire Starters 03:29

Marianne makes attractive, functional scented fire starters from pinecones.

If you have a fireplace, you should most definitely have a fire (see next idea). And if you’re going to have a fire, you should most definitely make these scented pinecone fire starters. Because, scented pinecones = yum.

Have a Fire

Pink Eclectic Living Room With Fireplace

Pink Eclectic Living Room With Fireplace

Natural light fills this bright, eclectic living room that combines Hollywood Regency elements. The brick wall with fireplace and mirror become a focal point when flanked by custom built in bookcases and space for firewood.

Is there anything cozier than a crackling fire in the fireplace?

Cuddle Up With Your Dog + Cat

Fall Color Palettes Include Blue and White

Fall Color Palettes Include Blue and White

These sophisticated color combinations are current, yet welcoming and familiar, just like the season.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

National Cuddle Up Day is the perfect day to love on your furry friends.

Knit Something While You’re Cuddled

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Original_Marianne-Canada-Knitted-Scarf-Step-3_s4x3

While you’re curled up on your sofa binge-watching Netflix, keep your hands busy with a knitting project. Or, get started on that 2017 resolution and read a new book. Whatever you do, enjoy those cuddles!

14 Winter Party Trends for Your Next Snow Day

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Check out our favorite winter entertaining ideas to turn snow days into just another reason to host.

Snowed-In Lunch

To escape from winter weather, invite friends over to spend the afternoon indoors for a snowed-in lunch. Set out oversized pillows and blankets in various textures, shapes and sizes that invite guests to cozy up and relax.

Snowed-In Lunch

Decorate the table using vibrant hues that offer a mental escape from the doldrum weather. A cheese board with colorful dried and fresh fruit is the perfect snack to nibble while watching the snow pile up.

Snowed-In Lunch

Piping hot food, like crockpot meals, soup or pasta, require little effort in the kitchen and allow you to spend most of the day unwinding with friends.

Host a Cozy Soup Swap

Host a winter-perfect soup swap complete with homemade soups, cheeses, bread, crackers, nuts and fresh herbs. Display a buffet of bowls and toppings on round wooden stumps lined with tartan fabric as a toast to the season.

Host a Cozy Soup Swap

Suggest that everyone bring his or her favorite homemade soup or chili. This allows guests to test out new flavors and recipes. Plus, there should be plenty of leftovers to take home!

Host a Cozy Soup Swap

Display a variety of garnishes, such as parsley, pine nuts, oregano and shredded cheese, on the table. Guests will enjoy trying new flavor combinations without having to make multiple trips to the buffet.

Host a Cozy Soup Swap

Don't forget the favors! Send guests home with a favorite soup recipe that includes one or two of the ingredients, such as lentils or herbs.

What's My Name Again?

Monogramming is having a major moment, so get creative by adding etched family heirlooms or personalized elements, such as linen napkins and table runners, to the table.

Dressed-Up Desserts

Sweets are in season all year long, but winter is a perfect time to test out unique cocktail recipes. Get creative by blending popular seasonally-inspired flavors like chocolate with cinnamon, peppermint with coconut or apricot with rosemary to create some grown-up libations.

Dressed-Up Desserts

Simple, homemade (or even store-bought!) cinnamon rolls are dressed up with berries and cream cheese icing, proving — yet again — that presentation is everything.

Toddies With a Twist

Give hot toddies a new twist by adding a dash of zesty, orange citrus instead of lemon. Plus, this combo of ingredients has been known to offer a few extra health benefits. Thank you, vitamin C!

Mix Those Metallics

Shiny metallics in shades of pewter, silver and copper set a chic and modern vibe for dinner with a best friend, significant other or family member you're overdue on seeing.

Mix Those Metallics

Adorn the table with unexpected produce (like purple cabbage) to add extra height and drama.

Pull in Icy Pastels

Surprise guests with a variety of macarons for dessert in pastel hues as a gentle reminder that the lovely, warm spring season is just around the corner.

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