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How To Make This Holiday Season Less Stressful

Holiday hacks

Helpful Hacks For A Stress-Free Holiday Season

It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are upon us once again. Soon enough, we’ll be picking apples for cider, hanging garland over the fireplace and welcoming family into our homes for a celebration.

And while the holidays can bring great cheer and joy, the impending arrival of family and friends can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed. To avoid any unwanted stress, we suggest taking necessary steps to ensure your home is in tip-top shape before the festivities begin.

Read our tips below to make getting ready for this holiday season a little bit easier.

Make a Checklist

Before your guests arrive, assess your home to see what areas need attention. During this time you can also take inventory of what you can reuse from prior years’ festivities and what you’ll need to purchase.

Remember, though, taking on too many tasks can set you up for a stressful situation. … Read Full Post »

May The Force Be With You This Holiday Season

Star Wars holidays

The holiday season is closing in on us – although it may not feel like it here in Texas.  With the holidays comes the release of the newest Star Wars movie.  Rogue One hits theaters on December 16, 2016.  What better way to celebrate the launch of a new Star Wars movie than combining it with the holidays?  Here are a handful of ideas to get your creativity flowing.

Star Wars Holidays

Christmas offers myriad opportunities to combine holiday festivities with Star Wars.  You can create all sorts of Christmas decorations that are Star Wars-themed.  Popular ideas are Christmas ornaments, stockings and nativity scenes using Star Wars LEGO bricks.  And don’t feel like you have to limit yourself – there are many folks out there who have a Christmas tree entirely dedicated to Star Wars.  Check out this Darth Vader Christmas tree!  If you are an Elf on the Shelf fan, you … Read Full Post »

How to host a cookie exchange

How to host a cookie exchange

Have you ever been to a cookie exchange? It’s a gathering organized to exchange cookies, primarily around the holidays.  For those of us who love to bake and have a sweet tooth, these parties are heaven. Hosting a cookie exchange seems like a great idea in theory, but planning it might be overwhelming. These tips will help you plan a successful cookie exchange without losing too much of your most precious resource: time.

Planning is Key

Create a plan for your cookie exchange well ahead of the date. You’ll need to consider a number of things before settling all the details. First, the guest list – which of your friends like to bake? Inviting friends who have no interest in baking probably won’t result in a successful cookie exchange. Choose the majority of friends who are seasoned bakers, and consider adding a few newbies who are developing an interest. 

Give your guests at least … Read Full Post »

How To Decorate Your Home For Christmas [INFOGRAPHIC]

How to decorate your home for Christmas

The holidays are a truly magical time of year.

That said, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make Christmas special. Before the stockings can be hung by the chimney with care, the box with the Christmas ornaments needs to come down from the attic, the Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations need to be put away, and the house needs to be ready for all your holiday gatherings and guests.

We here at ABC Home & Commercial Services want to help you get ready for the holiday season. We’ve compiled a list of Smart Christmas Decorating Tips so you can spend your precious time doing the things that matter most.

If you need a helping hand this holiday season, know that you can count on us.

From all of us here at ABC, we wish you a Christmas full of special memories.


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Your Holiday Playlist

Holiday playlist

Nothing screams holiday cheer like warm chocolate chip cookies, decorative lights, and, of course, festive music. And while the radio constantly plays beloved classics like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and one of the many popular renditions of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”, we wanted to think outside the box this year. That’s why we put together our first-ever holiday playlist and included a few Texas-themed tunes to set it apart from the rest.

Grab a cup of warm cocoa, pull up a seat by the fire, and listen to our playlist below. This is a holiday treat you won’t want to miss!

ABC Home & Commercial Services Holiday Playlist

Here’s what’s in our holiday playlist:

  • “White Christmas” – Bing Crosby
  • “Big Ole Texas Christmas” – Phil Vassar with Ray Benson
  • “Christmas Day” – Beach Boys
  • “Christmas Time in Texas” – Dale Watson
  • “Blue Christmas” – Elvis
  • “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas” – George … Read Full Post »

Holiday Safety Tips [INFOGRAPHIC]

Holiday safety tips

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over 15,000 people are injured each year while decorating for the holidays. Whether it’s because of a fall from a ladder, a fire linked to your Christmas tree, or a mishap experienced while putting up your Christmas lights, an injury is the last thing you want to spend time having to deal with during this busy time of year.

Holiday Safety Tips

ABC Home & Commercial Services wants to help you get ready for the holidays. Make sure that you stay safe this holiday season by following our list of dos and don’ts for using ladders, decorating with Christmas lights, and keeping your pets and children safe.

From all of us at ABC, we wish you a joyous – and safe – holiday season.


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How To Showcase Your Home This Holiday Season

Selecting Holiday Lights That Are Right For Your Home

We love all the beautifully decorated homes in this city—especially during the holiday season. Don’t you? Whether they’re varied in color or snowy white, these arrangements put a smile on our faces.

There are many trends and options currently available to showcase your home before your holiday gatherings begin and your out of town guests arrive. Are you considering laser lights, or curious about what’s involved in setting your lights to music? We’ve compiled a list of outdoor Christmas decorating ideas to help you decide what options are the best for your home.

LED Lights

There are many benefits to LED lighting, so it’s no surprise more people are reaching for them instead of traditional string lighting.

For starters, they’re more energy efficient, using up to 90% less energy than traditional lighting options; one traditional bulb uses the same amount of energy as 140 LEDs. They also … Read Full Post »

Best Holiday Lights in Houston

Christmas lights in Houston

School has just started, and Halloween is still around the corner.

Savvy homeowners know that the first signs of autumn mean it’s time to start thinking about holiday light displays. To properly deck your home with lights and festive decorations takes time and planning.

To get you in the proper holiday spirit, let’s look at some of the best Christmas lights in Houston and the surrounding areas.

Public Holiday Light Displays in Houston

First of all, let’s explore a few noteworthy public displays in the area (some of these have an entry fee).

Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo (Hermann Park, begins in November): Each year the Houston Zoo hosts a dazzling light display with animal sculptures, lights in the trees and colorful projections. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.

Dickinson Festival of Lights (Dickinson, from Nov. 26 – 30, 2016): A free holiday light display you can walk through, with free parking … Read Full Post »

Backyard Beauty – Landscaping Ideas for Austinites

austin landscaping

Here at ABC Austin, we love the summer time. We’re suckers for a good backyard BBQ, weekend swims at Barton Springs, and of course, spotting the weird bugs that make their presence known around the city when the mercury is high.

But with the kids heading back to school and cooler temperatures (and evidently this year, lots of rain?) around the corner now is the perfect time to focus on a backyard redesign.

We’re ready to roll up our sleeves, be creative, and—finally—start working on a new backyard we’ve been dreaming of all summer long.

So whether you have a large yard or just a small space to work with, we have a list of ideas that are sure to get your green thumb moving. Here are a few of our favorites ideas.

Plant Local Varieties

Shopping local has become quite the fad in recent years—and why shouldn’t it be? Choosing local products is an excellent … Read Full Post »

Add Some Seasonal Glow With Holiday Lighting

Make your home sparkle this season with creative light displays

The holidays are coming up fast. Are you ready to hang your seasonal lighting? Get started with these tips for creating a display that adds a little flair to your San Antonio neighborhood.

Pick a Theme

Start by deciding what you want to convey with your display. Do you prefer simple and elegant, or would you rather go all out with every holiday decoration you can think of? Are you aiming for a colorful look or basic white accented with accessories such as wreaths? What you choose will determine the type and quantity of lights you’ll need as well as any additional pieces such as frames or stakes.

Draw Up a Plan

Once you’ve decided on a theme, sit down and sketch it out. Decide where you want to hang lights and how you want them to look. Generally, lights are used to outline the … Read Full Post »