Categories ArchivesHoliday Prep

What to Do With All of Those Holiday Cards? standard

It is that time of year. Holiday cards are stuffing your mailbox and overloading the systems you usually have in place. These cards are emotionally charged so it helps to establish some rules to handle the influx at this already busy time. Use the five D’s to keep from getting overwhelmed. 1. DROP Designate a drop spot for the cards as they arrive. I like to use a pretty bowl or basket. I separate them from the other mail and do not open them until I have time to sit down and really enjoy them. This system ensures that none will be misplaced around the house. 2. DECIDE When I open the cards I try to immediately make a decision ...

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Holiday Stress: Worth It or Not? standard

Traditions change. Yes, it’s an oxymoron, but it’s true. If you think about it, year by year new traditions and expectations are added to our holiday celebrations. Relaxation and joy are sometimes replaced with guilt and stress while we try to keep up. Awareness is the first step to making a change. If you want to make a change start by thinking about the details of your traditions and ask yourself these questions: Think back on how many family traditions got started. Think about the “why” behind each tradition. Is the tradition aligned with your family values? Is it something you “should” do or something you “want” to do? Try to think about the joy/stress ratio for each tradition and ...

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Holiday Meal Planning Timeline standard

We are busy every day, so adding holiday food prep to the usual mix can really be overwhelming. When time is tight, quality suffers and then we make poor choices and get poor results. This year, plan early and make better choices by following this little guide. TWO WEEKS AHEAD: Confirm your guest list. Confirm any rentals or special arrangements. Finalize the menu and try to incorporate lots of make ahead items. Delegate cooking projects to guests. Order the turkey if its fresh (1lb/person). Compose final shopping list. ONE WEEK AHEAD Buy hardy veggies and squash and heavy cream early. Launder and press linens. THREE DAYS AHEAD: Thaw the bird in the fridge. Think about the table setting and furniture ...

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Halloween: Trick or Treat Alternatives standard

It is that time of year again where ghouls and gluttony rule. The time any vague notion of nutritional plans are thrown out the window and are replaced with pillowcases full of candy and sugar. A glint of greed glows In the eyes of otherwise mannerly children. Parents begin to actually steal from their children when their backs are turned and the lights are out and some existing behaviors exasperated by all that goo sky rocket! The alternatives? Can you bear to be the neighbor that is passing out granola bars? Would any fruit or homemade treat land in the trash in today’s suspicious world? It is a vicious cycle. It makes me ask the question, what makes Halloween fun? Is ...

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Keeping it Green: Halloween Costumes standard

What was your most favorite Halloween costume you ever wore? Was it one you bought or one you put together creatively? Sometimes the best memories are made when you just make do because the pressure is off and it’s time to have fun. Often when your creativity shines through, the costume becomes a real show stopper and the added bonus is no one will have the the same one as you! The most eco-friendly suggestion is to use what you have or do a “costume swap”. You can organize this with friends, neighbors, or even schools. There is even a National Costume Swap day on October 13th and a website, www.greenhalloween.org that facilitates setting up your own swap. Also be ...

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