Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Seasons Cheatings

I know we have a month or so until Christmas, but why does everyone seem so busy and worried? Maybe it's because of all that has happened over the last month, or maybe it is just that normal insanity that seems to take over at this time of year. We want to buy the newest, favorite thing, and we have to try and create the perfect memory (again). We all know that it won't be perfect - we'll stand on line for the one thing we can't find, the dog will throw up from eating something he shouldn't have, and the children will be so exhausted they'll just play with the wrapping paper.

And, that is what the Holidays should be about (mistakes always make for a better story). So, while we strive to get it all done, I thought I could suggest some easy ways to cheat during the Holidays, and perhaps let you enjoy a little bit of peace and joy in-between.

Make a great, (semi) homemade dessert: Buy good quality cookie dough and vanilla ice cream from the supermarket. Bake the cookies (takes about 15 minutes). Sprinkle some sugar, chocolate chips, crushed candy canes or edible glitter on the top before baking. When ready for dessert, assemble the most delicious ice cream sandwiches.

Plan at least one occasion that includes all the people you like: We all know that this is a time of obligation, but don't forget to spend time with your friends and family that you really cherish. Knowing you have this to look forward to, will help you get through the other stuff. Plan a time, and invite them asap.

Schedule a half day, or evening, to write lists, cards and plan your present buying: Being organized will save you a ton of time and stress in the long run. Pajamas and a glass of egg-nog optional.

Expect to forget: Buy a couple of nice, generic gifts now, or, put some money aside for last minute purchases. My go-to is always something edible (of course). Buy striped candy canes and white chocolate at the supermarket (and containers). White chocolate peppermint bark is easy, tastes delicious (even if you don't like white chocolate and peppermint), inexpensive, and looks really pretty and festive!

Write down a couple of outfits that you know are perfect for an occasion, and post the list inside your closet: No more last minute frustration staring in the mirror, wondering what to wear.

Challenge yourself to stop and think before you go out and buy more stuff: Do you really want to take the time to buy more nodding reindeer for the garden, another scented candle and 27 types of wrapping paper?

Be flexible, and don't be store/brand loyal: If you see something just as good (or different) somewhere else, get it.

Schedule time for things that will make you feel good: Go to a community Tree-lighting, a Christmas Concert, Holiday fair or Bake sale. Volunteer or Donate to something that you really believe in. Watch cartoons on the television, or rent a favorite family movie.

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