Friday, December 19, 2008

No Hassle Holidays and Making the Most of Your Creativity

Last minute shopping and entertaining can be bring about stress and the joy of the season can get lost in the shuffle. This year's economic difficluties have put a strain on many families and people are cutting corners to make ends meet.

Does that mean we can't celebrate and embrace the joy of the season? Not at all. Instead, it's a way for us to become even more creative and resourceful. Necessity is the mother of invention so we can draw from the vast wealth of imagination and ingenuity that is within and make the holiday just as special as ever!

Here are a few ideas that might spark some clever gift-giving genius within:

1. From the kitchen of... Do you love to cook or bake? Do you have a favorite, family recipe? Then making your own culinary creations may be a warm and welcome gift for your friends and loved ones this year?

2. Scrapbooking saavy--Do you love to scrapbook? Then perhaps a framed scrapbook page or memory frame would be bring back memories and become a treasured keepsake.

3. Books. A trip to a local bookstore or website can find great books to bundle up with cocoa and a mug to be enjoyed on the cold, wintery days ahead.

4. Theme baskets. This is a trip to the dollar store to make up a spa basket, gardener's basket, pet lover's basket or chocolate lover's basket.

5. Creative coupons. You can make or print out coupons that entitle the owner to anything from a month off from laundry, free babysitting to be redeemed anytime, dinner and a movie or anything you can think up to let those you love know you care.

Wishing you and yours warm wishes this holiday season!

Donna and Pat

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Events, Making Memories and Staying Sane

A few things to keep in mind when planning this year's holiday get together:

1. Since you are not being featured in this month's Living magazine, relax and enjoy your guests. Sure, tidy up the place, but don't, I repeat, DO NOT stress. People are more interested in mixing and mingling than rating your housekeeping skills.

2. Remember the reason for the season. Slow down and enjoy the moment. This time with family and friends is more important than any gifts that are given or received.

3. I think I'm going to call this tip--the Alisa factor. My sister, Alisa, is the queen of pre-planning for an event. She decides on the menu and pulls her recipes, buys her ingredients and then paces herself; prepping as she goes. I just had Thanksgiving at her house and even the gravy was made in advance. What a restful day we had!

It's already the beginning of December so before you know it Christmas will be here. Let's make a pact with ourselves to truly enjoy this holiday season and leave the hustle and bustle of last minute shopping and holiday perfection to the masses. Keep your sanity this season and take it easy. Let it be the gift you give yourself.