Advice on avoiding holiday stress – KEEP IT SIMPLE

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Going au naturelle for my girl’s Christmas party.

As the holidays inch closer, I find myself in a state of confusion. On one hand I’m excited about having family and friends together, but on the other hand I’m feeling the strain of the anticipated financial drain and fighting the mall crowds.

On another hand (I guess that makes it three hands), I love decorating my house for the holidays, and I do tend to go over the top, but dread the day I have to take it all down again. I’ve tried to refrain from purchasing new decorations this year simply because I’m slap out of storage space. I stick my Santa collection under beds, in suitcases and I just found one in a shoe I haven’t worn since last winter!

Brandy snifters filled with cranberries and topped with Hydrangeas are an easy and quick centerpiece. I used artificial hydrangeas, but can use any flower – camelias are blooming now and could be used with snifters stuffed with pecans. Colorful ribbons can create a faux runner.

I’ve also learned I’ll never get things “just right”, but Lord knows, I keep trying. Here are a few suggestions to keep your season simple and peaceful”

1) Get organized. (Yeah, right) I read that the average American wastes one hour per day looking for things they know they have, but can’t find. I just spent half that time looking for an outdoor extension cord. I know I have at least six or seven, but can only lay my hands on four. So I’m off to Fred’s to pick up a couple more.

2) Plan. Sit down with your family and friends and decide on which traditions, meals, parties, gift giving practices and religious observances are important to you.

My closest friends got together back before Thanksgiving and decided that we would forgo the gift giving this year since money is tight and we’re all “packed to the gills” with “stuff.” We’re having our “girl’s Christmas party” at my house next Saturday and each friend will bring a gift suitable for an elderly person (tee hee, since we’re heading toward elderly, maybe we’ll just play Dirty Santa).

We plan go and deliver the goods to one or more women in the nursing home who don’t have family.

3) Use what you have to decorate. I’ve already got my table ready for my party next Saturday. I used all natural organic things – like the huge pecan branch that fell last week nearly demolishing my pansies. I stuffed it in a bucket and hung a few plastic ice sicles and Christmas balls. I was planning to paint it white, but kind of like the natural effect of the peeling bark. I used antique thread spools as candle holders and put out an old basket made of bark for crackers and such.

I stuck pine boughs in my chandelier and chunked a few hand carved wooden birds around. Hmmm, not sure there will be room for food. See? I can’t seem to declare anything “finished.” The whole spread is not particularly Christmasy and I’ll rework it for my family Christmas Dinner with more glitz and bling. I’m off to hunt for a bird’s nest to place in my branch bouquet.

3) Delegate. Make a list of holiday-related tasks that you can outsource or ask someone else to do for you. My girl friends are all bringing a finger food to the party on Saturday.
Anyone interested in raking my yard?

If anyone else has some interesting decorating tips using stuff you have around the house, I would love to hear about them. My friend Norma made a beautiful Christmas tree last year from a ‘dead tree’ her husband Bubba cut in the woods out back. She lined it’s bare branches with twinkle lights and it was spectacular.

One thought on “Advice on avoiding holiday stress – KEEP IT SIMPLE

  1. I love seeing all the divers types of 12 21 12 theory, I believe one superb thing that has come of all of this, even if nothing materializes is that it has opened our minds to the possibility that we may not be here forever and that we need to treasure the lifetime we have.

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