- Thursday, 8 December 2011 9:53
So it’s already December and you haven’t started your holiday shopping. Don’t worry – you aren’t alone! Finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list is easier than you might think. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Best of all, these are presents you can secure today rather than having to pay shipping costs and anxiously wait on delivery from overburdened retailers.
- Thursday, 17 November 2011 10:23
The holidays can become stressful. Many people feel pressured to put on a big show but this can be your biggest mistake. The most important thing about hosting any event is to not over-extend; if you take on more than you can handle it will be impossible for you to enjoy yourself. Here are a few easy Thanksgiving ideas and tips that will make great additions to your party and keep you stress-free.
- Thursday, 10 February 2011 9:32
If you love a deal, then Presidents Day should be marked in your planner as a marathon shopping day. I’m not sure how our early Presidents would have chosen to be honored on their special day, but the holiday is primarily a day for deep discounts on all kinds of products ranging from cars and kitchen appliances to clothing and office supplies.
February is a good time for merchants to cut prices on shelf stock from the previous year and also to roll out the new seasonal items also with some special deals to get the new year off to a solid start. If you’re looking for a heavy winter coat and never got around to buying one during the height of the season, then you can get super savings. Last year I bought my son a $150 lined winter rain jacket for $30. Likewise, I’ve found great prices a couple of years back on crock pots and coffee makers. I’m guessing they sell best during the holiday season, so if you need specific cold season favorites like I did, then you can find big savings by timing your buying for Presidents Day.
- Tuesday, 1 February 2011 1:51
If you’re not in love, then Valentine’s Day can be annoying or even stressful. Even if you are in love, it can be a day fraught with expectations that may or may not get met. I’ve seen many a family member, friend, or student bummed out on what should be a nice day to celebrate special relationships. The Valentine Day stress seems to start early. I remember hurt feelings back in elementary school when some kids did not get as many cards as others or when the special cards ended up on the “wrong” desks. My best friend in fourth grade, for instance, thought one of the boys in class was fabulous. She was in puppy love. He gave the fancy card from his pack to a girl on the next row over. That girl wasn’t smitten with the boy. Even today I remember that being an awkward class moment.
- Friday, 28 January 2011 11:04
Yes. A holiday to celebrate “love” can be a headache and does fall into the “marketing ploy” category. But, blowing off Valentine’s Day can be hurtful. So, make an effort to be thoughtful, since the main thing that matters on Valentine’s Day is showing that you do care.
As Valentine’s Day approaches again, I think back again to my worst one. I was in college, and I spent a lot of time thinking about a good gift for my boyfriend then who had a good job and a lot of disposable income. I knew I could not match his spending power, but I gave a lot of thought to a gift that he would enjoy. That was a pair of green shorts to replace his favorite gym shorts which were about to fall apart and also a card with a special note. I felt good about my gift and was excited to spend a holiday with a special “someone.”
- Wednesday, 22 December 2010 11:56
It’s crunch time! Only a few more days until Christmas and that means last minute gift wrapping. How many Christmas Eves have you spent holed up in a bedroom, frantically working on an overwhelming stack of gifts that need to be wrapped? Well, not this year! Let this be the year that you are finally able to relax and enjoy the night before Christmas.
First, let’s talk about ways that you can avoid the Christmas Eve cram. The most obvious is to set a goal of wrapping a few gifts each day rather than waiting until the last minute. Enlisting a helper makes it go much faster. If you have a child who is 8 or older, you could ask them to help wrap a few of the presents.
- Thursday, 16 December 2010 11:05
It seems a real shame to toss out beautiful holiday cards, but many families do not have the space to keep everything they’d like to keep. Rather than throw away your cards, share them with St. Jude’s Hospital where the children use the cards to make recycled cards and earn cash at the Ranch which is a facility for children who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected.
The Christmas card recycling program started when the kids used old cards to make thank you notes for those who helped the Ranch. The cards were so well received that people started requesting to buy the cards. The program was born, and it has expanded to include all types of cards.
- Tuesday, 14 December 2010 9:42
We’re family, but we don’t hang out all that often, since we’re now scattered around the county. So, holidays are fabulous for touching base, but what the heck do you do after the main celebration and meal?
Granted the adults could all nap in the recliner chairs with the television blaring while the kids hole up in the bedrooms and play video games, but that just seems somehow wrong when the holidays really are about family, friends, and fun.
Then, there is the joy of just sitting there in the living room looking at each other and trying to make small talk which is, as I recall from my own childhood, rather painful. The grown ups wander back in time with stories of days gone by or argue about things best forgotten, and the kids fidget, whine, or get into mini rumbles with cousins they don’t know from Adam.
Before you know it, things start to melt down, and everyone is wondering: Why we do this every year?
- Friday, 10 December 2010 11:17
My aunt taught me how to make Apple Brown Betty. I think she just learned to make this recipe, because her name happens to be Betty. Apple Brown Betty is delicious, so we keep making it – even those of us who are not named Betty.
My Aunt Betty and I are only six years apart in age. Mom was one of the oldest siblings, and my aunt was one of the youngest in a big mountain family. We did all kinds of things together, and I learned a lot (including how to cook a few recipes) while hanging out with my Aunt Betty.
She was in high school, and I was still in elementary school when she helped me make Apple Brown Betty. I thought I was pretty cool getting to use the stove and help make part of the meal. This really is a good starter recipe. The most difficult part is cutting up the apples, and that’s not exactly rocket science.
- Thursday, 9 December 2010 11:35
Invariably we end up with an unexpected guest or two over the holidays. These random party crashers are family members or friends, and we’re glad to have them over. But, it is awkward if the gathering involves gifts, so I keep a stash of last minute gifts that work for various different ages.
Frankly, the women are really easy when it comes to quick gifts. A nice candle, a pack of pretty note cards, or home canned strawberry preserves are usually well received. Let’s face it, women are pretty easy to buy for when it’s the small items at family gatherings.