Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The holidays are here

I don’t know about you –but I love the holidays.  I love everything about them.  Over the years the most important thing I have learned is 
“Don’t Stress the Small Stuff”. 

What about those family traditions that have been around for years and years?  They no longer fit into your life style – it is time to start new traditions.

Here are a few easy ways to make the holidays stress free: 

  • I hate to cook – so making a huge turkey dinner was extremely stressful for me.  It took me about 30 years to realize no one really cared where we ate.  About 10 years ago we decided to have our Thanksgiving Dinner at Cracker Barrel.  We love it!!! My grandkids think this is the only way to correctly celebrate Thanksgiving.  We turned a long time tradition (my mother – my grandmother) all cooked Thanksgiving Dinner into our own tradition.    Some say to me – that is terrible you expect people to have to work so you can enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner.  Well let me tell you the staff at Cracker Barrel are fighting for hours on Thanksgiving.  Every year our waitress or waiter has told me they love working Thanksgiving. They are only allowed to work 4 hours because so many staff want to work. Last year’s waitress told me she is a single mother and she earns enough in tips during the 4 hours that she totally pays for Christmas for her family.  She was so thankful that we have make Cracker Barrel our tradition Now I am not sure what my Grand-kids are going to do if they get married or if Cracker Barrel closes. Guess it will be time for them to make their own traditions.  If they want to change when they get married and have a family - count this Nana into their plans. Nothing in my life is set in stone.
  •  Set spending limits and stick to them.  My spending limits change from year to year, just like my life.
  • Make your gifts – I start thinking about what gift I am going to make right after the holidays. My gifts are small but they are made with love. 
  • Let someone else do the cooking – this year I am ordering hot beef as the main course.  Each person has a favorite side: green bean casserole – mac n cheese – mashed potatoes – cheesy hash brown casserole and ice cream cake. So every year I buy the main entrée and make the sides.  Saves me lots of time.
  • Cookies – every year I used to make cookie – fudge – all kinds of treats. Everyone loved them but they do not miss them.  Instead of taking all kinds of homemade sweets to my daughter’s family – I started buying boxes of fruit from the local high school band.   For the last 7 years I have been taking a box of grapefruit, apples, oranges, and pears to my daughter’s home about 2 weeks before Christmas.  My grandchildren LOVE it!!  My daughter is an excellent cook and they always have plenty to eat. Her cupboards are always stocked with sweet, snacks, and fruit.  The fruit is the biggest hit – no idea why – maybe because it is only a Christmas thing?
  • Say “NO” – I plan my Christmas outings.  I try not to overdue and I always keep days just for me. Saying “YES” to everything is extremely dangerous – many times you can overbook yourself and that is a definite STRESS builder.
  • I always send Christmas cards to my family and close friends.  I start the week of Thanksgiving placing the cards on the counter in my card box – in
    between doing things in the kitchen I will fill out a card and sit it in a pile. Before you know it I have all my cards ready for mailing. Makes it much easier than sitting down and trying to do them all at once. 
Even Diesel dresses up for the holidays. He makes a very cute reindeer.   
These are just a few of my ways to make the holidays less stressful and more enjoyable.  Please remember no one expects perfection. NO ONE!!!  
If someone does – maybe delete them from you holiday list!!!  
Just sayin!!!

Have a Very Blessed Thanksgiving

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