Use This SPEAR to Have the Best Holiday Season Ever!
Dec 1st, 2012 | By Chloe JonPaul | Category: Relationships, Self-Care
By Chloe JonPaul –
* Simplify * Prioritize * Enjoy * Accept * Recognize
I think Denise Brown (http://www.caregiving.com/) said it best in one of her comments: “Holidays should be about embracing what we have, rather than yearning for what we want”.
So… let’s take a look on how you can use that spear to make your holiday season what you would like it to be.
There are two unalterable facts to consider: the holiday season is upon us and this miserable economy has hit our pocketbooks big time! So how can you entertain elegantly, efficiently and economically?
First of all, make sure your advance-planning schedule includes:
1. The menu
2. Table setting and décor (nothing tall or scented)
3. Background music selections (nothing loud and brassy)
4. Areas you need to clear (get rid of the clutter!)
5. Small gifts you may want to give (check out the Dollar Store!)
Casserole recipes abound and can be made well in advance. It is wise to have a repertoire of menus to rely on because the more often you make those dishes, the easier and quicker it becomes. If you plan to serve salad, put the greens in a large salad bowl and place other salad vegetables in partitioned dishes. Let guests select what they want. Restaurant salad bars do it and so can you! Avoid putting bottles of condiments on the table. Salad dressings and other condiments can be placed in small bowls with a serving spoon.
Keep your guest list manageable. There was a time when I thought nothing of having a sit-down 6-course dinner for 22 guests but those days are long gone! It would be better to have 2 separate luncheons or dinners with no more than 6 to 8 guests at a time. That way you can even repeat the menu!
If you plan on serving cocktails or pre-dinner drinks, be sure to provide soda, juices, and mineral water for those who want to forego alcohol. The meal can be served between 30 and 45 minutes later but do have the table set in advance and have food warming in the oven so you don’t have to spend extra time in the kitchen.
Even in the best of circumstances, there will be minor glitches that can cause you to become unraveled. Make up your mind to face such occasions wearing what I refer to as my “armor” of dignity and serenity. Having a good sense of humor is an added plus!
If you want to enjoy the company of your guests, you must make the effort of enjoying the moment as you prepare for their arrival. They certainly won’t want to see a frazzled person opening the door!
In her blog, Edyth Ann Knox has some lovely thoughts which can be viewed at http://www.ec-online.net/knowledge/articles/holidays.html. You can adopt it as your “sanity clause”. There are eight promises you can make to yourself that will help you accept the additional stress that you may feel during this holiday season.
Your everyday circumstances aren’t going to change simply because it’s holiday time. There may be a family member who rattles your cage at times with what seem to be unreasonable demands. There can be family problems due to illness or other matters. There may be friends who celebrate in another culture. Familiarize yourself with that culture and acknowledge it in their presence.
Finally – and most important of all, be sure to give yourself the nicest gift of all. Avoid all the fuss and frenzy and you’ll be sure to have a wonderful holiday!
Chloe Jon Paul is a freelance writer and world traveler who lives in Bowie, MD. Her website: www.chloejonpaul.com