Here we go again, approaching the end of yet another year and wondering where the time went. Somewhere between the middle of September towards the end of October are hints that the holiday season is quickly approaching. Before the Halloween candy is cleared from the shelves, the Christmas decorations are up in their full glory. At this point, you either feel pressured, excited, slightly confused, or maybe even a little angry that Thanksgiving seems to consistently get the forgotten holiday treatment. Either way, get with the program and prepare for whatever floats your boat.
Every year I buy a few new decorations to add to my growing collection of sparkly adornments. If it makes me go ooh and ahh then I know I have found the one that will go home with me. Traditionally I like to get the process started of putting up my glorious 8 foot tall tree immediately after Halloween. Yes, I am well aware this might seem a tad bit premature, but remember that thing about whatever floats your boat? It takes about a week to get everything just right, the proper placement of each set of lights, 4 sets to be exact, the perfect symmetry of the ornaments to ensure I leave enough space for the beautiful bows and the shiny beads. If it seems like a lot, that's because it is. The only thing left to do is plug everything in and wait for the magic to unfold. If anything was a sight to see, this would be it!
There is something about this time of the year that feels fantastic. The smell of the crisp clean air, beautiful fall colors, the time spent with family and friends. Cooking, celebrating, and enjoying quality time with one another. Absolutely nothing like it.
Ever heard the phrase, 'proper planning prevents a poor performance'? Well, it truly does. If you are a pro at putting things together and it's a no-brainer for you then let me know what time dinner will be served and I will be there with bells and whistles on. If I find it hard to make a choice, I do a coin toss to decide if I will prepare my favorite traditional food for Thanksgiving, and Christmas will be something different, or vice versa. With the holidays being so close together I try to switch it up a bit. There are so many different things to choose from, and below are just a few of my favorites.
For those who have never tried anything different, I'm sure you are considering it now. As important as planning your holiday meals, it's equally important to have fun with it. Let the kids get involved in helping. It gives them something to do, and they feel proud of whatever task they were assigned. Maybe less is more for you this year, so try suggesting that your guests all bring a dish, it will surely take some of the stress off of you and save you from having to prepare every single dish. Last but not least, if you don't want to cook at all, go to your favorite restaurant and let someone else do the cooking for you!
After the house is decorated, the meals have been planned, prepared, and eaten, the family time and laughter surround you like a warm hug on a cold winter morning, appreciate the moments, cherish the time, and make new, different, and everlasting memories.
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Indiana. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman