Happy Friday! I was so frustrated last night after spending an hour on the blog and having it freeze! I apologize for the Blast from the Past in the middle of the week yesterday!
After a crazy day, dealing with a few of life's little roller coaster type bumps and by dinner time, I needed to laugh. So, I called three friends, they came over for cards and treats and laughs. JUST what I needed! A great and super simple treat that we devoured....
1. Spread an 8 0z. block of softened cream cheese onto a plate. Pour some jalepeno jelly over the top and spread it. Serve with crackers. It doesn't get any more simple and seriously, it's plate licking good. LOVED IT! It was good to just gab with the girlie-girls. Loved it!
2. Speaking of laughing, I've shared the Old Spice commercials before on my blog. I love this man. He's a riot. He is not only very beautiful to look at, with that smile, but he's hysterical. And apparently, there's going to be several new clips every day this month. Doug and I were laughing out loud. Watch this one and then follow the others after it for some good laughs!
3. Wednesday evening was our ward Relief Society Christmas Social. A lot of work and preparation had gone into the evening, all about traditions. One tradition was something spiritual and wonderful. Each year, before the family goes into see what Santa brought, they gather the children in their bedroom and say a prayer, offering thanks to Christ for his life and all of their blessings. Wendy share that this helps to remind them what Christmas really is all about. I loved this idea! LOVED IT! This year, we have church for one hour on Christmas morning since it falls on a Sunday. I, personally, love when Christmas falls on a Sunday. The music sounds more beautiful and has much more meaning to it, in my opinion! I say often that Christmas should always fall on Sundays!
4. Another little holiday tip. For years, before Donut Night, we gathered together with Carol and fam to make Christmas Candy Houses. (Like Gingerbread houses without the gingerbread.) Then, for the next few weeks/days, I'd have several candy houses cluttering up the kitchen, shedding on the countertops and causing sticky fingers. (My favorite thing about Donut Night is that it's not Gingerbread House night!) The activity is fun, BUT, after the fact, not so much. And if you have more than one child, especially, the holiday projects can take up a lot of already "busy" space. Let them enjoy it for a day or two, then, take a pictureof your child with the project, let them eat the candy right then and there and be done with it! There's no rule in Santa's book that says Candy Houses and Christmas Projects must be kept through the entire season. Just saying. Gracie had a blast making this Candy House at her Young Women's Activity this week. It's "outtahere" today! ( I know it sounds a little Scroogey, but if ever there's a time to not let the clutter take control, it's when our homes are overflowing already with decor and gifts and extra food needing contained and and and...
5. The "Perfect Gift" myth can cause much stress during the holidays... One big way to "Destress" a bit during the holidays is to stop focusing on that perfect gift for everyone on your list. Simplify. Every gift doesn't have to be "the" gift! This causes less stress on the brain and on the checkbook! Here's a few ideas or "how tos":
- Talk with your close circle of friends, those that you usually exchange gifts with, and agree not to exchange gifts for Christmas this year and to celebrate birthdays instead. That one decision, alone, can save you hours, by not having to find "the perfect gift" and big bucks! And seriously, your friends are stressing too...they'll appreciate it the relief, as well.
- Give cash or gift cards. These days, funds are tighter than they have been in years for most Americans. Most people would love X amount of dollars to just spend on themselves however they'd like. Bonus: They can do the browsing and shopping instead of you!
- Organize a gift exchange. Rather than buying a gift for every individual in the office, or every sibling and their spouse and children, arrange for an exchange where you only have to buy one nicer gift for one rather than all. In families, a family gift is fun!
- Ask! There's nothing at all wrong with asking someone "What would you like me to give you for Christmas?" Have them suggest a few things and go shopping from there. You'll know that they are getting what they want!
- I've shared this before but years ago, when Doug and I were first married, he quickly figured out a great way to shop for his wife. And I've appreciated it ever since! Doug keeps a "Sophia's Want List" page in his planner. Anytime I happen to see or mention something that I'd love to have, Doug writes it down. Right then and there. He doesn't wait until I'm not around because it will be long forgotten. He'll write down, "Electric Fondue Pot @ Kitchen Kneads - $60." and date it. Then, whenever it's gift-giving time, rather than walk around clueless, he pulls out his trusty list and chooses items on the list, scoring bigtime husband points with every gift he ever gives me! It's been fun through the years to see the things crossed off that he's given me. Occasionally, he'll ask if I still want this or that so he can scratch it from the list. I keep a list like this for everyone in my family and close friends all year long asI notice them. Things like "Note: Denise needs new dishtowels. Carol needs a place to hang her jewelry." It works!
Have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy every moment! I'll be enjoying and counting down the hours until Tuesday night at 8:05 when Liza steps off that plane! Less than 108 hours!! Happiness!!!
If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love away.