Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Letter-Writing on Monday

Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Fall Leaves, a lovely hostess gift for Thanksgiving, available at Amazon


- Make menu plans for the week; write grocery list. Did anything get used up over the weekend? Toilet paper, Kleenex, plastic wrap, medicines, paper towels, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent?

- Need to add rock salt or driveway de-icer to your shopping list? We had our first sprinkling of snow here, so I'm stocking up on those supplies. I don't want to be stuck unable to get out of my iced-over driveway this year!

- Do you need to get snow tires put on your car?

- Check your humidifier filter - does it need to be replaced? Need water in your humidifier?

- Has your heater/furnace been inspected this year for filter replacement, efficiency and safety issues?

- Maintenance cleaning - Wipe down all mirrors in the house.

- 6 weeks til Christmas! 3 weeks til Chanukah! How is your gift shopping and wrapping going?

- Finish laundry so it's done for the week by tonight, if needed

- What are you wearing on Thanksgiving? Do you need to take an outfit to the dry cleaners? What shoes will you wear; are they clean? Do you have the right stockings or pantyhose? I like to dress up on Thanksgiving, especially if I am a guest at someone else's home.

- Clean your dryer vent, if needed.

My holiday cards this year, a William Arthur design

TODAY'S PROJECT: Holiday Cards and Newsletter

It's time to start writing our holiday cards! If you can write even three a night, you'll probably be done by December first (depending on how many you send out). With the post office as bogged down as it gets in December, it's always a good idea to mail holiday cards early.

I find that if I address and stamp my cards all at the same time, I have an easier time forcing myself to sit down and write a few. It really helps to put something silly or fun on the Tivo to listen to while I write: old Frasier or Will & Grace re-runs, for example, or repeats from the first seasons of Sex and the City or Desperate Housewives. Or of course you can put on a classic holiday movie to get yourself into the holiday spirit while writing your cards.

I don't like to just sign my name or drop in a printout Christmas newsletter; I like to write several personal sentences or even paragraphs to each person. It's quite time consuming, but for many of these people it's the only letter they'll get from me this year.

Don't forget to make yourself hot cocoa or hot tea while you go about your writing! Perhaps later a nip of ruby port or sherry as the night grows colder?

Besides relatives and friends, do you have time to send cards to soldiers stationed far from home? I find an address at and send several letters to each contact. They share them out with other soldiers in their troop who haven't gotten much mail from home. In case the troop has some Jewish people, atheists or other non-Christian people, I try to include a few "Season's Greetings" cards that aren't Christmasy, too.


If you're writing a holiday newsletter, it might be a good idea to write it now. Then set it aside for a couple days, and read it over again before sending it. Be sure everything you've said about someone else is positive - I'm thinking of a great-uncle who was known for writing horrible things like "Too bad my daughter in law didn't lose any weight this year", etc. Brag about your kids, sure, but be sure to mention something fun you yourself have done this year, or something you are proud of yourself for.

Add a few color pictures to the newsletter if you can - people will love to see a nice cheerful picture of you. And if you have kids, definitely include lots of current pictures of them.


This is a home decor/design blog with interesting finds of French and 18th century inspired items. Recent posts include a swan bed sculpture, Bella Notte linens, decor finds at a salvage company, French dishes and linens, and more. The pictures here are very large, but also very lovely.


The Perfect Thanksgiving, at Williams-Sonoma

Setting the Scene at Thanksgiving (Williams-Sonoma)

Thanksgiving HQ (Epicurious)

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