Wednesday, December 01, 2010

December Begins

Here is the beginning of the most festive month of the year. Ahead are long, dark, cold nights, sprinkled with a liberal amount of parties, celebrations, events, guests, family and tasty shared meals.

I'm looking forward to nights spent reading books in front of my fireplace, visiting friends, crafting, throwing a party or two, and going home to a family Christmas.

What are you looking forward to especially this month?


  • Pay bills, rent/mortgage

  • Look over your list of upcoming birthdays this month. Write cards and mail now - it will get busier this month and you may forget later on. Order flowers, and send gifts if you're planning to.

  • Make room on your calendar for at LEAST one night *every* week in December where you can stay home in your pajamas, de-stress, and spend time with family. You'll spend your time at home, not running around busily to events or errands. Guard this time fiercely for yourself.

  • If you use an Advent calendar or Advent house, time to get them out and stock them with small treats!

  • Time to put up your outdoor Christmas lights?

  • Have you planned your holiday party yet, if you're throwing one? Your potential guests probably already have every weekend evening booked for the next month. Better send out a save-the-date or invitation immediately if you are hosting a holiday party this year.

  • Do you need to make any doctor, dentist, vet, haircut or salon appointments for the next busy 4 weeks? Any appointments you can put off until next month, to keep December saner?

  • Check inventory of firewood, starter logs, matches, and candles (if needed and if you have a wood fireplace)

  • Bundle up and go for a quick, brisk walk if you didn't get any exercise this past weekend. (If you went shopping at the mall, you probably DID get exercise already!) You can always treat yourself to a hot bath or extra long shower when you get back to warm back up.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Holiday Preparation

Belvedere Bowl, at Z Gallerie

Do whatever you need to do to prepare for the holidays you celebrate. Start planning your cooking for Hanukkah; or go Christmas shopping; write holiday cards; decorate the house; put up lights; bake goodies; decorate a gingerbread house with your kids or nieces/nephews.

All this should be fun to you, not an obligation - or else you shouldn't be doing all that. Holidays should be something you enjoy, not dread or feel stressed about. If you start feeling overwhelmed, cut out some of the things you normally do. Forget about expectations or doing things the same way every year so the kids have a tradition. Only do what you can handle and what will bring you pleasure.

Amaryllis Wreath, at Crate and Barrel

Need to pick out your Christmas tree? Find a wreath for your front door? Hang some mistletoe?

Today I'm putting on Christmas music, wrapping gifts, and getting out my Christmas decorations. I will put out my outdoor lights this weekend when I have more time (I put out a LOT of lights!) But today I will have time to put colored light strands in all of my front windows, upstairs and down.

Tonight I plan to email some friends and family members, making sure I have their current addresses and information for my address book. That way I'll have everything ready as I mail out my paper Christmas cards.

Tartan Ruffle Stockings, at Pier 1

I'm also going to find my kids' Christmas stockings to hang by the fireplace. Even though I won't be with one of my kids on Christmas this year, I can think of her when I see the stocking hanging there every day.


You are going to love this cooking blog, especially during the holidays! Their fantastic recent posts have included creative desserts like peppermint fudge cupcake jars, apple cider caramels, and gingerbread rice krispy treats. I am so thankful for how very many step-by-step photos they include with their tutorials - it really helps me learn. And their photos are gorgeous!


Baby Names Reveal More About the Parents These Days (Today Show)

Make the Holidays Sweeter with Martha Stewart's Cookies (Today Show)

Port is a Welcome Guest at Cocktail Parties (NY Times)

Spicy Holiday Cocktail Party (CHOW)

Survive Holiday Party Season: 10 Must-Have Accessories (Bon Appetit)

Top 10 Iconic Party Dresses of All Time (Handbag)

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