Friday, January 07, 2011

Celebrating Winter After the Holidays Are Over

Crystal Orchid Flower Stem, at Z Gallerie

I really miss my Christmas lights, the outdoor ones that greeted me on dark rainy nights when I returned home. It made me sad to take them down, but Christmas and New Year's are over. It was time to carefully roll and wrap my lights and store them away for next year.

With all the holiday festivities, parties and events over, I was a bit sad yesterday with no festive holidays to look forward to other than stupid Valentine's Day - not my favorite holiday now that I'm single. It's cold, dark and rainy right now, and even my upcoming Las Vegas vacation has a forecast of a chilly 50 degrees.

Dark Hot Cocoa, at Crate and Barrel

I need to perk up my attitude and find things to celebrate this winter. There aren't any festive holidays, so I should throw a fun cocktail party. I should light glittery candles all over the house against the darkness, burn cozy fires in my fireplace, and spend long dark nights reading deliciously thrilling books. I'll add color to dreary dark days with colorful accent pillows, bright candles, and curtains thrown open to admit light. Weekends can be more festive with family brunches, a bottle of champagne opened at dinnertime just for fun, and meeting friends at cafes for lazy leisurely afternoons. What better excuse to have a nip of port wine or sherry in front of the fire while watching it rain out the window?

What might you do to make your winter more magical?


  • Look over your calendar for this month. Do you need to make any doctor, dentist or veterinarian appointments for you, your family members and pets? Any upcoming birthdays you need to plan parties for, send cards or gifts, or order flowers for?

  • Do you need to make any hair care appointments for yourself or family members? If you color your hair, do you have roots showing? Does your hair need a trim you didn't have time for before the holidays?

  • Do your carpets need cleaning after the holidays?

  • If you made New Year's Resolutions, make time to think about them, review goals, and do them. Write them down for posterity.

  • Buy fresh fruit next time you are at the grocery store - Apples, pears, bananas, strawberries, or oranges. Slice and serve the fruit to yourself, your family and roommates before the weekend is over.

  • Need to update the copyright notices on your webpages or blogs to 2011?

  • Need to upload any pics from your New Year's to Facebook or your blog?

  • Make weekend socialization plans.

  • Fill up with gas before the weekend, and get cash if you need pocket spending money.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Calendar Updating

Pixie Kin Calendar, on Amazon - What I'm using in my kitchen this year

Today I'm copying over birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates from my old 2010 calendars into my new 2011 ones. I do like to use paper calendars - visible in an instant - rather than just keeping track of dates on my computer.

I keep a paper wall calendar in my kitchen, one in my office, and a small diary in my purse. I do use Yahoo reminder services to email me about birthdays. Just because you have a paper calendar with dates in it doesn't mean you'll remember to look at it!

Besides noting that it's someone's birthday, I try to add what age they'll turn on that day, whenever possible. I also note down people's anniversaries, but I don't often send anniversary cards - many people like to just celebrate their marriage quietly and privately without a big fuss being made. I'll save my big fusses for friends' birthdays!

I need to make a conscious effort to check my calendars each month and each week for upcoming birthdays. That way I'll have plenty of time to order flowers, send a gift, send a card, or schedule in time to make a congratulatory telephone call.


I love the idea of these mugs with tray. I'm not sure I'd actually use the tray to serve all six mugs at the same time - am I coordinated enough to carry it without spilling? I love the colors, and I do often try to remember to serve coffee or tea after a dinner party.


Cabbage Recipes That Make You Forget They're Good For You (Dallas Morning News)

Dark, Dense Nordic Bread, Made for Butter or Cheese (NY Times)

Don't Call it "Home Ec" (Seattle Times)

In Season: Blood Oranges (BBC Food)

New Year Noodle Soup (101 Cookbooks)

Will Resolutions Last This Time? (Seattle Times)


Jenny said...

I miss Christmas too, so for Valentine's Day, I am taking out my table top Christmas tree again, only this time, I am going to only decorate with my red ornaments and sparkly silver garland. I also want to print out and embellish Victorian Valentine's Day vignettes. Fun, festive and an excuse to decorate more! I might even borrow my mother's pink Christmas lights!

Carrie said...

Jenny, I love your tabletop Valentine's tree idea! How festive.