Thursday, December 01, 2011

First Day of December


Moonstruck Chocolate Advent Calendar, on Amazon

The festive season begins today! Ahead are long, dark, cold nights, hopefully sprinkled with a generous helping of parties, celebrations, events, guests, family and tasty shared meals.

I'm beginning to think about decorating, parties and holiday fun. I'm looking forward to nights spent reading books in front of my fireplace, visiting friends, crafting, throwing a party or two, and spending my first Christmas in my own home since I was a teenager.

What are you looking forward to especially this month?

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • 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. It's an important gift to give yourself and your family.

  • If you use an Advent calendar or Advent house, time to get it out and stock it 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 earlier this week. 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 Preparations


Equinox Bowl, at Z Gallerie

Do whatever you think you want 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 this. Holidays should be something you enjoy, not dread or feel stressed about. Not everybody is into the holidays - that's ok. For those of you who are - 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.


Solstice Pillow, 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 a couple of 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!) For today, I will have just enough time to put colored light strands in all of my front windows, upstairs and down.


Jilly Candleholder, at Crate and Barrel

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.

LOVELY BLOGS: Between Naps on the Porch


This is probably one of my top five favorite blogs I've shared with Lovely Living this year. Updated with such frequency, quality, and wonderful posts, I can hardly wrap my brain around how she finds the time to do this so consistently. There are posts on tablescapes, an entire section on movie houses, and a section devoted to parties. You'll love the picture-heavy posts here.

http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/

LOVELY GIFTS: Miniature Trees


I just love this idea for a gift: miniature tangerine trees. They can live indoors even in cold climates, as long as they have a light-filled window. I would be careful only to gift it to people with green thumbs though, not someone like myself who unfortunately seems to kill houseplants. The tree can be relocated outside during spring and summer.

Miniature Tangerine Tree, at Sur la Table

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Sour Cream Pumpkin Tart (The Crumbly Cookie)

Individual Pear Crisps with Oatmeal Streusel (Baking Bites)

Spiced Strawberry Creme Brulee (Raspberri Cupcakes)

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