Getting everything ready when working full time can be a challenge.
I learned how to cope with what I could control and let go of the rest...
For the things that can be controlled I say "minimize getting frazzled" by starting early and making lists.
I am a fan of lists...they can be handwritten or entered into "Notes" on your IPhone.
Lists of the people whom you exchange or give gifts to with ideas and a budget amount that is realistic.
Another list of things to do to get ready...the tree, order the turkey, buy the Christmas crackers, etc.
Food items that you might need to buy for homemade Hostess gifts, food and spirits for any events you are planning to host, the annual Christmas feast recipes and ingredients so there is no last minute panic.
I am an advocate of shopping early in small shops.
I also like to make homemade gifts like marmalade, chocolate dipped fruit and shortbread.
I find these are especially nice as Hostess gifts.
My other favourites are beeswax candles wrapped in linen tea towels, scented candles, and exotic teas.
I wrap presents as I bring them home.
The gift wrap is purchased on Boxing Day of the previous year at 50% off.
Tags are often recycled Christmas cards cut into shapes using pinking shears.
Beautiful ribbons are saved and then reused.
If you do not have the time to wrap you might opt for one of the gift wrap kiosks that local charities run at this time of year and for a donation they will do the job for you.
I make a "two dinner meal" so that I cook one night and reheat it the next.
Baking happens a week to 10 days ahead of Christmas.
Lots of pretty tins are lined with doilies and I store the baked goods downstairs in a colder spot.
Weight Watchers website published a cranberry chutney recipe this week and I made two jars for our family feast.
It keeps in the fridge for a month.
Finding balance during this busy festive season is essential for my well being.
I take extra care of my health and pay attention and slow down when I feel that I am too busy.
I drink lots of Perrier to keep hydrated and I go to bed early.
I take Mother out more often as with the holidays she seems to feel the loss of my father more profoundly.
We go to The Fairmont Empress to look at the decorated trees and wander along The Esplanade in Oak Bay.
We'll grab a nourishing bowl of soup at Pure Vanilla Cafe.
This year she is hosting a wine and cheese!
She has invited all the residents of her condominium to drop in for the afternoon.
She is so excited that the response has been so positive but now she is feeling a little overwhelmed.
I am going to help her prepare and serve the food after all she is 86!
She continues to be an inspiration to me...
I've learned so much from her all these years.
I've got a few things yet to accomplish, the biggest of which will be cleaning The Humble Bungalow.
Our cleaning gal is in The Philippines lending her capable hands to action some much needed "missionary work."
Knowing her as I do, I am certain she is helping the victims and putting a much needed smile on their faces.
Giving them hope and help.
She has put her jobs on hold and to do so in these busy times is so generous.
A reminder that we all need to be mindful of our fellow man.
Not just at this time of year but all year long.
I know that I need to do more to help those in need.
do you volunteer in your community?
Will you share with us how you help.