It's here and now you have to deal with it. The first tip is: make it simple. Here is a bonus
tip for the day: be realistic! Deal with the realities of your time and resources and say no to the things that aren't
important so you can concentrate on the things that are important.
As you have noticed,
our tips are not intended as a "how to manual". Rather they are just quick suggestions that allow you to accomplish
your goals more quickly and efficiently. The same will apply to the tips for decorating for the Holidays. There are
many lovely magazines with up to date ideas on how to decorate. We strive to tell you things that they don't mention.
Here is an example. Remember that everything you put out or up with have to be taken down and stored somewhere.
That is not intended to take all the fun out of the task, rather we hope to help you put it in perspective.
Start your planning early. Begin by listing what events you have coming up around the Holidays.
Will you be hosting any of these events? If so what preparation is required. Lists are a great way to organize.
Make the lists in such a way that you can add items as they occur to you.
Shopping lists are an important way to reduce mistakes. If you have a complete list when you go shopping you
have a greater chance of getting the items you need. You can also make substitutions on the spot if you find you can't
get what you wanted.
List the supplies you will need
for all of your crafts is important. Whether baking or construction a world class ornament,there is nothing worse than
having to stop in the middle to rush out and get some ingredient of item you missed.
Prepare an inventory and compare with your shopping list. If you are counting on using something
you have left from last year, make sure it is still fresh or is the quantity you need to complete project.
Back in the good old days when the Christmas tree was fresh, the tree was put up and decorated
as close to Christmas as possible so that it would be prettiest for those photos on Christmas Day and would last until New
Years Day. This made it necessary to do a lot in a few days. Gratefully, there are many beautify artificial trees
available now in all sizes and styles. They have beautiful lights which makes them easy to assemble. They store
wonderfully well. However, you have really missed something if you have never had to untangle dozens of strings of lights
and try to find the on light that is burned out and keeps the entire string dark. Yes there is just no substitute for that
kind of fun!
Never the less, you can easily decorate the tree
in early December and have it as a reminder of the season and inspiration for the other festive activities you are planning.
Much of the Christmas season is associated with tradition and
customs. Do everything you can to preserve and cherish those memories. It is the thread that binds generations and the
delightful aftertaste that lasts all year long.
Do your best to try to
make decorating and making crafts and event that involves others. Invite friends over for hot chocolate and assembling
ornaments. Some families spend Thanksgiving afternoon decorating the tree. It keeps people active and involved
and it is amazing how much work can be done. If you don't like the results, you can always rearrange the ornaments
Time is closing in on you about now. Look around at what you have done so far.
Identify the most important things still remaining. Yes, and make a list of those. If it doesn't make the
list, make a conscious decision that you just won't do that this year. Access the decorations you have out so far.
Could you rearrange them to make the illusion there is more there. In other words if you spread them out would there
be some reminder of the season everywhere you looked without adding anything? Finally, do your best to avoid buying
new stuff. Do you really need it? This is where the lists and inventory pay off.
You have the list you composed yesterday and you are
determined to follow up meticulously. However, the most wonderful opportunity just came up and you don't want to say no
to this once in a lifetime opportunity! Or, less happily, a responsibility has been dumped on you at the last minute
and you can't say no without dire consequences. So, in both cases, you access your list. What task that yesterday
was a priority must now be replaced by this new task or opportunity?
Don't spend a lot of valuable time rearranging the list
or trying to squeeze yet one more item in. Look quickly at the list each day. What items must come off?
Take time today to make sure your Holiday
wardrobe is ready to go. Inspect things you are planning on wearing. You may need to try them on to make sure
they still fit or that the style is as up to date as you remember it being. This part can be a rude awakening.
You find yourself saying, "Did we really ever wear shoulder pads like that?" Items we wear seasonally often
don't make a graceful transition from year to year.
Now, check your family's wardrobe. Is your husband's suit ready for the Christmas
Eve service that you plan to go to? Can the kid's still fit into those darling Christmas sweaters that they got
from your Mother-in-law last Christmas? She will be expecting to see them at the Christmas dinner.
Are you going out of town for the Holidays?
Have you got everyone's clothes back from the cleaners? Have you stopped the papers and the mail. What about that
book that was on back order? Have you alerted someone to watch for the UPS delivery if it comes while you are gone?
until the last minute to ask neighbor's to pick up mail while you are gone. You might find that they have already
left for two weeks and left a note on your door asking you to to pick up their papers!
So, you aren't the one going out of town. You're the one fixing Christmas dinner
for everyone at your home. Need we tell you that you need to get started today! A last minute grocery shopping
trip may not produce the items that are essential for the menu you planned.
In keeping with Lady Personified's philosophy of how can we make this easy and gracious.....what
can you obtain already prepared?
There is nothing
wrong with using ALL options available to you including "carry out". Remember, as a
lady, your responsibility is to your guests even if that is family. Now, to fulfill that responsibility, it is
essential that you make it easy on yourself as well.
responsibility to your guests and family is not inconsistent with our instructions to make it easy on yourself! Think
about it for awhile. We will give you the answer tomorrow.
for you to fulfill your role, (that only you can fill) you must be rested and calm. Tall order at any time of year,
but with the hectic nature of the Holiday's it is particularly difficult but also particularly important. Each person
must find their own way to attain this inner peace. Some can do it with music, some with meditation and some with exercise.
You may even need several different techniques so that you can adapt them to the situation. For example, if exercise
is your only choice, you may not be able to do it when and where you need to. One trick is to evaluate the feeling you
achieve when you are doing what ever it is that helps you relax. Try to understand in your mind how you feel.
Then work on it until you can obtain the same feeling by visualizing it. It actually can work and doesn't require
any room or special equipment like exercise does. When you get good at it, no one realizes that you are doing it and
the relaxing effects on your body are very similar.
Now that you have learned
how to achieve this state of mind, use it regularly. The more you achieve this relaxed state the easier it becomes.
The ultimate goal is for this to be your routine state of mind. You will be infinitely more productive and creative.
You will begin to radiate this calmness and others will seek to be in your company because it will make them feel better as
well. Can you think of any better Christmas gift that to be able to give people a feeling of calm and peace just by
being around you! Go for it!
The time has now arrived and you will be called
upon to use all of your skills to make the next 48 hours work as you have planned. Don't be discourage however,
because other may not have you clear focus. They will have their own selfish agendas that will interfere with yours.
Remember, last Spring, how our tips helped you to learn to say "no" graciously? See it all comes together
What more can we say today but we wish you and yours a joyous Merry Christmas.
Thank you for visiting our site, it is the most wonderful Christmas gift you could give us. We at Lady Personified hope
you feel the same way about the gift we have given you.
Today is Boxing Day.
No that isn't the day you put your gifts in boxes and return them. It is a very special day in England and can be a fun
time to entertain. Your house is still decorated and everyone is still in a festive mood and it's too early for
the New Year's parties. Host a Holiday Open House on the 26th. You will be surprised at the number of people
who welcome the opportunity to continue the celebrations. It is a tradition in Lady Virginia's family and is always
a welcome event. People have been known to arrange their travel plans just to be back for the event.
Are the days between Christmas and New Years a let down for you? Have you ever analyzed why you feel so down
this time of year. Of course it is a bit of a let down because all of the festivities are past and there is a lull before
the New Years parties. Also, you look around at the now outdated Christmas decorations and can't help be think about
putting them all away....but where? The answer is to take charge of the next few days and your feelings will follow suit.
Decide which decorations
you want to put away first. Don't ask what will be easiest, rather ask yourself what is the biggest chore and tackle
that first all be itself. Resolve that you will leave somethings out to keep the look festive. We suggest you
start with the tree. In most homes, putting up the tree requires furniture rearrangement and it might be a relief to
get your house back in order before the New Years parties. This also allows you to clean that area which has been neglected
since you put the tree up in the first place.
remaining smaller items can be left about for your pleasure until the Holidays are officially over. This may vary depending
on your location and family traditions. Some families wait until January 6th, Epiphany or the arrival of the Wise Men,
to signal the end of the Holiday season. For others, New Years Day is time to put away the Holidays and prepare for
a new year with renewed excitement.
Consider having a New Year's Day
open house. Consider this only if you plan to get to sleep on New Year's Eve immediately after the ball drops in
Times Square. Be cautious to invite your more like minded friends and plan to serve mild refreshments as everyone will
be worn out on the rich, extravagant dishes that are so popular during the Holidays. A good choice might be cold cuts
and soft rolls. Put out various condiments and your guests can prepare their own sandwich to suit their tastes and appetite.
Certain menu items
may be New Year's traditions in your part of the world. Take advantage of your regional traditions to add interest to
your table. Try to identify ways to serve such "must haves" as finger food. Or offer something that
can be easily balanced on a plate in your guests lap. Good color schemes for the New Year's Open House include white,
green and black. You'll find that you can successfully incorporate some of your Holiday items that haven't yet
made it to the attic or basement. As long as you use them as accents along with the white, green and black it will look
like a fresh look. Resist the temptation to unload all those left over iced Santa Claus cookies on your New Year's
guests. Better to put them in the freezer and bring them out for an occasional treat during the year. Instead,
put out refreshments that look bland in comparison but will be appreciated by over stuffed tummies. If you just must
have a gooy item on the table, use a "yule log" cake. It is very traditional on New Years and can be a darling
item on the table. Hopefully, you will have gotten one from the bakery before they closed for New Year's as it isn't
the sort of thing you will want to bake at the last minute.