I was browsing the Staples website … (favorite pastime of organizers) and saw that Martha Stewart has a new line of home office organizing products. They are not in stores yet but look promising. I’ll let you know what I think after I have a chance to check them out.
So what horrendous experience caused such a reaction from a room full of soccer moms? A violent or sexually explicit movie? A challenge from Doctor Phil to “get real” and ‘fess up about our parenting mistakes? Or a pan of the audience spotlighting a really bad hair day?
Actually, the event that caused such a panic among this audience of mothers occurred during the Christmas program at my daughter’s school.
Things started innocently enough when the girls marched out onto the stage swinging colorful shopping bags. Adorable! The trouble began when they opened their mouths and sang…
Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
Scurry! Scurry! Scurry!
Worry! Worry! Worry!
Christmastime is here!
As I said… it was enough to curl my toes. Just the thought of all that hurrying, scurrying and worrying to get ready for Christmas gave me a full-blown a hot flash. No wonder depression peaks during the holidays. Faced with all that stress – I wouldn’t want to get out of bed either.
Once my hot flash receded, I began to realize that this is just where Satan wants us – dreading the celebration of the most precious gifts to mankind – the birth of Jesus Christ. And frankly, it made my blood boil – almost bringing on another hot flash. I decided right then that he wasn’t going to get away with it.
We have a choice on how much hurrying, scurrying and worrying we do. And this year I hope you’ll make a commitment to join me in jumping off the treadmill and keep your eyes on the true reason for the season.
It’s official! The day after Thanksgiving marked the kick-off to the Christmas shopping season. Instead of Christmas music playing every fourth song on the PA systems of department stores, every title is a holiday classic designed to put us in the mood to add more to our shopping carts.
While these gifts are much appreciated when tearing away the bright paper and ribbon, the real challenge comes after New Year’s when we try to find space to store these treasures. After all, a girl can only have so many pairs of cozy slippers and scented bath products. And my dear husband already has enough plaid flannel shirts to outfit all the campers at Mahoney State Park. Even the dog could do without the stocking full of squeaky toys that have the ability quench even the most robust Christmas spirit.
If this scenario rings true in your home, here are some suggestions for clutter-free gift giving.
Give a gift of education, entertainment or service.
- · For families with children, a season pass to the zoo or children’s museum is always a treat.
- · Membership to an online movie service such as NetFlix will provide hours of entertainment on long winter nights.
- · Those with an interest in cooking or crafts might enjoy a class to learn a new skill.
- · A book of coupons for various services such as snow-shoveling, yard work or child care is a gift from the heart.
- Consumable gifts provide memories without the clutter.
- · A platter of baked treats and homemade jams is always a hit during the holidays.
- · There’s nothing like a basket of prime fruit delivered on a cold winter morning to take away the chill. Some companies even offer a “fruit of the month” to extend the gift all year long.
- · A home cooked meal, packaged for the freezer is a much appreciated time-saver for busy moms.
Make a financial donation to a favorite organization in the recipient’s name.
- · For teachers, make a donation to a scholarship fund or school project instead of wrapping up another apple-shaped ornament.
- · For the outdoorsmen, send a gift to Ducks Unlimited or the Sierra Club.
- · For the book lover, donate a book to the local library in his or her name. An added bonus is that the recipient has the option to check out the book to read and then return it for others to enjoy.
- · For the cook, send a donation to a food pantry or shelter to provide meals for the needy.
- · People of faith will appreciate a gift to their local church.
- · A donation to a favorite health organization such as the American Red Cross or Cancer Society is always appreciated and much needed.
I hope I’ve provided some ideas to make your holiday season both happy and LIGHT.
Got enough clutter to fill up the landfill? Here’s a link with some great recycling ideas for everything from electronics to wine corks.
- Make healthy juice pops by putting a Popsicle stick into small paper cups of juice and freezing. Just tear away the cup to eat!
- Cool off with an old-fashioned water fight! Give each team a bucket of water and several sponges (the big, thirsty ones are best). The “wettest” team gets a pie (whipped cream on a sponge) in the face. Afterwards, just hose off and enjoy a sweet treat together to top off the festivities.
- Try this fun recipe I like to call “Under the Sea” for a deep sea adventure at the dinner table!
8 oz. angel hair pasta
butter or margarine
Boil pasta according to package directions. Tint pasta with food coloring and butter to make greenish-blue. Snip each hotdog about halfway up – lengthwise from one end – in eight pieces. Drop hotdogs into boiling water. The “legs” will curl during cooking to resemble an octopus. Serve your “octopus” over the “sea” of noodles. Optional: Use ketchup and mustard to draw eyes and mouth on the “octopus” using a toothpick.
There’s one exception – emergency supplies that we all hope we’ll never have to use.
For info on what to keep at home, work and in your car – check out the FEMA info here.