holiday decorating

Five easy ways to Have yourself a quiet little Christmas...

candlelight The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is in full swing.  Television and magazine ads are shouting at us to fill our days and evenings with shopping, wrapping and entertaining along with various other events in order to create a memorable holiday experience.  But many of us enjoy taking this time to spend quiet evenings at home with a loved one, or just a good book, a roaring fire and a wonderful glass of your favorite wine.  Here are five easy ways to celebrate a quiet yet still meaningful holiday:

  • Try a new recipe.  There is no rule that says you have to eat the same holiday foods year after year.  Find a  new recipe that incorporates all your favorite ingredients in a new and innovative way.
  • Set a beautiful table. This time of year we are inundated with pictures of large gatherings around a family table covered with mountains of food.  But if you find that your party consists of just the two of you and/or another couple or just you by yourself, celebrate the specialness of the day with a beautiful table setting.  Pull out the "good" china and crystal or purchase a set of holiday tableware that can become a new tradition.
  • Turn off the television.  Take a trip to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of that new novel you have been dying to read.  Do you have home remodeling plans for next year?  Pick up a book on decorating ideas or a DIY manual and take advantage of the downtime to really peruse the book for some helpful ideas.  Dying to see the new "Anna Karenina" movie?  Maybe now is the time to read the book first.  Or pull out an old favorite and re-discover why it became a favorite.  Better yet, find a copy of one of your favorite books from your younger years and travel back in time...
  • Volunteer.  Many of us already give of our time throughout the year but, with some extra time on our hands during the holiday season, try something new by offering your services to an organization.  The USO is always looking for volunteers to help serve our military men and women;  local animal shelters always need dog walkers or even someone to pick up you know what and senior centers love to have volunteers  sit and visit with their residents; our older citizens have wonderful holiday stories that just may renew your faith in the season.
  • Entertain.  Entertaining is one of the most enjoyable parts of the holiday season and is still possible even if you are seeking a quiet little Christmas.  In place of that large cocktail party you host every year, invite a few special friends over to try a new signature cocktail and some wonderful appetizers.  How about a good old-fashioned game night with your favorite couple?  Start the evening off with an easy to prepare soup and cornbread meal and end with simple chocolate chip cookies and coffee.  You will still reap the benefits of spending time with your favorite people but avoid the stress and work of a large party.

 However you plan on spending your holidays, we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!

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