I love the colorful drama of Autumn, but when the last pumpkin is carved and the candy corn is all gone, I begin think about the daunting task of planning for the holiday season that lies ahead. Even for someone like me who has spent their entire life in the business of making dreams come true, planning endless parties and events can be overwhelming! I get asked all of the time for ideas to help create a wonderful holiday season for family and friends all while enduring the frantic pace of everyday life!
One of the most important things that I have learned is that great holidays don’t just happen unless you plan for them! I’ve discovered over the years that very few are truly comfortable expressing their needs around the holidays. We're usually spending all of our time making the holidays successful for everyone else, and then we wake up the morning after Christmas and wonder why we're exhausted and just slightly unsatisfied. My job is to help you do plan your holidays with ease this year so that when the last present is unwrapped and the last glass of champagne poured you are completely satisfied and that you've had a holiday season that exceeds your expectations!
All it really takes is the mastery of 2 very simple tools!
One of my favorite ways to have fun is to sit down at the beginning of the season with a blank sketchbook, lots of colored pens and a huge stack of magazines. If you want to do it online, Pinterest is a fabulous tool for creating dreamboards! Relax for a moment and then begin to write down or post your ideas . Are there any friends who you’d like to invite over for cocktails or a Thanksgiving day football game? Christmas cards or a tree trimming party? Cookie baking? Maybe you’ve always wanted to have a traditional Parisian Christmas eve or a black tie New Years? Maybe you don't want turkey for Thanksgiving or maybe this is the year that you want to try a different table arrangement. How about caroling? Don’t forget to include at least one fabulous holiday concert!
One of my goals this year is to get several of my friends together for a gathering to create beautiful wreaths and swags. It's so much fun when we all bring buckets of greenery from our gardens , share and create together! Another goal is to do one thing to prepare for the holidays each day, so that I am having fun doing something creative every day! I love cocktail parties so this is the season that I may throw a Solstice cocktail party in the Herban Inn and serve nothing but appetizers at 10:00 and dessert at midnight.
When you’re ready, cut out pictures that appeal to you and glue them onto the pages of your workbook. Take the markers and make notes about the things that you love about those images..concentrate on the feelings that they evoke and write those down too.
I encourage you to do this at first without thinking about budget, because I promise you that there’s a way to make almost any dream come true at any price. That’s because once you begin to see your holiday take shape on those pages almost everything that you choose to do will begin to reflect your desires. When you’re done dreaming break out your calendar and choose the dates for each of your activities, even card sending and cookie baking!
Next, become a really great list maker! I resisted doing this for years, but I’ve learned the power that simple lists made early in the season has to help you achieve your holiday goals! Start now with menus, card and gift lists. Yes, I know that it's still October, but this makes shopping much easier and creates a template for your life over the next 2 months that will help you live happily and with as little stress as possible.
Remember too that the most precious currency that you can share is the gift of your time. All of the gifts, delicious food , music and glitter are simply the stage that we’ve set for you and your family to create wonderful memories together and never once in all of my years spent selling very precious gifts at Schreibman’s, did I ever eclipse the enchantment of the gift of time spent laughing and making new memories with family and friends.
You have my promise that when the tree has finally come down and the last bit of tinsel is swept away, that’s the present you’ll remember the most.
My gift to you next week? A magical holiday recipe from my mother’s collection!
Wishing you and yours an endless abundance of holiday sweetness....