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Don't Let It Make You Crazy

The days are getting shorter, the moon brighter...Those residing in states north of the Mason-Dixon line are having cooler mornings and cleaning hunting rifles. I am never finished with summer so the whole Autumn thing saddens me...with the possible exception of Candy Corn...

In keeping with the whole falling into winter thing here's the latest installment of how to avoid the Christmas Crazies...


Thanksgiving means turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy for most of us but that doesn’t mean we have to stick with the same old. If you have an emotional tie to Great Grammas special beet and cabbage casserole by all means plan on serving it but now is a good time to start researching and rehearsing new recipes. One new dish every week or so can usually be do-able on today’s tight schedules and you can get valuable feedback as to whether they would be welcome come the Pilgrim Party. When you land on one you love buy the ingredients including spices, label for Thanksgiving and put them in a special place in the pantry or freezer (don’t allow yourself to borrow even a pinch of something-it is so easy to forget to replace.) Prepare your Thanksgiving guest list and send invitations… To everyone…You know weird cousin Sephora is not going to believe you forgot to put a stamp on hers…Again.

Make the first payment on your Lay-Away.

Invest in a couple of large plastic containers with lids and a roll of bubble wrap. I keep mine on a closet shelf, but under a bed or in a garage will work just as well. They should be readily accessible, speaking for myself-if something is out of reach or I have to dig for it-odds are I won’t use it.

Write your Christmas gift list and keep it out of sight but easy to read and add to. When I had snoopy kids at home I taped mine to the inside of the cabinet where I kept cleaning products. I also kept my chocolate stash in that cabinet because there was no danger of any of my brood looking for something to clean with! As gift ideas occur to you write them next the recipients’ name, listing several for each person. Try to look at the list several times a week and begin buying the ones that you remember. I try to purchase a gift a week. Tape a name tag to the gift, wrap in bubble wrap if necessary, (remember to remove price tags) and place in the plastic containers.

Order any gifts that can be purchased through catalogs or stores. I personally don’t care to use the internet, nor do I purchase clothing through catalogs. Things like old musicals or entire seasons of old television gems like I Love Lucy or Red Skelton can be ordered through Amazon or some music stores. These make excellent gifts for the elderly relatives who remember watching the shows when they first aired, although my granddaughters and most of their college chums love the old comedies. Taping name tags, wrapping and tucking away in the containers as you get them.

Peruse the catalogs for that special something for your husbands Great Aunt Prudence, trying not to dwell on her less than ideal attitude at dinner last Sunday.

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