Stepping Backward to Step Forward

December 12, 2009 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

When your “to do” list is longer than Santa’s “good kids’ list” where do you start?  Christmas is two weeks away – yikes! and the tree isn’t up, gifts aren’t bought, house is a bit untidy (just a bit)…(ok, maybe a big bit…) PLUS there’s a business to run, networking to do, clients to serve, and a multitude of other details to attend. 

Personally, I’m stepping backward.   What is stepping backward? It’s stepping away from the concept that everything this time of year has to be perfect.  It’s recognizing that not everything has to be homemade to be good.  It’s looking back to what Grandma did, and acknowledging that Grandma had a lot of wisdom that we have dissed. 

I believe in being practical.  Here are a few of my practical solutions for holiday survival:

  • If  you have to take a potluck dish, consider picking up a carryout pizza instead of making a casserole from scratch. You’ll be the hit of the party; all the kids will love you. Variation I: A cheaper solution – get a take and bake pizza from the grocery, cook it and take it.  This takes more time, but less money.   Variation II: A more sophisticated solution – buy a couple of submarine sandwiches from Subway, cut them into 3″ pieces and put them into a Tupperware container.  It looks like you worked for hours.
  • Wear an apron in the kitchen.  It’s faster, cheaper and greener to wash an apron than to wash your outfit, when the spaghetti sauce splashes on you.  Grandma knew what she was doing.
  • Use technology.  Yes, hand addressed Christmas cards are nice, but if the choice is between getting nothing out or using mail merged mailing labels or email, use the tech solution. Something is better than nothing.
  • Try creating a low impact tradition. Chinese carryout for Christmas eve is a whole lot easier than a four course home cooked gourmet meal.
  • Make simple celebrations.  Add a few marshmallows and a candy cane to instant hot chocolate, and take time to enjoy it with the family.
  • My all time favorite:  Ultra simple homemade fudge –  Dump a bag (12 oz.) of chocolate chips into a bowl, microwave until they melt (stir them every minute or so.) Stir in a can of chocolate frosting and some nuts and put it into a greased pan. Homemade goodness in record time.

Comment and share your favorite timesavers and sanity savers, and enjoy your holiday celebrations!

copyright 2009 Ellen Huxtable

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Entry filed under: Work and life.

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