Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Ready Set Christmas – Relax

December 25, 2011

It’s all done.  What you haven’t done by now won’t happen … and it won’t matter.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

It’s time to relax

or not 😉

I hope you've enjoyed the Ready Set Christmas series, my gift to you.


Ready Set Christmas – Feeding Santa

December 24, 2011

Santa’s on his way and many a household will be leaving a little something out for him and the reindeer.

I’ve heard he rather likes a tot of brandy or whisky, but skim milk would be better for him.

I also hear tell he’s fond of shortbread and mince pies, but some fresh fruit would make the reindeer’s job easier.

And speaking of the reindeer, remember to leave them a carrot or two.  There’s also a fun recipe for reindeer food here.

And get to bed early… or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – Camera Action Smile

December 23, 2011

Got enough film/memory for your camera to capture the big fun day?  Are the batteries charged?

Check that checked.

or not 😉

Wouldn't want to miss precious moments like this.

Ready Set Christmas – Last Minute Shopping

December 22, 2011

Only a few more days.  Forgotten anything?  Are you sure?

That extra person who got invited to Christmas dinner at the last minute.

The sunscreen so you can take the feast outdoors.

The brandy for the pudding flambe.

The pudding!

It’s likely at some point between now and Christmas morning you will feel the urge to dash out for “one last thing”.  Do yourself a favour, as Molly Meldrum would say (and get well Molly!), and leave the car at home.  Do all you can to fulfill those last minute shopping trips without facing the dreaded carpark battle.

  • Call someone else to pick it up on their way home
  • Walk to the shops
  • Ride your bike
  • Wrap something from the pantry or gift hoard
  • Make something at home
  • Leave it and apologise for the missing ingredient

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – Hiding Gifts

December 21, 2011

Do you struggle to find suitable places around the house to hide gifts until Christmas time?  Here are some clues –

  • at the store for as long as possible (e.g. on layby)
  • at someone else’s house – a neighbour or family member
  • somewhere in plain sight.  If there’s chance on earth your children will volunteer to cook or put dishes away, you can easily hide gifts in the pots and pans cupboard.
  • wrap them right away and pop them under the tree

Have you ever been so organised you bought gifts nice and early and then hid them away, only to forget where they were hidden?  Keep a master list, coded if necessary!

or not 😉


Ready Set Christmas – Charity

December 20, 2011

Charity begins at home.  And this is a great time to be thinking of others.  With so much obvious consumption going on around us, it’s natural to think of those who have little.  How will you help?

  • Ask the kids to declutter their rooms and donate toys in good condition to other children
  • Forgo gifts and opt instead for donations to a favourite charity
  • Spend time volunteering

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – the Guest Room 2

December 19, 2011

Expecting overnight guests?  Ready?

What do they need?  A clean bed, towels, clean bathroom, space to put their suitcase and to unpack.

It’s nice to add a few extra touches…

  • a jug of water and a glass
  • a small bunch of flowers
  • a scented candle
  • nice soap
  • extra supplies of anything they may have forgotten
  • a midnight snack
  • a map of the local area so they can go for a walk and get out of your hair
  • a ticket for public transport so they can really get out from underfoot (and enjoy the town)
  • an iPod dock

The list could go on an on, but then they might stay on and on!

Have I forgotten something?

Take a moment to really make your guests feel welcome.

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – the Guest Room 1

December 18, 2011

Expecting overnight guests?  Where will they sleep?  In the guest room?  Have you been treating it like a junk room?

Well, now’s the time to turf the junk – all those deferred decisions, the “I’ll just put it here for now” stuff, the stuff waiting for that garage sale or to go on eBay, the stuff that belongs to someone else but you’re holding onto it for them, the stuff that you can’t even remember what it was for or why you kept it, the stuff you thought someone else might find useful.  Know what I’m talking about?

Make way for the guests and make way for a little extra living once they’ve gone.  Make the decisions on that stuff now.  If you’re holding a garage sale, set a date.  If the stuff belongs elsewhere, put it there.  If you’re stuff for someone else, tell them to come get it by a deadline (I guarantee you they won’t want most of it – but make it their responsibility to get rid of the stuff, not yours).  You get the idea.  Now is a great time to set the tone for the New Year.

So make way and give the room a good clean.  Your guests will appreciate it, but you will reap the benefits even more when you have the space to yourself again.

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – the Hostess Gift

December 17, 2011

Going anywhere special tonight? Are the invitations coming thick and fast? If you’ll be a guest in someone’s home, have you thought about a hostess gift?

Let’s make it easy. Here are ten suggestions –

  • a bottle of wine
  • a jar of something special, like jam, chutney, brandied cherries
  • chocolates
  • a festive dish with biscuits
  • something handmade
  • a Christmas decoration
  • a framed photo
  • flowers
  • a plant
  • something from the Gift Hoard

So, go out and have some fun, but don’t forget the host or hostess.

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – Say Yes Please

December 16, 2011

Are you hosting any meals or parties over the festive season?  Ever heard the phrase, “How can I help?”  And have you ever turned down the offer of help?

Are you crazy???

No seriously, I know it sometimes seems the polite option, or perhaps you’d rather have complete control.

Today I challenge you, when asked if you need help, to say “Yes please”.

And more than that, have a list of things you need doing or foods you’d like brought.

And if people don’t ask, go ahead and ask them!

or not 😉