The last of the holiday guests left this morning; now it’s time to take back the house. It is time to clean, plan, purge and organize, but first I will listen to the calm and quiet of the house. Sit in my comfortable chair in my bear feet and enjoy the fireplace my husband built for me for my Christmas gift and have a sip of alcohol-free champagne… a sip, a sip? Who am I kidding; I’m gonna drink the entire bottle!
I’m not a fan of alcoholic drinks; for years my family members and girlfriends made fun of my drink selections. In the past, I served Welch’s Grape Juice and Sparkling Apple Ciders. Last year I discovered FRE it’s alcohol-removed wine. It’s made and bottled by Sutter Home Winery, Inc. in St. Helena, Napa County, California. I found them in my local Jewel grocery store where they keep the regular wines. I still remember the look on their faces when they gathered around the table; there was awkward silence because of the bottles. They thought I had lost my mind, but when they read the bottles they knew they were in the right house. The wines are wonderful to drink and when cooking they come through exceptionally well.
The wines go well with desserts. The Red Blend makes and awesome gravy; if you’re looking to up your gravy game this holiday; add a cup of Red Blend to your gravy. If you’re looking for something different and safe for everyone to drink this holiday give FRE wines a try; for more information visit http://www.frewines.com. #notsponsored.
Since this is the first holiday meal. We tend to take special care to make sure it is well, special. Have you seen the prices of fancy oils? The prices are over the top the for sure. I make my own oils and I enjoy cooking with the oils. Below are my two favorite oil creations I use when I’m cooking for the big day. I hope you give them a try. Make sure to store the oils in the refrigerator and let me know.
The big day is getting closer and I need every bit of spare time to get things done. I don’t know about you, but I need them to feed themselves for the next few days. I don’t have the time nor energy to cook a meal every single day. This is what I did to encourage them to feed themselves. I made a pan of Italian beef and sausages; meatloaf and veggies and lunch meat sliders. When the meals were done; I put a note on each pan of food and continued on with my life.
Here’s an idea if you’re looking for something quick.
That’s another added stress during the holiday. People are probably calling the host asking about the attire. For us; the name of the attire this holiday is comfort! We are wearing sweat pants, sweat shirts and holiday socks. This should accomplish several things.
You don’t have to worry about a fashion show or the notorious fashionista. When people are comfortable in their clothing it seems to take the edge off.
The hosts can relax; the last thing I want to do after planning for a month, shopping for weeks and cooking for days is put on something uncomfortable. I want to relax; of course my hair is fixed and my makeup is done well, but that’s all I need for the holiday pictures.
If you have a shoe-free home. Guests can and will get offended when asked to remove their shoes, but if they know in advance to wear their crazy holidays socks and show them off. Well then that’s a family fun game and your floors are protected.
Buy spare crazy holiday socks from Sam’s Club, Walmart, Dollar Tree or any other store #notsponsored; I bought a pack for men and women for about $6.99 each USD from Sam’s Club.
That takes care of what to wear; coming up next post “We hungry.”
Time is flying by faster as the holiday gets closer. If you are a caregiver; you may already feel as if you’re behind. I feel the same; since I will cook this year and continue to caregive for my mother and brother; balance is so important.
If you’re entertaining and are starting to get phone calls, texts or emails regarding different diets. There is still time to change the feast to a potluck. Have each person who may be on a special diet to bring a dish for themselves and enough to share. It will give them an opportunity to show off their cooking skills and share with the family why they chose the diet or if the diet chose them during the meal. Make a game of it by having note cards. That should free up your time in the kitchen and give you the opportunity to not only host, but be a guest at the gathering. After all “many hands make light work.” I used to hate when my mother would say that; now I understand.
You may not have time to put a soundtrack together and you’re not sure if you’re ready to let sonny boy or girl DJ the gathering. Try Napster or Pandora they have tons of songs that should get you through the feast. #not sponsored. It worked for us last year; hopefully, it will work for you and your family.
The countdown continues! Today is the day to take care of yourself; especially if you work outside the home or a caregiver for your family member or members. There are 17 days to go…speaking of going; go get a manicure there are some salons that have discounts for customers on Monday and Tuesday. You can ask if they give discounts; as the holiday gets closer more people will begin to fill the salons; who has a lot of time to wait? Personally, I’m not a fan of the No Chip Manicure, but I did discover that it really does work and lasts no matter how hard you work.
If you’re not into the salon manicure thing; I understand. Try setting aside some time for a good bath or hide at a friend’s house or library just for some quiet. You may feel slightly guilty for playing hooky, but you will feel better and less stressed.
My friend, please take the day to relax and take a few deep breaths. A decent sound track will be the topping on the cake.
FYI: music playing in my mind “As” by Stevie Wonder from Songs In The Key of Life album.