Well it IS that time of year again, the family holidays.
I don't know what is scarier, a Halloween Fright, the mixture of 20 different foods in your stomach at Thanksgiving and or the pocket book screaming from holiday shopping, but never-the-less the family holidays are going to show up. Some of you, I know, would just like to fast forward to New Year's Eve and pop the cork. Others of you just love, love, love the holidays wanting to pull out every last stitch of decorating you can possibly summon up to put everywhere in your homes. To each their own, but the key to getting through the holidays with a chipper and upbeat step is feeling organized, not just being, but feeling organized.
So you may ask what is the difference between feeling and being organized.
Well the answer is simple; "feelings" are feelings,
like overwhelmed, frightened, mad, glad, happy, sad etc....
According to Merriam Webster dictionary ORGANIZED synonyms are
neat, orderly, methodical, regular systematic, systematized, and the
antonyms are disorganized, haphazard, hit-or-mis, immethodical (did not know
that was a word), irregular, nonsystematic, patternless, planless, systemless,
unstystematic, just to give you an idea. I sum up "being organized" by
stating "it is a way of approaching life, with a plan, to have as simple,
easy and fun a life as possible, without a lot of hassle and frustration.
Also being organized is the ability to access your stuff quickly and efficiently.
You don't want to have to go digging through things to find that Thanksgiving Platter,
upsetting the apple cart along the way.
So if you think that this little bit of time, until the holidays arrive, does not require
some cleaning, editing of belongings, getting things in order, with some kind of
method and or system, you probably will start to feel irregular, disorganized, overwhelmed and fatigued. You will NOT "FEEL" organized. On the other hand if you live in a bubble of oblivion, go ahead
don't plan, don't clean, or cook, and for goodness sake don't get organized.
Decide now whether you’re going to have a hit-or-miss holiday season so you can
spare yourself the yucky haphazard feelings. Decide where and how you will
execute (poor choice of words) the holidays in just your own special way.
You may decide not to cook and instead purchase the food from a restaurant or market,
you may cover up any mess you have by hauling things to their hiding places, you may go out
for the holidays or to relatives and or friends, but whatever you do does
require some planning, notice and thought. Or you can simply run and you can
hide from the holidays....I give you permission. There is nothing wrong with
dodging all the drama and taking a road trip, traveling, and or hiding under the
covers. It's okay to just ignore the whole season if you choose. Let's face it, certain beliefs
don't celebrate any holidays or special occasions and they are not struck down by lightening.
Remember the two largest triggers for depression, anxiety, mood disorders, addiction and health challenges are FAMILY AND THE HOLIDAYS. Mix them together and it can be a fiasco.
You can either make it a hit or a miss, and it is totally up to you.
For those of you with "ideal" families who mostly get along and cherish
the warmth, magic and loveliness of the holiday spirit you
will want to feel and be organized in some manner or another, whether you are
the host/hostess or the guest. Here are some tips for this season.
HOST / HOSTESS TIPS
Choose a date for the Event
Prepare a detailed Meal Plan
or go to http://www.traderjoes.com/.
Find new and innovative and EASY recipes
Allow people to chip in and bring food, wine, dessert...don't be the host martyr.
Make a Guest List.
Get RSVP's and if you don't hear back send a nice email asking for consideration.
Make a Shopping List.
Find the tools and items you will want for the event i.e. special kitchen items, platters, gravy boats, special dishes, paper products, extra water, drinks, chairs, tables, decorations.
Do a seating chart...believe me with the elections happening it is a good idea. Democrats with Democrats and Republicans with Republicans.
Break up discussions of politics, religion or uncomfortable topics by diverting guests to help you out.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Edit, Edit, Edit
Organize, Organize, Organize
Relax and don't be too fastidious.
Find some entertainment and or prepare your music list. Make sure it is a variety of music everyone will like.
Talk to everyone you invite at least a couple of times.
Set up a TV area for those sports fans.
Somewhat monitor alcohol intake.Serve the guests their drinks rather than no host bar.
Take away keys from unruly, and or drunk guests. Call them a cab.
Toast some nuts with soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili flakes. Just put them on a toaster oven tray and toast for 2-3 minutes. Send them home with guests with a bottle of water. They will be the hit!
RSVP as soon as you receive invite.
Call Host/Hostess and ask what you can bring. Even if they say "nothing" persist a bit and if they still say "nothing, DO NOT GO EMPTY HANDED. Suggestions below.
Bring wine or what you like to drink and if you like to drink a lot bring enough for yourself and a bit more for the others.
Bring a dessert if you know good and tasty desserts, not the grocery store left overs or something no one will eat like fruit cake. Trader Joe's chocolate Ganash Cake is to die for, or any of their delicious desserts and not too pricey either.
Bring a side dish and or appetizer if you are a good cook. Trader Joe's Pot Stickers with soy sauce, maple syrup, fresh mint, garlic powder and red pepper flakes...and pop in microwave for 12 minutes.
Bring the hostess/host a gift i.e. candles, pot holders, flowers, bottle opener, good bottle of wine/alcohol to save for later, apron, Barefoot Contessa cookbook,candy etc...
Make a toast to the host/hostess and the chef before diving into meal.
Mingle and be self sufficient....don't smother host/hostess.
Don't over-eat, it's embarrasing for everyone.
Don't talk with your mouth full or eat with your hands.
Don't go if you are contagious.
Don't over-drink, it's dangerous.
Don't talk about religion, politics or that you've seen aliens.
Do bring up memorable moments from past year and challenges you overcame.
Do bring up successes.
Do talk about light and pleasant ideas, thoughts or actions.
Take pictures of the guests without disturbing them and send to host/hostess via email after party. (perfect idea if you cannot afford a gift)
Thank the host/hostess before leaving and adieu the guests!