December is a crazy, busy time of year. To help you stay calm and enjoy the holidays, here are some of my favorite ideas and tips.
- Keep a few packages of frozen cookie dough on hand to pop in the oven when you have unexpected guests.
- When most of us think of the holidays, we think of warm and delicious scents. Keep a simmer pot going with cloves, nutmeg and other spices to give your home a fragrant holiday smell. Yum!
- Designate a place, like a folder on your desk, to collect receipts throughout the season for returning or exchanging items. Update your budget list as you make purchases so you do not overspend.
- Once school is out, it is more than likely that kids will be bored. Prepare for this by creating an inexpensive family tradition (or a few). Purchase a ready-made wreath of greens, and recruit your kids to gather items to decorate it. Use pine cones, ribbons, crystals, feathers, beaded garland, homemade paper snowflakes or whatever you can find around the house.
- Light lots of candles. Nothing makes a room feel warmer and more inviting than candlelight. Plus, if unexpected company arrives, it is not as easy to see dust in a dimly lit room!
- Pets can become overwhelmed by all the excitement holidays bring. Give your pet his or her own quiet space to retreat to, complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats may want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their crates or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
- If you’re stuffing a stocking for your pet, choose gifts that are safe. Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallow the pieces. Stick with chew toys that are difficult to destroy, such as Kongs. These toys can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are safely digestible.
Long, stringy toys are a feline’s dream, but those toys also are the most risky for cats. Avoid toys with ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise your cat or kitten with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a catnip-stuffed toy or an interactive cat dancer.
- ‘Tis the season for sentimentality. Feeling cozy is as mental as it is physical. Add a touch of nostalgia to your decor or food selection to create coziness. Put out some Santa pieces or other family heirlooms on a buffet. Keep treats, sweets and cookies out so the nibblers can enjoy themselves. Make a pot of hot cocoa to welcome your family into the kitchen.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday!
– Elisabeth Stubbs is one of the owners of Enhance Floors and More, one of Atlanta’s top-rated flooring dealers, located in Marietta.