Make A Plan

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! (Photo credit: Kelvin Servigon)

I have received a lot of advice in my life. Some I ignore. Some I am delighted to receive. And some I have to digest before I use it.

The following four short pieces of advice {which really meld into one} are from one of my favourite foodies, Rachael Ray, and they will stand me in good stead this holiday season if I take the time to heed them.

So (drum roll please), here are her pithy words of advice:

Rachael Ray Mag

Rachael Ray Mag (Photo credit: Bekit)

Less is more

Keep it simple

Invite People

Make a plan.

She was referring to entertaining, but I think these words can be used in so many facets of our lives. The only change I would make is to “Make a plan” then “invite people” but that is just the way I roll.

This holiday season I have to keep in mind what is important. As the days wind down towards the big day I have a plan–I know that making my thumbprint cookies with seedless raspberry jam is more important than making sure every room in my house is spick and span; I know that making some good and  simple food will make my family happy and that creating fancy unfamiliar dishes would only cause stress; I know that wrapping the presents in whatever fashion I can, is more important than making sure everything is perfectly bowed and all corners sharp; I know that  family and friends are more important than my to do lists.

So, as I pare down my expectations, I do not pare down what makes this season merry and bright–good food, good friends, and family as well as something to open, something to drink, something to eat, and something to laugh at. And, oh yeah, better not forget to make the fudge.

What is the one important thing you must do to make your holiday merry?

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42 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Get together with family and enjoy admiring the Christmas tree!

    • last night I was at a friend’s house for dinner and we sat in their parlour with all the lights out except for the tree–it was absolutely peaceful and beautiful

      • Sounds like so much fun! What a great way to celebrate!

  2. Great post!!! I think Eat for me lol… I want anyone spending Christmas with me to eat be merry and just happy in that moment.

    I sure wish I could do the perfectly wrapped presents and such but I have given up trying lol.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. May the joy of the season fill your hearts and home. God bless

    • And God bless you–I find that people like my not so perfectly wrapped Christmas gifts and my dinner cause I try hard even if everything is not gourmet
      I agree with you to eat and be merry and be happy in the moment–we can ask for no more–Merry Christmas to you and yours too!

  3. I know this is going to sound weird but if I could just be totally alone that day I would be ecstatic. I am about to write a post about this.

    • sometimes we need to be alone and not reminded of other Christmases and just find our way back

  4. Being together with family and/or friends is all that really matters. I used to stress out so much about my house being spotless before company arrived, but I’ve realized that it just doesn’t matter. We just found out that my cousin passed away, and his wife has no children or family of her own now. So, yesterday I spent the day out with my hubby instead of cleaning, and today I await the arrival of my parents for the holidays. Extra people in the house is just going to make it more dirty anyway, so why worry about it. I’m just going to enjoy their company as well as my kids’ and my husband’s. That’s what will make me merry :). LouAnn, I hope you have a truly beautiful and relaxing Christmas – don’t sweat the small stuff!!

    • I am doing just what you suggested – letting some of the stuff go and just enjoying myself–you are right about the house not having to be spick and span–as long as there are no dust kangaroos I am going to be happy
      I wish you the best Christmas ever, and am so happy to have found a friend in you

      • Awww, that’s so sweet – I’m glad I found you too!! My parents are on their way, and they have a four hour drive, so all I’m doing today is cleaning the bathrooms and vacuuming. I’m not even washing floors because with the snow and muck outside and everyone in and out of the house, it’s just a waste of time. My new philosophy is clean after they leave LOL!! And while they are here, I am going to enjoy their company because I am realizing more and more lately that they are not going to be around forever! The other key thing to remember, by the way, is low lighting – that way nobody can see the dust kangaroos. LOL!!!

      • low lighting — I am the master of low lighting–but I need a hint for the daytime–and don’t say close the curtains–because I can’t in the living room! Enjoy your parents–they are precious–I have not had mine for 20 years plus–and miss them every day. Happy Merry!

      • I’ve got it!! Hint for daytime – greet them at the door with a shot of tequila and keep ‘em coming. They won’t notice a thing LOL!! :)

      • I love it–on my way to the liquor store now! thanks

      • LOL – glad to be of assistance :)

  5. The most important thing I can do this holiday season is to be relaxed…..if the host is relaxed, then the guests will be too.

  6. I made my thumbprint cookies last night– they look terrible but taste fantastic– I don’t care ;)

    • mine always look terrible, but they taste so good–thanks for your confession, I feel better about mine now

  7. Wonderful food for everyone before a wonderful turkey.

  8. Four very good pieces of advice I think ;)

    Xx

  9. That is some fine advice indeed, especially during Christmas when things can get a bit crazy. Enjoy!

  10. I like your thinking and I agree with it totally….Being with family during Christmas is what I need to make it Merry..and we’re seeing one son and family tomorrow and the other son and family on Christmas..Our daughter unfortunately is in Illinois so we won’t see them …but we’ll talk. Have a wonderful one yourself and family of course…Diane

  11. I love wrapping presents! It’s a weird thing to get giddy about but something about pretty ribbons and bows is so fun!

  12. I love your attitude in this time of general stress and last-minute scrambles to get everything perfect. Perfect is overrated anyways and I’d much rather be happy and relaxed than tense and fearful that something might go wrong any second. I also love Rachael Ray and her advice is spot on for just about anything. Wishing you a merry, relaxed holiday this week. :)

  13. For me it’s all about being relaxed, not worrying about all the general things I worry about – so what if the house is mess, and the kids haven’t got out of their nightclothes all day, and I didn’t start cooking the meal as early as I intended, and we’ve done nothing but eat and watch Christmas films on TV.

    On Christmas day it’s usually just me and the kids, so it’s easy to be relaxed about those things on that day, I would be far more stressed if I was entertaining that day!

    Hope you have a lovely Christmas.

    • I hope you have a lovely Christmas too–I got up at 4 to bake Christmas cookies, but my 21 year old son who has odd sleeping patterns helped me, so it was actually fun. Am doing a bit of entertaining, but am working on not being stressed. You sound like you are going to have a lovely day–

  14. My better half always says: K.I.S.S–keep it simple stupid. I’m sure it’s meant with love. Happy holidays. Now that I have everything in the post the next few days will be more relaxing–we only have to cook for two or four if you count the dog and cat. Take care and have a happy New year.

    • You have a Merry Happy–KISS is the smart way to go, just have to take the advice–still have a ton of presents to wrap but got up at 4 this morning to bake cookies with my 21 year old son–so it was fun–he did the heavy mixing

      • both of you got at up 4am–that’s cookie dedication!

      • they are pretty darn good cookies

  15. Christmas cards! Merry Christmas!

  16. Do it all in moderation is my advice (if only I could take my own advice!) :D

  17. Baking with my daughter, watching movies with DH and having a nice long conversation with my son. Spending quiet times with my family and leaving all my worries and stress out in the cold! ;)

  18. Good plan! I always have a plan too…I’m a list-maker, down to the smallest details…sometimes I’ve pared down, as time gets short. Important to keep an eye on priorities! ~ Sheila


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