Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Stress Busters

Just a note to share a few things that have made my Christmas preparations and shopping easier and less stressful.

Have you tried the new Scotch Pop-Up Tape? I love it!

It's great, and makes wrapping gifts a pleasure. I'm not sure how it stays put, but it does!

Another thing I love this time of year is Williams-Sonoma's Winter Forest collection of soap, lotion, and air freshener products. I especially love the room freshener spray, and they offer it only at Christmastime. It smells wonderful, and brings the aroma of an evergreen forest into your home. I use it year-round.

I ordere these little guys from Coldwater Creek, and they make me smile every time I see them. I put them on our porch to greet our visitors ...

I've also enjoyed doing the majority of my Christmas shopping online this year ... mostly through Amazon.

They make the whole shopping experience as easy as possible, and give you detailed information on each of your orders, including shipping dates, tracking numbers, and delivery dates. And an added bonus is that you can call and talk to a courteous and knowledgeable customer service representative at any time, if you have a question.

Barnes and Noble is another one of my favorite less stressful places to shop. I love their "pick up" service, which is wonderful if you are in a hurry. You can place your order online and if they have the item(s) you want in the nearest store, they will put the order together for you and you can pick it up at the checkout desk. How easy is that!?

I've saved my best stress-reliever for last -- a recipe for a delicious hot holiday drink, which is also the best party punch ever when it's served cold. I don't care for most hot drinks, especially spiced teas and ciders, but we're having a family party this Sunday, and I want to serve something hot when our company arrives. Yesterday, I made the punch and heated it, and it was absolutely delicious. Here's the recipe:

The Perfect Punch, Hot or Cold

Bring to boil:

1 3-oz Package Apricot Jello
1-1/2 Cups Sugar
4 Cups Water


Large Can of Pineapple Juice
1/2-Oz Almond Extract

This can be done ahead of time, then just before serving, add 1 Quart of Ginger Ale. Simmer until hot. [Makes One Gallon]

If you have any "stress busters" you'd like to share, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear them.


Stacey said...

Great ideas you've offered this morning. I have just had the hardest time getting into all the preparations this year. I'm going to try to change my attitude today. Your ideas will help. :)

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

I love your ideas, I also have purchased a lot of my gifts one line, have been doing this for several years, it was a necessity 5 yrs ago when I was bed ridden and couldn't shop, it was so stress free and easy that I just continued do so.
I also like to turn the TV off, when I am doing my chores or cooking and play beautiful soft Christmas music, it is a real stress breaker.
Merry Christmas to you.

racheld said...

Just sitting in a dim room lit only by the lights of a Christmas tree; that closes a day and wraps a soft ribbon around the chores and the errands and the cooking and the stress.

The room so familiar in daylight is transformed in the flicker of candles---the known shapes and the angles of furniture, as well as the sharp corners of the day, are melted into rounder, smoother scenes, soothing the cares and aches more fully than aspirin.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, thanks for the tips! My stress buster is going to be to blog twice a day this week (early morning and late night). I'm not doing posts this week so I can get things done. I'm SO far behind. HELP! ;-)



jidgede said...

love your "stress busters"....definitely will try the punch...sounds yummy.....u know i LOVE your blog.....merry Christmas!!!!! jennie in tn <><

Deb said...

great ideas....I'm not a bit stressed this year...just enjoying the Christmas......

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