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Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The countdown is on. Christmas is three days away. Did you forget anything? Still have too much to do? Too stressed to enjoy the season? Decorating editor Jeanie Sims is here today with some last minute time savers and a huge dose of advice. -- AP

Thanks, Anastasia! There never seems to be enough hours in the day normally, but come the holidays, life gets even more stressed and complicated for working moms. So take a deep breath and see if any of these last minute time savers will help you out.

Still don’t have a centerpiece for your Christmas dinner? If you’re lucky, one of your guests will bring flowers. Meantime, grab a bowl, fill it with glass ornaments, and plop it in the center of your table.

Still need to finish decorating the house for those guests who will be arriving? As we say in New Jersey, fuhgeddaboudit! So you won’t win the Martha Stewart Award this Christmas. No one is going to care if you didn’t go whole hog in every room. Put out the Christmas hand towels in the powder room, hang a wreath on the door, and be done with it. You’ve got the tree up and gifts around it. People will understand if you didn’t have time to do more. And if your sister-in-law makes some snide remarks about the meager decorating? In your most Christmasy cheerful voice, tell her to…well, you get the idea. I don’t need to spell it out.

Same goes for cleaning. You don’t need to scrub your home from top to bottom. Swipe a dust cloth over the coffee and end tables, run the vacuum, scoop up the clutter, and throw some clean sheets on the guest beds if you’re having overnight guests. If you see your mother-in-law donning a pair of white gloves to score you on a Suzy Homemaker test, hand her a Swiffer sheet and tell her you’d love for her to finish cleaning while you finish preparing dinner.

When it comes to meals, don’t be guilted into making everything from scratch. Scratch takes hours. Go for heat-and-serve. Head to the bakery for cookies, pies, and other desserts. If anyone complains, ask them if they’re volunteering to do Christmas next year at their home.

Finally, pour yourself a glass of wine, put your feet up, and enjoy the holidays. You deserve it.

Great advice, Jeanie! And if I can add one more piece of advice to your list, delegate! You don’t have to do it all yourself. Post a comment to be entered in the drawing for something special from our Book Club Friday guest author this week. -- AP


Phyllis J. Towzey said...

Great advice - my trick is to bake pies and make potato salad on Christmas Eve, then serve cold platters on Christmas Day, rather than spending the cooking.

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