Taming Your Holiday Stressors

Welcome Friends!

Did you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving? Mine was nice; it was spent with family and friends. Yes, of course we ate too much! Hubby made a sweet potato casserole with praline topping–it was decadent!

So now we dive willy nilly into the big marathon of the year–Christmas! It is time to decorate, send Christmas cards, buy or make gifts, entertain, etc. etc. Is your blood pressure up, yet?

I do tend to be organized. I was raised on making lists and writing notes. But, I do find them helpful. I also tend to shop early, that is, I pick up little things here and there. The trick is remembering that you have done this! I have forgotten a couple of times. And, I buy Christmas cards on sale after Christmas. Yes, I have forgotten that I have bought these, too! I now write in my organizer in the month of November that I have purchased cards, etc.

I am planning on decorating today. This I have simplified, also. I got a smaller artificial tree that I put up on a box to get it off the floor, and to look bigger! I have artificial greenery that I put into most room, mainly wreaths. These are so easy to hang up and give up a lot of holiday color. I add scented candles around the house, mainly pine scented ones. I do like to get a fresh wreath for the front door; there is nothing like the real thing!

For gifts, I use gift bags. My family and I save them and trade them back before the holidays. I will have to buy a couple, but, not many. Dollar stores have great prices on these bags. Gift bags save a lot of time on decorating, and you can add ribbons or bows for extra glitz.

Yes, every year I try to make our Christmas a little easier. It cuts the stress down considerably. We exchange minimal gifts with the extended family. Real gifts are for grandchildren!

Please enjoy a poem that will be featured in my next book. I thought it may be appropriate, due to the looming task ahead!

On The Threshold Of A Scream

Women work so hard
And do so much
Are we doing for everyone
And forgetting our own needs?
It’s like that oxygen mask thing
On an airplane—give yourself
The air first, or you won’t be able
To take care of those little
Responsibilities following you around

The idea is the quality of life
Try to remember that
When you’re on your last nerve
Take a “sip” of whatever
That oxygen is for you
And revive your spirit

We take too much for granted
In this time on earth
It is finite, ladies
So, please remember
To breathe

I’ve enclosed some links for reducing holiday stress. I hope they help!

Giving Thanks

Hello Friends!

We’re at that time of year when the sand in the hourglass runs out very fast, and it all starts with Thanksgiving Day. We are off to the races, i.e. the grocery store, department store, wherever there are ingredients we need, or gifts to buy! I can feel the excitement building!

I do love the season; but, even though we are doing things with shrinking wallets, it doesn’t mean it will mean any less to us. We must remember that families and friends are what we are most thankful for, and thank them accordingly.

Let’s give thanks this week for everyone in our lives who has blessed us. Don’t forget to take in all of the wonderful fragrances of the holiday feast–I can smell that turkey, and that pumpkin pie–yum!

Bless us all!

P.S. I’ve added a little poem that I whipped up for the occasion. Don’t worry, it’s calorie free!


It is time to gather family and friends
Around the laden table
To forgive and make amends

Tis time to count our many blessings
Reflect on nature’s bounty
Amid pie, turkey and dressing

It’s time again to follow custom
Handed down through generations
Let’s eat until we bust em!

The Bonds of Female Friendships

My friends are my estate.–Emily Dickinson

A friend is a present you give to yourself.– Robert Louis Stevenson

What would we do without our friends–particularly our women friends? They are there to give us support, cheer us on, have a little “girl” fun, and sometimes just to set us straight.

It turns out that there are some health benefits to friendship. Several studies connect female friendship with lower blood pressure, lowered risk of diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Additionally, women use each other for a sounding board to talk about problems at work and in their personal lives. Spending time with girl friends in a variety of situations, and particularly in this exchange of information and feelings make up a support system for us.

Let us give thanks today for our wonderful friends who stand by us through thick or thin. We are blessed to have them.

I leave you with a poem from my book, Water Running Downhill!


Have you felt
With passing years
A more pressing
Need to connect
With other women
To share observations
And laughter
To offer advice
Or garner wisdom?
Do you feel drawn
As if by a magnetic force
To be with your own kind?

For these women
Are a tribe, your tribe.
No one else will ever
Understand your struggle
As they will.
Women are our people.
When we come together
We feel a oneness
A sisterhood united.
When we come together
We are at home.


The Emperess’s New Clothes

I’m having a bit of fun today. I am writing about one of my favorite past times–shopping! I usually do a lot of research, i.e. looking, before I buy. I am often surprised at what I find at local thrift shops! Some of the loot is shown above.

Here is a little poem I wrote as a tribute to thrift stores. By the way, a schmata is the Yiddish word for rag.


The Emperess’s New Schmatas

I am therefore, I shop!
But, being monetarily challenged
I turn to consignment shops
And thrift stores, often
Did you know that they specialize
In pre-shrunk clothes?
You never have to worry about whether
They will shrink
The only concern is that
Your body will expand into another size
As it has done for me
Drat that middle age thing!

Menopot, menopot
Curse the girth that adds a lot
Onto a waist line, with our dismay
Go away and stay away!

Autumn’s Last Stand

The leaves were slow to turn this season. They looked pretty and promising when we arrived mid-October. But, they were teasing us; nah, nah , nah , nah, na! They tried to hold out; the temperature dropped–so did they, and the rain stripped them of their false coats.
Behold! The peak was upon us. We left a day later than planned; we did come here to enjoy them!
Grasp that last branch of autumn that reaches out to you. Breathe in that crisp air–deeply! Enjoy!

Today I witnessed from

Car window and porch chair

Leaves turning slowing on branched spits

Not quite ready, starting to crisp

Greens warming to yellow and gold embers

Orange popping out like glowing coals

The scarlet of Sourwood bursting into full flame–

Trying to show them all up

Together they compliment one another

A gourmet blend

A visionary feast for the soul

Joan Ellen Gage