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11/12/2009 06:30 PM

How can we make the holiday season easier?

keeter

The holidays are coming fast! And I think most of us will be challenged by having less energy - and maybe less money - this year. So this question is for all of you. I'm sure we can get ideas from each other. Here are some off the top of my head:

1) use gift bags - easier than using fumbling fingers to wrap

2) tell everybody to bring a dish - assign parts of the meal so you aren't doing it all

3) most major grocery stores have "prepacked" dinners. You get a turkey or ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggie, rolls and a pumpkin pie. I've used them before and they've gone over well. You still have some cooking but nowhere near the prep you would have.

4) buy online

5) make gifts simpler - a small gift and a gift card will work for a lot of people - especially the kids and teens who like to shop for their own stuff.

What other ideas?

Hugs!

(Lazy) Diane

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11/12/2009 11:46 PM
grandmasylvia
grandmasylvia  
Posts: 3031
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I'm an Advocate

Great ideas Diane...I mail order lots of books from Daedalus an outlet. You get great deals and the shipping is only $5 for the order. I got two beautiful puzzles of China and Egypt and a great book about Ireland for my friends from Ireland. Books are easy to wrap. This year I got bookplates at Barnes & Noble to inscribe my good wishes and beautiful inspiring bookmarks to put inside. Shipping time is getting tight so hurry. I also made photo collages online and today I ordered a puzzle in a tin made out of 100 pictures of Dana and Dana with her pets and Dana with her grandmas and friends and mom. It cost $20.oo I had a $5 off coupon. It will be something she can keep forever. Last year I got each of my granddaughter a little porcelain guardian angel in a special box with a note. I always get coins from the Mint for my grandson every year. I've got him an eagle coin for each year. I joined the coin club just long enough to order the complete state quarter set for him and then just resigned. I ordered a Samurai umbrella for Alex as he is into his ancestry. I take the kids to a dollar store where everything is actually a dollar and they bring money they have saved and their shopping list. They pick out whatever they want and of course I make up the difference..then we go to a Chinese buffet. We had a great time last year. It was Bai Hua's first Christmas and she was so excited to be giving gifts..something she had never done before. I had the girls come over and had a gift wrap party where they wrapped a lot of my presents..that was so much fun!I also go to Penney's outlet store. Enjoy! Hugs, Grandma Sylvia

11/13/2009 06:21 AM
keeter

Sylvia, you have got it DOWN! I will have to check out Daedalus. Vaguely remember hearing about it but haven't looked. Your collage idea is also great! Did you tell me you put it together on your computer? I can't remember.

The dollar store trip sounds like a blast! I'm sure it is a great time for all of you! And those are the types of things the kids will treasure forever. With them you could even put $1 bills in a bag or box and give that as a gift and take them shopping again. I did that with my nephews one year. Gave them each $5 to spend and took them to a discount store. Really enjoyed it. (These are the nephews that I call "devil nephews" and they call me their "evil Aunt Diane". We have a blast together!)

That gift wrap party is a great idea! I bet there are others who could work with that one! Me, I am sticking to mny bags. Wink My thrifting buddy buys fabric remnants and ribbon and uses that to wrap presents.

Good ideas!

Hugs!

Diane


11/13/2009 04:03 PM
grandmasylvia
grandmasylvia  
Posts: 3031
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Diane...with Picasa 3 it is easy to do collages. You pick the pictures then you can shuffle them around to see different compositions. I am hooked! All the kids will be getting one for Christmas. The only collage has mostly very small pictures,all sizes really with 3 bigger ones here and there. It should make a great puzzle. The collages you can get right away..the puzzles take a few weeks because of the holiday. If I can do it...anybody can do it! I had them sent online to Walgreens. The 8 x 10's are only $3.00. I made two and sort of accidentally combined them and got the great puzzle picture. Sometimes you do best when you don't know what you are doing! John went over to the kids but I am still ill with my IBS so I stayed home. I can usually push myself but I just did not feel up to coming. All I've been able to eat today is crackers and diet 7UP. I stayed in bed most of the day. Every now and then I have to do that. Enjoy! Grandma Sylvia

11/15/2009 05:07 PM
keeter

I like the puzzle idea! How are you feeling today? Everybody got really quiet this weekend! Hope you all aren't feeling badly. I went to lunch with my son and daughter-in-law then we went to Big Lots to shop. Within about 20 minutes I was in so much pain I was ready to cry. I had to go get the keys from them to pay and get to the car. It's that dang flexor area. If I don't exercise it every day the pain gets really bad when I walk. If I DO exercise, my thoghs hurt and wake me up at night. I think I said that before... Well, I hate it! So I'm feeling kind of sorry for myself tonight. Oh, wait, maybe that's because I have to go back to work tomorrow!!

Hugs to you all!

Diane


11/15/2009 07:12 PM
grandmasylvia
grandmasylvia  
Posts: 3031
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Diane...I used to cry sometimes on Sunday night thinking about going to work the next day. It was just so horrible to sit there in pain for nine hours a day. I hope that you don't have to work as long as I did. It is great that you can still walk for 20 minutes. I am much happier now that I use my scooter. Don't hesitate to get one if you need one. It is nothing to be ashamed of....we have a progressive degenerating disease. I hated working those last years as the pain was out of control. It is still out of control but at least I am at home where I have my comforts and I can go lay down anytime that I want to. I did not even get dressed today. We went to my daughter's house last night and played cards with our grandson. He is such a joy. He is 15 but he still likes to spend time with his old grandparents. There house is so full of love and the children are both so exceptional. Our granddaughter Dana made supper..I watched her and told her how to make stuffed peppers..they were great. Later she made chocolate chip cookies...and she is allergic and can't eat them. She showed me a picture of her art hanging at a new cultural center. They choose the work of two students in her school to hang. Another of her many talents. She played her cello pieces and the guitar for us. Her mom told the guitar teacher they would have to take a break due to finances and he said he could not have that and he will work with her for free. She had a broken string on her at home cello (she also keeps one at school) but she still sounded great. She is excited as they have a good viola player in the tiny orchestra this year and they sound better. It will be fun going to the concerts this year. I made another collage last night for Bai Hua for Chrismas. I sent away for a architecture and interior design kit for Dana. She is having her birthday at a place where you make your own scented candles. I am looking for a kit for making your own fragrances for her. I don't know what to get for Bai Hua. She likes to do crafts. Sorry that you have to go to work. I worked from age 16 to 60...Hugs, Grandma Sylvia

11/17/2009 04:57 PM
keeter

Hi Sylvia!

Thanks! You are sweet to make me feel better! I think I'm struggling with the shorter, darker, colder, wetter days... My depression always worsens this time of year. And having all the Dercum's stuff hasn't helped - I'm still trying to get my equilibrium back!

Your grandkids all sound so wonderful! And so talented! You are really blessed!

I am happy I can still get around most days. I need to stop and sit more now than ever before. But I try to plan for that. Trips have to be shorter but I'm still doing a lot of what I always did. Shop! Laughing Just being way more focused now and condensing trips. And buying online. I think the water aerobics is keeping my muscles strong and definitely helps the hip flexor. Too bad it makes my thighs hurt! Now if I can just figure out how to control that. Of course I may only havfe one week left of "my pool" since they said they were going to close it down. I've been fighting it. And a lot of people in the city have expressed their displeasure. I think they have a couple of possibilities. I heaqrd they have a board meeting Thursday so I am hoping and praying there will be a new announcement. So anybody that wants to add "Save Diane's pool!" to your prayersw - I'd appreciate it!

Better get busy on ebay. Trying to do many things at once as usual. And I wonder why I get tired....

Hugs to you!

Diane


11/17/2009 06:00 PM
grandmasylvia
grandmasylvia  
Posts: 3031
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Diane..I am so grateful for my grandchildren. They are what keeps me going. I has stitches taken out from my eye yesterday and still more will need to come out in a week. My eye was sore but I could not stop myself from working on the collages for the kids for Christmas. I get so excited when I get an idea to please them. I am looking for something to give Alex for his new car that he got for his birthday. He won't be old enough to drive until June but he carries the key around. I got my granddog Rocket a book about the "THE DOG PARK"...They take him all the time and he loves the other dogs. I am going to Penney's outlet to look for more stuff. Last year I got an unbelievable deal with rebates on a big heavy duty pan and gave one to each of them. It takes two burners and Leah uses hers almost everyday. I'm getting ready to do a collage of John and I with the kids and grandkids around us. I just tried to surprise John and get the stew made while he was at the store picking up more of my meds. I used to be a great cook! I put the flour and seasoning in a big freezer bag and put the cubed meat in and with the first shake the top opened and the meat went on the floor! I was so shocked. John had complained about those bags not staying sealed only yesterday. I cleaned up the mess and rinsed the meat off and cooked it anyway. It was more or less in a little pile so most of it did not touch the floor. Then John came home and he finished peeling the potatoes. He is always so kind to me. I told him I felt bad that I screwed up cooking and he just quietly reassured me that it was OK. He is the kindest man in the world..really! I just wish I was able to do what I used to. I loved cooking and taking care of my beautiful home. In the wheelchair I can't really clean as well as I used to. My body wants me to just sit with my feet up not using my sore eye. My spirit wants to do collages and cook and clean the house. I will keep my fingers crossed about your pool.Gentle exercise in a hot pool is the only thing that ever really helped me. Just this year it has become too hard for me. Take care...Hugs, Grandma Sylvia
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