My FOX 19 segment - Nov 27
Bringing back the JOY of the Holidays
As a busy mom, it is so easy to dread the holiday season. You are more stressed than ever, have more things to get done than ever, and live in fear of “not finding the right toy” or “not having enough money.” I can truly remember the JOY of the holiday season. The days way back when, when we used to go visit a different aunt and uncle on random weekday nights to see their tree. These nights were simple and no invitation was needed - we simply sat down over tea, coffee and talked over their homemade Christmas cookies. Then there were the evening drives around neighborhoods to see the lights and so on. It shouldn’t be that hard to bring back the holiday spirit in today’s busy society, here are a few of the ways I have found the ability to do this.
1. Traditions, traditions, traditions – make sure you take time to start your own family traditions around the holiday season. Cincinnati has so many easy ones to do
a. Festival of lights at the Zoo
b. Duke energy train display
c. Trains, trestles and tradition show at Krohn conservatory
d. North Pole express at Lebanon railway
e. Holiday in Lights – Sharon woods park
2. Entertain at home – I am sure you are thinking this is the last thing you want to do, but nothing is better than welcoming friends in your home during the holidays. From a simple dinner gathering of close friends, to hosting your work colleagues, to throwing a large brunch for friends and family, this truly shows the spirit of friendship and giving. Here are my suggestions for “easier” meals or events to do
a. Brunch- this is a very easy meal to make and all the prep can be done that morning. By 2pm you’re done. We host a brunch for 80+ people and do all the cooking ourselves
b. Dinner party –Italian is always easy and not too expensive – you can do Baked Ziti, Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan. Add some Bruschetta for an appetizer, a nice salad and garlic bread and you have a great meal.
c. Dessert and Coffee – invite the neighbors over for a late evening gathering. Make your favorite cookies, throw in a Mrs. Smith’s pie and with a good pot of coffee you are good to go.
3. Volunteer – Nothing shows the holiday spirit more than giving to others. There are many ways you can do this
a. Make a meal and donate it to the drop in center or any other non-profit organization
b. Adopt a family or give to your “giving tree” at church or another organization
c. Wrap gifts or prepare food baskets at any of the United Way organizations that help in this way for the holidays
4. Smile more – Nothing is more depressing than to be around a bunch of scrooges in the month of December. The stress really brings out the worse in people. So try to remember this and smile more. It is proven to make you live longer and never is it more needed and helps reduce more stress than the holiday season