Holiday Hosting Betty-Style

by Betty on December 8, 2012

Tree made of books

Think back to last December. Can you say that you and your family enjoyed a relaxed, evenly paced, balanced season of traditions, gift-giving and entertaining? If the answer is “no” here are some ideas for a sensible and sustainable December. (This article appeared in Cville Weekly’s ABODE magazine)
*Simplify. What can you take off your list this year? Could you take time off work, delegate, do less, and enjoy? Yes. Think about getting back to the essence of this season.

*Chill out on how the house looks. Put away the disinfectants, polishes, sprays. Replace with a little lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda. Décor can be as simple as pinecones and candles on the mantle. Add some greenery for a fresh scent and you’re good.

*Take some hints from Lisa Quinn, a recovering perfectionist and author of “Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets.” My favorite chapter is 17 Meals Made from Deli Chicken (Organic and cage-free preferred). Whether you have neighbors or houseguests for dinner, who said sustainable couldn’t be simple? Stay locally-food minded by shopping the Farmer’s Market (now the Holiday Market) for local meat options, as well as winter veggies. Take the pressure off by serving buffet style.

*What about involving the guests in the cooking and clean-up. Good conversations always seem to happen while washing and drying, don’t they? As long as your washer doesn’t keep the water running!

*Gift-giving. Expand your ideas of what constitutes a meaningful gift to a loved one. Homemade crafts or foods, gifts of service, or even charitable giving made in the recipients’ name are welcomed over store-bought items. Purchasing gifts from community craft fairs, non-profits, local businesses, artists or craftsman doubles the giving! There are many charitable organizations that offer Christmas gifts for sale (like UNICEF and NPR).

*Hostess gift: No need for anything fancy. A bottle of Virginia wine will do just fine!

Hope that helps!

STAY TUNED FOR MORE HOLIDAY TIPS and a new BLOG FEATURE debuting on Monday, December 10

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