Cheap Gifts: Tasty Treats for the Holidays

The holidays are coming up and you want to give gifts to your friends. The problem is, gifts can get expensive really fast! If you’re already gettings gifts for your parents, 2-3 close friends, grandparents, a couple of siblings, maybe a significant other, then your budget may already be stretched thin. What are you supposed to do for the other people you might want to give gifts to? People like neighbors, work friends, not-so-close family friends who you know you’ll see at that annual holiday party and who you also know will give you something. If you’re also new to living on your own, there’s an expectation that you’ll start giving out more gifts and, chances are, you want to meet those expectations. An easy way to do this is to give food gifts!

Last year’s baked goodies – cranberry almond biscotti dipped in chocolate with silver sprinkles (the sprinkles were left over from a cookie decorating party) and Oreo truffles dipped in chocolate (with leftover sparkle sprinkles)
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Happy Thanksgiving: Quick Advice on Surviving Difficult Relatives and Being Grateful

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends!

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday in the entire year. It is all about food, family, and gratitude. What’s not to love? There are no cards and no gifts…just eating, spending time with people you love/like, and gratitude. 

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Practical Gift Giving Advice

Here where I live, the first snow has fallen, Thanksgiving is a week from today, and I have started planning what to give my loved ones for Christmas this year. When I first started giving out gifts back in my early 20s, my go-to gift was a gift card. Over the years though, my gift giving style has evolved into trying to give gifts of time, gifts of donations, and gifts that get used up. These types of gifts are generally well appreciated because they show thoughtfulness and they don’t have to be stored. If you are used to picking out Amazon, Starbucks, and iTunes gift cards as your standard gifts, then consider giving a little more of your time and giving a more personalized gift. Sometimes, the more personalized gifts can be just as easy as a gift card and they’ll make you look like the awesome, gift-giving, thoughtful person you are.  Continue reading

Practical Advice for Talking to People at Parties…by an Introvert for Introverts

Over the next couple of months, there’s a good chance you have some holiday functions coming up. On my end, I have at least 4 work-related functions (both my own and my husband’s), extra church events, at least 3 friends’ holiday parties, and a lot of extra family time between now and New Year’s. That is A LOT of talking to people…a lot of talking to people I don’t know or rarely see. As an introvert, all that talking to people can be challenging. Having to talk to people at parties doesn’t just happen during the holidays – there are events all year long. The holidays are just concentrated. So, what are you to do? Thankfully for all of us introverts (and maybe some extroverts), there are some tips for talking to people at parties. Continue reading

Make More Merry This Holiday Season! 2 Guidelines to Make the Holidays Easier and Less Stressful

Welcome to November, my dear readers! The holiday season here in the US officially kicked off yesterday with Halloween and now we’re off for another holiday season! There is so much joy to be had celebrating the holidays with family, friends, and food. Between Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, New Year’s and several more, there is a LOT going on! And, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to get swept up into everything, stressed out, burned out, and desperately counting the days to January 1 when you can start recovering. Just like with everything else in life, getting through the holidays is a skill that anyone can acquire – it just takes some practice. There are 2 main tricks I’ve learned that make everything go much easier:

  1. Guard your mental health
  2. Plan ahead

If this is your first year planning ahead, then good for you for getting started! This year might be a bit rocky as you figure it out, but it gets easier every year. I can’t promise that your holidays will be stress-free (because I don’t think that’s possible), but hopefully by sticking to these 2 tricks, your holiday season will go much smoother.  Continue reading