Thursday, December 18, 2008

Things are finally coming together . . .

. . . and I'm so relieved! I normally put so very much pressure on myself at the holidays to make everything look and taste perfect! I think that's why this year from Thanksgiving until late last week I have been in such a terrible funk, and not gotten ANYTHING done that I normally do except decorating the 2 trees and online shopping - PTL for free shipping is all I've got to say!

I've decided this year I'm not doing my pre-Christmas stressing out major cleaning - it can wait for sunnier, warmer days of spring. My house will be clean, just not sparkling, spotless (windows and carpet done) clean!

Also, our minimal entertaining will be easy peasy stuff. Our friends who are coming on Sat. night are getting homemade chili, chips, salsa, cheese dip, jalaeno cornbread and assorted cookies for dessert. Tish is bringing a salad. Having easy to prepare (and eat) foods means we'll be ble to talk and maybe even play some games. Hubby and I just LOVE Apples to Apples, and another favorite is Imaginiff.

Anyway, so last Friday when I had to be out of the house for hubby to wrap my gifts (see my other BLOG), I went out and bought my dad's and the girls Christmas gifts. And yes, our two little doxie girls get presents, usually treats and a toy, but this year it was a doozie!

They really, desperately needed new beds, so when I got to Discover Mills and saw there was a Ross store there, I high-tailed it over to the doggie bedding section - usually there's only 2 or 3 things - to find a treasure trove of doggie beds! These two, fleece inside and out, with a cute little paw appliqued on the center, were only $5.99 each!!! Do you believe it? So once I picked out their matching beds, I went over to bedding for humans and found these two ivory fleece throws for only $4.99 each! So, including tax for $23 and some change, the girls have new, warm, cozy beds for Christmas! BTW - that's Bessie up top, Bailey is burrowed down into her blankets in the bottom bed.

Just FYI, if you aren't familiar with Doxies, they are cold natured because of their short hair, but they are also burrowers - they were actually bred to burrow underground to catch burrowing animals. So they like a nice warm bed and covers they can wrap themselves up in - just like us, right?

Okay, enough about the girls and on to more decoratng! As I said, we have friends coming over for dinner on Sat. night, and we're eating casual which means probably eating in the kitchen, so I wanted to decorate the dining table. But I didn't want the same old thing I've had there for the last few years. And definitely don't have the budget to buy all new stuff this year, so I decided to 're-purpose' what I already had!

I remembered these two red glass hurricanes that I haven't used for several years were in top of the guest room closet, so I grabbed them and washed them (dusty, dusty) and then got the big clear hurricane from the bottom of the same closet (washed it, too) and started playing around with them and some other treasures. Here's the end product.

The red hurricanes were taller than the clear one, so I took some of my collection of Christmas decorating and cooking books and stacked them, with the clear hurricane on top. Put a few treasured Santas around and added some pine cones. I'm hoping this weekend I can get a few pine or spruce sprigs to tuck in there for some green among the cones.

The long view.

The top of the china cabinet, showing our Christmas dishes. Okay, okay, they are mine - hubby couldn't care less what he eats off of like most men! I got them at Target a few years ago, and they are by Christopher Radko. I've also got the soup bowls and large coffee mugs, as well as 2 serving bowls, cream and sugar, salt and pepper, gravy boat and butter dish. (sorry for all the glare and reflections - its hard to take a picture of something with a mirrored back, lol!)

And this, in the center of the china cabinet is my treasured punch bowl. It belonged to my paternal grandmother, and I got it along with at least a dozen cups and a glass ladle. I saw one identcal at the old Lakewood Antique Market in Atlanta a few years ago (except it had the large platter underneath) for over $350!!!

Well, back to work - I've still got a lot to do to get everything spiffed up today. Tomorrow I'll go to buy all the Christmas groceries and do the prep for Sat. night (including making the chili ahead), and Saturday I'll have an easy day. So I won't be stressed out when the company gets here. Maybe that's when I'll get the gift wrapping done.

Once again, determine what's most important about this wonderful holiday, and concentrate on that. Let all the stuff that stresses you out go by the wayside or be reduced to a manageable level. You'll enjoy yourself so much more, and you'll actually have more special memories because you'll be paticipating rather than working the whole time! Blessings friends, Becky

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