Books can help you de-stress the holidays—November 12, 2010
The period between Thanksgiving and January 2nd is often a whirlwind of shopping, school activities, extra church services, company and disrupted schedules. But don’t let all the extra items on the to-do list get the best of you. Prepare now and de-stress your holiday season with tips from books at the Hastings Public Library.
It all starts with cleaning and decorating, so take a look at Donna Smallin’s “Cleaning Plain & Simple”. The author states that her book written “for busy people who want a clean home and a life” which includes all of us in December. Look here for effective and efficient techniques for cleaning your home top to bottom. This is not the time to reorganize the whole house, but sometimes a certain amount of rearranging is necessary to get the tree up and company situated. Consider “Eliminating Chaos” by Laura Leist as a guide for de-cluttering even one area of your home and you may be on the road to less stress causing clutter.
If you want to carry the “it’s not about the stuff” mantra from your house to your heart, check out Nancy Twigg’s “Celebrate Simply : Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions”. In fact, this is probably the first book you should read if you are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of the season ahead.
Family gatherings and holidays often bring to mind special meals and special foods, but the reality is that the day-to-day meal preparation may get left behind as the schedule gets tight. Prepare for the busy days ahead by studying “The Best Make-Ahead Recipe” book by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated. There are chapters that focus on week-night casseroles and oven-ready entrees as well as make-ahead holiday menus. Instructions for adapting many of the recipes to feed a crowd are also included. Another solution to meals in a snap is “Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade 20-Minute Meals”. Lee’s philosophy is to use 70% ready-made foods and 30% fresh ingredients to produce healthy, fast and satisfying meals with no guilt about time to cook.
Finally, now that you have the house under control, the cooking thought through and your priorities straight, you have to make a little time to pamper yourself and de-stress. If this is difficult for you, read Kim Thomas’ “Even God Rested : Why It’s Okay for Women to Slow Down” and let her guide you to new levels of emotional, physical and spiritual rest. On a lighter note, treat yourself to a make-over by reading “The Complete Makeup and Beauty Book” by Leigh Toselli or get ready for holiday parties by checking out “Frumpy to Foxy in 15 Minutes Flat” by Elycia Rubin and Rita Mauceri.
Find ways to make the holiday season merry, bright and enjoyable at the Hastings Public Library.