I absolutely LOVE the holidays! From the moment I see Halloween decorations on the store shelves at Target, I’m ready. I adore everything from the change in temperature and beautiful decorations to the parties, tv specials and of course, the food!
I especially love creating new traditions with friends and family. Every Halloween I make sure I hit up a haunted house, a pumpkin patch and load up on scary movies. For Thanksgiving, I curl up and watch the Macy’s parade with a warm latte before I start cooking the feast and for Christmas, I’m all about baking, parties, making handmade gifts,going to tree lighting events, listening to holiday music in the car and watching every holiday special I can find. Ah, the holidays!
Here are some of my fave tips for making the holidays special no matter your budget, location or traditions!
- If you aren’t able to make it home this holiday, gather up a group of others who can’t make it home and have a potluck dinner. It’s great fun to cook together to create a beautiful meal and enjoy the eclectic menu. Make it an event to look forward to with games, movies or even holiday crafts or even host a “Thanksgiving Throwdown” cooking competition a la Food Network style. Whether you are hosting or going to a dinner, make a full day of celebrating so that no one is feeling lonely. It is also great fun to host a Thanksgiving leftovers brunch so that the food does not go to waste and it is a way to continue the fun with your friends for a lovely holiday weekend.
- Be creative with your menu. If you can’t afford all of the usual holiday fixings, cook up a more affordable menu like pasta, salad and rolls. Or if you’re looking for something different, try a themed dinner. No matter what is served, it’s all about the company ; )
- If you don’t have time to cook, make it a semi-homemade dinner and plan ahead. It’s always smart to cook a few things ahead of time and freeze/refrigerate them until the day of. And for labor intensive parts of the meal, be sure to check your local markets to compare pricing on pre-cooked holiday meals. In addition, if you are invited to a dinner where you know you’re dietary needs will not be met, bring your own meal (which can be ordered as well) along with a dessert or a bottle of wine for your host. Then everybody wins ; )
- Give instead of receive. Volunteer at a local shelter or soup kitchen and help those who are less fortunate. Clear your cupboards of non-perishable food you know you will never make and donate it to a food bank to help feed a needy family this year. Rally your friends to do the same and make a day out of it ; )
- A big tip that tout year round whether it’s the holidays, you’re traveling or just hangin’ at home, it is sticking to your routine. There are so many helpful resources that can help you with everything from menu planning, fitness planning, recipes, etc.
- Be sure to hit up Target to see their awesome selection of cookware, tableware, serveware and decor. Plus, you can get your holiday shopping done early!
- And always make healthy choices!
This post is in association with Target.