Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Three Strategies to Make the Thanksgiving and Christmas Season Easier



The weather's growing cooler, and the leaves are just beginning to turn crimson and gold. The chill in the air makes me feel all homemakery. ~smile~ This is the perfect time to begin preparing for the busy holiday season ahead. For our family, busy usually begins in November. My daughters will have practice for the Christmas musical at church, my sons will have hunting season, my husband will need my help at the restaurant when the buses come in November, and I will be the one making sure everyone does school, gets to jobs and meetings, eats, and has clean clothes to wear. ~smile~
Here are some strategies I have implemented in the past. I hope to get a head start by doing some of these things this month and early next month.

Prepare double batches of soups and casseroles.  I do this on normal evenings as I'm preparing dinner.  It's easy to put the extra in the freezer for a busy day meal.  Just be sure to label it. It's no fun to think you're thawing chili only to find that it's spaghetti sauce!

I'll be sharing favorite soup recipes over the next few weeks to help you.  For now, I think you'll find some lovely soups and stews in this list. An Autumn Mix: Warming Up with Soups and Stews... A List of Favorites

Begin now to prepare cookies for your family often.  I bake a dozen for the family to enjoy now and freeze the rest for busy November and December days.  I often shape the dough into balls for easy thawing and baking right on the cookie sheet.  This is a huge help when unexpected guests pop in during the holidays or you find that you need a treat to take to a gathering.  I've some of my favorites listed on my Recipes page.

Now's the time to gather ideas and make your lists.  Look at all the ideas you've come up with over the last few months.  Start making lists.  Think about what you'd like the next few months to look like and start breaking it all down into steps. Gift lists, event lists, craft lists, cleaning lists, hospitality lists, friends you want to connect with lists, Pinterest lists— you name it, you can make a list for it. ~smile~

Well, I've given you something to think about.  Go, think, scribble a few thoughts down, and try some of my soups.  Have a terrific week!

Laura
Happy at Home
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May I suggest?
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This post was featured at My Flagstaff Home.
My Flagstaff Home

25 comments:

  1. I was laughing at your post. Do we all have to thaw unlabeled spaghetti sauce to find out it's chili before we learn the value/necessity of labeling?

    Nice and helpful ideas!

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  2. I always enjoy your posts so much!! It's still way too hot here for baking :( but maybe I'll make up some gingersnap dough to freeze! I like your new fall background! :)

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  3. I love the time from early September to New Years!!! So exciting to know that God has spared our lives to see this beautiful season once more. He is SO good and so faithful. Thanks for sharing such lovely ideas, Laura. God bless you, sweet friend. :)

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  4. Good ideas!

    I have a friend who cooks everything ahead of time like this. One day a week she cooks and freezes. She has seven kids, though, so it's kind of a must. I should probably cook more ahead of time. It's a good feeling to have things ready just in case.

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  5. You're so sweet, Heather. I love your profile photo. I've been working at our family's restaurant for the last couple days. I'd like to get in the kitchen at home and do some baking.

    I'll be over for a visit in a few minutes, Heather.

    Blessings,
    Laura

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  6. This week will be cool and I'm already anticipating baking and warm cozy meals. Off to check out the soup recipes. Love the new look of your blog. Warm Blessings!~♥Amy

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  7. Thanks Bumblebee.
    Just dropped by your blog.
    Enjoy your swap.
    Laura

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  8. Me too, Cheryl. Me too. Blessings to you as well Cheryl.

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  9. Those are wonderful suggestions! I used to try to double a batch for the freezer, but I've gotten away from it. Part of the trouble is that I have to make a double batch just for our supper! But I can just quadruple it and still do this.

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  10. Great ideas Laura,
    I need to do more freezer meals ahead .. Would really help with the busy holiday Season. Thanksgiving and Christmas always "sneaks" right up on me.lol
    Cookie dough made ahead would be great too. thanks for sharing.

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  11. A fun post and I love your cute country clipart. Have a blessed week and a delightful autumn! :)

    Kaye

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  12. Thanks Kaye. You're showing as a no reply blogger. If you'd like to change that, you can find the way in this post.
    http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com/2015/01/are-you-no-reply-blogger.html
    God bless you,
    Laura Lane
    Harvest Lane Cottage

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  13. It does me, too, Judy. That sneaking is why I need to do something about it now!
    Blessings,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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  14. What a great idea to make the peanut butter balls ahead, too, Judy. Would you share your recipe?

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  15. Great ideas Laura! I love to make more quick bread too. They are easier than cookies, filling, and I just keep them out on the counter for the munchies. Have a great week! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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  16. Laura,

    I ALWAYS feel all warm and cozy when I visit your blog. You have captured the modern day spirit of Little House on the Prairie. :-)

    You are an inspiration to hospitality and homemaking. God has certainly blessed you with this gift.

    As always, I leave your blog feeling lighter and smiling. :-)

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  17. You're so kind, Karen. Tomorrow I have to do a lot of cleaning, because we're having overnight company.

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  18. Congratulations! This post will be featured this week at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

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  19. Thanks so much Jennifer! That's exciting. I am honored.
    Thank you again for the great honor!

    Laura

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  20. Laura, such good, wise advice. I think we all forget to do these simple things that make life easier. Thanks for sharing at Five Star Frou-Frou this week. Love, Mimi xxx

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  21. Helpful tips for the holiday season Everybody should put this out as a reminder come October so they are prepared. Thanks for linking at Christmas in July.

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  22. Oh what a great post. Thanks for sharing it at The Fabulous Fall Party. Great tips to share!
    The party goes all the way until Oct. 30 so come by anytime and link. I'll change the linky every Thursday!
    Party On!

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    Replies
    1. Okie dokie, Lynn. ~grin~ And thank you!

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Hello! I love it when y'all talk back!

I read all the comments I receive. I'm taking a short spring break, so I will have a lot of messages when I get back online. If you would like a reply to your comment, please be sure to leave your email address and ask me for a response. I moderate all comments, so it your comments won't show on the blog until I get back in the swing of things.

Thanks so much for your patience!

It will be good for me to unplug for a bit. Know what I mean?
Be blessed!
Laura