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'Tis the Season: 10 Ways to Make Your Holidays Merrier

Dorothy Rowley | 12/4/2013, 6:31 p.m.
Here are some of tips to help make your holiday season go smoothly and be more meaningful.

With the holiday season in full swing, I like to plan wise when it comes to shopping, cooking and ensuring the comfort of my overnight guests.

Since I’ve become a connoisseur of sorts in all three areas, I’d like to share some of my tips to help make your season go smoothly and be more meaningful:

  1. When choosing gifts, really give thought to the person you have in mind. For example, if your best friend likes to read, think about that book they've mentioned in casual conversation but has no idea you’d ever surprise them with.
  2. If you’re selecting a gift for a mature person such as an elderly grandmother, forget the trinkets and drug store perfumes. Think practical, like a large-button cell phone or an attractive sweater in her favorite color that would be wonderful for winter.
  3. Your single grown daughter or son might appreciate an electric blanket or throw to ward off the chills once they turn in for the night.
  4. If you’re having overnight guests, make them feel at home. The guest bedroom will seem more inviting with a good but cozy reading light, a handful of great magazines, seasonally scented candles and a nice bedside stand with a pitcher of water and cup, as well as a little note on how to access your home’s Wi-Fi.
  5. When setting the holiday table, add a little flair with lighted candles, a bottle of Moscato wine and miniature poinsettias that serve as centerpieces.
  6. Adorn your year-round green plants with cutesy red bows.
  7. If sending Christmas cards, make them more personal by adding “Dear [Jane]” to the inside greeting message — and always sign your name. As for pre-printed signatures? Bah, humbug!
  8. Make your holiday baking treats works of art: try a key lime cake (green batter) with cream cheese icing and cherries on top, or a bundt cake with red, white and green batter topped with green and white whipped cream frosting.
  9. For sausage balls that will be a hit at the office Christmas party, mix hot and zesty sausage with a little flour and cheddar cheese.
  10. Aim to be cheerful and giving this entire holiday season. It’s very catching!