If part of your weekend plans includes trying to figure out what to buy your friends and loved ones for the holidays, you’re not alone.
According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 4 percent of shoppers are waiting until the last two weekends before Christmas to shop.
Like many people who’ve had a home for long time, there isn’t much we need and many things we would like (such as wonderful Bucket List trips) are out of financial range for people we know.
Shortly before my mother passed away, she began giving us the ultimate gifts that were much more appreciated than anything she could have ever bought: Antiques and family heirlooms.
Sometimes, I think I love all of the decorating and parties leading up to Christmas more than I do the holiday itself, especially as I've gotten older and we’ve lost so many we used to celebrate with.
This past weekend was all about the traditions my husband and I have built during our 27 years of marriage.
When I was a kid, we put our décor up around my birthday, towards the middle of the month. I think that tradition was a holdover from my mother’s German heritage, as her family didn't decorate until the 24th. Our tree usually came down on New Year’s Day or the day I returned to school.
Dale’s family, on the other hand, always decorated Thanksgiving weekend. His step-mom was typically ready to take down her tree the moment we left their house on Christmas Day.
I have friends who love the holidays but don’t decorate their homes because they say their houses are too small and there isn't enough room.
If we can decorate for the holidays in 480-square feet, then you can too. The trick is not making it look overdone or cluttered.
Here are some tips I've learned over the years:
Our local natural food store was stocked up on so much fresh produce this week that I had to stop myself from shopping, it all looked so good.
When a neighbor asked what I bought, my husband interjected, “What didn't she buy!”
I've heard a lot of people talking about how they wash their fresh produce lately. I admit, I've been tempted to purchase some of those pre-mixed produce washes in the grocery store, but is that really necessary?
I really didn't start thinking about bacteria on produce until the outbreak that involved cantaloupe a while back.
At that point, I started washing everything before cutting into it, even if we didn't plan on eating the skin.
But, am I getting everything really as clean as it needs to be?
I went to some trusted sources for the answers, including university researchers and the FDA.