12 Easy Ways to Make Christmas Gatherings More Enjoyable

Christmas time is here and its coming up in a few days. I am sure by now you have finished your shopping and figuring out what to do. Here are ways to make your Christmas gatherings a fun and enjoyable one where you do not have to spend a lot of your time in the kitchen. Spend more time with your loved ones instead of being on your feet the whole time. You need to enjoy it too and not just do all the work. A helping hand does go a long way. When others ask to help you or takes the initiative, let them.

Here are the 12 Easy ways:

1. When you know you are having a big gathering at your home and invited people over, the most important thing is to do the baking and dessert’s a day or 2 before. Nothing will go wrong with it. If it needs to go in the fridge or freezer nothing will happen to it. Don’t leave to the day of.

2. The day before, set the table, cutlery, napkins, plates and add centrepieces to your table, but not too big so your food dishes can fit on the table.

3. Don’t go over crazy to cook so many different things. 4-5 different things for dinner is good enough. If you serve chicken, turkey, roast, pork chops, ham. Go with one or 2 of them from the meat list, and then choose salad and rice or whatever you want to make or whatever is part of your Christmas tradition. Plus if you want to make gravy. Cook all of this stuff except if you are making salad or rice. That can be cooked and prepared before the guests start arriving and then have all the other food cooked from the morning. It can be heated up after for 10 to 15 minutes, then you take to your table and voila. — Don’t go over the top. Chances are you will eat left overs for the next week or so. Don’t want that.

4. Putting chips, assortment of nuts(If no one is allergic), salsa, nachos, guacamole, dips, veggie platters, finger foods in the beginning will get your guests full. People will over indulge, so its not a good idea to put so many things out in the beginning. Don’t spend too much time with putting these before the hard work you went through cooking all that food for dinner. Take them out after dinner along with dessert.

5. When others bring something when it comes to food, dessert, a bottle of wine or something like a gift, It is customary and proper etiquette to open and serve them too. Unless, they advise you otherwise, then its ok to keep it for yourself to open privately, but again open whatever is brought to you and in front of the people who brought them. It makes them feel good to see your reaction.

6. have coffee/tea ready — before just add the water to the machines and measure extra water and coffee grinds on the side in case you need to make more and then just go back and press the button and then continue on entertaining your guests and spend time with them until it is done.

7. Clearing plates and everything for dinner is great, but end it there. Don’t start washing and sorting, drying and all that. It takes a lot of quality time away from your loved ones. If they want to help, that is fine. I am sure they won’t let you clear away the table all on your own. They will help with everything and bring it to the kitchen and everything else will be dealt with after.

8. When you have a lot of people, disposable cutlery and plates are the way to go. If you have more than 10 to 15 people or more, its a good idea. You don’t have to spend time washing dishes.

9. Plan the Christmas week.. Plan a day to do your grocery shopping, and then make sure you have all the ingredients needed to make it. Sometimes getting extra ingredients are better in case something goes wrong which it can in some cases. Never leave anything to the last day.

10. Be efficient and organized as well as making sure the house is clean, the kitchen and all that.

11. ***Always monitor how many drinks your guests have. Don’t let them drink and then drive later. Make sure to call taxis if need be or allow your guests that are impaired to sleep over and go home the next day or if they come with another person who has not had anything to drink, they should be the designated driver. It is your responsibility if they drink and drive because they are driving from your home. Be the elephant in the room and don’t permit them to go. Police have RIDE Spot checks out more during the holidays and don’t put yourself or others lives in danger on the roads because of a careless wrong doing***

12. breathe and don’t be stressed out. Christmas gatherings should be fun and enjoyable as it can be. Don’t panic if some things go wrong. It will be a memory you will laugh about as the years go by.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a blessed, happy and healthy New year of 2018!

Missing Jay Leno & His Headlines

There was a show that I used to enjoy and watch almost every night before going to bed and it was The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I remember when he used to share Headlines everyday and the headlines were about errors in newspapers whether its a spelling issue, or a “You Had One Job” type of error and advertising that were absolutely hilarious. I used to enjoy watching it with my family and friends.

I really miss it a lot. Now that Jimmy Fallon has taken over, I was hoping that he would bring the headlines to his show with of course getting permission from Jay Leno and the show broadcaster from it. I have sent Jimmy Fallon and the crew many e-mails about getting the headlines back into The Tonight Show, but no response. I guess with all the e-mails and messages they receive on social media per day, It tends to get lost and probably never even read it yet.

I Miss Jay Leno a lot. I love Jimmy Fallon too. I just wish he could bring some of what Jay Leno’s show did to his production. I know that wouldn’t be right to take things off from another show that was there, but they should continue the tradition. Headlines was my absolute favourite and it was done in such a way, that I just laughed my head off.

I just miss it. Did you enjoy headlines too?

My Ultimate Christmas Movies List – What is yours?

The Christmas Holiday’s are coming up. Almost a month until Christmas.
My top Favourite Christmas Movies List.
Old and New — Not in Any Particular order.
Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Elf, Miracle on 34th St, Four Christmases, Santa Clause, Santa Clause 2, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Griswolds), A Christmas Story, Bad Santa, Jingle All the way, Dr Suess How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Scrooged, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Jack Frost, Christmas with the Kranks, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Fred Claus, Arthur Christmas, Santa Clause 3, Surviving Christmas, Christmas Consultant, Prancer, The Family Stone, All I want For Christmas, The Perfect Holiday, The Nativity Story, and the Holiday.
What are your favourite Christmas movies?
Is it part of your tradition to watch Christmas movies every year getting toward the Holiday’s?

It is Almost Time Again For Christmas Movies on TV

I know you are probably thinking, why I am bringing up Christmas 2 months before and it is early to even think about it, but with the time going by so quickly, it will be here before you know it, However It is that time again where Halloween is almost here, and the day after Halloween, is when all the Christmas Commercials, and Movies that are shown on Television right until New Years. 2014 has just zoomed on by. it was just like yesterday we were celebrating the New Year and Christmas, and now it is almost here again. Christmas movies have been a tradition for me annually.

There are many Christmas movies out there, however some just stand out more than others, and I really enjoy Watching Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, Griswold’s National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Four Christmas’s, Miracle on 34th St, Santa Clause, Santa Clause 2, Jingle All the way, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Jack Frost.

The most I watch though is Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.

I love watching these movies, I make myself a hot beverage, cover up with a warm blanket in the cold winter months, and I just enjoy myself. No matter how many times I watch them, it feels like I am watching them for the first time. I just do not like the commercials that interrupt the movie.

Some movies you can watch over and over again, but some movies once is more than enough, however these classic movies will never go out of style and will certainly never get old. I cannot wait until they appear on television once again and where I can continue my tradition as always. I sometimes watch it by myself, with family and friends as well. I am quite excited for it all. I have fun either way.

The only thing I do not like is the Cold Winter months and the snow, but everything else is great. 🙂 Do you watch Christmas movies? Do you have traditions that you follow or at least try to follow annually? Would love to hear from you. 🙂 Well, have a great time and fabulous upcoming Holiday Season.

 

Merry Armenian Christmas — Orthodox Christmas

Armenia

Armenians celebrate Christmas (surb tsnunt, Սուրբ Ծնունդ, meaning “saint birth”) on January 6 as a public holiday in Armenia. It also coincides with the Epiphany. Traditionally, Armenians fast during the week leading up to Christmas. Devout Armenians may even refrain from food for the three days leading up to the Christmas Eve, in order to receive the Eucharist on a “pure” stomach. Christmas Eve is particularly rich in traditions. Families gather for the Christmas Eve dinner (khetum, Խթում), which generally consists of: rice, fish, nevik (նուիկ, a vegetable dish of green chard and chick peas), and yogurt/wheat soup (tanabur, թանապուր). Dessert includes dried fruits and nuts, including rojik, which consists of whole shelled walnuts threaded on a string and encased in grape jelly, bastukh (a paper-like confection of grape jelly, cornstarch, and flour), etc. This lighter menu is designed to ease the stomach off the week-long fast and prepare it for the rather more substantial Christmas Day dinner. Children take presents of fruits, nuts, and other candies to older relatives.

It is frequently asked as to why Armenians do not celebrate Christmas on December 25 with the rest of the world. Obviously, the exact date of Christ’s birth has not been historically established—it is not recorded in the Gospels. However, historically, all Christian churches celebrated Christ’s birth on January 6 until the fourth century. According to Roman Catholic sources, the date was changed from January 6 to December 25 in order to override a pagan feast dedicated to the birth of the Sun which was celebrated on December 25. At the time Christians used to continue their observance of these pagan festivities. In order to undermine and subdue this pagan practice, the church hierarchy designated December 25 as the official date of Christmas and January 6 as the feast of Epiphany. However, Armenia was not affected by this change for the simple fact that there were no such pagan practices in Armenia, on that date, and the fact that the Armenian Church was not a satellite of the Roman Church. Thus, remaining faithful to the traditions of their forefathers, Armenians have continued to celebrate Christmas on January 6 until today.[42]

In addition to the Christmas tree (tonatsar, Տօնածառ), Armenians (particularly in the Middle East) also erect the Nativity scene. Christmas in the Armenian tradition is a purely religious affair. Santa Claus does not visit the nice Armenian children on Christmas, but rather on New Year’s Eve. The idea of Santa Claus existed before the Soviet Union and he was named kaghand papik (Կաղանդ Պապիկ), but the Soviet Union had a great impact even on Santa Claus. Now he goes by the more secular name of Grandfather Winter (dzmerr papik, Ձմեռ Պապիկ).

CREDITS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_worldwide

How Electricity Plays a Huge Role In Our Lives

As you may or may not have heard in the news in last few days, Toronto, Canada and areas outside of Toronto was hit with a crazy  Ice Storm, that left the city and a lot of areas without power, knocking down tree branches on wires that connect transformers for power. As much as over 360,000 customers or more were without electricity and it can take anywhere around 72 hours and as much as a week to restore power in some areas. This Ice storm is known to be one of the worst weather disasters in history for the city of Toronto and areas. For the past 24-48 and even more hours have been left without power and all the food in peoples freezers and refrigerators have become spoiled and whoever started with their Christmas Dinner preparations, I am so sorry that they are going through all that and I surely hope that those peoples dinner plans will not spoil and that they will be able to salvage the food for their Christmas Gatherings in their homes.

It is times like this where people really think about how essential, important and how valuable electricity is to all of us.

I am so Thankful to the Hydro Electrical workers of Toronto and areas for working around the clock, and taking time out of their Christmas vacations that they had planned with their families to ensure that everyone gets power back into their homes as quickly as possible, so that others can have a Christmas, so that others can have electricity back. Whatever the cost of a hydro maybe every month, I can say it is well worth it, because some people do not realize that electricity is one of the most important things and which make life easy for us all with basic things like doing Laundry, cooking, listening to music, which keep our phones charged, which keeps our computers turned on, that heat up our water supply, which keeps our lights on, heats the house and so much more.

Let us take this time to really appreciate, and keep with the Christmas spirit and always be grateful for what we have and lets be thankful to the Hydro workers who are working extra hard to get everything going again. Reach out to those and lets help each other get back up on our feet. God bless and I hope everyone gets power soon. My prayers, thoughts are with those effected by this Ice Storm.

My Christmas Movie Favorites

For the past month or two, we may or may not have seen all the classic Christmas movies that have been airing on television and some of the Christmas movies stand out for me and are tradition for me to watch annually, and I never miss watching them. I enjoy watching them with having some popcorn, drinking hot chocolate, putting a blanket on me, and enjoying them with family and friends. These movies are wonderfully and tastefully done and I really enjoy them. Here are my favorite Christmas movie’s in no particular order.

1. Home Alone

2. Home Alone 2 Lost in New York

3. Santa Clause 1 and 2

4. Jack Frost

5. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

6. Four Christmases

7. Jingle All the Way

8. Miracle on 34th St

9. Christmas with the Cranks

10. Elf

11. Frosty the Snowman

12. How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

13. A Charlie Brown Christmas

14. The Muppet Christmas Carol

What are your favorite Christmas movies? What is your Christmas Movie tradition?

Would love to hear from you. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014.