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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holidays by Margot Justes

It seems strange that with the struggling economy our Costco was packed by nine thirty this morning, but maybe not so strange, maybe we've realized what is important-family and friends- and that you don't have to spend a bloody fortune to make someone's day.

A bit of thoughtfulness goes a long way. Let's say you have a friend who loves Ghirardelli chocolate and glass, two stops will give you the perfect gift and you haven't spent a fortune.

Costco sells a big bag of assorted Ghirardelli chocolates, of course it's oversized, it is Costco after all.

Home Goods sells beautiful Italian glass, there is plenty of stuff made in China, but if you take a bit of time to look around the store you will find lovely Italian pieces.

A perfect delicious gift that will be appreciated immediately and remembered long after the holidays are over. Just a bit of thought goes a long way.

I have friends who love my poppy seed cake, this year they will get the cake and a rectangular glass tray that will fit the cake. I'm very partial to glass too.

Simplification is good, making life easier and less stressful is good, but it shouldn't mean sacrificing a bit of the holiday spirit, a bit of the kindness, a bit of that extra effort that we seem to extend to others.

Wouldn't it be nice if that holiday spirit continued throughout the year.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris
www.mjustes.com

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Season by Margot Justes



During the holiday season there doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything, and every year the pressure mounts to do more, shop more, plan more activities until there isn't enough time to take a breath. By the time the holidays arrive, we're too exhausted to enjoy.

This year I decided to simplify my life and really enjoy the season. I'll still have my holiday party but only for family and really close friends. Most of it will be catered by Giacomo's, a wonderful Italian restaurant in Des Plaines. The food is delicious and tastes as if home made, and prices are very reasonable.

The decorations will still go up, but fewer little ornaments all over the place, lights will make up the difference. I'll still bake most of the standard family favorites, but will shop at Costco for a few of their seasonal delights. Love Costco!

Made reservations for tea at the Drake Hotel and a short hop to visit old friends at the Art Institute. My favorite holiday tradition and one I plan to keep.

I'm all set with presents for the munchkins, my daughter bless her heart, did all the shopping on-line and I just wrote a check. This way I know they will love what they get and it made it very easy for me. I'm all in favor of that ...

So far, it's been less hectic and I actually have written a few words here and there.
I even appreciate a bit of rain-like today, it's lovely, a perfect fall day

I wonder how others are handling the holiday season.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris
www.mjustes.com