There are lessons to be learned from everything. Here are some of the things I learned this holiday season!
Solar Lights aren't always a good idea. See those little white lights behind the colorful reindeer? When I used them at the lake this summer, they burned brightly all night long. So I thought, "Use solar lights and save some energy and they're kind of pretty." And they are.
But forget about it in Lansing, Michigan in December! At the lake they were getting a good eight hours of sun a day -- intense, right-on-you sun. Here? We're lucky if we get a couple of hours!
Flocked Trees -- Wear an apron when you carry one! This is my happy tree. Do not carry a flocked tree when wearing a black fleecy top. Just don't. Or you'll look like you have the worst case of dandruff ever.
Tote Bags are Your Friend. I know many already know this. But if you store your things in big tubs or boxes in a basement or attic, why cart the whole tub up (or down). Put what you want in totebags and bring them up, handle them and go for another batch. You may make more trips but it will be much better on your back! (This works especially well when putting away and even better if you can leave the stuff in the totes till next year. Not always practical, but sometimes possible!)
Consider Thanksgiving or New Year's cards next year. I only got 12 cards made. I did have some ordered and store-bought and they got out. But really, it would be so much easier to send a Thanksgiving card or one at New Year's. Or even a Valentine!
And, a tip from my friend Lin... You can still bake AFTER Christmas! I felt compelled to make a bunch of cookies for my cookie plates I give away -- and I was glad I did. But it was a stretch. Next year I either need to start early or take Lin's advice. A plate of cookies might be even more appreciated on a cold January day!
Just a few thoughts I hope I remember next year!
Sharing with: Love Your Creativity / All About Home
Solar items require a sunny climate. I've got a lot of solar devices, and am not always successful with them in winter, although we've got plenty of sunny days in winter too.
My winter tree is a flocked tree. I can relate. I need to vacuum myself after I decorate. Smile. And I have done New Years cards before. It is less stressful, and I think people appreciate some happy mail after the holiday is over. The only problem I found with New Years cards is you have to remember to get them mailed when the holiday thoughts are waning. Fun post though Jeanie. Happy new week-hugs-Erika
I had to send New Year's cards last year as I never got to the stamping bench during Christmas. I could start early, but I say that every year!
Yes, solar lights are great but you do need regular sunshine.
I think any time of year can be good for cookies :)
Enjoy your January days.
All the best Jan
I love the idea of Thanksgiving cards or new years. And to bake either early or later.
The tote bag hint is a smart one!!
Baking treats year round--even Christmas cookies--is always a good idea in my book--lol! ;)
Have a sweet week, Jeanie!
Great tips! Janice
Excellent lessons, every one. Curating one's efforts for the holidays sure makes a lot of sense... it's supposed to be fun, right?
And your point about the benefits of carrying things in totes is well worth noting. Totes are awkward to carry, and possibly dangerous, especially on stairs; it's definitely not worth risking a fall or a muscle pull.
Thanks for this thoughtful recap -- hope you're enjoying these first weeks of the new year!
I'm with you on at least two of these ideas. New Year's cards -- which I still have to write. They arrived a week late yesterday, but I will (I must) get them done tomorrow. I also must put away the snowmen decor tomorrow and get the house back from it's toy store look. They're going in shopping bags. Yes, easier on the back. Fingers crossed that I do what I MUST and happy, happy new year!
I've started 2023 holiday designs already.
Maybe it's because I'm a knitter...I love those all-winter cards with the little knittable hats and scarves!
I very much appreciate your lessons learned. The cards and cookies I have had "lessons" about year after year, and I hope this year I can be a good student and act according to the realities. I'm still planning to make cookies, and tomorrow I will mail the last of my "Christmas" cards. The cards are written, but the cookies are still theoretical... your idea of them being appreciated on wintry January days encourages me not to give up on my plan!
I am trying to be a good "student" and learn some of these lessons myself -- tomorrow I will mail the last of my "Christmas" cards, and I hope to make cookies, too. Your idea about them being even more appreciated on a wintry January day encourages me not to give up on my plan!
I have three big solar lights stuck in the ground between the house and the chicken coop and I absolutely marvel at how they still come in at night even here in this dark, cold, sometimes snowy part of the world! Tote bags are a great idea. I’ve also just loaded up a laundry basket ( plastic) to cart the items I want to use from the twelve boxes of Christmas ( that’s if I don’t have a handy dandy son to carry a whole box for me!). -Jenn
great tips, especially the tote bags up and down the stairs. Also I'd take a plate of cookies any week of the year!
Solar lightings are still great regardless. Less work and less harmful for the environment.
Love the lessons you have written out here too.
Maybe cut back a little would be a good lesson!
I wish I live closer to you….than I could enjoy your Christmas cookies 🍀🍀🍀…happy week enjoy the calm januari month 🙏❤️🙏love from je and Leaf ❤️🐾❤️
Great ideas and tips. I am taking the attitude less is best, no worries about cards and baking. Take care, have a great week ahead.
Most people have a vast surplus of tote bags, because so many organizations have them as fund raisers or giveaways to promote their logos, and there are so many irresistible beautifully made artistic bags as well. So finding a use for them is great — I hope you can store stuff in them! And that others will take your suggestion. The only other approach I’ve seen was a food pantry that collected them and gave them away as carriers for the groceries they supplied — also good.
best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com
I want some cookies.
When we used to drive to Fl..we packed in large tote bags:) Don't we have so many by now though?Wow,,and sometimes I walk into a store without..here they charge for bags if you forget one..and nowhere do they just give you a bag..In HomeGoods (different name here)etc..whatever you buy..Do you need a bag?
Knowing that the Christmas season extends through Epiphany is great. The Twelve Days of Christmas allow for mor relaxed card sending and cookie sharing -- and it's still part of the season!
I use solar lights by the porch year round. Of course Florida doesn't lack sun most days. Recently we had a gray day like up north - a front brought a day of cold rain and grayness. That night you could barely see the lights. That's a first for me and happily they worked the next night after a sunny day.
Good tips - we learn the hard way, don't we?
Thanks for the tips, especially about the flocked tree. I loved them, and we are trying to find one to purchase now for next year.
Thank God I don't have a basement. My house is single story. You made those cookies? They look so mouth watering.
Your cards and cookies would be welcome anytime of the year! Always wondered about those solar lights. Now I know. Thanks.
Great lessons learned. I find that I bake more at Christmas time, but I enjoy baking any time of the year.
Great tips Jeanie. I often was wearing a black top and decorating our tree or and found some flocking sticking. Solar lights are not our cup of tea. LED low voltage is what we use. I light brightness. We all are constantly learning, which is a good thing.
Well I learned it's good to have a therapist on speed dial (i.e. email). Is that bad that that is my first thought about what I learned from the holidays? Eeks.
That personal issue aside, we did have a really nice holiday and I feel like we are hitting the peak years of Christmas with Paul at his age! So I don't want it to sound like it was a bad holiday. It was excellent with the exception of that one situation!
Very good suggestions. Could you tell me where the cookies are? :)
I definitely like holiday cards all year round.
That is wonderful that you made a list of the things you learnt.. so helpful.
I love that tree, that is a happy tree. Bought peanut butter so may make some cookies with it!!
Great ideas! I especially like baking after Christmas for some of those cookies. I kept some of my cookies unbaked in the refrigerator and just finished baking them yesterday. They felt more like a treat than being over-whelmed before Christmas with so many sweets. As far as cards are concerned I do them before Thanksgiving; so I can just enjoy December. Happy New Year, dear friend!
Thoughtful and helpful hints! …charming post…Happy 2023! xo, V.
I use a large Ikea bag to carry my decorations to and from the basement. Also a flocked tree is messy. I wear an apron also. Nice tips Jeanie. Happy New Year.
Hello! I'm visiting via 'The Frog and the PenguINN' page. Trying to be more active this year with my own so thought I'd reach out to a few fellow bloggers and say hi. Hope that's ok!
We didn't have a flocked tree, but for the first time put up flocked swags on our china cabinet. (Artificial/store bought) While beautiful when finished, that stuff was everywhere!!
I'm a card maker, too, but a totally different style. Haven't made any in some time, but want to get back to it. Yours are lovely and so festive. That's a good idea to send something other than for Christmas to take the pressure off. I think the recipients would be thrilled.
A nice whimsical sort of post.
I also learned something new this morning when I typed the word, aslumber. Spellcheck didn't like it, and still doesn’t. Of course it is a word, but I did have it wrong. I thought it meant asleep or still asleep. Instead it means more like not asleep or not yet asleep.
We're always learning and adapting, aren't we? Hope you have a restful January after all that work in December!
I feel so special to have received one of your special cards, thank you Jeanie! Love the tote tip, I have a sturdy basket I use for bringing things in and out from my garage, so much easier when you have a handle to hold rather that a cumbersome box! I like your idea about cookies in January too, much more appreciated and enjoyed when they are unexpected! Stay cozy up there Jeanie!
I was talking to my son the other day about this treat I make at Christmas time, its called Christmas Cracker, crackers, butter and brown sugar and choc chips....why only at Christmas, I think cause of the name. LOL....funny how certain things get in our heads and sometimes it is just hard to change that! What did I learn the last couple months and it had NOTHING to do with the holidays.........I LOVE MY SUV! I love my brother for giving me his truck to drive while mine was in the shop, but I MISSED MY TRUCK! lol
I've never had a flocked tree, but I think they're pretty. Your cookies look tasty. I never did make a pie this year, and I'm thinking pecan pie would taste just as good now :)
Good suggestions! I must admit I have given up on mailed cards entirely. I figure everybody's on Facebook now, so I'm in touch with them that way!
I do love the look of flock trees, but have never had one. I remember my sister-in-law used to get one every Christmas. I am wondering if it dulls the smell of a real pine tree? Too bad you only got 12 cards made, but they sure are cute ones. I especially like the SNOWMAN! Those cookie plates are delightful to give as gifts. Your cookies look so Yummy, Jeanie. Wish I had one to go with my coffee this morning. Well, your "things I learned this holiday season" post was delightful, and I guess we just live and learn, don't we?
Until I saw a recent Netflix film, I really didn’t know that frocked was the term used for the faux snow on trees, Jeanie, and we have never had one and no plans in future for one. Our artificial tree did shed needles, but no pine smell (drat). The tote bag plan is great for multi level dwellings, which thankfully we are not, but I use them for everything regardless. As others have said, cookie baking is good anytime. I did more than expected this holiday and despite giving many away we still have a few remaining. I do send so e Thanksgiving cards, but not as many in recent years.
Have a great day.
I understand all about solar lights. They work great herein AZ… but I have some problems with them in Pennsylvania. I so enjoy sending Happy New Year cards. And I also can send a thank you note along with them if there were Christmas gifts involved.
And I have a hard time with a regular tree losing needles all over me… a flocked tree would be unbelievable. But yours was so pretty… and so we’re your lights! I loved your tote bag idea!
Enjoy your week my friend!
Ingo just said yesterday he considers retiring early.
I - even I join the idea - have 8 more years to go and I need time for the things I want to apart from work!
On the other hand.. it was a tough but FUN working day today.
I don´t know what I want, so I enjoy reading along your adventures :-)
We are always learning, aren’t we?
You posted a picture of your snowman cakes and I thought they looked so cute and Christmassy. But you are right, you don't have to do all the baking at once. Every year we consider changing our little Christmas tree. It's very old and the branches are fibre optic and change colour It's now starting to shed its (plastic) needles rather a lot. I really feel when an artificial tree starts doing that, it's time to change!!! Yes, I love how cosy it looks sitting there quietly changing colours, and warm colours, too, not the colder ones of LEDs. So it's gone back in its box for next year!
Love your thoughts on this Jeanie. I think we all try to pack as much into a few days as we can. How much better it would be to spread it out and let it linger slightly into the New Year. After Christmas is always such a letdown. Spreading it out would be so much better! xoxo
Ha this post was so fun! And I like the idea of gifting friends cookies after the holidays!
I agree about cookies. We just finished ours and I told my husband how much I missed them. Cookies...they are welcomed anytime.
Those are excellent tips. Thanks for sharing the words of wisdom.
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