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Let’s face it – the holidays suck us in. Between the Budweiser beer commercials with the Clydesdales and their sleigh bells dashing through the snow, to the classic Christmas specials airing on Thanksgiving night – we get sucked in. And before we know it, we, too, have visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.
And, for a fleeting moment, we convince ourselves that, “This year will be different. I’ll start my shopping early. We’ll have the entire family at our house. I’ll even cook! And this year, darn it, I’m going to enjoy myself, no matter what...”
Then reality sets in.
And we find ourselves caught between what is (too much to do; with too little time) and what we long for (chestnuts roasting on an open fire). So how do we bridge that ever expanding gap??
In a word – SIMPLIFY. Cut corners. Resist perfection.
In our quest to create Martha Stewart-esque gifts/get-togethers/meals for our family, friends, co-workers, teachers, kids’ friends, neighbors, and the butcher, baker and candlestick maker, we loose what’s truly important – the experience. We forget that what is most important to us – and believe it or not, to our family and friends, too – is the simple joy in being together.
We’ve all seen it happen – we’re invited to a party/dinner/family holiday celebration and with the exception of a quick peck on the cheek from the hostess when you arrive, you never actually have a conversation with her. Oh you see her – busily filling wine glasses, taking something out/putting something into the oven, making coffee, washing casserole dishes – but you never actually have the opportunity to stop and really be with her. And on your way home you think, “Gosh, I never even got to talk to Judy tonight.” Or, worse, maybe you are Judy…
The shame of it is that all the stuff we think we MUST do to create perfect holiday memories, is, ironically, the same stuff that ultimately ruins it for us and for those we love. Honestly, no one cares what you serve, how perfectly you tied the bow on their gift, or whether you burned scented or unscented candles. What we all crave is genuine, uninterrupted, in-the-moment time together.
Think about the person/people you are missing most this holiday season. Most likely, you would give anything for just 1 hour, over a simple cup of coffee or tea, to just talk. To smile; and laugh; and truly have that 1 hour all to yourselves…
So keep that vow you made to yourself, and truly make this holiday different. Make it different by what you DON’T do. Instead of having friends for a lavish dinner, invite them for dessert and champagne. Replace the annual ladies luncheon with coffee and cookies. Opt for a Pot-luck Sunday Brunch in lieu of a traditional holiday meal. Show the people who matter most, what matters most – your time and (undistracted) attention. Aunt Mary’s traditional green bean casserole will be replaced by heat-felt memories of true moments spent together.
And for all of us, that’s creating buzz that matters…
About the Author:
Susan “Fabulous” Panzica is the Principal of fabulous fare, a fancy food & beverage company that provides chocolate fountains, decadent pastries, mobile espresso/cappuccino bars and exotic cocktails for special events. “We help create the buzz that matters,” says Susan, “by providing specialty items that are truly exceptional and unique. And the best part is that WE do all the work, giving you time to enjoy your guests.” fabulous fare has received accolades as the go to company for fabulous special events. Ms. “Fabulous” resides in Princeton with her husband, John, their sons Evan and Leo and their two dogs, Louis and Lola.
51 Everett Drive
West Windsor, NJ 08550
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