Christmas Dinner Made More Festive

Written by Susan Dunn, MA, Personal Life Coach

“But Susan,” you say, “Why would I be worried about making Christmas dinner more 'festive'? It's a family tradition my kids are sick on Christmas, my in-laws are staying with us for a week, I have to work Christmas Eve, and I've promisedrepparttar maidrepparttar 113177 week off, ha ha. What I'm worried about is getting it torepparttar 113178 table at all."

Oh, for many reasons, I reply. Because ofrepparttar 113179 memories, because it's soothing and fun, if you work it right (read on), because it looks so nice and is so appreciated it can make up for other things you could let slip. There are many reasons.

So hang on, here we go. All these tips are sort of like "sleight of hand." They're things you can do while you have to be inrepparttar 113180 kitchen anyway type of things. They're relaxing even. Trust me!

Andrepparttar 113181 "oohs" and "aahs" will be oh-so-energizing. They’re affordable, too. This Christmas-tree shaped butter ( ) cost a couple of bucks atrepparttar 113182 grocery and who’s going to notice what’s sitting next to it?

Here are some ways to dress uprepparttar 113183 traditional Christmas table.


Make your usual pie crust, 2-crust version. OK, who am I kidding. Buyrepparttar 113184 frozen ones. Thaw them and dump them out of their original tins, combine several (they’re too skimpy I think), roll them out, begin all over again.

Linerepparttar 113185 pie tin, put inrepparttar 113186 filling, then roll outrepparttar 113187 second crust and cut shapes using cookie cutters, or cut out shapes free-form with a sharp knife. First one doesn’t work? Pie dough is very forgiving. Roll it up and start again. Your “second chances” are infinite. You could also use something from a child’s coloring book for a pattern.

If you don’t have cookie cutters, cut out 3 rounds for holly berries using a bottle cap, and cut out some spiky holly leaves with a knife.

If you haverepparttar 113188 time andrepparttar 113189 inclination, whenrepparttar 113190 pie is baked and cooled, then use frosting to decorate your crust. Of course this is frosting from a can or tube you bought. On another planet, in another lifetime, you'll makerepparttar 113191 frosting. Buyrepparttar 113192 plastic tips and plastic pastry bag so you can just throw them away.

Repeat after me -- if it's pretty, it, likerepparttar 113193 well-chosen dress, can hide a multitude of sins. Get some candies 'n' stuff, like licorice for Santa's belt. I'd come home from workingrepparttar 113194 Christmas Eve church service, you know a bit weary, and my sons would come inrepparttar 113195 kitchen to watch and "help out." It was cozy. Memories.

Any kind of liquor goes well with any kind of fruit pie, so splash a little um inrepparttar 113196 pumpkin pie, or a little cognac inrepparttar 113197 cherry.

Or dorepparttar 113198 usual-only-very-different. Make a frozen pumpkin chiffon pie. The virtue of that is -- you guessed it --it can be done so far ahead of time. Then at serving time, crumble candy canes and sprinkle them on top. Don't know who helps you at your house, but I had sons, and they loved to putrepparttar 113199 canes in waxed paper and then whack it withrepparttar 113200 rolling pin. Festive Family Fun atrepparttar 113201 Dunn household. Me 'n'repparttar 113202 boys.

I hope by now you're beginning to see that we are playing and enjoying ourselves as much as anything.


Candy canes go so well with chocolate. You can make a chocolate dessert, like that instant pudding concoction with dream whip that kids like so much. Email me if you don't have that recipe. Then sprinkle candy canes atop.


Mash canned yams and place in Pyrex. Then whip up meringue nice and stiff, with lots of sugar. Beating things is therapeutic as well, andrepparttar 113203 kids are fascinated byrepparttar 113204 process. ("Is it ready yet?")

Circlerepparttar 113205 bowl withrepparttar 113206 meringue, and then make dollops on top with peaks. Then you can (1) sprinkle it with colored sprinkles, or (2) inrepparttar 113207 center put 3 maraschino cherries and some pineapple leaves, like holly. Or put marshmallows aroundrepparttar 113208 rim and decoration inrepparttar 113209 middle. In your next reincarnation you will make Martha's homemade marshmallows and put them on top.

Grocery prices driven up by supermarket discount cards

Written by Jeremy Brubaker

Jumping through hoops atrepparttar store to getrepparttar 113176 lowest price on frozen pizza is not my idea of fun. What happened to giving every customerrepparttar 113177 lowest price? How much money is wasted on two different price tags for most products,repparttar 113178 cards themselves, and all ofrepparttar 113179 direct marketed ads sent to cardholders? I have never met anyone who wants more junk mail fromrepparttar 113180 grocery store. I've heardrepparttar 113181 argument thatrepparttar 113182 cards help retailers track inventory levels or sales trends, but there is no reasonrepparttar 113183 cash registers couldn't track both without cards or invasion of privacy.

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