It's the "H" word...Sorry (lol)...

Before you read further: get a good grip on edge of the desk...ok, inhale deeply...exhale --slowly...ok, squint...

H...it's the holidays! Yikes They are coming! Breath... breath.... IknowIknowIknow...it's why I freaked --when I put up the October calendar --I didn't know --what happened to August, where it went, but: we can handle this, in small steps. [breath breath] October: Golden time. October means: You can Make a Plan. Get ready --easy, spread out all the parts, into manageable 'bites.'

You probably already know: where you will be for each holiday, who you will be with --so it's the Other parts to manage, while there is Still Time.

You can get mad, or freak, but I'm going to say it anyway: I believe the economy is going to get rough, starting early next year. I say: Leave the plastic in the fridge, in a shoe, in the garage and: make your gifts --tailor Down. --Who needs another electronic widget --doodad --tie --blouse --dust-catcher? Planet: way doesn't need more batteries lying around.

Think: what crafts you want to make this year...need a new stocking to hang for Santa...horn o' plenty centerpiece... baked dough tree ornaments...a sculpted chocolate Monorah? Decide. Calendar: date to make --then work backwards --when to assemble the parts/
help/ place to do the work, look up the How To....

The Handing-out Parts
Who Doesn't enjoy: handmade cookies, hand-wrapped?

Fruit --still available from the Farmer's, frozen now, presented in a jar --in a pie --your special recipe or new one --in three months.

Can't cook, don't know how to bake? Easy: look up a recipe, write out --buy the ingredients, present all the parts to the givee. Sweet. Who wouldn't enjoy? Maybe you'll get an invite to taste the results.

Children on The List? Go back --to your own childhood. Toys that talk --move --"do" --do Not inspire a child's imagination, they Increase somebody's Bottom Line. What was More fun than: Tinker Toys? Kite? Your own book? Crayons, roll of paper.... The toys that cause a child to 'fill in the blanks' are the ones that are The Best.

--Oh wrapping paper? Just Perfect: newspaper --brown paper bag --a leftover foil label, bit of string --that's always handy for the receiver. WHO said: the "right" wrapping is the costly one --with harmful dyes --ripped off and put straight into trash can? You want that kind --why??? If there Must be color: Get out the crayons --they are funny on newsprint, remember?

A boss --supervisor --valued doctor, colleague --cranky In-law --Difficult Person on The List? Few things make one squirm more --Or the holidays more unpleasant...Spend lavish --Big Deal --risk looking 'cheap' --go into debt --which way? You cannot Possibly go 'wrong': heading to the River. lol, no, don't jump! Choose a Membership to Friends of the Los Angeles River. One year membership begins at $25, goes up to $500, all levels include a tangible to give as well. I double-dare anyone to whine: about helping to free/clean Los Angeles River. It is the Right size, color, length, shape --and: it cannot be returned! No-loose situation. (There is a link to their site in the Sidebar)

The Made gift means much more. My father: used to bring out a cherished bottle of liquor made and sent by monks he knew, at the end of holiday dinners. It meant an enormous amount to him. Nuns in France, who made cheese, did the same, which had the same effect.

You do NOT hafta get into a Big financial hole. It is only October. You can make List of Must Gives, What to Make for each, assemble the parts --while out doing other trips, over the next two months.

For moi: I don't like cliches, so I used to send cards out at Thanksgiving, that being one of my two favorite holidays and I think everyone has lots piled up for Gratitude. But being as busy as anyone, that tradition wafted away. Then throughout '90s I started a new one.

During the year: I would find excellent things, unique, funny or special in some way. I assembled List of them and sent that out every year, instead of cards, so others could enjoy. I decided this year: I will send my List --of Goodies --to You, if you would like to have.

The List will include: things just Good.

I am searching for a way/widget, tool, whatever, so you could send your e-mail address --securely. In case you don't know: I am tech semi-illiterate! I could post MY e-mail address, but then it would appear: E-v-e-r-y where! No, thanks. So I'm a-search'n, for a better way. When I find, test, works, I'll let you know.

Of course, it IS possible: nobody will want List of Goodies, so secure e-mail system would be irrelevant...but I think I'll go with: Optimism!

So: see what's in the Certified Farmer's Markets, find best place to purchase blocks, Tinker Toys...make a Plan, so whatever comes, you can enjoy January as much as the holidays ...that would be Silver Lake daVine.... Okay, exhale....

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tag: Thanksgiving Chanuka Christmas birthday New Year's Eve, holidays 2007, crafts gifts hand-made cookies fresh fruit wood toys natural recycled paper save money LA River membership

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