Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: November, 2013

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful for our family, our friends and you, our readers!  We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Give Thanks

Thanksgiving traditions are as unique as we are. Although many celebrate with a big meal, watching football and gathering with family and friends, others spend the day in a different way. Service is a big part of Thanksgiving for those who wish to volunteer at a shelter or a soup kitchen. There are people who are grieving this time of year as well and wish to spend the day quietly without a lot of fan fare.

This year, our traditional family gathering of around twenty-five or so people will be pared down to a much smaller number, probably nine or ten. Familial obligations around the country keep us separated in space but not in our hearts. We will give thanks for all of our family near and far and recall fond memories of the past while creating new ones as well.

One tradition our family enjoys is to go around the table, right before we eat, and one at a time state something that we are thankful for. Then there is usually a volunteer to pray. We like to remember our grandmother’s prayer on Thanksgiving: “Be present at our table Lord, be here as everywhere adored, give us Thy grace and grant that we, may feast in Paradise with Thee.”

What’s your Thanksgiving tradition?

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Have a Holiday Party!

Nothing lifts our spirits like a festive holiday party this time of year. Now is the perfect time to start planning a celebration before all of the craziness of the holidays are fully under way. We’ve hosted shopping parties, perfect for gift giving and open houses with appetizers, drinks and desserts. One of our favorite gatherings to plan (and attend!) is a cookie and ornament swap party. Basically you have each of your guests make a batch of their tastiest cookies (some people buy them if they don’t have the time to bake – that’s good too) and bring one wrapped ornament.  Put out a few app’s and some drinks, your house is probably already decorated, and that’s it – it’s a really easy party!

When guests arrive have them put their cookies on a big table.  To swap ornaments, place numbers in a hat for as many guests as you have and have everyone choose one.  In numerical order, each guest chooses and opens a wrapped box.  After the first person goes, the second guest does the same but can decide if they want to keep the ornament they opened or steal someone else’s ornament.  If your ornament is taken, you can either steal it back (but beware, you can only steal the same ornament three times), take someone else’s or open a new one.  After everyone has had a turn, the first guest goes last as well so they can have a choice too.  It’s great fun to see what you end up with!

Now it’s time to swap cookies.  On your invite, have guests bring an empty container.  Guests can circle ’round the whole table of cookies everyone brought and take one or two from each platter.  Keep walking around the table taking cookies until they are all gone.  Your guests (and you!) will have a great variety of cookies to bring home and enjoy or save for company.  What a great way to leave a party, with a beautiful ornament and a tin of delicious cookies!  Invite your friends and family, pick a date and have fun!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Create for a Cause!

Our family loves to make things. We scrapbook, sew, make wreaths and table runners but one of our favorite things to do is crochet. The tradition started long ago on our mom’s side and has been passed down thru the generations. We have even taught extended family members how to crochet and they love it! Making scarves is a great pass time for a winter project. For the price of a few dollars for a skein of yarn, you can make a custom colored, warm scarf for every outfit. But we only need so many scarves, right?! So here’s what we did last year and we’ll do it again this winter – make a bunch of scarves and donate them to the needy. It’s fun and easy and doesn’t take much time. It’s very rewarding to create something and even more so to give it to someone so appreciative. Sometimes our scarves get so big we turn them into shawls or small blankets. Give crocheting a try; make a scarf for someone who needs it, it will make you smile!

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