Happy Holidays!

Have you gotten caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season yet? Or are you one of those who completes the shopping early and can now focus on the holiday baking and getting the gifts all wrapped and the house all in order with time to spare?

As I lugged out my tubs of holiday decorations, I tried to use some of the decorating tips from our last issue, with limited success. I did place a few items in new locations, and I didn’t put everything out in an attempt to not overdo it. Some things, however, just hold that sentimental value — who it was from or some other special memory. Maybe as I pack it all away, I can find a way to repurpose some of those treasured items that will make them more useful in the new year, as a couple of articles in this issue explore.

And, as for the hustle and bustle of the season, I must confess, I love it. Even if I were to complete all my shopping early, it would end up just costing me more as I love picking up those last-minute items. I think, “Oh, she’d like that.” I know, that’s just what the stores want us to do! But, hey, they all need to make a living too, right? In this issue, Cherrish Holland of Lutheran Social Service shares tips on setting a budget and sticking to it by planning for it throughout the year. I guess I do manage that end of things pretty well, but still it’s the thrill and the fun of the holidays that I get caught up in.

A new column this issue offers ways to involve kids in the holiday spirit of giving, and another suggests the proper “spirits” to serve at your holiday gatherings. Staff writer Ashley White shares others’ tips on how to pull off holiday events with a great deal of success, while keeping the fun in it for the host/hostess.

We must remember, however, that the holiday season isn’t always a joyous time for everyone. Some are dealing with loss and some are looking with anticipation to the New Year, hoping it will be a better year in a variety of ways. Read up on ways to help deal with that “uninvited guest” in a piece by Anne Polta.

I just love the holiday season, and the change of seasons. I thoroughly enjoy a white Christmas and a winter wonderland, which allows us to get out and enjoy the pristine countryside on snowmobile. Wherever you find yourself this holiday season and throughout the cold winter months ahead, here’s a holiday wish from the Live it! staff and all of our families to you!

The holiday season in west central Minnesota … it’s a beautiful thing …

Live it!
Sharon Bomstad
Live it! Editor