- Tree trimming 101: You don't have to trim your tree all in one day, in fact it is better to let an artificial one rest once you get it out of that attic. Put the tree together, fluff it, and let it rest for an evening or two before you put all of the ornaments on.
- Bake ahead. It's nice to have everyone over, but sometimes it's not so nice when you have to cook everything. Bake your desserts, cookies, and pies a few weeks ahead of time and freeze them. They will be just as fresh once they are thawed as they would be if you baked the day (or morning) before.
- Don't shop till you drop. Long lines are never good on fibro knees. Plan on shopping during retail's down times. Mid-morning after the early bird specials is a good time and later in the evening between 7-10 is also okay. If you must plan a huge shopping trip, plan it on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are the slowest day for retail stores.
- Hassel-Free place settings. Take out your dishes and flatware about a week prior to the big event and inspect them for water spots or dried on food. Wash only what you need to and have warm water and a clean rag available to clean spotted silverware. Wash and towel dry all glassware during this time too.
- Have your children help you set the dining room table the night before so your settings can be hassel-free. Children love to help and this will in turn also teach them how to set one.
- Less is more when it comes to decorating. We all love to tour those houses that could light up an entire town with the amount of Christmas lights they have on their lawn. But that's not practical for a Fibro sufferer since the take-down process can be just as painful as the set-up. A garden flag, a few lights on your shrub or small tree, and maybe a garden stake or two is more than enough to instill a festive mood.
- Don't over due it. In these times, many people are trying to watch what they eat so a large buffet may not be necessary for a huge amount of guests. Scale down your recipes by cooking finger foods. Many large meals can be miniaturized. Quiche, cocktail wieners, shrimp, chicken and artichoke dishes can all be made into bit-sized culinary masterpieces.
- Learn to say yes. If one of your guests asks if they can bring a dish-- say yes! It's one less detail you have to think about.
- Give your house the once over. Bathrooms always seem to be the messiest room in the house. My family not only likes to leave toothpaste all over the place, but I tend to find things like toys in there too. Leave your bathroom as your last task to tackle and give it the once over with a few cleaning wipes. The bleach will kill the germs and you won't be killing yourself scrubbing.
- Be merrily light. Over-eating or drinking could cause an unwanted flare. If you plan on drinking a cocktail, chase it with a glass of water so your body doesn't get dehydrated. Use a smaller plate for your meals to control food portions.
Love and friendship,