What You Have to Say

Oh MAN!  You guys are so amazing!

You leave me the best comments.   It juices up my batteries every day.  Thank you!

Deanne says she is going to declutter her whole house before she decorates for the holidays.  Wowsa!  Deanne lives in Australia, so I’m going to assume that living on the other side of the world has affected her brain.  I mean, she’s upside down all of the time!

Rosalie sent me a link to her blog, Tutorial Phone Book.  It’s FULL of adorable, affordable Christmas decoration that you can make.  She’s gathering them from all over blogland and there are some unbelievably clever people out there.  Thanks Rosalie!

Mrs. Manley suggested making tiny book wreaths as ornaments.  I’m all over that one Deanna!  Terrific idea!

Leslie, the Homemaker pointed out that she and I should be neighbors because we have the same style of decorations and then we could trade things around.  Trading things is a fabulous free decorating idea!

However, I discovered this morning that trading probably won’t work for me.  As we were unpacking the Christmas things I said to the kids, “Wouldn’t it be fun to trade our giant candy canes and wreaths with someone else so we could have different things in our yard?  We could have different decorations each year!”  And for some reason which I do not understand…they all went into hysteria.  “Mom NO!  We LOVE the giant candy canes!  They are OUR family tradition!  We love our things!  Please don’t trade them!”

Oh well, Leslie.  I guess I’m stuck with my old, falling apart Christmas decorations.

Let’s not even discuss what happened when I told them I wasn’t going to put up our stockings this year.  Wailing and gnashing of teeth would be the best way to describe it.

Here’s the thing.  Our stockings are a hodge podge of mismatched and cheap.  They are different sizes, different styles, different colors….and they look messy.  I was going to just do something crafty this year in their place.  I’m still not putting them up because, let’s face it, I am the queen.  But I am realizing that I need to prepare myself for constant complaints.  I’ve already heard one kid cry out, “I miss my stocking!” and we haven’t even finished unpacking the decorations.

As for my Thanksgiving meal, thank you all for your great advice.

Sherry over at No Minimalist Here said to bake the turkey and ask the guests to bring the side dishes.  Hmmm…the problem with that is, how do I control everything if I don’t cook it myself?  Oh dear, I obviously have issues.

Melissa at Those Northern Skies said she’s making a crock pot turkey and Stove Top Stuffing.  Stove Top Stuffing Melissa?  Really?  Is that even real food?  But I must say, Melissa made the cutest ornaments out of spice lids, so I will still listen to her, but not about stuffing.

And Michele sent me a whole plan….

Cook everything Wednesday (except mashed potatoes)! Make a schedule for Thursday to help keep your sanity.

Put the turkey in Thursday morning. Start potatoes boiling 45 minutes before turkey is done. When turkey comes out to “rest”, put all your other dishes in the oven to reheat. Does your husband carve the turkey? If so, while he’s carving, make gravy. If not, get the gravy going then carve. Have a child mash the potatoes. Put turkey on a platter, gravy in a boat, and potatoes in a bowl.

Voila! You’re done & everything is warm and ready for the table.

And make a list, like me, for the side of the fridge so you don’t forget to put anything out!

Michele, you make it sound like the birds are chirping while you are cooking and nothing ever boils over on the stove.  Here are my questions….how do I KNOW when it’s 45 minutes before the turkey is done?  What if some of my serving dishes can’t go in the oven?  Have a child mash the potatoes?  Really?  So lumps are OK?

I can’t wait to see what else you all have to share.  Keep the free Christmas decorating ideas coming!

You all take such good care of me.


  1. Hang the kid’s stockings on their bedposts and lumps in mashed taters are ESSENTIAL. (Unless you’re serving nursing home crew.) I always work at it to keep just enough lumps of just the right size. THAT’s the hard part. I think the taters are just about the best part of the whole meal. I’m a little concerned that if we have 18 for dinner (as planned) that I won’t have room in the pot to make enough to have leftover potatoes. (I clearly care more about the potatoes than the stockings… This may be why I need a gym membership.)

  2. I got a great tip this morning while waiting in line for a honey-baked ham that I am going to try this year. Cook the turkey the day before, carve it, and throw away the mess. On Thanksgiving day, put the turkey meat in a container with some chicken broth, cover with foil, and re-heat in the oven.

  3. I make my mashed potatoes the day ahead and then reheat them in the crockpot but to be honest its been at least 6 years since I’ve done that for Thanksgiving. In fact I’ve not cooked a Thanksgiving dinner in more years than I care to admit. First we lived within 4 hours of my in-laws so it was “required” that we travel. I brought the southern lime pickles and strawberry jam. Then we moved to Alaska so it was 4000 miles to my in-laws and my folks. But we stationed at an itty bitty teen tiny Air Station which has the most incredible Thanksgiving dinner for $7 a person. All you could eat plus anything left on your tray/plate could be put in takeout containers. No brainer there! At least as far as my hubby and boys were concerned. This year we live 10 hrs from family so its a stay-at-home Thanksgiving…. with no company. 🙁 but hey it will be fun!

    Do you have pine cones? What about pine cone flowers? Or mini button wreaths? Or sweetgum wreaths? What about felt? It sews up into lovely little ornaments! Large glass jars filled with pinecones and Christmas lights… It gives off such a pretty glow. Or a large glass vase w/ another thinner one inside (or even a jar), you place a candle in the inner jar and beads in between. or pinecones or sweet gum burrs or old christmas lights. I save all my burnt out Christmas light bulbs for this decoration. That is as long as my family doesn’t mistakenly throw them as as trash, gasp… horror…. ha ha! 🙂

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. Thanks for the reminder, although I hadn’t forgotten! After a super busy week and weekend and some recovery time I am a little behind in my decluttering schedule, so now as you have mentioned it on your blog I had better get stuck into it!

  5. Okay – give me Melissa’s address. I insist on shipping her a pan of homemade dressing. Also, one year a cousin hosted a Christmas party, and on the invite she told us what type of side/dessert to bring. That way she maintained control. Just a thought for you control mongers. Not for me, of course…

  6. 1. Lumps are spectacular in mashed potatoes. Means they’re not instant. (gag)
    2. Lumps in the gravy stay behind in a strainer. Perf.
    3. A list on the ref is a must. Have a plan, down to the cranberry sauce coming out of the ref. Without a plan, things are forgotten.
    4. Plan to audibly give thanks. This is as important as butter on the table. Plan to announce how thankful you are for Aunt Sherry’s potato salad. Someday G.G. won’t be present to make her famous slaw. Gratitude makes everything better.
    5. Remember the widowed, fatherless and foreigner. They like to eat, too.

  7. Maybe you could let the kiddos hang their old stockings in their rooms. Our better yet, tell them since you are making them wonderful new stockings they have to stuff the old FOR YOU!

  8. i’ve got the best plan…I’m driving 8 hours to my MAMA’s house. She’s doing the cooking! yee haa. did I mention she is 92? and doesn’t have many taste buds left? OK, so I will be supervising the cooking. But letting her THINK she’s doing all the cooking. I’ll let you know how it turns out. And anyway it’s more about the company than the food, right? Right? Right? OK who’s with me? anyone?

  9. Oh come on!! Stove Top tastes good – who cares if it is food!! In my defense, I would never make it if I had company!! 😉

  10. Lisa, I am with Jenni. I cook everything the day before, including the turkey. It’s very good when re-heated in homemade gravy that they can slather on their lumpy mashed potatoes. I do it all on Wed. so that Thursday we can just “enjoy” the day. There is still a lot of work to be done, setting the table, cleaning up, etc, but the food (and messy bones, etc) are done and gone. I do the squash, pies, mashed potatoes, buns and turkey on Wed. and this year I am saying good bye to the Stove Top and trying homemade. You have all pushed me over the edge. Thanks!

  11. Oh, I totally agree with the ladies on a few things:

    1) Reheated turkey ROCKS! Having it cleaned up in advance rocks even more. And really, no one even needs to know.
    2) Lumps? They rock.
    3) Homemade dressing totally rocks, but I wouldn’t turn down Melissa if she invited me over with Stove Top and I could maybe even wear my jammies and slippers having the meal already made by someone else 🙂

    Do take pictures of everything for us. Oh, and in your spare time if you could come up with a bunch of different pine cone craft ideas that would really ROCK! I have a million of them on the ground. My hot glue gun is standing by.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Ladies!

  12. Lisa, You are hysterical and you make me smile every time I visit here! You are always my first visit each morning. Thanks for the mention and link. Sorry I can’t help you with the control issue…I have my own issues!

  13. You make me laugh – I bet you’re a much better cook than you give yourself credit for! I do use the electric mixer for mashed potatoes – a few lumps left? We just call it rustic. 🙂