'Tis The Season....

 Has the tryptophan worn off yet? Have you walked off those extra slices of pumpkin pie? Better pull yourselves together because it's time for the holiday rush. There's a lot to do this time of year, but don't let it overwhelm you. Just like the big man himself, make a list to keep track of all your holiday errands and gifts to buy. A list can be very therapeutic when you're being pulled in a million directions. Sometimes when I make one, I'll toss myself a few freebies that I know I can cross off right away. Hey, whatever helps, right? Here are some helpful hints for your big holiday-to-dos:

+ Decorations - Deck your halls with some of these cute decorations from Etsy. I guarantee there's something for everyone, no matter your decorating style.

+ Christmas Cards - Whether you're throwing a holiday party or sending Christmas cards to friends & family, Paperless Post has a great selection of customizable holiday e-cards. Some styles are available in traditional paper for an extra fee as well.

+ Gifts - Another list to be made! Pull together a list of the people who have been nice to you and deserve a present this year. The To & From Holiday Gift Guide, which I stumbled onto over at vmac+cheese, is a great starting place for gift ideas. It's full of suggestions from nearly all my favorite bloggers and breaks down gifts into helpful "chapters." Seriously, its unbelievable.

+ Treats - I rarely meet a cookie I don't like. These chewy oatmeal raisins from smitten kitchen happen to be my favorite, especially around the holidays. This recipe has become a staple for me- they are delicious every time! Not an oatmeal raisin-type? Refer to the Kitchn's guide to readying your pantry for the holiday baking season, no matter what cookie you call your own.

+ Activities - I suppose I am spoiled by living in New York during the Christmas season. Ice skating in Central Park; the Rockefeller Christmas Tree; the Radio City Rockettes; F.A.O. Schwartz; I could go on and on! If you can't drop by NYC to celebrate with me, pop in any of these classics, get yourself a hot cocoa, and be instantly transported to the North Pole.

+ Traditions - Although it's easy to get caught up in all the hype, the most important part of the holiday season is how you and your loved ones choose to memorialize it each year. Growing up, my family always celebrated Christmas at the same Aunt & Uncle's house each year. It was tradition. But as we get older and have families and obligations of our own, things are starting to change. One thing that hasn't - Aunt Barbara still sends a tin of her famous Christmas cookies to each of us, no matter where we are on Christmas Day.

Is that enough to keep you busy? Only 27 days till Christmas......

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