December 26, 2019

So, What Did You Get???

Posted in Holidays tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:26 pm by JBEvents

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that something special would be in there!

You ran around (whether physically or online) trying to get the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Then wrapped it up in festive paper and placed it under the tree.

The day finally came, anticipation was high. You hope that you didn’t forget anything and that everyone will love their gifts.

The family came over excited to see what treasures they would find in the presents under the tree.

As each gift was opened, you watched with care and hoped they would be happy with the gift that was in there. The expressions on faces as each gift was unwrapped, proved priceless and precious though created quite a mess. The smiles say it all, their faces were so happy, they tugged at my heart, but I won’t get too sappy.

When the last gift is opened and you sit back to reflect, did you start to feel nostalgic from Christmases past? Did you feel a sense of relief that the big day is over? Or did you get that exhilaration seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child? For me, it was a little of all of that.

Growing up, my parents always went over the top with the gifts – but they were always from their heart. My parents were so generous and received such joy giving to their children and later, their grandchildren. I feel the same way — I have always wanted to give my daughters a wonderful Christmas, complete with everything they wanted (or close to it). And now, I also do that for my grandkids.

That being said, it is important to remember, it’s not the gifts that should be the focus, but rather letting each person know they are loved, and you can’t put a price on that, nor can you wrap it up with pretty paper and bows. Love is the best gift, and one that should be given freely, not just at Christmas time, but all year through. The one thing that will linger long after Christmas is gone, is the memories – and for me, I hope that my daughters and my grandchildren will always know that regardless of the gifts they receive, that my love for them is endless and is given to them every day of the year. Those are the memories that I want them to take away from Christmas and every other day!

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas and that the memories you made will be some of your favorite. Thank you for allowing me to share my family with you during this most wonderful time of the year!

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning special events consulting and planning company, specializing in creating innovative, creative and flawless events for every client.

December 15, 2019

Surviving the Holiday’s…A Few Tips!

Posted in Holidays tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:00 pm by JBEvents

Image result for stress and the holidays

I think we can all agree that the Holiday’s, although a joyous time, can also be one of the most stressful times of the year.  We are rushing around and trying to get that “perfect” gift for everyone, trying to bake all of the yummy holiday treats, decorating, entertaining and even hosting guests in our home.  All of that is in addition to your daily tasks which already leave you tired, stressed and rushed.  It’s easy to start feeling like time and money are getting away from you.  It’s also a time of year when everyone should be a little more kind and gentle, but it seems like just the opposite happens.  Tempers flare, anxiety heightens, and for many people this is a time of deep depression.

So what can you do to maintain your sanity and enjoy this special time of the year?  Here are a few tips that will hopefully help you.

  1. Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect.  You don’t have to have the most decorated house in the neighborhood, throw the best party, give the most gifts, or bake the most cookies.  Sometimes, less can be best.  Determine what activities bring you the most joy, and focus on those.
  2. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.
  3. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.
  4. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
  5. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.
  6. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Moderation is key – enjoy those tasty treats, but don’t go overboard.  Get exercise – even if it’s just walking an extra lap around the store, or even better outside to get some fresh air. 
  7. Take a “ME” moment. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
  8. Like the song says, Count your Blessings instead of Sheep.  To overcome holiday depression and anxiety, think about the parts of your life that are going well. It can be helpful to list your blessings. When people are stressed and depressed, they tend to focus on the negative things in their lives rather than counting their blessings. There is always something to be thankful for.  I have found that writing down things you are thankful for is a great exercise, because forcing yourself to think of positive things when you are feeling down leads to improving the negative feelings that can consume you.

I hope these tips will help you enjoy the rest of this wonderful season.  My desire for you is that your stress level will decrease and your joy increase, as this truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas / Happy Hanukkah!

Janice Blackmon Events is an award-winning special event planning company, specializing in creating unique, flawless and fabulous events!  

Credit to Mayo Clinic and psycom for information contained in this post.

December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , at 9:00 am by JBEvents

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It’s that wonderful time of the year… Christmas!!!!! We hope you have a Merry Christmas surrounded by those you love!

Our Pinterest page is full of ideas for decor, gifts and food/beverages in case you are still needing some inspiration.  You can check it out here!

Merry Christmas!!!

December 16, 2011

Holiday Gatherings!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 1:49 pm by JBEvents

It’s that time of year when we open our homes to family and friends to celebrate the Holiday season.  Whether you decide to have an elaborate soiree or a more intimate gathering, we have a few ideas to help with your celebration.

 

As with any party, the first thing you must do is to set the date and time of the event.  With so many parties at this time of year, it may be a good idea to check with your group of friends to see if your proposed date is open on their social calendar prior to moving forward with your plans.

Once the date has been set and your guest list determined, send out invitations as far in advance as possible.  Be sure to indicate any specific information such as details on parking so that your guests can be prepared ahead of time.

Now comes the decision-making process on what you will serve for your party.  If you are desiring to have a fun and festive gathering where your guests can mingle and come and go as they please, a cocktail party is your best bet.  This can also be the most cost-effective type of party since guests will not expect to be served a full meal.  You must however, keep this in mind when setting the timeframe for your party.  My favorite is a Drop-In Cocktail Party.  This allows for a variety of hor d’oeuvres to be served which can range from simple items such as a cheese, fruit and or vegetable display where guests can serve themself,  as well as more elaborate options  that are perfect to be passed.

If you will be preparing the food items yourself, start the process early so that you can prep as much as possible ahead of time leaving you to not be as rushed on the day of the event.  Make sure that you have all of your serving pieces out, cleaned and labeled with how they will be used.  This makes the placing of the items on the party day easier so that you will know where every item will be placed and what serving piece will be used.

Of course, you can decide to take the easier approach which is to purchase your party food from your favorite caterer.  At this time of year, many of the local caterers have a special party-to-go menus that you can  pick-up and then take home with minimal set-up or preparation. 

It is advisable to purchase bags of ice and store them in coolers for use in keeping items chilled before serving if refrigerator/freezer space is limited.  You will also need to make certain to have enough ice to sustain the duration of the party for all beverages.

Speaking of beverages, make sure that you provide a variety of alcoholic and  non-alcoholic options.  To keep things festive, I am in love with seasonal varieties such as a Gingerbread or Candy Cane Martini’s.  Another wonderful option which can be served hot or cold is Wassail (hot/cold mulled cider).

In addition to making sure you have all of the food prepared and beverages ready, don’t forget to take one last look in each powder room to make certain that you have the essential necessary items in abundance.  It is my recommendation to hire someone to act as a Restroom attendant during the party so that they can maintain the supplies and cleanliness of the powder rooms.

Speaking of hiring people, it’s also a good idea to hire staff to act as servers and bartenders.  This will allow you to actually enjoy your own party and mingle with your guests.  There are agencies that specialize in providing banquet servers and bar tenders, or you may decide to contact a local college or technical school in your area that offers a culinary program to see if they have students interested in making a little extra Holiday money by working as a server for your party. 

One touch that I think is a necessity is tons of candles.  I personally like scented candles – however, you don’t want to overload the senses with various scents, so select one or two complimenting scents to have placed around your home and use other fragrance-free candles to supplement the supply.

Setting the ambiance.  Whether you decide to have your home stereo system playing,  or you arrange for a group of Carolers, or hire an acoustic guitar player or pianist or even a DJ, keep in mind that the music should be background in nature and not so loud that guests can’t carry on a conversation.

It’s also advisable that you have a designated place for coats and ladies purses to be placed.  One such idea is to empty your coat closet and have hangers available for wraps and the bottom of the closet clear and available for bags.  If this is not possible, set aside one room, perhaps the master bedroom, that will not be used for the party to store your guests personal items.

One of the most important things is to make sure that you are ready to receive guests at the start of the party.  Nothing is worse than having guests arrive and things are in a disarray as it makes the guests feel uncomfortable.

You have checked your list, not once but twice and know that everything is set and ready.  Take a deep breath, and be ready to greet each guest as they arrive.  Have a tray of beverages offered upon their arrival and then have a fabulous party.

All of us at Janice Blackmon Events wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, or whatever other holiday you celebrate as well as a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

Cheers!!!

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