Real Simple A Season of Calm

Real Simple A Season of Calm

Let's face it, the concepts of holiday and calm usually seem worlds apart. So, while the holidays should be a time of joy and gratitude, they often become full of chaos with so much to do and so many people to see in such a short, precious amount of time. Now, this special edition is set to help you create a more peaceful, genuine holiday season. Consider a simpler approach, shed some to-dos, and clarify your holiday priorities. Focus on your family with five questions to bring you closer, or how to handle being far apart. Whether you're hosting or a guest, learn some party protocol, deal with dress-code chaos, and make every guest room ready. Prep your best pies, decide to de-stress, and even consider some gifts to give yourself as you moderate the mayhem and enjoy the profound magic of the holidays.

United States
Meredith Corporation
18,56 $ CA(TVA Incluse)

dans ce numéro

3 min
making memories

There was a time every year in early December when my mom and I would set aside an afternoon to wander through our local fabric store. Our destination was holiday fabrics on the remnant table—my mom is seriously frugal and taught me how many wonderful things you can make with remnants. But we would also stroll around and touch the lacy wedding fabrics and notions and think about projects we might make…one day. Eventually, we always managed to find three festive fabrics that loosely matched. Back home, my mom would sew them into tubes while I rounded up stuffing material. Once we’d stuffed the three long tubes, she braided them into a wreath, added a ribbon, and voilà—a beautiful gift for one of her friends. But what I remember isn’t so…

1 min
a simpler approach

It is the most magical time of the year—or is it the most exhausting? Pull off Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd. Jump on the holiday shopping. Put the Elf somewhere. Move said Elf. Remember at 2 a.m. that you still need holiday cards! Make your home twinkle and glow (without creating a fire hazard). While you can’t escape being busy this time of year, you can avoid feeling so overwhelmed that you don’t even appreciate the moments. Finding ways to simplify your holiday is the best way to ensure you have a calm, mindful season that you truly love. And don’t be surprised if that peaceful tone spreads to everyone in your inner orbit. It’s really a matter of figuring out what you actually enjoy and putting your energy there.…

3 min
5 holiday to-dos you don’t really have to do

1 Sticking to Tradition Every family does holidays differently; I think the key is to make the traditions work for your home. When we were little, my brother and I stuffed stockings for our parents, while my mom filled ours. He and I realized at some point that we would never be ready to give them up. Now our families open the stockings over breakfast on Christmas Day. We also still allow ourselves, on Christmas Eve, to open one present we know will be disappointing. My best December 24 score was a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle of baked beans. FRANCESCA HORNAK IS THE AUTHOR OF SEVEN DAYS OF US. SHE LIVES IN LONDON. 2 Getting Dolled Up My day job requires me to be glammed up: We Rockettes do as many as 17 Christmas Spectacular…

6 min
how to be grateful (when you really don’t feel like it)

By the fourth Thursday in November, giving thanks can start to feel like a command performance rather than a genuine act. Your social-media feed is all gratitude, all the time (#30daysofthanks!), and you’re up to your googly eyeballs in turkey-themed decorations. It’s OK to feel jaded. “You can’t turn on gratitude” just because it’s the holidays, says Robin Berman, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the author of Permission to Parent. In fact, peak holiday season may not even be the best time to make it a priority. “Gratitude happens in quiet pauses and moments, not when you have a giant to-do list and you’re racing around,” she says. So how do you embrace the season sincerely? Experts are here…

7 min
ways to find meaning in the busy holiday season

Sweet Charity Last year my husband, my brother, and I celebrated Christmas Eve together by delivering care packages to homeless men and women. We had decided that we wanted to do something for others on this particularly cold day in Austin, Texas. We gathered new mittens, hats, blankets, lip balm, and tissues, and stopped to pick up a few dozen hamburgers. Then we drove all over town, searching for people living under bridges and sleeping on the streets. The people were warm, welcoming, and most of all thankful. It made us appreciate the blessings we have in our own lives. This year we hope to involve more family members in our venture. S.M., LEANDER, TEXAS I started my own tradition of anonymous giving. Each year, I look among my friends and family to…

3 min
how do i choose a charity?

What’s the biggest mistake givers make? They donate impulsively. Charity scams rely on you doing no background check and making a hurried gift. Spend 10 or 15 minutes doing proper research to make sure that a charity is legitimate. What sort of research? Reputable charities will have an online presence—at the very least, a Facebook page. If a charity does not have a site, that should raise questions. [Go to to confirm that a charity is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.] On an organization’s website, look for information on its programs and how it uses funds. Then search the local media to see what kind of coverage the charity or members of its board have received. How should you deal with unexpected donation requests? Whether it’s a coworker or a stranger asking for a…