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Let’s deck the halls! (but first, go help dad clean out the garage)

Feliz Navi-dog from Stella!

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The days after Thanksgiving are a time of excitement as we begin the transition into Christmas or Hanukah mode (some of us faster than others). I’m not a shopper, so my idea of Black Friday is staring at the inside of my eyelids, leaving the lines and crowds to someone else.

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My aversion to crowds means I spend the days after Thanksgiving cleaning up after the big meal and laying the groundwork for the next holiday.

As usual I made entirely too much food for Thanksgiving, and as a result we’ve got about fifteen pounds of turkey and stuffing leftover. The turkey can be put into service in my scrumptious Light White Turkey Chili (pictured at right),
unnamed-133but the stuffing had its chance, so the remnants of that are headed for the garbage. Though stuffing tastes great and is an important part of the tradition of Thanksgiving, it offers little nutritionally and we’re better off cutting our losses. If you justify eating it because it seems “wasteful” to throw out perfectly good food, may I suggest an alternate way of thinking about leftovers?


Though Stella and I are excited about decking the halls, there’s a little something we like to call “cleaning out the garage” that needs to happen first.

I’ve mentioned, we’re building a house, so these cleaning and organizing projects have taken on a whole new meaning this year as we prepare the move the entire contents of our lives from the home we have lived in since 2001 to a new home (click here to see what it looks like now). My husband, Rob, seized the rare opportunity of having both teenage boys home for the holiday weekend (the elder of the two is in college) to have them help him clean out the garage and make a few strategic trips to Goodwill. In their post-Thanksgiving overfed stupor, the boys agreed.

unnamed-138Cleaning out things that are no longer needed or useful is cathartic. We hang onto items long after their usefulness has worn off simply because we’re too busy with our hectic lives to deal with them. But deal with them we must, so out go the games, puzzles and toys that are collecting dust. Adieu to the clothes that don’t fit or have gone out of style. And gone is the navy “pleather” recliner in which I rocked my babies. Am I sad? Meh. It’s hideous, so it was time.

unnamed-137Keep what’s meaningful, healthy and beautiful. Bid a fond farewell to things are cluttering up your house and your life.

Hey, that’s not half bad. I think that’s going to be my mantra from now until the moving vans pull away empty at my new house. Until then, we’ve got halls to deck and silly dogs that want to join in the fun!

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