Read these 43 Holidays and Seniors Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Senior tips and hundreds of other topics.
Quick, easy, make-ahead snack is the keyword for these really good 'snacks':
2 pkgs cream cheese softened
1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1 Tbsp chopped chives
1 Tbsp finely chopped jalapeno (toss away the seeds)
1 pkg flour tortillas (large size)
1/2 cup finely chopped pieces of ham (optional)
Mix first 5 ingredients by hand; spread onto flour tortillas about 1/4" thick then roll up. Chill for about 1 hour; just before serving, slice into approximately 1/2" 'spirals'. Can be rechilled, but too long in refrigerator can cause tortillas to become soggy.
Really tasty and easy 'cookie'...you'll need:
1/2 stick butter (or margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
Finely chopped pecans (approx. 1/2 cup)
1 box Club or Waverly crackers
Melt butter in microwavable bowl (in microwave oven); stir in brown sugar and vanilla; add finely chopped pecans.
Place individual crackers on cookie sheet, spoon sauce over crackers, bake 8-10 minutes at 350 deg.F.
Remove from oven and place on platter immediately (do not place on wax paper).
Great for company with hot coffee, tea or spiced apple cider (another tip), or to give to neighbors.
Note: you may not use all the crackers.
mmmm..mmmmm...delicate and tasty! Ingredients:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sugar (granulated)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grind pecans and mix thoroughly with sugar (in food processor if you have one); place in a bowl; add and mix in flour, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, beat egg; add melted butter and vanilla. Stir into sugar/flour mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls, about 3" apart, onto lightly greased foil-lined cookie sheets. Place pecan half in center of each cookie. Bake at 325 deg.F for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and lacy. Let cookies cool COMPLETELY before *carefully* removing from foil.
Makes about 4-1/2 doz.
If we dye Easter eggs for the kids (huh...even for ourselves), be sure they are hard-boiled (did I have to remind you? :o), and NOT cracked. Even vegetable-dyes seeping onto the egg can become unhealthy; don't take a chance. Use the cracked eggs for potato salad or deviled eggs.
Don't overlook decorating gravesites at Christmas time. You can purchase at craft store (i.e. MJDesigns) a wire 'easel' (stand), straw wreath, evergreen garland, 'picks' (gifts, flowers, bells, etc), a few tree ornaments (attach with floral pins), bow. Wrap wreath with garland, add decorations and a large bow. With florist wire, firmly attach finished wreath to stand. Be sure to force easel legs at least 4" into dirt for stability.
© Copyright Jackie (Micke) Jinks, 2000
If we're planning on hosting Easter Dinner for the family, schedule time for the kid's Easter Egg Hunt (betcha grownups join in)! Keep a supply of the plastic eggs to use in the hunt; give each child an opportunity to do the 'hiding'. Plastic eggs can safely be used over...and over...and...Have FUN!
Children are natural 'sharers'. Keep an eye on them and your pet(s) during party and holiday times. No food from the table for pets; no chewing up of small toy pieces; no rough playing with pets. If necessary, keep pets in an isolated area/room...for their safety-sake. NO candy, especially chocolate - poison for pets!
This is a special 'touch' for poinsettias that I place at my husband's gravesite and in vases around the house. Purchase at craft store one (or more) large, silk poinsettia 'bouquet(s)', bottle each of glitter-gold and glitter-green Tulip fabric paint. Paint the 'veins' and edges of poinsettia bracts (the red leaf), and the 'inside' (the actual flower) with gold, and half of the other leaves with green. Let dry at least 24 hours. A really beautiful effect.
These are quick and easy cookies - the surprise being there is NO flour in this recipe :o)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all ingredients until smooth. Form into one-inch balls; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Criss-cross press balls flat with fork-tines after dipping in extra sugar.
Bake at 325 deg.F for 10-12 minutes.
Note: If you have a nice decorative cookie stamp, use in place of fork-tines.
Yield: approx. 2 doz.
There are times that gift-wrapping is impossible; that's when the wonderful gift-bags really come in handy. Don't overlook this alternative, and be sure to put plenty of tissue inside bag. You can even take decorative picture(s) and glue onto a plain brown bag with handles...make it original :o) Here's where you can apply the 'streamer' bows.
For warm and happy rooms, string lighted garland all around your den, family/living room and/or kitchen. About 2 inches down from ceiling, screw in appropriate sized 'cup' hooks (these can be left up all year if bought or painted in color of walls). The longer the lights/garlands, the less 'connections' you have to make; use only the mini lights for safety.
If you find it harder each year to decorate a Christmas tree, consider buying the fiber-optic type; lights already there and no need for ornaments. Keep some of your beautiful ball ornaments and place in large clear vase as table decoration, crowned with small greenery.
During holidays we decorate a lot, and make use of many extension cords. Do a safety-check: that there are no exposed wires; that outlets are not overloaded; that cords are 'hidden' from children and pets if possible; that decorations cannot be pulled on top of child or pet. Take precautions!
Not too keen on these letters? They do bring family and friends up-to-date on what we've been doing, and a little closer into the 'circle'. Besides writing your information, be sure and put your name, address, tele #, and e-mail address at the top. Enclose in your Christmas card via 'snail-mail' (write on your P.C. and print on special paper), or send an e-mail with letter attached.
This is a refreshing, non-alcoholic punch for Holidays, birthdays..and just any time. Start with two pints lime sherbet, three bottles ginger-ale, and maraschino cherries to top. (no juice). Depending on size of punch-bowl, divide sherbet into 4 1/2-pint portions and place into bowl; add ginger-ale a little at a time. Double this recipe for refill.
Almost as easy as the 'mix'. Needed:
1 quart sweet apple cider
8 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
8 whole allspice
1/4 tsp. honey
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
dash of salt
Using a 3-quart pan, pour in cider, add spices, honey, sugar and salt. Cover tightly and slowly heat over low temp. to simmering point; takes about 1/2 hour. Remove from heat and strain. Serve hot. Place 1 cinnamon stick in each cup for nice presentation :o)
Makes approx. 5, 6-oz servings
Note: this can be made days in advance: let chill, store in glass container in refrigerator; heat before serving. Note: if entertaining, use your crock-pot as a 'hot' punch bowl for this, but heat cider before pouring into warmed pot.
For entertaining, a quick and easy cheese ball is to mix together: softened 8 oz. cream cheese, 1 cup EACH shredded swiss and cheddar cheese, pepper to taste. Combine in a platter: 1 tbsp. each sweet paprika, sesame seed, chopped pistachio nuts. Form cheese mixture into a ball and roll (covering completely) in dry mixture. Serve with good crackers and a knife :o)
Let's not overlook a healthy goodie we can put into our grandchildren's Easter Basket: carrot sticks! Put them in a decorated zip-lock sandwich bag, store in fridge until the last minute, then timely add to basket. Hey...don't forget to tell the kids the Easter Bunny shared their favorite food especially for them to enjoy!
When entertaining, and trying to avoid messy accidents, it's best to use plastic plates rather than paper ones, or just napkins. Oils and grease from food-stuff won't soak thru, and they are much sturdier for people to handle. But DO offer small napkins along with the plate for guests.
Kids love the curly-streamer type bows. Be sure you have the thin type ribbon that curls when 'stropping' with a scissor blade. Tie 14" lengths of different colored pieces together in center, then 'curl' away...the heavier the pressure when 'stropping', the tighter the curl.
For making favorite candies or cookies, check the recipes first, then make a list of all ingredients you need to buy, and BUY them on your next grocery trip. Check that you have a good candy thermometer, enough baking sheets, wax paper/plastic wrap, and shipping containers.