The Luxury of Time – Fabulous Friday
Simple Solutions Diva” Laura Morey is back this week with some great tips for the holidays. I read this and just nodded my head right on through because what she says here really resonated with me. It is so easy to let the holidays run you when in reality, we need to sit down and decide what really matters. Enjoy this great wisdom by Laura!

Simple Tips For Creating Luxury At The Holidays
My title is a little misleading – this story is not about creating luxurious, holiday table settings, or finding indulgent gifts to give. This is actually about finding and creating the elusive Luxury of TIME during this busy season.  The pressures of the holidays, both financially and socially, can create stress on even the calmest of people. 

Keep Calm and Enjoy the Season
Time spent with family and friends is particularly limited this year considering we have less than 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, PLUS stores are opening ON Thanksgiving for shopping deals.  Let’s face it — we have limited time to just sit back and enjoy the season, so time IS a luxury!
We can all get caught up in what we THINK we are supposed to do at this time of year because of our own personal traditions/expectations, like hosting a big, Christmas Day Dinner or visiting every single relative during the season.
Don’t let the holidays run you! 
So here are my tips for creating your own luxury of time for the holidays:
Determine “What Is Important?” – Have a conversation with immediate family about what is most important to them (and you) this season. Is it hitting the stores, or is it more about togetherness? Then start to plan accordingly (which leads me to my next tip!).
Create a Master Holiday Calendar – Whether on paper or a dry erase board, write out November and December, filling in the “musts” – Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, or Hanukkah. Fill in your professional “musts” like an office holiday party – keep these limited! Next, schedule YOUR time – the activities YOU want to do that will make you and your family feel fulfilled. Maybe it’s volunteering or stuffing stocking for needy kids, or ice-skating as a family. Look at your “What Is Important?” list if you are stumped! Don’t forget to include scheduled downtime to your routine to just enjoy what the season brings.

Don’t forget to schedule downtime.
Set Expectations – You always travel two states over to be with your large family, or maybe you have always bought presents for the entire extended family?  There is an expectation there. Be real -The economy has taken its toll on so many of us. Speak with immediate family and extended family and friends early (before shopping season is in full gear!), and set expectations on money, presents and days/ times when you are available to be with them. If you give everyone an early heads up, they will be less likely to have hurt feelings. And YOU will feel relieved.
Host A Smart Holiday Party – Want to do a party, yet are afraid it will break the bank? Do a holiday potluck party, where everyone brings something to share, or host a dessert party – set out a combination of homemade and store-bought desserts, coffee, and wine or alcoholic punch. People just appreciate the effort to have a gathering.

Host a smart holiday party.
Create Intimate Moments – Think back on your childhood, and I bet the fondest memories you have of the holidays focus more on experiences than the presents (except for, maybe, when you got that Barbie Dream House you’d always wanted!). My children are now teenagers, but long ago, we created a tradition of picking one night, some time after the tree is set up, to sit in a dark room, with XMAS music playing, drinking hot cocoa, eating XMAS snacks, and staring at the glow of the tree. Sounds boring, but it allows our family to relax, reflect on past holiday fun, and just reconnect during a hectic time of year. 

Create Intimate Moments
So the key here is to schedule things, plan, and LIMIT your commitments! Yes, I wrote limit, because we all have the tendency to over-schedule!  By not saying YES! to everything, we can enjoy what is most important to us. 
Keep in mind one of my favorite sayings, “If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in?”  
Enjoy the moments, because they are luxurious and are what life is all about!

~ Laura Morey

Thank you Laura for these great tips! For more from Laura, check out her last blog on finding luxury in plain site!

Enjoy the Journey!

xo- Amy West

Laura Morey is a video blogger and host of, where she shares simple solutions for the home, kitchen, garden, DIY, and more.  Her “Simple Holiday Survival” for 2013 series runs November 16-December 28. (For the 2012 “Simple Holiday Survival” videos, visit: Simple Holiday Survival 2012.)