« Transfer your (or your kids') art onto ceramic tiles | Main | DIY Chalkboard Paint »

December 08, 2011

Vicky Sanderson's de-stressing gift guide

This is a guest post written by my lovely colleague Vicky Sanderson, a triple-threat guru in the fields of entertaining, decor and cooking! Vicki writes Hot Home Products, a weekly column on home improvement, décor and housewares that appears in the Toronto Star and on YourHome.ca - Follow her on Twitter: @vickysanderson 


Feeling seasonal stress already? Relax. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? Just in case that wise yogic counsel didn’t induce calm, here are three ways to instantly dial down the holiday pressure.

Give gifts that encourage family togetherness. Nothing says downtime like a couple of movies in a row on a snow-soaked afternoon. Choose a family favourite, such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – just out in a collectible box at HMV  — and add a classic, such as West Side Story. 

Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Puffs

Foodie Blues?

Enough with all the cooking already!  Stock up on high-quality prepared foods from a specialty retailer like M&M Meat Shops. Pop their frozen pot roast in a slow cooker, which will produce a delicious cooking-all-day aroma (nudge, nudge) before adding veg and — if you like — a splurt of red wine. Serve with a pre-mixed salad and artisanal bread. For dessert, pull out M&M’s mini cream puffs, Nanaimo bars and tiny, perfect fruit tarts. When folks compliment you on the meal, sigh with exhaustion, daintily wipe your brow and say they were worth every ounce of the trouble you took. 

Be a Pig Hero

Remember what it’s really all about, and make a donation on behalf of someone far, far away whose life isn’t as blessed as yours. Consider, for example, World Vision, which partners with local communities in developing countries to improve lives.  A donation of $50 and a family receives two hens and a rooster; $40 buys a pig. The bonus here – you’ll raise a smile when you tell folks you gave pigs and poultry as presents this year.




The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Get ToolGirl's Newsletter
  • Watch ToolGirl's videos


  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest

Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie