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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 

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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.

Piggie

 

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