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Issue 11
December 16, 2005

Home for the Holidays

Oh there's no place like home for the holidays, and this year I plan to take full advantage of the gift of time with my loved ones (which is a glass-is-half-full way of looking at those two weeks of school vacation). My favorite thing about December is being able to introduce the holiday traditions from my childhood to my little ones, as well as starting new family traditions of our own. I just love it when we all get in our most comfy loungewear and jammies, snuggle up on my Christmas-gift-to-myself, pop in a great movie, and gather for a family movie night. This is one of our new family traditions and we do it all the time—not just on holidays! Tonight it's popcorn, chocolate-dipped pretzels and our holiday kick-off favorite.

We all know that our original intentions are always good, but with the kiddies out of school for up to two weeks, not to mention temperatures in the single digits, home can quickly become a war zone. Fortunately, help is on the way. With a little inspiration, a pinch of planning, a smidgen of creativity, and the willingness to go with the flow, this holiday season can be the best yet. Here's our Holiday Survival Guide, complete with suggested attire!

Holiday Cookie Party

The Holiday Cookie Party is a hit with kids of all ages. The best part is that if you don't have time to bake sugar cookies from scratch (like Mom used to do) you can purchase them directly from the bakery, or buy the slice n' bake kind from the grocery. There are even pre-cut-out holiday shaped cookies that you just slide onto a baking sheet and bake! Then there's the fun part: the decorating! Have bowls of different colored buttercream frosting (voted best and yummiest), and several different types of candy for decorating—jimmies, crushed candycane, mini M&M's, chopped nuts, holiday sprinkles. Let your little bakers get as creative as they want and before you know it you will have several plates full of edible works of art. Bundle some up as gifts! Make sure they keep their holiday duds spanking clean while getting into the true holiday baking spirit.

Suggested attire: Down-home casual. Relaxed jeans, fun tee-shirt and cozy footwear; after all, you are in the comfort of your own kitchen!

Holiday Cookie Exchange

This is another version of the Holiday Cookie Party and is perfect for a neighborhood celebration. Each family brings two plates of their favorite holiday cookies and an empty platter (for transporting cookies home). One plate of cookies from each family is set out for munching, while the other is set aside for the exchange. After everyone has mingled, munched and visited for234x60 Toys Bannerawhile, the Cookie Exchange begins. Each family fills their platter with a selection of delectable confections that everyone has provided. At the end of the day everyone has had a great time with friends and family, with the added bonus of a holiday platter filled with an assortment of yummy cookies to take home! If you are lucky enough to be invited to a Holiday Cookie Exchange (or any other party for that matter) this cake plate is a fabulous hostess gift!

Suggested attire: Chic cropped trousers, soft wrap-front sweater, sexy pumps.

Gift idea: Put three or four of your most spectacularly creative cookies in a cellophane bag, tie with a holiday ribbon and tuck into a clever mug along with an envelope of hot cocoa mix.

Snow Day:

As a child, these were the most welcome words of the entire winter. It meant no school, gallons of hot chocolate and at least four changes of warm stockings. As parents, we tend to take a somewhat less enthusiastic view. But no more! Let yourself return to the simplicity and joy of childhood. Bundle the little ones up and head out into that white winter wonderland. Build a snow family, a snow fort, or play snow games. Make a pizza-pie trail and play Fox & Geese, my favorite snow game as a kid. (I just love to tramp through freshly fallen snow). Remember to dress warm! If ever you needed an excuse for cashmere gloves, this is it!

Suggested attire: Just because it's cold and snowy outside is no reason to look and dress like the Michelin man. A down jacket is toasty warmn but can still be stylish. Insulated ski pants, a cashmere scarf and snug fleecy boots complete the picture.

Gift idea: A Snowman Kit! Or, you can make your own: In a mason jar, place buttons for eyes, a plastic carrot for a nose, marbles for a mouth, a corncob pipe (available at craft store), and a scarf. Attach a note that says, "Just add snow". Makes a great gift for your child's schoolmates or for neighbors. It also makes a great gift for your friends and relatives who live in sunnier climes. Then it becomes a Sandman Kit!

More fun winter-break activities:

  • Make luminarias using paper bags, sand and votive candles. Line your sidewalk, light the candles and enjoy the festive glow. A great way to announce which house the party is at!
  • Holiday ornament exchange. Similar to the Holiday Cookie exchange, except that everyone brings just one wrapped Christmas tree ornament. Each guest draws a number and chooses an ornament in numerical order. The next player has the option of choosing a new wrapped ornament or stealing one from someone who has already opened it.
  • Scrapbooks. This is a great time to start putting all of your photos and mementos into fun scrapbooks, or update the ones you already have. Let each of your children be in charge of their own scrapbook; give them free rein to be as creative as they want!
  • Decorate tote bags or aprons as gifts to teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles. etc.
  • Check out the Countdown to Christmas at for more great ideas for spending time with your little ones this holiday season.

May you have a blessed and joyous holiday season, from our family to yours!

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She She Me Announcement

For all our darling She She girls, we are happy to announce that several of our chic shop note card styles are now available at selected Victoria's Secret Beauty locations across the U.S.!

Copley Place, 100 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02116
Garden State, Rouse 4 & 17, Paramus, NJ 07652
Easton TC, 3995 New Bond St, Columbus, OH 43219
Oakbrook, 22nd St & Rt 3, Oakbrook, IL 60521
Somerset, 2800 West Big Beaver Rd, Troy, MI 48084
Southpark, 4400 Sharon Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
Lakeside, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, LA 70002
Northpark, 1010 Northpark Center, Dallas, TX 75225
The Forum @ Caesars, Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Topanga, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Canoga Park, CA 91303
Woodfield, 134 Woodfield Drive, Schaumberg, IL 60173
Willowbrook, 1467 Willowbrook Mall, Wayne, NJ 07470
Tyson's Corner, 7977 Tyson's Corner Mall, McLean, VA 22102

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