Important Dates: December 1, Advent Begins; the 21st, Yule; the 22nd, Hanukkah; the 25th, Christmas and the 26th Kwanzaa and The Solar Eclipse.
WINTER IS COMING
Winter is a time when the earth is in hibernation. The chi rests. Plants rest, trees rest and of course we rest and try to take it easy. The weather gets colder and snow blankets the earth and all looks peaceful and beautiful from the inside of our home. It’s a lovely time of the year, especially if you can stay inside!
We may have time to read that book that has been sitting on the shelf for a few months because we were so busy with our autumn yard clean up, etc., and never got around to doing what we wanted to do. It’s a time to sit home and watch TV or have fun with the family. Adult education classes are over until February, so this is a time to decorate the house, enjoy your family, read, play board games, write holiday shopping lists, battle the crowds in the stores for holiday shopping and generally enjoying the indoors.
As winter progresses, it’s a time to make sure your car and tires are good working condition. You want to be safe in the snow and ice filled streets. Be sure to get that oil change to make sure the engine runs smoothly too.
Here are a few ways to bring in positive energy into your yard and home for the holidays.
Holiday lights: Nothing brings guests better than Christmas light displays during the holidays. Put lights on timers so that you don’t have to be home to have your lights come on. This also lets others think you are home when you may be off holiday shopping or visiting family, friends or neighbors.
If you are a baker, bake all the great cookies and breads you usually do for the holidays. Nothing invites family, friends and neighbors in general to come into your home more than freshly baked items with those wonderful aromas filling your home and seeping through your doors or windows. Do you need to bake so many cookies? How many can we eat? After the holidays, I get to throw a good deal of them out to my squirrels which live on my property and they thank me. Another choice, of course, is to freeze what you can.
Have all of your shopping and wrapping done early. You can buy presents all year long and wait until after Thanksgiving for larger items or items that you want to make sure you can return.
Decorate the house at different times. You can put up the tree one night and then put up window and yard decorations over the next few days. Be sure the children are home, so that they can assist in making your home look beautiful for the holidays. Even though I’m sure they’ll complain at having to do something as lame as put up Christmas or holiday decorations, it will be good to show the children that the holidays are for families and families work together.
Write holiday cards when you have a few spare minutes throughout the fall. Many people put names and addresses on stick-on labels. I have learned that they are very impersonal and it’s just like you are saying that you wanted to get that chore out of the way as quickly as possible and had no regard for the person it was being sent to. I hand write all my envelopes and messages inside each card rather than writing a longer typed Christmas-gram. It’s more personal and it’s very rare, so your card will stand out. I have received many comments on my original notes and how refreshing they were.
When getting ready to have a holiday party at your home, here are some tips: clean the house one day, set up the tables and cooking/serving dishes and glasses you will need another day (pop them in the dishwasher if they haven’t been used since the last big holiday), do the food shopping and preparing what you can ahead of time and on the day of the party, you can relax, get ready in a stress free environment and have fun! Clean up can be done tomorrow or after your guests have gone. Some people actually pitch in and clean up as they go. If this is all right with you, by all means, accept the help. You’ve worked so hard!
Or throw a load of dishes and glasses in the dishwasher, go to bed and rest so you can face the mess ahead of you in the light of day with a strong cup of coffee or tea in your hand!
Do simple things to help your party run smoother. Prepare the coffee maker and supplies ahead of time so that when it is time for your guests to have coffee or tea, all you have to do is show them where it is.
Put the milk pitcher in the refrigerator filled with cold water so it will be kept colder for a longer period of time after serving.
Make sure your table linens are clean. Check them at least a week before your party and clean what needs to be washed or sent to the dry cleaners.
Have holiday music playing in the background, but be sure it is relaxing music so that all conversations can be heard easily.
If this is a pot luck dinner, prepare a menu so you can tell everyone what they could bring to your home. If it’s not a pot luck dinner but others ask what they may bring, you can always suggest gourmet dips, crackers, breads, wine, sparkling apple cider, eggnog, a bottle of liquor or a dessert of their choice. Tell them how many guests you are expecting.
You do not need to put out every holiday decoration you have. As the children leave the nest, you can put up a modest yet tasteful display of decorations. The holidays are for us to relax and enjoy the season, not stress over all the decorations, where to move the furniture until after the holidays and rush out to get the biggest live Christmas tree you can find.
There are so many kinds of pre-lit artificial trees that are life-like and stunning, why should we waste another natural resource if we don’t have to? An artificial tree can be purchased after the holidays for very reasonable prices and they look good for at least ten years if cared for properly.
WINTER QUICK TIPS:
Be sure the furnace is in perfect operating condition so your heating bills will be reasonable and your family will be safe.
If you have a fireplace, be sure to have enough wood stored in a dry space so it can be used whenever you need a fire. Be sure the fireplace has been cleaned, if needed. Every other year would be a good starting point to have it cleaned out or checked.
Put light timers on in several rooms so that they come on automatically when you are not home. The darkness of night comes quickly in the winter, so for safety, make sure it looks as if someone is home.
Place your heat on a timer too so that you are not wasting precious fuel when it is not needed. There are many thermostats with timers built in and if you don’t have one, they are not outrageously priced.
Are all the window and door seals tight so that you don’t lose precious heating in the winter?
Is your roof in need of repair? It would be worse if your roof was in need of repair and you found out while ice was melting and found its way through your attic and into one of your room’s ceilings.
Keep an extra entrance way runner handy so that excess mud, water or snow can be wiped off easily from shoes or boots before coming into your home.
If it works for you, do shopping in bulk so that you have fewer trips to the store in bad weather and have plenty of items on hand in case of an unexpected snow storm.
This is a great time to clean out attics and basements during the bad weather. Until the weather breaks, you might as well be productive.
Clean out closets and/or draws one a day until you are finished.
Go through your clothes, towels, bed linens and tablecloths and see which ones you no longer need, like or use. You can put them in a big bag or box for a springtime garage sale or you can simply donate them to your church or temple.
Don’t forget to bring unneeded blankets and towels to local shelters so the animals will be warm.
Clean out your makeup drawer! If you haven’t used something in a year, toss it or give it to someone who may want or need it, if it is still good. Once mascara is opened, it can only be used for three months until bacteria forms inside the tube. If creams smell bad, toss them. There is a certain shelf life on cosmetics, so check them carefully. Otherwise, you are storing items that are unusable or bad.
When putting away holiday decorations, do one area of your home at a time. Pack things carefully so you won’t find them broken next year. Put tree decorations together, the manger and figurines in another box and all of your window and room decorations in another. Label each box with a big black magic marker or Sharpie pen. Rubbermaid makes lovely large containers which seal out moisture, so perhaps investing in a few of them will help make the storing of your decorations easier. You can color code the boxes for certain items.
Read; there is no time like winter to curl up in front of a fireplace or in a cozy chair and read. Catch up on recorded shows or binge on series you’ve always wanted to see.
Spend more time with family and friends. Have a few cocktail parties or get-togethers with finger foods. I was recently introduced to a fun game called “Apples to Apples.” I don’t like games but my sister-in-law said, “You don’t have to know anything or do anything that is hard,” so I gave it a try. We played for hours and had fun – both with the kids and adults. It also got us talking a lot more to each other and laughing way too much!
Catch up on sewing, crocheting or knitting projects while watching TV or listening to the radio or CD. My planned hobby for this winter is quilting! That should take up a lot of time.
Sell your old treasures or precious junk on eBay. There is nothing like the winter months to get you looking through your stuff to what you don’t need any longer. It’s easy to sell on eBay if you have never done so before. Just read through the site and you will see how easy it truly is. If I can do it, so can you.
These are some of the suggestions I have for the winter season. Good luck and enjoy the snow!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all. I hope you are lucky enough to enjoy the holidays with loved ones and good friends.
DEGREE, SIGN & MINUTES
|First Quarter||04||11 Pisces 49||01:58 AM|
|Full Moon||12||19 Gemini 52||00:12 AM|
|Last Quarter||18||26 Virgo 58||11:57 PM|
|New Moon||26||04 Capricorn 07||00:13 AM|
|Planets in the morning sky||Mercury through the 25th, and Mars.|
|Planets in the night sky||Venus, Jupiter through the 15th, and Saturn through the 27th. Do not confuse Venus with Saturn mid-month. Venus is brighter.|
|Retrogrades||Uranus all month.|
|The sun goes into Capricorn on December 21, the Winter Solstice.|
ARIES – March 20 – April 19
Spending money for the holidays is just the beginning. You will have fun, enjoy holiday celebrations and won’t think twice about spending more than planned on a gift for a loved one. Your generosity of spirit is magnetic and extends to your friends who will expect an extra special gift. You may over spend on those you love. Career opportunities are plentiful and you are probably considering changing jobs or parts of your job that will bring you more attention, more income or where you will use your intellect. Things are getting boring. Your attention is not on work at this time, but in planning all the wonderful shopping, parties, travel and fun you hope to have during this month. Your practical side comes into play where you realize you need more rest and must limit your help to others who are always taking advantage of your kind nature. All in all, you are on the go, having fun, and connecting with friends and family who love your company.
TAURUS – April 20 – May 20
Holiday travel seems important; however, make sure your travel plans are solid before venturing to your holiday destinations. Family conflicts may arise and seem unimportant to you, but the issues are important to others. Be tactful with your partner since much energy seems to want to make you “right” or in control of every situation. If you keep a cool head and compromise where appropriate, things should run quite smoothly. Don’t get into a battle of wits with your family and friends since this is the season of forgiveness and peace of mind, body and spirit. Change is good even though you may not feel it at the present time. If you find yourself in unexpected circumstances, just know that you are being guided on a different path. You may not wish to travel on this path; however, it would be in your best interest to at least look at the wonderful changes around you and the opportunities it will bring for future happiness, prosperity and good health.
GEMINI – May 21 – June 20
Home life tends to get somewhat stressful as you try to plan the perfect holiday party. Balance issues between your work load in your career and the responsibilities of your family weigh you down. Why can’t you delegate? Is it up to you to handle everything? Miscommunication is prevalent this month so be clear about your intent or what you are asking others to do for you. Repeat things so that you are on the same page as well. Are you working too much so that you are not avail Compromise is needed to avoid arguments with your partner or loved ones since you just don’t have much time to think things through properly and make an informed decision? You also get annoyed when people question where your time is spent and that you may be able to organize your life better. You do more than most of the other signs and you would like to be acknowledged for that, but just be happy that you are able to run your life the way you want to or else, you just pick up and find happiness elsewhere.
CANCER – June 20 – July 21
Love life and family seems to bring you much happiness and joy, even though you are handling too much of the responsibility. New beginnings in the home, perhaps redecorating or some much needed repair projects, help you focus on your goals for the future. You may be starting over or feel as if you need the changes that are being thrust upon you. Make buying presents a special family occasion. Even though you may feel that change is unsettling, it will be a positive experience, so go with the flow. Differences of traditions and philosophies of life will be tested and you may be persuaded to look at things from different perspectives. Even though you may want to stay home this holiday season, be a bit flexible if your partner wants to travel to visit family. Staying home means you have to cook and entertain; however, it also makes you feel comfortable to be in your own home to do whatever you want to. Using your intellect to make decisions rather than emotional ones will help you choose the better option.
LEO – July 22 – August 22
It is important for you to entertain your family and friends, but be mindful of your health. Take enough time for yourself and let others give you a hand in the kitchen or with the preparations. This is a good time to rejuvenate, relax and do whatever you feel is important for yourself and your happiness. It is a time to help others get more organized and as usual, you help others with their challenges and issues and are always going the extra mile. This is also a time where you will take on the responsibility of a family issue. Do the best you can to help those family members compromise; however, don’t beat yourself up if it does not go the way you feel it should. You have done your best and sometimes things just have to work themselves out. Arguing is probable if you let yourself get caught up in the politics of an issue. Be aware of the explosive energy surrounding you and do your best to diffuse all negative situations.
VIRGO – August 23 – September 22
Holidays are always stressful, so if you are more relaxed and plan well in advance, your holidays will run quite smoothly. Getting your list and checking it twice is a great way for a Virgo to start their holiday shopping. Know what you want to spend and then comparison shop so you get the best price for the item, as if you wouldn’t do that anyway! Try not to take life so seriously now as it is supposed to be fun. If there are any issues that you do not agree with, let them go for now and deal with them after the holidays. Situations with personal and business partnerships may be confusing and upsetting at times, so be prepared to stand your ground and give your frank opinion in a tactful manner. Career may be changing in many ways and it would be helpful for you to know in which direction you would like to proceed. Do you want your own home-based business? If so, go for it now as the energy around you is positive and open to so many wonderful possibilities to accomplish your future goals and dreams.
LIBRA – September 23 – October 22
Spending money for beautiful things is a constant in your life; however, it may be time to ask your partner if he or she agrees with your gift choices. Ask for his or her opinions of gifts for the family and your closest friends. Consulting a partner on financial choices or where you spend the family riches will allow you to spend more freely. Much good energy is around you so plan what steps you would like to take to accomplish some dreams and goals. Your personality shifts to being more self-confident with less issues regarding insecurities and anxieties. This is the time for you to accomplish what needs to be done. Career, travel and spiritual pursuits all seem to become important at the same time so be prepared to be scattered and yet, you will be having the time of your life exploring all the possibilities around you.
SCORPIO – October 23 – November 21
Be prepared to double check your travel plans as it seems as if there is a glitch that hinders you. This does not mean that you should not travel, but it seems to be a time where extra planning and alternative plans will keep everyone calm and in control of their holidays! Running around at the last minute to get your shopping done can be an exhausting task, so use the web to order some on line gifts, if you feel that’s appropriate. You just need some down time, relaxation time, and family time for your own enjoyment and wellbeing. You would like to plan things in advance and that’s a wonderful idea, but be flexible enough to know that all plans do not turn out exactly as we hope. Many times, the things that change can be more fun than our original plans. Have a wonderful time.
SAGITTARIUS – November 22 – December 20
Get up and go to holiday parties, friends’ get-togethers or that holiday getaway with a loved one even though he or she may not want to leave home. Try to be a little more sensitive with a loved one’s feelings as it seems you may be somewhat tactless or thoughtless to his or her needs. This may be because you are so caught up in the whirlwind around you, or the holiday season, that you don’t have time for petty nonsense. You may be on different wavelengths so try to find common ground. Home life may be a bit too hectic for your taste and you may try to go out or not deal with specific issues. They will not go away, so deal with them directly. A good outcome will result from any effort you put into making positive changes in work, formal education, long distance travel and finances, so start thinking about which areas of life you would like to change and start making a few small changes throughout the season.
CAPRICORN – December 21 – January 19
New friends and associations help propel your career through this holiday season. Networking becomes effortless as you meet many more people through new clubs, memberships and organizations. Be careful not to let your personal and business lives conflict with each other as it won’t be worth the time and trouble. Deal with each area of life separately and complete any unfinished projects or endeavors. Being organized for the upcoming year will help you get a jump on your goals. Lists will help you with this organization and will help you focus on your priority issues. Go out and have some fun. You can’t be all business or too serious now since this is the time to be happy and jolly! Accept holiday party invitations and do some of the entertaining yourself. You will feel very relaxed and others will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
AQUARIUS – January 20 – February 17
Your creative and artistic abilities are amplified during this festive season so don’t be afraid to show off your abilities to your family and friends. Spirituality is more important as you unfold the meaning of your traditional beliefs. This is a good time to think about what you want to do in the future, perhaps in a creative field or perhaps to take creative classes you never had the time to take in the past. What a wonderful time for you to look into new cultures and traditions. You may wish to kick back and unwind during the holidays and not have the traditional holiday meals or parties with your family. You may wish to keep a day for yourself where you could organize your home, entertain other family members or friends or just relax and watch the blinking lights on the Christmas tree or other holiday decorations. Energy abounds and you wish to accomplish so much. You can do anything you need to do at this time, but limit yourself to a few tasks per day so you can re-energize and continue on the fast track that you have been living on for the last year.
PISCES – February 19 – March 20
The holidays will be exciting and fun because you have planned so much to do. Loved ones would be adaptable enough when unexpected circumstances change your plans at the last minute. These changes may be better than your original plans. If circumstances seem confusing or dramatic, this is the best time to take that energy and turn it into a positive result. This seems like a bi-polar month. Things go very well, then fall apart, so it’s best that you just deal with situations as they happen rather than projecting the best or worst scenario for them. The negativity around you is disappearing and you need to reinforce the positive energy that you know is protecting and guiding you to do the right thing. Love issues may be a tender spot, so understand what the issue is and then do something to resolve it. Using your mental agility will help you to optimistically deal with any concerns that come your way. Career issues may be pushed to the foreground and some very important decisions about your future will need to be made. Be sure you have all the facts before jumping to conclusions that may be incorrect. If you need to make adjustments to goals, now is the time to make them.
Rev. Vikki Anderson has been a metaphysical teacher, author and lecturer for over 47 years. She may be contacted at 570-215-4223 to make an appointment for a telephone reading in tarot and astrology or an in-person Feng Shui consultation. Please visit: www.vikkianderson.net for further information.