December 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm , by Jennifer Castoro
The holiday season seems to mean something different to everyone. Some love the revelry and host over-the-top celebrations, and some mark the season quietly and without much fanfare. No matter what your personal preference, it’s pretty tough to avoid reminders of the holidays. From TV ads with dancing elves to store circulars urging you to drop your cash on the latest and greatest, there’s a lot of ho-ho-hoing going on. So what happens when, for whatever reason, you can’t stand this jolly time of year?
The couple in this week’s Can This Marriage Be Saved? post, originally featured in our December 2003 issue, is dealing with that very issue. Kim, a 36-year-old music teacher who’s married to Steve, a 46-year-old postal worker, feels depressed and anxious about the season, while her husband loves the holidays and insists on grand family celebrations. Listen in.
Kim’s side: She’d prefer to spend the entire season in bed. Not a natural hostess, Kim feels pressured to make the holidays “perfect” for Steve and the family, even though she doesn’t get along well with his kids from his first marriage. Her stepdaughter’s husband is rude and sarcastic to her, and Steve doesn’t say a word. She’s gone along with the traditions for the 10 years they’ve been married but finally outlawed the celebrations, and she ruled out holiday treats because as a recovered bulimic, she can’t handle the sweets in the house. Her childhood was tough: After her father died when she was young, her mother was physically abusive. She’s also exhausted from working seven-day weeks, and their sex life is kaput. Read more
December 18, 2009 at 4:44 pm , by cdewet
Don’t welcome the New Year in a crowded bar with an overpriced drink in hand—instead host a New Year’s Eve Party in the comfort of your own home! To help you throw a festive celebration that’s easy to pull off, HGTV’s Design on a Dime host Kristan Cunningham answers some of our staffers’ New Year’s Eve questions.
LHJ: What’s the best number of guests to invite for a fun but not overwhelming gathering?
KC: 20 is a manageable number to seat, feed, and have drinks on hand for (without remortgaging your home) but it’s also enough people to keep the party interesting. It’s also an easy number for the hostess to handle. You can work the room and make sure that each of your guests gets some face time without it feeling like speed dating!
LHJ: Can you get away with asking for potluck? Is it cool to assign people to bring a specific dish or type of wine?
KC: You can absolutely do potluck, and this is obviously a great way to cut down on your overall costs. But with all of the responsibilities you already have on your plate, don’t take on the headache of trying to wrangle and coordinate this aspect. Leave it to your guests!
November 23, 2009 at 10:56 am , by Julie Bain
Do you know what wines you’re serving with the turkey and stuffing? Don’t stress about it! I was a wine writer earlier in my career, and one thing I learned is that when it comes to pairing wines with Thanksgiving dinner, almost anything goes. Many people offer a white and a red, but it really comes down to what you like. Luckily there are lots of good affordable options to choose from these days. We picked the wines pictured here (which are also featured on page 20 of the November issue of LHJ) for their clever names as well as their quality and price. So you can make a real statement with them as hostess gifts. Read more