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Q&A: Thanksgiving 911

Every Thanksgiving hostess has his or her moments of anxiety. Hell, I've been making holiday dinners and hosting dinner parties for a decade, and I still get a little nervous when it come to roasting the perfect turkey. That combined with kids, houseguests, and having to make an endless supply of side dishes all timed in perfect's a lot for one person. Hopefully by the time you've read this post, I will have answered any of your looming questions, but if there is still anything you are concerned about, please leave a comment at the end of the post, and I'll be sure to answer. Pictured above: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
1. What if I overcook the turkey, and the breast meat is dry? Slice it thin and soak it in warm chicken or turkey stock.
2. How do I get the skin beautiful golden brown? Lots of butter! Separate the skin and push butter directly over the meat then spread more butter over the outside of the skin. Also cover just the breast of th…

Krisztina's Blog: A Tradition of Gratitude and Giving

A lot of bloggers have been sharing their Christmas traditions this week, and while I do have a few that I try to stick with every year, like the boot in the window for Szent Mikulas and making Hungarian Kifli and snickerdoodles with my little munchkins, my favorite thing is that I stopped the tradition of the Christmas list. I've seen parents stress over getting everything on their children's lists, and it's so unnecessary. I still want to get my girls the things they want, but their attitudes have drastically changed over the last few years. They know they won't get every single thing they want, and I hope that is a lesson that will translate into life in general - not a ho-hum "I never get what I want" kind of attitude, but rather an attitude of being happy and grateful for the things they do get. It takes so much stress and pressure off the holidays. I was joking with my 6 year old Kaitlin the other day and said, "I could give you a flash light for Christmas, and you'd be happy with it." Her face lit up and she said, "I would! I would be so happy! I love to get anything!" I guess all those lectures about needy children finally paid off.

I know from experience that a feeling of gratitude leads to a heart for giving. As a child I had times of my own during which we relied on a local food bank, and I dreaded going back to school after Christmas break to see all of the other kids show off their new clothes and talk about their expensive new toys. Still we were never without what we needed and even enjoyed a few luxuries. Whenever I think about success, of course I think about building my dream home, having a nice car, and having the money to travel all over the place. But I also dream about having enough money to give. I wish I could play Santa Claus to the needy, but it's seems as though someone has already beaten my to it. Next year I plan to start a new tradition with my daughters and that is to participate in Operation Christmas Child. There are several ways to give from packing a shoebox to building one online or simply donating financially.

Have a Merry Christmas!:)


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