As the smoke machine fog begins to dissipate and the jack-o-lantern smiles start to wane as they slowly turn into pies, there is a collective sigh of relief and a somewhat anti-climatic feeling. It's over, we survived... and we'll do it all again next year.
When I think of all the preparation that goes into holidays in general, it's a little overwhelming. And during this time of year, as soon as you've finished one, it's immediately on to the next. Which is why I think it's especially important to celebrate... YOU! Remember you? I say it's high time for some me time because it's going to be in short supply for the next couple of months.
In attempting to plan my weekly girls night out, I've heard a lot of reasons why some of my girlfriends couldn't make it. I'm guessing that a lot of you have the same reasons and while they may be completely legit, I'm telling you, YOU are more important than that last batch of laundry and the cleaning can wait until tomorrow. And really, how will little Timmy ever learn to manage his time if you're finishing his science project? Don't deprive him of a valuable life lesson. He earned that C, let him own it.
Perhaps you're just downright tired, and I hear ya there! I also know that when I have a night out to look forward to, it doesn't matter what else is going on, I can't wait to go have some me time! It's like dessert, there's always room.
So, now that you know you are more important and deserve some time with your friends, I thought I'd give some tips for some of the other common reasons you might be missing out.
"Sorry, I'm broke!"
Broke schmoke, who said you even had to leave the house? Put the kiddos to bed and invite the ladies over. Keep in mind that the idea isn't to throw some rockin' party, but to enjoy the company of friends.
- Potluck and a movie - pizza, snacks, drinks, popcorn and even the movie. Make a list and let your friends pick what they'd like to bring. Or theme the food around the movie. Watch Avatar and eat nothing but blue food or Fried Green Tomatoes with well, fried green tomatoes and baby back ribs ("secret's in the sauce.") Get creative.
- Soup Kitchen - I read about this a couple of weeks ago in our local paper. Now that the weather has gotten colder and we'll all be a little busier, how about hosting a soup exchange. Everyone brings 6 containers of soup (make sure they're labeled) and trades with everyone else. The best part? With the exception of cream soups, soup freezes beautifully and you have ready made meals for you and the family.
- Game on ladies! - throw some chips and dips on the table and break out the Monopoly. Invite your friends to bring their favorite games, choose a couple and have fun. I've personally done this one at someone else's house and it was a blast. The sillier the game, the more fun.
- Come on and get crafty - put on a movie or some music and everyone can bring a project their working on or someone can teach their craft to the group. Either way, crafting with friends is way more fun that crafting solo.
We could play this game for a few rounds, but let's save ourselves the time and assign a date. If you have a few friends interested in a ladies night, rotate the planning duties every week (or however often you'd like to get together). In addition to the ideas above, and the traditional dinner and a movie out, don't miss out on these gems:
- The classic mani/pedi - seriously, what's more fun that being pampered and spending time with your friends? Plus, newly painted toes are just cute.
- Mini Golf - an oldie but a goodie.
- Museums - Yeah, sometimes these are just more fun without the kids. You don't have to scream at anyone to stop running or don't touch that $2,500 painting.
- Happy Hour - whether you drink or not, it's not called Happy Hour for nothing. Cheap eats and good times.
- Shopping - this is definitely way more fun without the kids.
- Karaoke! - what's an off-key note among friends; they'll still love ya.
- Community Service - You don't even have to wear the orange jumpsuits. Find a cause you and your friends support then sign up as a group to volunteer.
- Take a Class - If you have a parks and recreation, they're bound to offer classes for adults. And if you and your friends sign up for one, the weekly night out is already planned for you.
With friends scattered all over, there's bound to be one of us along your route. We'll pick you up and we might even take you home afterward. :o)
And there you have it. No excuses ladies, Me Time is now! You'll thank me later.
PS, I posted a pic of the girls' costumes on the Facebook Fan page, in case you wanted to check out my cute little Veruca Salt and Oompa Loompa. :o)