by Alisa Murray

In the garden, keep all bird feeders and baths full. Put out suet cakes so you are providing the much-needed protein that our sweet friends need during the winter months. Have frost cloths on hand for those few nights where we dip into the 30’s.


In the house, select an area that you will ruthlessly be committed to organizing and give yourself 6 months to complete. This next year I am focused on my closet and anything classified as a “wearable” item. Everything in the attic right down to the boxes of baby clothes I have stored for 20 years is coming down, being sorted and either sold or packed back up for grand babies yet to arrive.


Set yourself up a store online at Poshmark where you can sell these items to others who are looking for gently used and sometimes never worn items. I have heard of people making a nice sum of change having done so and I am going to keep all the money from this endeavor in one place and se about buying something entirely selfish and just for me when I am done!


On my nightside table… “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens and “Meet Me at the Museum” by Anne Youngson. I have found that committing myself to reading each day not only keeps my mind “working” better but also curbs the television watching at night!


Pick 6 couples that you and your husband like to spend time with and schedule dinners twice for 2019. Pick different restaurants than each of you know so that you can take in all the Town has to offer in the culinary scene. This next year I am finally going to try African food!


As you are packing up the holiday decorations go through them and gently remove anything that you did not use this year. Label ornaments based on color so they are easier to find next year and easier for you to come up with a new way to use and combine them in your home.


Consider having a chili night for friends over New Years. Gather the children for a sleepover and everyone plan to stay in, perhaps if it’s cold enough build a little fire and roast some marshmallows and make hot chocolate. I would always rather ring the new year with a handful of friends than be out with a bunch of strangers and if you choose the latter …don’t forget to Uber or Lyft.


With the children out of school now is the perfect time to renew your family membership to the Museum of Fine Arts and spend a day or more touring the different exhibitions. If your children are so inclined…encourage them to bring their sketchbooks and do some art themselves!


With all the hustle and bustle surround the holidays it can become easy to forget to spend quality time with your spouse. Schedule an afternoon couples’ massage and a dinner just for the two of you between Santa and the ringing in of the new year. On a budget? Stay at home and cuddle with a bottle of wine and a movie and get the children either to bed early or off to grandma’s house!


As always, spend time with the children, have meals in an electronic-free zone, call a friend at least once per week and enjoy the life you’re living! Cheers to a new one ahead!