While I’m a big fan of tradition, I do like to change things up every now and then. For example, each year I add and subtract from my holiday decorations. I change a few items on my party menu. The New Year’s Eve dinner menu differs each year, though the basic structure remains the same. I try new crafts.
But over the years, I’ve discovered that great new recipes, craft ideas, or decorations don’t necessarily come my way at a time when I can use them. My local newspaper publishes a section of Christmas cookie recipes — that appears at least a week after I’ve baked. Food and home shows suggest menus and crafts and décor in the first weeks of December (or the Saturday before Thanksgiving) — when my time is tight and my plans are made.
My solution: create an ideas file. When you see a recipe or craft or decoration that you want to try, tear it out and tuck it in the file. (You can do this electronically with scans or links.) Then, as you plan your cooking, crafting, decorating, and celebrating, you can take a few minutes to look through the file and see what new ideas you might want to implement. I also find that I toss a good bit of what I’ve collected. After I have time to think about it a while, it no longer seems like a good idea.
Having a dedicated place to store your ideas and a scheduled time to review them will actually decrease your stress since you won’t feel like you need to try everything the moment you see it. And, you’ll be less likely to fall into a rut!