New traditions (Jan. 1)

Christmas 2019 is in the books and I hope it was a merry one for you. My holidays are getting better after I vocalized to friends that I often spend holidays alone and I also decided that I would venture out and try new things. When my mother was alive I would never leave Pittsburgh during Thanksgiving and Christmas. She passed in 2015 and that was the year I introduced new traditions into my life. It wasn’t so smooth at first; you know, old habits are hard to break. I realized that family is not always related by blood, now I have friends who are like family and invite me for the holidays. It’s nice to be expected for Thanksgiving.

For the last five years on Christmas morning I join a friend for breakfast. Each year we select a place to go. The first year it was rather difficult finding the right restaurant. This year we went to the Omni William Penn and I think this will be our location for the next few years. They have a breakfast in the Terrace Room that begins at 7 a.m. and a buffet in the lobby beginning at 10 a.m. Keep in mind this is not like having breakfast at Denny’s or Bob Evans, the buffet in the Terrace room is $23 while the lobby buffet is $55, but the atmosphere is so worth it. The Omni William Penn is one of oldest and beautiful hotels in the city. It’s classy and well-appointed for the holiday. The Christmas tree was beautiful and there is a replica of the hotel made out of gingerbread. The area is great for an impromptu photoshoot. I like to get dressed up for Christmas day. You know how that goes, if you look good you feel good.

After breakfast I went to visit some friends and deliver a few gifts. If I go to someone’s home on Christmas or otherwise I rarely go empty handed. Remember that gift drawer that I have talked about? I usually pull something from the gift drawer or buy a gift especially for that person. Just a reminder; this is the time of year to replenish your gift drawers or closets. If you are looking for Christmas items try to get them at 75 percent off or more. There are a lot of things you can purchase that will work all year-round. Select wisely. Write a note to self, “don’t buy anything you don’t need just because it’s marked down.”

This year I decided not to buy any additional Christmas decorations and anything that was not used would be donated. OMG, I can’t believe how much surplus that I have, strings of lights and decorations that I used to use at my day job. Time to pack up this stuff and give to someone that can use it. Or perhaps I should save these items for a yard sale and include the clothes that I no longer need now that I’m not working each day. It’s amazing what I don’t wear any longer. New traditions are in effect.

by Debbie Norrell, Lifestyles Editor

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