Planning Ahead for Christmas: Wreaths on Windows, Snack Center for Delivery Personnel & Lots of Holiday Inspiration

Welcome to the 613th Metamorphosis Monday, a blog party sharing fabulous Before and Afters!

When my son was small, I worked in his elementary school library as a Media Parapro for five years. Unfortunately, I pretty much stayed sick with a cold or virus the entire five years since I spent my days interacting with young children all day long–handling the books they checked out and returned, reading to them, etc… Back then, I would catch 4-5 colds per year. I spent more time with a cold than I did without. Seriously!

When I visit my grandsons, the same thing happens now. The one nice thing about them being home so much this past year (other than getting to spend so much time with them) was I could visit and not catch a cold. Now that school is back in for half days, I’ve already caught my first cold from my youngest grandson. He came down with a cold about a week or so ago, and true to my nature, I promptly caught it.

I wonder, is it possible to be in the same house with someone who has a cold and not catch it? I definitely don’t get as much sleep when I’m visiting my grandsons as I do when I’m at home since the little ones are up very early every day, even on the weekends. I wish there was something I could do to beef up my immune system because eating right and taking a daily vitamin is obviously not enough.

It’s going to be a long drive back home tomorrow. I guess I’ll visit the pharmacy today and try to find something to help me make it through the 8-9 hour drive home. Appreciate your suggestions for good cold meds to buy at the pharmacy and suggestions on the best way to beef up my immune system other than eating right and getting rest. I already do the former and the latter is not always easy to accomplish when there are little ones around. lol

Halloween is this Saturday. As mentioned, I’ll be driving all day tomorrow, then I’m hoping to set a Halloween table on Wednesday to share for this week’s Tablescape Thursday. I’ll spend the weekend pulling out Christmas decorations because I’m busting to get those up almost as soon as Halloween is over.

The Christmas season always goes by so quickly so I want to get started decorating as soon as I can.  I know some folks here in Blogland have already started their Christmas decorating. I just can’t do that until Halloween has passed, but I am excited to get started! I was wondering today if I should replace all my wreaths this year.

Big Snow Storm, December 2017


My current ones are quite old, I think I’ve been using them for around 20 years now. They still look pretty good considering how old they are!

Hanging Wreaths on Exterior Windows, Brick Walkway


If you would like more information about how I hang my wreaths each year, check out this former post where I explain all of that in detail: How to Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows. It’s really very easy!

How to Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows


At least I know my ribbons and bows will be in great shape this year.

Wreaths on Exterior Windows, Ironing and Fluffing the Bows


I found an awesome deal on those last year here: 12 Red Christmas Bows with Streamers.


Also, this is a great time to start thinking about what you would like to include in your holiday treat bin if you are planning to put one out for the couriers/delivery personnel who will be bringing goodies to your home this holiday season.


I received the nicest thank you note last year after the holiday season was over. Our delivery folks really do appreciate this small gesture…it always a big hit at my house!

If you would like to read more about how I put this snack center together and the snacks that seem to be the most popular/appreciated, check out this post: Snack Center for Delivery Personnel.



Looking for a little inspiration for your Christmas holiday decorating? Check out the following links below:


Thanksgiving Decor

Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving Tablescapes



Christmas Crafts

Christmas Decor

Christmas Recipes

Christmas Tablescapes


Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday!

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  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Cold-EEZE lozenges.

  2. Try taking extra Vitamin C or Emergent C. It has helped me and I was Kindergarten teacher for many years.

  3. Hi Susan!

    Try taking 4000 Vit D every day. It is supposed to beef up your immune system. Dr. Fauci takes 6000 a day, but that is not recommended. Good luck and get well soon!

  4. Sheila Anderson says

    I take 1000 mg. of vitamin c every day. If I start feeling like something is coming on, I take 1000 mg. an hour. I haven’t had a cold in years. Sucking a Ricola throat drop stops a sore throat for me.

  5. Ginger Kilby says

    I have found that Echinacea helps boost my immune system and also helps fight off symptoms once they appear. I give it lots of credit for helping me avoid Covid since I was in Spain when it really hit hard over there.

  6. Diane petras says

    My son swears by these flu bombs whenever he feels his immunity is low.

  7. Take a high quality Probiotic- should help!

  8. Jackie Allen says

    So excited for Christmas decorating! Heading to get a Spruce flavored candle today to put me in the spirit while I dig everything out! Only a few more days left to enjoy those spiders and cobwebs!

  9. Mary from Virginia says

    Vitamin C and D, zinc, and whole herb Echinacea.
    I’m sorry you are sick! Save travels.

  10. Safe travels! I would suggest Elderberry Syrup. My cousin teaches @ Wright State & she lives on Airbone Immune. It’s worked great for her for going on five years.

  11. Hi Susan

    I agree with Ellen about Vit D – 4000iu in Winter, 2000iu in Summer. An Immunology Professor in Ireland recommends (especially for the elderly!) taking it combined with Vit C + Zinc to boost the immune system.

  12. Hi Susan,
    Hope you are safely home and maybe in bed for an extra nap so you are ready for The Season. Thanks to you, I put my delivery snack station out last year. But then I brought it out again and renamed it my Delivery Hero goodie box in April when our only interaction with the outside world was through our deliveries. Word has gotten out between the drivers and most of them make the extra trip to the front door rather than leaving them at the garage door. Hopefully, things will be a little back to normal (?) in January and I can bring it back in.

  13. Seems that Mary from Virginia says the same as Ellen and me about Vit D, Vit C + zinc!

  14. If it helps cheer you, as you get older and have already had a great variety of the cold viruses, some of the colds you get when older are the cold viruses you’ve already had and are now immune to that particular virus. It doesn’t prevent you from getting new cold viruses that you’ve never had but, at least, you will be able to dodge a few cold viruses that you’ve already had.

  15. Joan Brooks says

    I have not been sick since I began local honey on my toast . Get your family to send some from their area a few weeks before your visit.

  16. Hope you found something to help with the cold. Love all your Holiday inspiration, and the goodie box for the delivery people – that’s really sweet!
    Happy Travels!

  17. Sorry you are not feeling well! Do you currently take a daily probiotic? That has really helped beef up our immune systems at our house. Good gut health (sounds gross!) is supposed to contribute to a strong immune system.

    • I was taking one every day last year but haven’t this year as much. I didn’t realize that helped so much with the immune system. Sounds like I need to start that back.

    • Homemade chicken soup with bones on meat with carrots,celery, onion and escarole. I add a couple bouillon cubes and a pack of Lipton chicken noodle soup.Also, my doctor said add a pinch of red pepper flakes to your bowl to help get rid of cold. Feel better, love all the information I learn on your site, so relaxing to visit here.

  18. Elinda Turner says

    Susan, I have a pretty healthy immune system considering that I have a few auto immune issues and allergies. One thing I have been doing for years especially during fall/winter months, I wipe down all remote controls, door knobs, light plate switch cover plates, steering wheel on vehicles keyboards etc with disinfectant wipes a couple of times per week. With COVID this year I do it more often.

    I also take a probiotic weekly called Visbiome. It is a packet you can mix with water or juice. It is a high potency probiotic a doctor recommended to me. It is a little expensive. This probiotic has 450 billion bacteria per packet yes billion. We eat healthy also.

    I had bronchitis recently and last year, probably due to allergies and prior to that 2008. It has been at least ten or more years since I have had a cold. A couple of sinus infections mainly due to allergies. My husband and son husband a cold last year. Son a cold maybe two or three years ago. This is what has worked for us.

  19. Hi Susan! I’ve just started taking Zhou Elder-Mune gummies. It’s elderberry with vitamin C and zinc. I was able to get it from Amazon. I take 2x a day…one after breakfast and one after dinner. All the best to you XO

  20. Kara Thompson says

    Sorry to hear you caught a cold! I teach preschool, and I’ve figured out how to stay pretty healthy. The first few years I had a cold every weekend it seemed. I take Zyrtec daily. That seems to keep me from being irritated by dust or mold in the school. I also take Vitamin C, elderberry gummies, Emergencee gummies, Airborne, and Zinc when I feel something coming on. This is probably overkill, but it has worked for me. I don’t take those year round…..just when my kiddos start to have runny noses. If I’m really close to the sniffly ones, I load up.

  21. You’ll probably get more suggestions than you could possibly use. I swear by this as I’m 70, and I can’t even remember the last cold I had. At the very first sign of a cold, one or both of my ears start to hurt. I read about this on a health blog and have been doing it for years and it truly works as cold germs often enter through the ear canal. You lay on your side and put hydrogen peroxide in your ear with a dropper. It will bubble and kinda tickle but when it stops, let the fluid drain into a cotton ball. Do once more. It kills any bacteria that would lead to a cold or virus. The other thing I do is at the first sign of a cold, take Echinacea with Golden Seal, garlic capsule (natural antibiotic) and 500-1000 vitamin C… knocks it too. Probiotics and vitamin C and making sure you have a good level of Vitamin D (at least over 50, but not higher than 70) in your system are the keys to good immune health.

  22. Try Clor aTabs. You can find them at Walmart. I also take 2000 units of vitamin C. I haven’t had a cold or sinus infection in years. It works. I also drink my greens and reds from It Works. Lots of vitamins.

  23. Vitamin C and D, zinc (I keep Zicom on hand and take it at the first sign of a sniffle.) I mix Emergency-C in orange juice. Last winter I used a version with other vitamins added, but once COVID hit, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Hopefully it is back in stock by now. Wishing you a safe drive home, feel better!

  24. Hope you are feeling better. Vicks Vapo Rub can soothe the congestion. Thank you fro the snowman recipe. I am going to printout the recipe. it looks delicious.

  25. Hi Susan, hope you feel better real soon. I agree with a lot of the folks who have already made recommendations as far as Vit. C, Vit D and Zinc. I would suggest andrograhpis. It boosts immunity. It comes in powder and capsule form. I use the powder and mix about a 1/4 teaspoon in a few ounces of water. I will warn you, it’s a very bitter taste, so I usually follow it up with some delicious chewable vitamin C, lol. You might also look into quercetin. But definitely the zinc and andrographis, if nothing else. Safe driving!

  26. My window wreaths I use every year are about 25 years old. I got them 1/2 price after Christmas at a Revco drug store. They were VERY cheap as money was tight back then

  27. Bobbi Duncan says

    So far, I’ve been very lucky, w/ colds anyway– only one in 15 years. I do take Vitamin D-3 (2,000 IU) and a high quality probiotic called MD Complete Probiotics Platinum Formula. It hasn’t been proven that zinc actually works, but you could try it and see. Vitamin C needs to have been in the system to do any real good–popping vitamin C after you catch a cold won’t cure it, but maybe it will give some relief to symptoms. Mainly, get enough sleep and eat antioxidant-rich foods so that your immune system is healthy enough to ward off those pesky colds. I hope you feel better SOON. Hugs!

  28. Susan, i have an autoimmune disease and have gotten pneumonia every winter for the last 60+ years BUT NOT last year. I started taking 4Life immunity boosting supplements: Glutamine Prime, Transfer Factor Classic, Transfer Factor Plus, Transfer Factor Tri Factor, Pro/OBiotic. These can only be ordered on line. I also take elderberry, manuka honey, Vitamin D3+K2 Vitamin C and Selenium. IF I were to get sick I would take ionic Zinc (4Life) and colloidal silver. All of this was recommended to me by a holistic nurse practitioner friend. I believe in this 100%! I take care of my grandkids and use to always be sick but not anymore. We’ve also started them on the 4Life kids supplements and they are not getting the colds and sore throats anymore. I hope you feel better soon and check out the 4 Life supplements.

  29. Dear Susan, I hope that you are feeling better quickly. Vitamin D every day for the immune system and even more handwashing to avoid the germs. When my husband has a cold I put out separate dish towels and sponges. Of course we use different bath towels but anything he has touched: the remote, plates, glasses. any handles that he has used get wiped down. Kind of like Covid cleaning on steroids. It may be overkill but I usually will end up with a miserable sinus infection after having a cold that just doesn’t go away. Feel better so that you can have fun with your decorating. Do you do any decorating for Christmas in your office? It seems like you spend a lot of time there and just wondered if you add little bit of holiday spirit in there.

  30. I certainly understand about needing to boost your immune system, but we have found an answer! We use Young Living essential oils and drink an ounce of Ningxia Red everyday. Their Thieves oil was created to boost your immune system. My grandchildren have not been on an antibiotic in 7 years! If they do get sick, their mom uses oils on them and it has been short lived! My husband and I have not been sick in several years. We are thankful for Young Living everyday!

  31. I would say zinc from GNC might help.

  32. Thanks for the reminder of the holiday treat bins! I get so many deliveries all throughout the year, especially at the holidays. It’s a lovely idea to say thank you to those hard working people!

  33. Joyce Howe says

    I take Airborne when I fly and also extra Vitamin C during cold season. It seems to have worked for me. Hope you feel better soon.

  34. Brenda s. Lawrence says

    This is why I ended up resigning from my elementary school where I worked for 6 years. It was a job I loved, but I picked up everything from my students. Even fungal infections! I was pretty good until I started with Lupus and my immune system went down. I knew then it was time to resign. Before that I was fine and never hardly ever got sick and I volunteered in elementary, intermediate, middle and high school for 18 years before going to work in our school district. A lot of people swear by the “airborne” stuff. I don’t know much about cold stuff as I never really got them and don’t know because I don’t go out much. Hopefully you will get some good tips. I know you can’t stay healthy if you aren’t getting balanced sleep, and we know that isn’t always easy to do if you are with young children because they are up and at ’em early! lol I guess I’m the only one who doesn’t decorate for Christmas until Dec. lol But I leave my Christmas up into January, until the Epiphany. I do love your wreaths on your windows, they look so beautiful and classy. I say if they are still looking good and staying together, keep on going with them. I have loved the holiday treat bin since you first showed it! It is such a great idea and it’s nice to know it is appreciated. I need to get mine ready! Please have a safe journey home Susan and feel better soon! Hugs, Brenda

  35. Thanks so much for hosting, Susan!! I have always loved the wreaths on your windows and were inspired to put them on mine for the Holidays!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  36. Linda Joseph says

    Your wreaths inspired me to hang mine much like yours. Beautiful!
    I drink hot tea, usually green tea, several times a day, as hot as I can. I think it boils the germs away. I also make a pot of “medicine ball” tea which is lemon, mint tea, peach tea, and regular tea sweetened with a little honey. Mmm.

  37. Are you totally confused now? *L*

  38. Working retail exposes you to everything! Our pharmacists, and those of us who have tried it, swear by Oscillococcinum. Its available many places and doesn’t react with prescription drugs. I dont take it every day, just when I start to feel something coming on, and I have always perked right back up. Also a good probiotic, vitamins C and D, and lots of hand washing are in my regime. Hope you find something that helps….colds are no fun for sure!

  39. Wow. Lot of cures listed. More than colds, I have terrible allergies. By taking an allergy med every day instead of waiting until I am sick, it seems to work well. In my former job, I called on daycare centers and would be sick all the time until I started wiping my keys, door handles, everything with wipes before I got back into my car. With the virus I carry Clorox wipes in the car and clean everything on the dash and door handles soon as I get home.
    Everybody seems to be on the Vit D bandwagon. As a cancer survivor, Vit D seems to make my CA 27-29 tumor marker test go really high.

  40. cleo headley says

    Oh, those pesky kids…..they are little petrie dishes !! I like Zicam, you let it melt in your mouth, opens the sinus right up. Also load up on vit D3, zinc and vit C, put honey in your tea. And I agree with others, ya gotta wipe down every touchable surface over and over….. I use rubbing alcohol with water and a drop of Dawn in a spray bottle.

  41. I rarely catch a cold. In fact, I can’t remember when I last had one. I am not too exposed anymore since I retired but I have only had one case of the flu in my life and that was the Hong Kong Flu. I sometimes get a flu vaccine but it is more often that I don’t get it. I do plan to get one this year because of Covid. I don’t want to take the chance on getting both. I have had the pneumonia vaccine with a booster. I take a Super B Complex with Vitamin C and Folic Acid about 3 times a week. It contains B1-Thiamine, B2-Riboflavin, B-6, B-12, Biotin, and Pantothenic Acid. I also take Vit D2 Rx of 50,000 units once a month because I have a chronic deficiency, and Iron daily or once a week depending on the status of my deciciency and a Centrum Silver once a week;y. I have had two sinus surgeries but still have chronic sinus infections but rarely take antibiotics because I took so many before my sinus infections. I use sinus rinses and Mucinex to clear them out. It might be that my sinus infections kill viruses that try to enter my system, I don’t know. lol Anyway, I thought I would share since I don’t get colds or flu.

  42. Emercen-C powder mixed with water is tasty and works. They have a super strength one and I think it would be worth a try. It helps me as I have a very low immune system. Sorry that you have suffered with colds. They are rotten. I have enjoyed looking at your blog for about 10 years!!!
    All the best,

  43. Susan, your house looks absolutely beautiful with Christmas decorations, in the snow. Christmas card lovely! Thanks for the tip on early decorating — I think I’m going to try that this year and get more done for the holidays.

  44. Lots of great ideas for preventing future colds or lessening their duration. Regarding your drive home, nothing works better for me when I need to function with a cold than original Sudafed with pseudoephedrine – the one they keep behind the counter. I’m sensitive to stimulants so one tiny red pill in the morning keeps me going all day.

  45. Cyndi Raines says

    Love your squash casserole Susan! It is so good, will make it this year for sure. I don’t decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving usually while everyone is going crazy over Black Friday, or the following weekend as I feel like we have forgotten to be thankful. I do leave my Christmas decorations up until the first full week of January and then put away the “Christmas” look, but leave out the greens and anything “wintery” so the house doesn’t look drab and our winters are so long. Thanks to you my windows are dressed with the wreaths and the red ribbons and I love it and have received many compliments on them. Regarding colds / cures: I take Ester C, Vitamin D, 20000 iu’s and zinc, 50 mg every day. Also a B12 vitamin that melts under your tongue. If I feel a cold coming, I swab my nostrils with Zicam and it really does shorten a cold and actually, it really never becomes full blown. At least that has been my experience. I also take Emergen C, a powder you mix with water to give you an extra boost of Vitamin C. Lastly, when the weather starts changing, I gargle with Listerine, the blue color, every night, I swear by it. It is strong, so you only need about a half of cap full, but it is powerful and WORKS. Hope you feel better soon. I hate colds and not being able to breathe so you have my full sympathy and prayers, also for a safe trip home. Hugs! P.s. I also am a big believer in homemade chicken noodle soup when you get a cold or start to feel punky, it’s the best and I really believe it has healing powers! Lol!

  46. I have found that the secret to knocking out a cold is to take your supplements every four hours for about three days. I do use Oregano oil (Oreganol P73)
    And I have already started collecting a box of chips for my holiday treat bin. This is the third year I have put one out, thanks to your suggestions. Last year one of the delivery guys said “I remember this from last year :-)” It is a great way to say thank you for their tireless service during the holidays.

  47. I think your wreaths look fine. It is obvious what they are, no one sees them up close and if you replace them, it is just one more thing to place in a landfill……something I try to avoid. They still look good so far!!

  48. Susan, I’m a little late to this party but I used to get sick every Christmas, too. A couple of years ago I had an allergy screening and discovered I am allergic to pine pollen and several other things. I started taking injections and in two years I’ve had one sinus infection. This from someone who had at least 6 per year! I may not be your problem – but if you’ve never been screened, it might be worthwhile. It was one of the top 5 best things I’ve done for self-care in my whole life.

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