In the last week, with Christmas rapidly approaching, we've tried to put the focus back on the holiday's true meaning by sharing stories of giving from the heart, something we often lose sight of in the midst of the chaos, commercialism and pressures of the season. The Los Angeles Times' Chris Erskine, who pens the wry Man of The House column, gets the spotlight this week. Keeping a sense of humour is key, he realizes, as he struggles to remember what's important and yes, that includes family but it also includes the simple mundane pleasure of finding a parking space at the mall. At a time of the year when expectations and tempers run high, being grateful for the small things and keeping your laugh on can help navigate the speed bumps you're sure to encounter. More, pics and links, after the jump...
A Christmas wish: Get back to basics: Chris Erkine takes a humourous look at the struggles of the holiday season
Holiday China's Popularity Contest: If you're unwrapping your china in preparation for setting your holiday table and find a piece broken, don't despair, you are not alone. Replacements, Ltd. spotlights the top five most requested patterns.
Just in time for the holidays? Black: Although it's not usually a colour we associate with the holiday season, black's hot for dinnerware and barware. Whether your holiday china's missing a piece or two, you're expecting more guests than you have plates for or you want to add a sophisticated note to your holiday table, consider black.
The Gamble House: Behind the Velvet Ropes: If you've got a few days off during this holiday season and you've never visited the iconic Gamble House in Pasadena designed by Greene and Greene, you might want to put it on your list of things to do. The Los Angeles Times got a look at some of the small details that visitors often miss from their vantage point behind the velvet rope.
Kitchen remodel opens up workspace without enlarging room: Many of us are spending a lot of time in the kitchen over the holiday season, cooking and baking for friends and family and coming up against the room's challenges. Here's how one homeowner remodeled her kitchen to accommodate her needs and kept her costs low by upgrading without changing the footprint.
Eos: a home audio system for IPod users: The Scout spotlights the affordable Eos system by Intellitouch which allows you to dock your IPod or IPhone in a base station and transmit your music to as many as four speakers up to 150 feet away, wirelessly.
[Images: Replacements, Ltd.; Mel Melcon for LA Times; Anne Cusack for LA Times; Al Seib for LA Times; Eos]