India is a land of festivals - with a large number of religious festivities and celebrations, each having its own importance and meaning in our day to day lives. Humongous number of sweetmeats, preparations have been followed for many many years. But times are changing, we are getting busier and busier with lots of commitments and engagements. I personally know so many working women getting stressed (or worse, feeling guilty) for not being able to do everything their mothers and grandmothers did during such events. So, keeping that in mind, I put together this simple guide for the busy woman on how she can make her celebrations traditional with shortcuts to keep her sanity. Image source: glamcheck

1. Cleaning the House

One of the must do's for this festival is cleaning the house and purging of the old items. Use this time to get rid of ill fitting clothes and household items you never use and setting your important papers in order . Instead of trying to do it all in one shot, spread this in few minute batches every day during the previous month. Get hold of cleaners to clean your entire house, instead of trying to do it all on your own, so that your home is all ready for the first day of Diwali.
Image source: Sulekha

Quick Pointers:
1. Remember to make advance booking at Cleaning companies since they might not be available at the last minute.
2. Nothing like a nice gift to your maid to keep her in good books to do a good cleaning job for you.
3. Most of the apartment/residential complex should have their own cleaners who might be willing to help you for "extra money".
4. If cleaning companies show a "full schedule" during weekends, try to opt for work from home and get them do it during the week.

2. Candles and Diyas
Nothing like a house decorated with Diyas/ candles to welcome Diwali. They go hand in hand. The beauty of a very well lit house with all these Diyas are a sight indeed and is a must to embrace the festival. But adding oil, the wicks and lighting them (not to speak of making sure they keep burning) is quite daunting and hard work. For the traditional aspect, just buy few and light them (ask family members to help you).

But for the rest, try to opt for LED diyas that's available in the markets. Its safe and needs no maintenance once lit. Most importantly, it saves time and hassle for you and provide a quick fix. Image Source: Awesomeji and Gaticonnect

Quick Pointers:
1. Buy few traditional Diyas to light up your pooja room. Ask help from family members instead of doing it all yourself. Nothing starts a festive spirit like a family doing it all together.
2. Buy LED lights to light up the vast majority of your house instead of all oil diyas. Saves time, less maintenance and much safer with kids around. Check out my Amazon Diya selections to get an idea for your own shopping this diwali.

3. Rangoli

One of my favouritest things to do. I am a beginner and hence taking baby steps. While I would love to go the elaborate route, I find myself short on time as well as energy with a toddler at home and commitments at work. Some of the most beautiful traditional rangolis during this period are breathtaking to put it mildly but I find that with many options today in the market, we can make even a simple design look equally good looking. Image source: BBC UK

Quick Pointers:
1. Get some stencils with pattern from the market to make your life easier. Check out some online
2. Get Rangoli Toppers. These simple premade designs with stones and gems add a wonderful decorative edge to your rangoli making it look much grander without any effort. See some Rangoli Topper samples now.

4. Food - Diwali Sweets and Snacks
The most quintessential part of festivals in India - the food. While growing up, food was among the top things I looked forward to during festivities. Many of the traditional Diwali sweetmeats are labor intensive without a guarantee of good results. It takes years of practise and precise know hows to be successful in making these traditional dishes.

But the good news is now we have so many options to make out life easier. So many shops are now filled to the brim with such sweets which save us the time to make some ourselves. We can buy a bulk of such sweets and snacks from the shop and if your really desire, opt to make the simpler ones at home instead that hardly take any time.
Quick Pointers:
1. If possible, employ professional cooks to come to your own house to make some sweetmeats. In one way, it helps to put your mind at rest about the quality of the sweets you will be feeding for your family.
2. Buy ready made from shops. Look for those with a high turnover since you can assured of the freshness of such sweets and snacks.
3. Opt for simple recipes to make like these Maladoo, Rava Laddu, Besan Laddu, Kesari (Suji Halwa), Badam Sheera. These are very simple and quick to put together. See this post for Diwali Sweets and Snacks for more details on the festival foods

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By Srividya on Nov 19, 2013

Hi DK I made Mysurpa this Diwali following your recipe to the T inclusive of Srini (my partner and putting up with my whims person's) hands and lo and behold me (not a sweet tooth person) & Srini and friends had a wonderful treat. I have to show off to family in India so I did not miss out on the video shoot-:) Cheers Vidya Vasan