Advertising
Advertising

10 Simple Ways To Celebrate A Traditional Christmas

10 Simple Ways To Celebrate A Traditional Christmas

The holidays are a time for embracing tradition. No matter what that means for your family and friends, here are some tips for celebrating a truly traditional Christmas.

1. Serve Home-Grown Food

A thoughtful way to make your holiday dinner table more traditional is to serve a few homegrown foods. If you have done some canning or freezing this year, made homemade jams or jellies, or grown various types of vegetables, now is the time to serve them up at your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Or, if you have hunted and can provide meat for the table, this is a good time to enjoy it with your friends and family.

Jessica Spengler on Flickr

    2. Do Some Baking

    Many people think of the holidays as a time to relax, eat and drink well, and enjoy the satisfaction of a few delicacies in the sweets department.

    You can get creative with the types of things you bake, such as cookies, pies, cakes, or candy. Do an online search for old-fashioned treats and see what you can come up with that might surprise and delight your dinner and house guests.

    Advertising

    Kathi Luther on flickr

      3. Help Those In Need

      One holiday tradition is to make a little time to do something special for someone who needs a little extra help. Find an elderly person in your neighborhood and ask them what they need. Perhaps you can drive them to the store, or do some shopping for them. Ask your friends and family if they know anyone who could use some kind of help. Donate food to your local foodbank. Take the time to care about someone you don’t know, and give your time to helping them. If you can make someone else a little happier, you will make their holiday better.

      US Embassy Romania on Flickr

        4. Make Home-Crafted Gifts

        Spend some extra time this year planning a way to make something original for your family members. Consider all the many types of crafts you can work on that other people would enjoy. You could make some great handmade ornaments for the tree. Create a picture, make an afghan, crochet a scarf, or sew some pillow covers. Depending on how much time you have, set aside a little time for crafting. You can actually make all your Christmas gifts by hand, if you have a few good ideas. Some crafts require very little time to complete and most people love homemade gifts.

        Advertising

        Christina Evans on flickr

          5. Avoid The Rush

          Instead of running around and facing all the crowded stores and last-minute shoppers, start your planning early. Don’t wait until 2 days before Christmas to get what you need. If you decide on gifts several weeks before the holiday, you will be more likely to sit back and enjoy the festivities when the time comes. You will also be more relaxed around your friends and family if you are better prepared for family gathering. Last-minute shopping only serves to create stress and wear people out.

          Scott1346 at Flickr

            6. Schedule Relaxation

            No matter how busy you are, it is a good idea to plan on setting time aside just to relax. You could schedule a massage on the weekend, or start going to a yoga class. Check out the spa at your nearest health club. Try using some aromatherapy products, or some of the specialty items like nature alarm clocks or tabletop water fountains that can help you relax because of the soothing sounds they make. You may even think about getting some stress-relief products for someone you know.

            spa blanket courtesy of Serenityhealth.com

              7. Decorate Like The Old Days

              You can do research on the internet about the types of traditional styles of holiday decor that date back hundreds of years. Then, you can find ways to re-create olden-day decor in your living room this year. From wall hangings to table decor, you can find some unique ideas to dress up your home that you can probably make yourself. With the popularity of the DIY trend in home decorating, you should be able to find numerous ideas online or at your nearest craft store to help you create an old-fashioned look.

              Advertising

              Forseken Fotos at Flickr1

                8. Go On Nature Walks

                Even when the weather is cold, try to go outside as much as you can. Take a stroll through the park to feed the birds. Take your dog out for a walk around the neighborhood. Drive somewhere where you can watch the sunset. Find somewhere quiet where you can spend time. Think about taking the whole family on a hayride or a sleigh ride. Get out the snowshoes and go on an adventure in the snow-covered woods. Try ice fishing or bird hunting. If you are an outdoors person, maybe you can learn to shoot and go hunting, or go with someone who is experienced.

                Brent on Flickr

                  9. Connect With Family

                  What better way to make the holidays traditional than to gather your entire family together. See how many relatives you can invite to your home. Try to connect with family members you have not seen in years. You will probably need to start early in making plans. You can get everyone to come to your home, or you could take a trip this year to visit distant relatives. The best tradition of Christmas is to share it with family members.

                  Advertising

                  BreezyBaltwin on Flickr

                    10. Volunteer For Events

                    Another holiday tradition you can bring to life is to volunteer at your church, your children’s school, or your community senior center. There are usually holiday events held at all those places. Volunteering can take many avenues and be done in so many ways, it is up to you to figure out where the opportunities are. If you do some searching, you can probably easily find somewhere to volunteer in your community. Maybe you can help plan or participate in the city’s Christmas parade. Hospitals and nursing homes are always in need of people to volunteer their time to visit and comfort the sick and needy.

                    Brian Norwood on flickr

                      Make Christmas Special

                      If you are looking for ways to make Christmas more traditional this year, try some or all of these ideas. Christmas this year can be the best ever. It can be a happy time when you celebrate the Christmas spirit of faith, love, and joy with everyone around you.

                      Featured photo credit: Natesh Ramasamy on Flickr via flickr.com

                      More by this author

                      Karen Bresnahan

                      Photographer/Writer/Artist

                      14 Fun Ways to Give Cash at Weddings, Parties and on Holidays 13 Ways to Handle Grief After the Loss of a Loved One 9 Unforgettable Things My Mother Taught Me couple at sunset 20 Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ With Photos 3 Easy Ways to Shake the After-Holiday Blues

                      Trending in Family

                      135 Life Hacks for Kids That Make Parenting Easier And More Fun 220 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD 310 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hand A Smartphone to Your Children 4It’s Normal: Every Child Would Find the Parent of the Opposite Sex Attractive at Certain Stage 57 Tools to Optimize Your Next Long-Term Traveling Experience

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                      Video Summary

                      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                      One Exercise, multiple benefits

                      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

                      Advertising

                      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

                        Advertising

                          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

                              Advertising

                              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

                                  Advertising

                                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                    How to hold a plank position

                                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                      • Prolapse
                                      • After prolapse surgery
                                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                      • Previous childbirth
                                      • Overweight

                                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

                                      Read Next