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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.

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    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.

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        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.

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              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.

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                  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

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                      Last Updated on February 20, 2019

                      13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

                      13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

                      Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

                      Why is this so critically important to you?

                      The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

                      Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

                      1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

                      Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

                      When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

                      • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
                      • The man facing the judge.
                      • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
                      • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
                      • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
                      • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

                      These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

                      Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

                      Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

                      2. Accept Your Fear

                      Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

                      We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

                      And here’s what can be done.

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                      3. Get Some Perspective

                      I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

                      And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

                      That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

                      We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

                      So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

                      • Are you really at risk?
                      • Will this kill you?
                      • Which leads us on to..
                      • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

                      4. Hold a Hand

                      As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

                      Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

                      We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

                      Ask yourself:

                      • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
                      • Could that really happen?
                      • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
                      • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

                      By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

                      5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

                      This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

                      Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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                      The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

                      It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

                      For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

                      Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

                      6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

                      I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

                      Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

                      Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

                      Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

                      Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

                      Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

                      7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

                      Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

                      I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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                      It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

                      One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

                      Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

                      It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

                      8. Assume the Worse

                      If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

                      Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

                      • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
                      • Think about how they feel about champagne?
                      • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

                      And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

                      When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

                      Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

                      9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

                      If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

                      Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

                      Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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                      10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

                      One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

                      11. Go with Fear

                      When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

                      I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

                      Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

                      One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

                      However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

                      We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

                      12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

                      And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

                      The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

                      What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

                      13. Own Your Fear

                      Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

                      We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

                      You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

                      More Resources About Fighting Fear

                      Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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