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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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                      Karen Bresnahan

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                      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                        Why You Need a Vision

                        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                        How to Create Your Life Vision

                        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                        What Do You Want?

                        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                        Some tips to guide you:

                        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                        • Give yourself permission to dream.
                        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                        Some questions to start your exploration:

                        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                        • What qualities would you like to develop?
                        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                        • What would you most like to accomplish?
                        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                        A few prompts to get you started:

                        • What will you have accomplished already?
                        • How will you feel about yourself?
                        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                        • What does your ideal day look like?
                        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                        • What would you be doing?
                        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                        • How are you dressed?
                        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                        Plan Backwards

                        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                        • What important actions would you have had to take?
                        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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