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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 December 9, 2019

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                      The result: no more mental stress.

                      2. Unplug

                      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                      3. Easy on the Caffeine

                      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                      The result: mental stress will be gone!

                      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                      Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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