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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 October 20, 2020

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                      • (1) Research
                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                      • (3) Creating the outline
                      • (4) Drafting the content
                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                      • (6) Revision
                      • (7) etc.

                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                      2. Change Your Environment

                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                      6. Get a Buddy

                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                      Reality check:

                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                      Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

                      More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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