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15 Amazing Places in the U.S. You Should Go For A Warm Christmas

15 Amazing Places in the U.S. You Should Go For A Warm Christmas

Before you know it, the sound of sleigh bells will be heard on your rooftop. If you love the holidays but hate the cold, why not trade in your heavy coat and wool mittens this year and celebrate a warm Christmas.

1. Savannah, Georgia

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    Savannah transforms into a southern wonderland of decked out trolleys, gingerbread towns, and boat parades. Festivities begin November 28 and run through Christmastime. Stay in one of the bed-and-breakfasts in the Savannah Historic District to be close to the action. Savannah averages 63 degrees in December.

    2. Beaufort, South Carolina

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      Beaufort is a small town with a huge heart and is located in heart of the Lowcountry. It is close to Savannah and Charleston, and a short drive to the beaches of Hilton Head Island. It’s location is great for visiting the larger cities and enjoying the sights and sounds of a small town southern Christmas. December temperatures average in the low 60s.

      3. Orlando, Florida

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        Enjoy everything in Orlando without the huge crowds of summer. Theme parks have special attractions this time of year, such as “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas”, but be aware that some of the speacial attractions require a separate ticket. Orlando temperatures average around 72 degrees in December.

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        4. San Francisco, California

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          The City by the Bay comes alive in December as it transforms into a wonderland of lights. Stay near Union Square so you are close to all the festivities and can easily get around via the historic cable cars. San Francisco’s December temperatures average in the high 50s.

          5. San Antonio, Texas

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            The Riverwalk at Christmastime should be on everyone’s bucket list. The city offers special attractions that only happen during the holidays. Because this is a popular time of the year to travel to San Antonio, be sure and book early. The average temperature in December is around 64 degrees.

            6. New Orleans, Louisiana

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              Celebrate Christmas season in the Big Easy. The Oaks, visited by over 122,000 people last year, has one of the most beautiful Christmas exhibitions in the country. Many hotels in the area offer Papa Noel specials making this a very affordable holiday destination. December temperatures average in the 60s.

              7. Santa Monica, California

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                Ice skate, enjoy the “Candle Light Walk” to the Shopping Cart Tree at Edgemar Courtyard, and find some great deals at sidewalk sales. All while enjoying local bands and holiday parties up and down Montana Avenue. The average December temperature in Santa Monica is around 64 degrees.

                8. Honolulu, Hawaii

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                  Mele Kalikimaka! Santa presents himself on a surfboard instead of a sleigh on the big island of Oahu. Honolulu City Lights kicks off the holiday celebrations and is one of the premiere lighting of the tree festivals in the country. Make reservations early as this is also big wave season in Waikiki.

                  9. Delray Beach, Florida

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                    Delray Beach is one of the prettiest beaches in Florida. This small beach town transforms itself for the holidays with a tree lighting ceremony, ice skating, a holiday parade and carousel rides. December temperatures average in the mid 70s.

                    10. San Diego, California

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                      Christmastime is migration season for the California gray whales. Whale watching is just one of the 25 activities San Diego offers for free during the Holidays. This is a budget friendly town with accommodations from resort hotels to hostels. The average December temperature is around 65 degrees.

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                      11. Las Vegas, Nevada

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                        The City of Lights does not shut down for the holidays. Everything is open and I do mean everything. If you are coming to Vegas for the holidays, try and avoid the week of Christmas and New Years. It is one of the most crowded weeks of the entire year. December has an average temperature around 57 degrees.

                        12. Charleston, South Carolina

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                          Charleston is full of postcard perfect events during the holidays. Choosing which celebration to attend will be your biggest problem. A favorite is the progressive dinner with transport by a horse-drawn carriage. The coastal city of Charleston has average December temperatures in the low 60s.

                          13. San Juan, Puerto Rico

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                            Parrandas begins as a gift of music then grows into a street partiy that can overtake streets in Old San Juan. A parranda is just one of the unique Christmas traditions of Puerto Rico. Festivals begin after Thanksgiving and continues through New Years Eve. Puerto Rico is named a top spot for Christmastime travel by many travel experts.

                            14. St. Petersburg, Florida

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                              The popular Snow Fest will return to St. Pete again this year with real snow, toboggans, and of course, Santa. Glice skate in the park or climb the rock wall. St. Pete doesn’t let its average temperatures of 72 degrees stop it from a real winter celebration!

                              15. Tucson, Arizona

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                                Fiestas are in the Christmas spotlight of this old west town during the Christmas holidays. Take in the Southwestern version of “The Nutcracker”, where dancing chile peppers, coyotes, and the Calvary replace sugarplum ferries and other traditional characters in the ballet. The average December temperature is around 65 degrees.

                                These 15 warm Christmas destinations are just a sampling of what the U.S. has to offer. From small town celebrations to larger city festivals there are too many to cover.

                                What is your favorite Christmas time celebration? You should share in the comment section below. I would love to check some of them out!

                                Featured photo credit: Flickr by JRP via flickr.com

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                                Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                Listen carefully:

                                We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                1. Pray Daily

                                You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                3. Smile Often

                                Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                8. Go Exercise

                                Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                The Bottom Line

                                It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                More Resources About Mindfulness

                                Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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