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5 Websites to Share with Your Kids at Christmas Time

5 Websites to Share with Your Kids at Christmas Time

It’s 2012, and all the world’s major brands, celebrities and public figures have found a home online. Even jolly old Santa Claus has been bitten by the web bug and joined the digital revolution.

Santa 2.0 maybe?

Quite possibly. From posting your letters to Santa, keeping tabs on him on the night of The Big Delivery or simply finding fun activities to do offline, here are five great Christmas websites to share with your kids this Christmas:

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1) NORAD Tracks Santa

The original is often still the best: The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) turn their attention from defending North America from air attacks and keeping tabs on man-made objects in space to do something much more important—following Santa Claus around the globe on Christmas Eve.

It’s a fun site to share with your kids the night before Christmas; even more so if they need a little convincing that Santa Claus is coming to town and they’d better be in bed before he gets there!

http://www.noradsanta.org

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2) North Pole.com

Take a virtual trip around the magical land of the North Pole, where you can pick up some yummy Christmas recipes from Mrs. Claus, send letters to Santa, check in with the elves and reindeer, create personalised Christmas stories, and more. Highly recommended is the Disco Dancing Santa—I don’t care if you’re five years old or fifty, only a complete Scrooge won’t find this entertaining!

http://www.northpole.com/

3) The North Pole Times

On your way out of the North Pole, be sure to pick up your copy of The North Pole Times; a fun website with lots of stories that kids and adults alike will surely enjoy. Join Elvin, Waldo, Timbo and the rest of the North Pole News Team as they bringing you the latest breaking news, the hottest gossip and more from Santa’s hometown.

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http://www.northpoletimes.com

4) Santa Claus on Twitter

“The only real Santa Claus on Twitter”, according to his profile: the big man himself in 140 characters or less. Get updates from Saint Nick as he prepares for Christmas Eve, takes his reindeer out for test flights and scarfs down some of Mrs. Claus’ yummy mince pies.

There are a lot of Santas on Twitter, but this guy is surely one of the best and most entertaining.

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@Santa__Claus

5) Santa Games

And finally, what’s Christmas without fun and games? Take a tour around Santa’s home and office, enjoying free online games as you go. If you’d rather get the young ones away from the computer, there are offline games to play, plenty of ideas and instructions for making Christmas crafts, and more.

www.santagames.net

Do you have your own suggestions for great Christmas-themed websites to share with the kids? Let’s hear them in the comments below.

Featured photo credit:  Gift button on keyboard with soft focus via Shutterstock

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Chris Skoyles

Coach, and trainee counsellor specializing in mental health and addiction.

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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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