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Easy DIY Christmas Decor Ideas

Easy DIY Christmas Decor Ideas

DIY projects are very fulfilling tasks to take on. Not only do you get the satisfaction of accomplishing something, but you save a good part of your holiday budget, allowing you to allot it to your other holiday needs. When you start a DIY project, you also get to bond with your family when you enlist their help. Get the holiday look you want without having to spend a fortune by checking out these lovely Christmas projects you can quickly accomplish on your own.

DIY Holiday Lanterns

Sparkly Paper Lanterns

Sparkly paper lanterns add glitz and glamor to your Christmas decor without the hefty price tag or even the sweat. Just coat a store-bought paper lantern with glue, and sprinkle silver or gold glitter until the lantern is fully covered. To avoid making a mess out of all the glitter, lay used newspaper on your work space. Hang the lanterns on your doorway or above tables to make holiday gatherings extra festive. Visit the Two Delighted blog for a detailed tutorial on this sparkly lantern DIY project.

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Fun, Fancy, Easy-To-Make Garlands

Elegant Ornament Garland

Ornament garlands can be pricey, so why not make something with what you have on hand? Put your old Christmas balls and ribbons to good use by turning them into an elegant garland.

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diy decor - ball garland

    String old ornaments through the ribbon one at a time. Create a random pattern with a variety of ornament sizes and textures for added visual interest. Hang the garland above your mantel, on the door or a bed post, or by the window.

    Bowtie Garland

    Macaroni crafts scream kid-friendly, making this project perfect if you want your children to help you make Christmas decor! This alternative DIY garland from the Gold Jellybean allows you to use things that may already be available in your home, such as glue and glitter, which my kids will definitely love working with. Simply coat the pasta with glue, sprinkle glitter on it, and tie a yarn or string around it.

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    This cute garland can be used to decorate your kids’ bed posts or even as festive kitchen decor. It’s also perfect as a finishing touch for your Christmas tree or as an ornament for your wreath, swag, or centerpiece.

    Gilded Pine Cone Garland

    Recycle some old pine cones by painting them anew! Spray them with a shimmering gold spray paint, then tie them along a string to create a garland. Hang the garland on your door, window, or staircase for an elegant touch. In my case, I used gold leafing, which is more time-consuming but really pretty.

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    Photos from Jen Lutz
      Photos from Jen Lutz

      Aside from making pine cones into a garland, they can also be used as table centerpieces when placed in clear bowls or hurricane glasses.

      Mini Christmas Trees

      Miniature Winter Wonderland Christmas Tree

      Infuse a winter wonderland feel into any room of your home with a mini, snowy Christmas tree. For this project, all you need are cheap bottle brush trees, mason jars, hot glue, and some salt.

      Photo by Steve Snodgrass via flickr. CC BY 2.0
        Photo by Steve Snodgrass via flickr. CC BY 2.0

        To make, simply glue the miniature trees to the underside of the jar lid and sprinkle some salt over it for a frosty touch. You can also include a miniature Santa or a reindeer for a more Christmas-y theme. Wrap a fancy ribbon around the mason jar to make it even more adorable. Visit the Put it in a Jar blog to see a heartwarming finished product.

        For a more creative holiday season, get crafty and decorate your home with these budget-friendly DIY Christmas decor projects. You can even spread the cheer by giving your creations to family and friends!

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        Last Updated on August 13, 2020

        12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

        12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

        As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

        1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

        I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

        Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

        Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

        2. What is the purpose of meditation?

        The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

        It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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        Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

        In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

        You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

        This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

        The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

        Less Physical, More Psychological

        Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

        This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

        The First Benefit of Meditation

        The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

        1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
        2. Relaxation of the body

        Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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        Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

        That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

        When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

        When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

        Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

        Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

        This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

        Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

        Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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        This benefit takes you to the second one.

        The Second Benefit of Meditation

        While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

        1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
        2. Observance
        3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
        4. Patience

        Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

        You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

        This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

        1. Energy

        Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

        2. Observance

        The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

        3. Peacefulness

        Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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        4. Patience

        The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

        The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

        Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

        Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

        The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

        • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
        • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
        • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
        • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
        • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
        • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

        These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

        Final Thoughts

        Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

        Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

        Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

        More on Meditation

        Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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