Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Stop and Smell the Hot Chocolate

5 Steps to Holiday Bliss

In the holiday rush or gift buying, shuffling relatives to and from the airport and perfection anxiety, it’s easy to lose focus and forget about what’s really important. Taking a moment to enjoy the people you love and appreciate the magic of the holidays. The following tips are sure to get your family in the holiday spirit.

1.) Create holiday magic for little ones. Nothing could be sweeter than watching a child beaming with excitement, counting down the minutes to Santa’s arrival. Parents can take this wonderment to the next level with a whole bevy of apps available on both iTunes and Android platforms (just search for "Santa")  Children can call Santa to leave their wish lists as many times as they like

2.) Start a family tradition. Believe it or not, these are the memories that your kids will tell you they appreciated most (when they are adults anyway!) Pose the whole family in front of the fireplace for a quick portrait on Christmas morning. Attend Christmas Eve service or go caroling with a group – it may feel a little forced at first, but doing these kinds of habitual, special traditions will create fond memories for years to come.

3.) Think Fair Trade. For those last minute gifts, visit Global Exchange or Ten Thousand Villages and select a socially responsible treasure. You can find organic chocolate and coffee, clothing and extraordinary gifts for just about anyone – fair trade means that you can feel good that the people who make these gifts are appropriately compensated.

4.) Pay it forward. The holiday season often reminds us to be thankful of all that we have. Volunteer in a soup kitchen on Christmas Eve -- not only will it be a tremendously bonding experience for the whole family, but it will teach children to be thankful for things they take for granted.

5.) Minimize your Christmas footprint. Often time, local parks will shred Christmas trees into wood chips, which can be used several months later for mulching. Take the extra time to sort used wrapping paper for recycling.

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