Christmas tips to help you relax at this busy season and make it easy for you to enjoy your holiday.
You'll find tips to help you have a more meaningful and less stressed Christmas holiday, hints and tips for ways to celebrate, how to say Merry Christmas in other languages, some weight loss tips for Christmas, some Mexican Cookie recipes...and more.
Dream of a White Christmas but plan for a green one.
It has been calculated by the Sierra Club, America's oldest and largest environmental organization, that if every family in the country gift wrapped just three gifts by recycling existing paper they already have, the paper saved would be enough to cover 45,000 football fields.
Here are 3 ways to make your Christmas green:
1. Make your own gift wrap. Store bought wrap often isn’t recyclable. Save and reuse packages.
Decorate clean empty jars and boxes, use clay plant pots, even new socks can make a fun container.
Use potato stamped newsprint, the colored funnies, or childrens artwork for gift wrap.
2. Make your own cards or send special emails.
A CD (or download) of family photos and music is a card to keep forever. Recycle old cards or make your own from scratch.
3. Use LED lights. Replace your old Christmas lights. Your house will twinkle and so will you when you get your electricity bill.
Want to lose a few pounds before Christmas? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
7 Steps to Quick Weight Loss
Here are 7 steps to consider when starting a short term quick weight loss program:
1. Limit it to 3 to 4 weeks. Your body begins to slow itself down to conserve fat eventually.
2. Set the end date. Focus on your weight loss goal for that amount of time.
3. Eat small meals throughout the day. Balanced blood sugar levels help you stay on your diet.
4. Get adequate amounts of protein each day to increase your metabolism and curb hunger.
5. Moderate exercise keeps the entire body working well. Increase your activity over time, so your muscles, blood and organs benefit.
6. Drink a lot of water. Water affects every cell in your body, is vital to your blood supply as well as your elimination and keeps you feeling full.
7. Rest & Recuperate every day. Your body needs to recover and rebuild itself every day. Many fat burning hormones are released at this time.
The parties are fun and let's face it, so is all the Christmas prep, but, oh my, your face is being to look as if you stayed out late once too many times.
Relax for a while as you do these face exercises. You'll be looking great in no time.
Hold each exercise for one minute and repeat.
1. Raise eyebrows and open eyes.
2. Scrunch eyes as though in bright light.
3. Open mouth, pull lips back in a grimace until tendons in your neck stand out.
Holidays are such busy times. We all want to pack as many activities into the week as possible. We'd like to stay up (or the children would) all night enjoying ourselves and visiting with family and friends. But this is the time to get more sleep not less.
To make such you have as much fun as you can, get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
P.S. Getting a proper amount of sleep helps to avoid weight gain, too.
Christmas and the whole holiday season is such a busy time - for sure, somethings going to happen just when you are running behind schedule so here's a Christmas tip if your necklace gets tangled.
It's the big night! You're dashing off to the office party or the local school pageant and your favorite necklace is tied up in knots - here's what to do.
Before you step out of the bathroom grab some talcum powder and just sprinkle the snarl with enough baby powder to cover it completely.
That silky smooth texture acts as a dry lubricant to help you untangle all the knots and still get to your holiday do looking calm.
A turkey usually has about 70% white meat and 30% dark meat, according to the National Turkey Federation
Make it a habit to set aside three minutes once a week to write down - or just stop to think about - 3 things you're thankful for.
Better yet, do it every day - or every time you are starting to feel frazzled. Get a glass of water to sip, sit in your favorite comfortable chair or stand and gaze out the window, breathe in deeply and slowly as you think of those 3 favorite things you're thankful for that day.
Allow yourself to be grounded and comfortable within yourself so you, too, can enjoy the peace of the season.
You'll feel happier for just that small break. And if you're happy...everyone is happier!
Survive the hustle and bustle of the season - and all the pressures that go with it - by taking some time to boost your spirits by visiting hospitals or retirement homes during the holiday season.
Whether you’re singing Christmas carols to your elders or making balloon animals for sick kids, selfless acts like these really bring the Christmas spirit into your heart.
One year, a young woman in the next office was saddened that for the first time in years her whole family would be together for Christmas Day - and she had to work.
She managed a service that provided care workers for seniors in retirement homes and she could not find anyone to take the Christmas Day lunch shift. So she knew she would have to fill it and miss being with her family.
We'll do it! my husband and I piped up - and ended up spending a wonderful lunch hour helping a complete stranger have her lunch and then taking her for a walk.
It was a wonderful day for us - and I hope for her, too. Our hearts were filled knowing our friend was with her family and we got a chance to do some service on Christmas Day.
I know your spirits will be lifted and you'll feel more energized by any service you can do for friends, neighbours or even strangers during the Christmas season.
Here's a Christmas Tip that can help you create a new tradition by learning about Christmas traditions throughout the world. This could be a lot of fun for children but I think anyone could have a great time researching traditions in other countries - almost like a winter vacation!
Pick a country, set aside some time, and have fun. With the internet to search and your local library, you'll be sure to find lots of interesting customs and recipes from other lands.
For example, if you choose to learn about Mexico, here are some suggestions of things that you can do:
Read Christmas stories from Mexico.
Tell the Christmas story as they do in Mexico.
Wish others Merry Christmas in Spanish - "Feliz Navidad"
Make food from Mexico.
Here are two recipes for Mexican cookies.
2 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups butter (4 sticks), softened
1 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups sifted flour
Red and green colored sugar
Preheat oven to 350F.
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Cream together butter and sugar.
Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Blend in dissolved yeast. Gradually stir in flour. Chill dough for about 2 hours.
Shape into 3/4" balls.
Dip one side in red sugar, the other in green sugar, leaving a clear stripe down the center. Place on buttered cookie sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Remove from immediately to wire racks to cool.
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375'F.
In large mixer bowl, cream butter, confectioner's sugar and salt.
Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in flour; stir in chips and pecans.
Shape level tablespoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in preheated 375'F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned.
Remove from oven.
Sift confectioner's sugar over hot cookies on baking sheets. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Sprinkle with additional confectioner's sugar if desired.
Store in airtight containers.
Here's how you would say Merry Christmas in some other languages:
Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Maori: Meri Kirihimete
Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
German: Froehliche Weihnachten
Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Greek: Kala Christouyenna!
Hawaian: Mele Kalikimaka
Chinese: (Mandarin) Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Here are some winter driving tips to keep you safe on the roads when the weather is snowy.
1.First of all, change your windshield wash over to Winter fluid that is designed for temperatures down to - 25F or lower.
Carry any extra spray bottle of it so you can spray all the car windows as needed.
2. Avoid Slipping and Sliding
Drive at half the posted speed limit on snowy days. It can take up to nine times longer to stop on a slippery road if you're going faster, according to the AAA.
For maximum safety: allow yourself twice the time it normally takes you to reach a destination, so there's never a need to rush.
3. Know how to Stop a Skid.
It's commonly believed that if you start to skid on ice, you should turn the wheel in the direction the wheel is skidding to regain control - but this advice is almost always misunderstood.
Experts say do this instead: avoid the brakes and accelerator, turn your head in the direction you want to go and gently steer the car that way, too.
Doing this will regain control.
Use bowls of fresh fruit for instant easy decorations.
Bowls of red and green apples look festive and merry, especially when you add in a pineapple, a few pomegranates and some mixed nuts in the shell.
Or use all lemons or all limes or a mixture of lemons, limes and oranges.
Tuck in some small red bows if you want or tiny gold Christmas balls or bells.
Using bright red or green ribbon, wind it throughout your display as you pile the fruit in tiers.
They can usually be found for not too much at your local craft or dollar store.
Using the end of a vegetable peeler, cut designs in part of the peel.
Stud the oranges or lemons with whole cloves to add a spicy scent and more decorative finish.
Instead of a bowl for the fruit, use a plant pot or basket. (or a shiny colander or other seasonal container) They come in plain green (decorate with a bright ribbon), metal, china and woven grasses or bamboo.
If you love herb tea, save the used flavorful scented tea bags.
After you have enjoyed your pot of tea, squeeze the water out of the teabags. Open them and spread on a plate or pan to air dry for a day or so. (I've dried them right in the teabag - just set it somewhere where it will dry fairly quickly)
You'll find their scent is still aromatic long after they have dried. I've had some with amazingly strong scent over a year after they were first dried.
Buy or make some small sachet bags and fill them with the dried tea leaves for quick small gifts that just cost you a small bit of time.