It is kinda amazing to me at how fast the holiday season comes and goes, especially the older I get. Last week it was just another sunny day in Los Angeles and the next day it is a winter wonderland. It is as if Santa Clause flew over the city one night and barfed up everything Christmas, from the holiday cups at my favorite coffee establishment, to the street decorations and the shinning lights, to the huge Christmas tree at The Grove shopping complex, and Kenny G Christmas music being played over and over again on the radio. Let me make myself clear though, I am in no way complaining about it, in fact I find it quite magical.
Christmas time is a time when our senses and emotions are highly stimulated. The sights, the sounds, the touch, the smells are all more vivid and pleasing to the soul. It is a time for reflection and to create lifelong memories, a time for peace, love, and joy. I do understand that all the emphasis we place on this time of year can become overwhelming, chaotic, and downright stressful especially when we are in the middle of this struggling economy. Perhaps something positive that has arose from this struggling economy that we are currently experiencing is the pure fact that we are forced to cut back on unnecessary things in our life. By getting back to the basics it has been simpler and easier than I had expected. Perhaps it is because I had no choice to do so, the economy made that decision for me. I am a creative person, but I have been forced to use my imagination even more so.
These are a few inventive ideas I have come up with over the past few years to make this holiday season the best one yet!
Heifer International allows us to help a stranger out in of the BEST possible way by giving them the resources necessary for sustaining life. You pick what you want to donate. I have donated every year since high school and this is still my favorite thing to give others for Christmas.
After donating to Heifer International why don’t you hop on over to http://abcfamily.go.com/specials/25-days-christmas/games-details/snowball-fight/618907?cid=adsales_25docfy11_spinbrush_25dochphero On this abcfamily.com site you can immerse yourself into a virtual holiday snowball fight. Play against Santa and his friends, or upload your friends images from Facebook and play using their image!
If you want to save some $$$ when sending out your holiday cards try “Elf’ing” yourself with Jibjab. Make each card personal by placing your head, or a loved ones head on a dancing elf that is sure to make you laugh out loud. It is east to create on the website, http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/ It will take less than 5 minutes and no you don’t have to be a computer whiz to have an “elf’ing” good time!
I understand that going to all those holiday social events can be more trouble than worthwhile. Where to find a good nanny, or “manny” for the kids, what to wear, what to bring as a gift is sometimes more exhausting than the actual holiday get together. Why not just stay home with the family and experience something new together?! You will save time, money and effort and probably have a much better time laying low. I suggest watching the new ABC Family original special, “The Gruffalo” on Thursday, December 9th at 7pm/6c. I already have this penciled into my schedule. Best part is, I will be in my pajamas and not a horrible holiday sweater!
So I offered some suggestions on how to help others, help your bank account, and help your stress level with some fun and interesting ways to do so. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Ho Ho Ho!