Christmas Ideas for the Best Christmas Ever | Stacie Raye

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Christmas Ideas for the Best Christmas Ever


Start a tradition

Every year for decades, my family gets together the day before Christmas. Relatives from near and far drive into town for a laughter filled evening full of fun, family, and lots of food!

What's your tradition? If you don't really have one, try a few of these tips to get one started.


  1. Take an annual picture. I love this idea. You see how much your family changes and grows each year.

  2. Get outside. We know it's cold outside but you'll warm up afterwards. Go sledding at a nearby park, try ice-skating or build snowmen and snow angels. It's fun and it's free.

  3. Share the real meaning of Christmas. Every year, have an elder in the family share the reason why we celebrate. This will become the most cherished time of the evening.
Free Entertainment

I finally did it! I am caught up on my Christmas Deals series, for good I hope. Thanks for all your patience with me.


Today's tip is all about free Holiday Entertainment. You don't have to spend a lot of money for a good night out on the town with the family. Many schools and churches have free Christmas concerts or plays this time of year. Last week, Christ's Church in Minneapolis, did "Scrooge in the Hood", an urban remix of The Christmas Carol- for free. Check your community newspapers and radio calendars to find out what's going on in your neck of the woods.


As you browse those papers, you may find advanced screening movie opportunities too. you usually have to pick up the tickets at a disclosed location. It's also a good idea to arrive 30-45 minutes early to get a spot. Believe me they fill up fast. My family has seen dozens of movies like this all for free.

Relax

Today, many of us are running around making last minute trips to the grocery store and mall. ( I have to make a quick run to the Dollar Store for wax paper and a cookie tin). Or maybe your busy starting to cook your festive feast.


For some, Christmas can be a time of stress and anxiety. And with all the constant negative messages we get about the economy, some may be a bit worried about the future.


Well, here's a few tips on how to remain calm and collected this Holiday season.


  • Eat, and drink in moderation. You'll feel better later if you don't overindulge

  • Take a break. Go for a brisk walk, or sip a cup of tea. Pray or have a good laugh.

  • Get rid of high expectations. Things don't often turn out exactly the way we expect them to. If your prepared for this, you won't be too disappointed.

  • Do something nice for someone else. Give someone else that good parking spot, or offer to help a frantic person in line, let them go ahead of you.

  • Don't go there. Don't allow yourself to get into conversations with family members about past hurts, or the worsening economic crisis. Just politely change the subject or remove yourself from the conversation.

Remember what Christmas is really about and focus on that!

Speaking of relaxing, I will be taking my own advice and not posting for a few days. So we'll see you in a bit.



Give back


Many of us are going through hard times financially. Donations to charities are down and we may be thinking, "what can I do" or I just don't have enough money right now, maybe later. Well, can you spare a dollar this Christmas? Most us can.


It's always a good idea to give back especially during the holidays. It's also something that the entire family will enjoy.

For the past few years, my family and I have been volunteering at a local church serving a holiday meal and handing out Turkeys. This has been a great blessing to us and we have met some wonderful people. Not to mention sampling some tasty food.


Here's a few ideas on ways to get your family involved.
  1. Take your family to a nursing home to sing Christmas carols. Ask friends or family to join you. Grab some hot cocoa afterwards and "catch up" with one another.

  2. Write to our soldiers. They would love to hear from you. Visit http://www.soldiersangels.org/ for more info.

  3. Help and elderly neighbor with Christmas decorations, shoveling, or anything else they may need done. Many would love to have the company this time of year.


Be thankful


As I write this post, it's raining/snowing and the air is turning very crisp. I had planned to go to church and run some errands afterward, hoping to catch up on some needed Christmas and grocery shopping. However, looks like I'm in for the day due to slippy road conditions.

jhh

Which leads me to my next Christmas tip. Things don't always go the way we hope them to, but we can always be thankful.

Our trees this year may not be overflowing with gifts as maybe previous years have been. Or, we may not be able to get that dream present we wanted. But let's be thankful this year. No matter if there's one present under the tree or if you've been blessed with more. Maybe there's isn't anything under your tree. You are still blessed! We have life, the most precious gift of all. So this year let's focus on the things that matter most, our family, and those who are dear to us.

Ask for help

Christmas is just a few days aways and maybe your in need of some financial help. I would love to take this time to encourage you to reach out and don't be afraid to ask for assistance.

It seems now days, more people than ever, need a little help just to make ends meet.


There are a lot of places you can turn to in these tough times. Check your local church or neighborhood organization. Programs like Toys for tots and Operation Joy may be just what you need to easy any burdens you may be feeling.

I remember a conversation I had with a Salvation Army Colonel . He said, "People need to look at those little red kettles like a bank. For years you may have been making deposits and now you may need to make a withdrawal. It's O.K. That's what were all about". Such wise words!


I just thought that maybe someone pout there needed to hear that. Call United way's 211 to find help in your city.

This year, let us be thankful!


Stacie tip: Get an inexpensive journal or notebook and write down the things we are grateful for. By focus on the positive, everything else will seem so small!




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