Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Survival Tips: 14 Ways To Have A Fresh & Festive Holiday

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.  I love everything about this time of year.  I love the music, lights, homemade treats and most of all - the holiday smells. 

The aroma of pine trees, fresh baked cookies and holiday scented candles.  Holidays are all about family and traditions.  I'm going to share 14 different ways that I have a fresh and festive holiday season with my wonderful family.

14 Ways To Have A Fresh & Festive Holiday
  1. Holiday Scented Candles!  There are certain scents that just scream Christmas.  Cinnamon Apple, Baked Apple Pie and Gingerbread are among my favorites.  When we are home, I have at least one candle burning.  The smell gets me in the holiday spirit, makes the house smell almost good enough to eat and brings back childhood memories!
  2. Fresh Baked Holiday Cookies!  Baking with my children is one of my guilty pleasures.  It's fun, a learning experience for the kids and it brings us closer together.  Making memories that will last a lifetime.  I still remember how much fun I had baking with my mom and siblings as a kid.  Sugar cookies, gingerbread houses and peanut butter blossoms are just a few of my faves.
  3. Fresh Cut Christmas Tree!  It's been a family tradition for as long as I can remember.  Getting all bundled up, driving into the woods and cutting down our very own Christmas tree.  My parents always let us pick it out, we had some Charlie Brown trees growing up, but we always loved them!  We even got to decorate the tree ourselves as well.  Now, we do the same thing with my kids and it's always something they look forward to doing.
  4. Homemade Pine Wreaths!  I remember going to my Grandma's house a couple weeks before Christmas and making homemade wreaths for family and friends.  One year we made 40 wreaths, it took us all day long.  We would gather the pine branches from trees on their property, assemble them and add pine cones and red ribbons.  The smell was wonderful, we had a great time and I still smile when I think about it!
  5. Holiday Music!  Christmas music always makes me smile.  We listen to Christmas songs while we are baking and making holiday crafts.  We also listen to it while we are driving in the car.  It's always fun to sing along, especially with the kids.  Let's not forget how fun the school Christmas programs are!
  6. Dress for the Holidays!  Don't be embarassed or afraid to wear those outrageous holiday shirts and hats that are covered in bright ornaments and even those that light up!  The holidays are all about having fun!  Reindeer antler headbands and Santa hats are the perfect holiday attire.
  7. Get Outside!  If you are fortunate to live where it snows, get out and build a snowman with the kids.  If you don't have kids, find the kid inside of you and build one yourself.  Everyone loves playing in the snow.  Making snowforts, snowmen and having snowball fights will bring out the kid in just about everyone!
  8. Enjoy the Holidays Through the Eyes of Children!  There is nothing more magical than enjoying the spirit of the holidays through the eyes of children.  They notice all the little things that as adults, we often miss.
  9. Decorations!  Garland, lights, snow villages, reindeer, sleighs and bells.  All of those things (and more) are what make the holidays magical and cheerful.  Stringing popcorn to hang on the tree, while sipping on hot chocolate is always a fun activity for the family to enjoy together.
  10. Remember it's the Thought That Counts!  It's not about the gifts you give (or receive) or the amount of money you spend.  It's about spending time with family.  Memories are going to last forever.  I know that I don't remember many of the gifts I got when I was a kid, but I do remember the times that I spent with my family.
  11. Give Yourself Enough Time!  I know that many families travel during the holidays.  Whether you are driving or flying, be sure to give yourself enough time to arrive safely.  It's not worth the risk of being rushed, time is precious!
  12. Remember the Reason for the Season!  Kids think that Christmas is all about the presents, which is totally understandable.  But, it's important that they know the reason for the season!  
  13. Movies and Stories!  I always look forward to watching Rudolph, Charlie Brown and Frosty on tv each year.  I remember doing it as a child and now I'm watching them with my children.  Don't forget to read Twas' the Night Before Christmas, Rudolph and Frosty too!
  14. Help Those in Need!  We always choose several ornaments off the Giving Tree at our school.  The kids help me pick the ornaments and then they help me shop for the gifts.  It's important that my children know how important it is to help others.  Every child deserves to have a memorable Christmas.

It's easy to get caught up in the hussle and bussle this time of year.  There are so many things to do, shopping, gifts, holiday events.  Just make sure that you take a little time for yourself.  In the midst of taking care of everything else, you can't forget to take care of yourself too.

What is your best tip to survive the holidays?


Megan said...

Lists...I have to have reminders of how much time I have to accomplish what I need to and even to remember to play music.

Megan said...

Lists...I have to have reminders of how much time I have to accomplish what I need to and even to remember to play music.

Anonymous said...

Great list! We always get a fresh tree, and cookies are on my to-do list today ;)

Tesa @ 2 Wired 2 Tired said...

Love this list. We love candles, cookies, and helping others as well. It just makes for a wonderful holiday season.

Sippy Cup Mom said...

I love this list! We do cookies, decorations, adopt a family...

Amy said...

Excellent list. These things are precisely why this is my favorite time of year!

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