Thursday, December 2, 2010

Creating Magical Holiday Memories

Holiday Hustle & Bustle
It started on Black Friday. There's so much to do! Gift shopping, getting the house ready for guests, decorating, trimming the tree...what about baking cookies or making that special hand made item? It can all be a bit overwhelming! This year, I propose for you to slow down and give your self a gift that is truly memorable!!

Putting the Holidays into Perspective
Take a moment to think about last year after the holidays were over. How did you feel? Do you remember the gifts you gave or received? What you cooked, baked, or how you decorated? Do you remember how much you spent? Do you remember the stress of it all? What memories do you truly cherish? Is it being with family and friends, laughing, smiling, loving? What do your answers tell you?

Creating Magical Moments
When you think of happy memories, are they in slow motion or colorful pictures? Do you feel good all over or even laugh out loud? Why not tap into that same mindful joy this holiday season? How... do you ask? Is this realistic?
Yes, it is and there is no secret to the key. It's easy once you get started!

Each of us are unique and have something special to share with the world. Here are some tips to help you create magical moments in your life this holiday season. It starts with setting priorities. We want the best for everyone we know. But, we must be kind to ourselves first. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Be truthful to yourself with budgets of time and money and accept it lovingly.

  • Make a commitment to yourself not to exceed your budget.
  • Create a list, carry it with you. Check it off, studies show it increases endorphins from a sense of accomplishment.
  • Don't over think gift selections. It causes stress & sometimes makes you spend more.
  • Make multiple purchases of a similar items for extended family & friends. It saves you time, money and stress.
  • If you want to make a personal gift, select one or two immediate family members to ensure you will have enough time. Next year, make it for another close relative.

  • Use last year's holiday cards to create gift tags. It adds a special touch & it's fun too!
  • Keep a calendar, such as in Outlook. It helps you keep commitments & is a great reminder!
  • Select one evening each week to wrap gifts you purchased or made. You won't be overwhelmed on the night before Christmas! (Write it in your calendar to make a commitment.)
  • Write down when your bills are due on your calendar so you don't forget with all the distractions.
  • Don't have much time to do all the baking you want to?? Select one favorite recipe and make it for the main holiday celebration.
  • Do at least one interactive activity with a child such as finger painting, singing nursery rhymes, coloring, playing cards, baking. It will make you feel like a kid again!
  • Take a minimum of 20 minutes completely for yourself each week, creating some sort of ritual. Take a hot bath with scented salts, go for a walk, paint, draw or do a craft that you like. Identify your unique talents, interests and desires and do something within that realm to celebrate YOU!

Re-create Your Own Happy Childhood Memories
I have very special Christmas memories. My mother loved old fashioned prints such as the one to the right. Whenever I see cards, or gift tags with these images, I think of her and my heart warms.
My father loved angels & churches.
My earliest memory is of my dad placing a miniature church made out of cardboard & glitter on the tree. The stained glass windows were made from red cellophane. The back of the church had an opening so a light would shine through and illuminate the church. I was in awe & thought it was magical!

A few years ago, I found a similar replica, pictured here. Every holiday, it's the first decoration I put out. I savor the wonderful and loving memories they gave me. The angel ornaments adorn the tree and gift tags are made from nostalgic pictures. It's magical for me and represents a loving family, a good life and joy from the heart!

Creating memories with family& friends is truly important. Be kind and true to yourself, have fun, find joy in your own magical holiday memories!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

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