Friday, December 16, 2011

6 ways to Keep the Happy in the Holidays (And Mom feeling good!)

1. Sloooow down. Between decorations, shopping, baking, cooking, wrapping, traveling, entertaining – it can be easy to go through the motions of the holidays without stopping to enjoy it. Participate in activities that will force you to stop, breathe and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays. Take your kids on a walk around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights, cozy up next to the tree with a cup of hot chocolate, host a gift-wrapping party with your friends, play holiday music while you bake and dance around with your kids. Yes, dance! HAVE FUN.

2. Downscale your holiday party.
You want to be able to enjoy your guests, not be tied to the kitchen the whole night, so serve dishes that can be assembled ahead oftime and just need to be heated in the oven, have a potluck, or make it an appetizer party or a dessert and cocktail party. Save money by using coupons and buying what’s on ad.

3. Give back.
A sure fire way to feel warm and fuzzy is to do something nice for others.  Donate to an organization, charity of your choice, or give a gift to a needy child. Better yet, instead of giving money, donate your time at a shelter, feed the homeless or volunteer at a non-profit. The holidays are a great time to teach your child about sharing, empathy, and helping those that are less fortunate. Take this as an opportunity to teach a lesson without it feeling like one.

4. Stay healthy during the holidays. In 2000, the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development did a study that determined we only gain about a pound during the holiday season. That doesn’t sound so bad, but here’s the catch, that weight tends to stick around and accumulate through the years, So in order to stay healthy and happy during the holidays, don’t use the celebrating as an excuse to slack on your exercise routine. Try to exercise the day of Christmas parties, get those endorphins moving and you may be more likely to decline that second slice of pie. Try things in moderation, eat one holiday cookie to appease the baker, but stop there and fill at least half your plate with vegetables before hitting the other dishes.

5. Prepare for shopping
!  Leave your heels at home ladies, this is serious business. Make sure you bring water, comfortable shoes, snacks and dress in layers.  Have a separate envelope with you for all of your receipts. This will make your experience more relaxing and enjoyable. Use sites like to find restaurants and outings in your area offering great deals on having fun!

6. Get personal.
Phew, you are done with your shopping. Finish it off right. Include a personal note with your holiday gifts rather than the standard “To” and “From” tag. It is a good reminder of what the spirit of giving is truly about, reminding the gifter and the giftee why they made it on your “nice” list this holiday season.

Jeanette Pavini