Stop And Smell The Hot Cocoa

In the holiday rush or gift buying, shuffling relatives to and from the airport and perfection anxiety, it’s easy to lose focus and forget about what’s really important. Taking a moment to enjoy the people you love and appreciate the magic of the holidays. The following tips are sure to get your family in the holiday spirit.

1.) Create holiday magic for little ones. Nothing could be sweeter than watching a child beaming with excitement, counting down the minutes to Santa’s arrival. Parents can take this wonderment to the next level with Santa Mega Pack iPhone App. Children can call Santa to leave their wish lists as many times as they like (parents can recover these audio files and keep them, or send to relatives.) Additionally, parents can select numerous naughty or nice message to send to children and select the delivery time for the ultimate reaction. Kids will find endless entertainment with educational games and puzzles. The app is 0$.99 and is available in iTunes.

2.) Start a family tradition. Believe it or not, these are the memories that your kids will tell you they appreciated most (when they are adults anyway!) Pose the whole family in front of the fireplace for a quick portrait on Christmas morning. Attend Christmas Eve service or go caroling with a group – it may feel a little forced at first, but doing these kinds of habitual, special traditions will create fond memories for years to come.

3.) Think Fair Trade. For those last minute gifts, visit stores like Global Exchange or Ten Thousand Villages and select a socially responsible treasure. You can find organic chocolate and coffee, clothing and extraordinary gifts for just about anyone – fair trade means that you can feel good that the people who make these gifts are appropriately compensated. To find other fair trade stores online or in a town near you, visit TransFairUSA for a great listing.

4.) Pay it forward. The holiday season often reminds us to be thankful of all that we have. Volunteer in a soup kitchen on Christmas Eve — not only will it be a tremendously bonding experience for the whole family, but it will teach children to be thankful for things they take for granted.

5.) Minimize your Christmas footprint. Often time, local parks will shred Christmas trees into wood chips, which can be used several months later for mulching. Take the extra time to sort used wrapping paper for recycling.

This post was sent to me via email compliments of, and published with the permission of, Kristin Huey – thanks for the great tips Kristin! This post has been modified slightly from it’s original version.

Do you have any other holiday tips to share? Please leave a comment on this blog to let us know what you did to enjoy your holiday.

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