1. Trim the tree with ornaments you already own or make some with items from around the house. Think pincones, paper snowflakes, strings of popcorn, etc. I love cutting out the artwork of cards I've received and gluing a little ribbon loop on to them and using them as ornaments.
2. Bake holiday cookies and decorate with frosting in various colors and little candies.
3. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or another place where people are less fortunate that you.
4. Light a fire or a bunch of candles and sip hot cocoa with your loved ones.
5. Read "The Night Before Christmas" to a child.
6. Enjoy Mother Nature's Winter Splendor...bundle up and get outside. Take the dogs or the kids or both. If it snows where you are make a snowman or throw snowballs.
7. Put all of your favorite holiday photos into one album to enjoy year after year.
8. Invite new friends or neighbors over for hot cider or cocoa and cookies.
9. Have cookie exchange with friends, neighbors or coworkers. This also works well with books and ornaments.
10. Make up coupons for services, time, etc. for your loved ones. For example, for your spouse it could be something like "one foot rub" or "one week of doing dishes" etc. For friends it could be "babysitting" or "a day of gardening assistance" or "voice lessons" or whatever would be particularly nice for that individual.
11. Donate unwanted items in good condition to a local shelter.
12. Send holiday e-newsletters via email instead of christmas cards.
13. Sing carols for your neighbors.
14. Simmer cinnamon sticks, orange peels and cloves on your stove to infuse your home with a cozy holiday scent.
15. Take a walk or drive through the local neighborhood that lights it all up. Every town has one!
16. Re-arrange your home, change out the accessories and decorate in a holiday style with things already in your home. Have red pillows on the guest bed? Move them to the couch. And empty vase filled with glass ball ornaments is stunning. Hang fresh evergreen branches from your dining room's chandelier.
17. Have a movie marathon with your favorite holiday movies (most are on TV these days or you may already own DVDs of your favorites) and snuggle up with your loved ones and big bowl of popcorn (with caramel...even better). Every year, we always watch: Planes, Trains and Automobiles; White Christmas; The Grinch; and Elf.
18. Have friends over for game night. Either board games, cards or video games...take your pick!
19. Have a potluck dinner on Christmas Eve or Day...each couple/family brings something to contribute to the meal. Makes it less stressful for you as a host, spreads the cost aroud and also ensures that each person will have at least one thing they like. Exchange recipe cards for the items brought.
20. Take the time to stop and reflect on all that is good in your life. Having an attitude of gratitude is the greatest gift of all and absolutely free.
Pooch Portrait Art
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