Top 10 Ways to Make the Holidays Brighter and Happier

by Laura Kronen on December 20, 2012

holiday lights flashingHere are Be You Only Better’s Top 10 Tips on how to make the Holidays Brighter and Happier:

1. Keep a stash of stocking stuffers on hand. Buy silly little $2-3 toys so that when you go somewhere and need gifts, you’ve got them on hand.

2. Go easy on yourself. If you love to bake, great. But if the bakery down the street makes a better chocolate cream pie, then buy his and save yourself the time. Don’t feel bad about taking shortcuts. Use canned chicken stock, your favorite tomato sauce or any other convenience food. Anything to get rid of some of the stress and help you have more fun.

3. Inside your home:  Bring nature indoors. Keep evergreens, holly berries, poinsettias and pinecones around. It’s naturally balancing. Candles add instant glamour and ambiance. Create a candlescape on your windowsill, mantel or dining table. Wrap the candles with garland and add a few ornaments, and you have a great centerpiece.

4. Help your family break out of the usual routine. Go ice-skating together. See a Christmas play. Make hot chocolate with marshmallows and play a game. Mix it up.

5. If you don’t know what to wear, overdress. You’ll look better than anyone else in the room.  Remember you can never be overeducated or overdressed.

6. Consider alternative gift giving. In my family the adults exchange cards like, “I know how you feel about diabetes, so this year I’m donating to the JDRF in your name.” It’s very touching. My favorite way to find a charity is through charitynavigator.org.  But if you do give gifts, don’t buy something just to buy it. A gift should make your heart sing and be something you’d want. But the BEST gift of all that you can give, is your time.  Instead of buying presents for your friends, offer to babysit so they can go on a date with their husband, or out to get a massage. That’s a true gift.

7. Count your blessings. Thankfulness always brings joy. Life is better when you see the wine glass half full instead of half empty.

8. Dress up your hairstyle with a glittery accessory. For the holidays you want hair that’s more festive and sexier than what you normally wear. Plus it’s fun to be glamorous.

9. Exercise. It releases endorphins, which not only make you happier but also make you want to eat healthier and keep you on the right track. But, don’t beat yourself up about not doing your usual long workouts. Do things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking your car further from the entrance. When it snows, get out and shovel.

10. If you’re having a party, always start with a checklist. Planning is the key to any stress-free party, and it will also help you stick to your budget and not overspend. The more organizing you do up front, the less you’ll be running around in the end. You can never go wrong serving a great cocktail!  My favorite this holiday season is the S’mores Martini.  And, if you’d rather not see someone, then don’t invite them to your party.

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