Apr 212012

I can’t deny that trick or treating, as well as the thanks and gratitude that embodies Thanksgiving are whole heartedly embraced in our home.  But this year I’m in need of a big dose of positive energy. Aren’t you? I’m a big Fa-La-La er from way back, but this year I’m feeling the need to get all out festive. I am READY to jump in and start celebrating the holiday season, but it’s too early to put up a tree! So, I have decided to celebrate the entire fall and winter holiday season as if it’s those merry weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am going to fill this time with family, friends, and positive action. I want to build up to things slowly and enjoy each moment rather than being thrown into it the day after Thanksgiving and totally exhausting myself during the few weeks thereafter.

 How will I achieve my goal? Here are my top 10 steps for enjoying this year’s fall and winter holiday season to the fullest:

1.       Play Some Holiday Tunes! People around me may roll their eyes, but I love Christmas music. Christmas carols, be they traditional music, funny songs, or new versions of old favorites put me in a good mood! I used to be sad when December 26th rolled around because all that “happy music” was gone. Then one year I thought to myself, “Who exactly is preventing me from listening to Christmas music any time that I choose?” I quickly concluded that the answer was: no one! I’ve even been known to listen to a Christmas Carol or two in July. Here’s a little secret: if you search the term “Christmas” on www.kost1035.com, you can listen to the station’s holiday mixes all year long. I’m sure there are a multitude of other ways that you can listen to holiday music,  but no matter how you do it you’ll feel more festive after you’ve sung a carol or two!

2.       Fix Up Those Much Loved Decorations! If you are like me, every year when I get out the copious amounts of decorations that I spew around the house between October 1st and December 31st, there are always a few items that are in need of repair. My good intentions tell me that I will find the time to mend, glue, dye or somehow fix those treasures from the past, but the holiday seasons rush by, and the repairs never seem to get done. This year, when I’m in the need of my 2 hour “I need to get festive” fix, I might just choose to rummage through the boxes and find something that needs a bit of TLC. Do you have any good tips for repairing holiday decorations? Send them to me at: susan@uncommoncourtesy.com. I will post them on one of UnCommon Courtesy’s sister sites, so others can learn from your experience. You didn’t know that UnCommon Courtesy had sister sites? There are so many bingo games on uncommoncourtesy.com that I decided to develop a series of sites that focus on particular themes. The sites are bingoforhalloween.com, bingoforchristmas.com, bingoforparties.com, http://www.bingofordiversity.com, bingoforlearning.com, bingoforchristians.com, and bingoforcatholics.com. The sites are just getting started. Eventually, they will include lots of information and products pertaining to each particular site’s theme. If you have any suggestions about what should be included on any of those sites, please email me at susan@uncommoncourtesy.com.

3.       Create An Amazing Family Treasure! Now, I’m not talking about something that can be created during an afternoon of crafting. I’m talking about putting together a true keepsake! Something that you have to learn how to do, work at, or obsessively focus on. A stained glass image? A crocheted blanket? A hand embroidered Christmas stocking? Whatever you choose to make, you will get that festive feeling each and every time you take a crack at it. Better yet, why not make a family project out of it? How about building a miniature model of the North Pole, paint it, decorate it, and really jazz it up with your family. The possibilities are endless. It will be a lasting treasure, and you will remember the fun that your family had building it together. What ideas do you have for creating a new family treasure? Email me your ideas or a picture of your creation at: susan@uncommoncourtesy.com, and I’ll share it with others on one of the UnCommon Courtesy sister sites.

4.       Reconnect With Long Lost Friends! Reconnecting with old friends on Facebook has been a real treat for me. What?  You aren’t on Facebook?? Just jump into that (and other social networking sites) too, if you want to feel festive this holiday season! I’ve always had a plethora of friends, but it is so hard to stay connected as you go through the changes we all experience in life. Then, add to it that I just naturally like to talk to people….my kids are always after me to stop chatting! One day I was chatting with a local business owner much to the dismay of my teenager. When we left the store, he said, “Mom, why don’t you get on Facebook? Then you could chat with everyone you know while you are working on the computer.” All my friends? All in one place?? All at one time??? I almost started salivating. Where do I sign up! Needless to say I’ve had so much fun finding and catching up with friends from all the different times and aspect of my life. It’s like old home week, and I know it will be a whole lot easier to feel festive because I can now share my life and talk about things with friends, family, and maybe even a few friends of friends as well. You can visit the UnCommon Courtesy page on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/uncommoncourtesy .

5.       Plan A Party That Makes The Most of Merriment! Don’t wait for an invitation to be extended your way. It’s hard to miss the feeling of festivity that goes along with planning and hosting a party. The reason for the gathering is insignificant. It could be a holiday party, a reunion of old friends, an afternoon card or book club, or just a get together with another family. Large or small it really doesn’t matter. It’s not the size of the party. It doesn’t require a budget-breaking outpouring of funds. It’s not the formality of the occasion. It’s the energy that goes into planning it. It’s the anticipation of the fun you will have during it. It’s the synergy of friends getting together. Pick a date and start planning that festive occasion. Email me your party ideas, party planning tips, or pictures of decorations that you have made for a special get together at susan@uncommoncourtesy.com. I’ll post  fascinating information and ideas on bingoforparties.com.

6.       Got Kids? If Not, Then Find Some! It’s a tried and true tradition to focus on your children during the holiday season, but that is not what this point references. Kids are so good at enjoying themselves and living in the moment. When was the last time you raced through the office or the mall like a kid runs through a theme park? The phrases “be responsible,” “work before play,” or “don’t wear yourself out” don’t even occur to children.  Kids don’t believe in having fun on a small scale. They always want to go all out in true hedonistic fashion!  Now, when you’re making plans, don’t think about just spending time with one child. Get a whole group of them together. The synergy created between children when they are enjoying themselves is fantastic!  So, spend time with your kids, your friends’ children, or just about any group of youngsters that you can round up. They will remind you what it’s like to have fun! Of course, this is a perfect time for a shameless plug: there dozens and dozens of holiday, party, and otherwise festive bingo games available at www.uncommoncourtesy.com!

7.       Get Trendy And Make Your Very Own “Green” Christmas Card! Christmas cards are wonderful things. I know. I used to send hundreds out each year. Sadly, I found that after my children were born, there just wasn’t enough time in the day to get those holiday cards in the mail. This year I’m going green. I’m going to make a wonderful card, and email it, post it, and otherwise distribute it to everyone.  Be creative! Take the time to incorporate a picture, clipart, a poem, or whatever strikes your fancy. Working on your card in small increments will give you that holiday fix in only a few minute’s time. The UnCommon Courtesy Christmas card can be seen at: http://www.uncommoncourtesy.com/christmascard2010.htm. Send me your holiday card and I’ll post it on my bingoforchristmas.com website.

8.       Enlist Your Friends and Family in Creating a Group Holiday Story! The twists and turns taken by a group holiday story are just so darn fun. Never written one? It’s simple. Pick a holiday, or an event, that is far enough away on the calendar so there will be enough time to develop a fairly lengthy story. Next, decide whether the story will be created online or offline. If it is an story that will be written online, set up a page where people can post contributions to the story. The advantage to a story that is written online is that everyone can read the story as it unfolds, and each person who contributes can make multiple entries to the story. Also, each contributor can invite his or her friends to join in on the fun as well. It can get to be quite a production. If it’s an old fashion hand written story, then buy or make a book with lined pages. The book can be passed from one person to the next until the entire book is filled. After you have chosen the place where then story is written, then come up with rules and regulations for contributing to the story. This could include the main characters in the story, the setting for the story, the focus of the story, and/or the genre in which it is written. Decide how many words, lines, or paragraphs can be contributed by each participant at a time. Then, invite your friends to participate. Remind them that all contributions should be “G rated” or as I like to say: “something you could show to your grandmother.” It is a fun group activity, and you can never predict how the story will end. Please add your contribution to the UnCommon Courtesy Christmas Story at: http://www.bingoforchristmas.com/christmas-story/.

9.       Give Yourself an Early Present This Year: Start Taking Better Care of Yourself Today!  What does taking care of yourself have to do with being festive? Well, it’s not easy to kick off your shoes and have a good time, if you lack energy or feel unhealthy. Just about every person I know has a list of things that he or she intends to do someday in order to improve his or her health. Well, there is no time like the present. It’s time to get cracking on your list! Prioritize your list and start slowly working  through it one item at a time. Give up junk food. Exercise more. Cut back on caffeine, alcohol, or chemical laden sodas. Develop a more positive outlook. Choose to eat healthier. Get an extra hour of sleep each night. minimize drama in your day-to-day existence. The possibilities for your list are vast. It may take years to get through your list, but each time you check off an item you’ll feel healthier, as well as feeling better about yourself. Not only will you feel better, but you will be a better friend, spouse, and parent if you improve your health. It will be a present for everyone. Be sure to subscribe to my positive outlook and health blog at: http://www.bingoforlearning.com/healthblog/ while you are improving your health and lifestyle!

10.   Consider Giving a Different Kind of Gift This Year: Plan to Give The Gift of Yourself! It’s just too easy to run to the store, buy something on a shelf, and stick it in a bag. Worse: a few clicks of the mouse will result in a present chosen, purchased, wrapped, and sent in the mail. Think of doing something different this year. When you make your list of presents that will be given, make the choice to give of yourself. I love those coupon booklets that my kids have given me in the past. They are filled with things I often ask them to do, would like them to try, and even promises to do something “without whining.”  What part of yourself can you give to your friends and family this year? Will you make them a homemade batch of cookies? Could you put together a picnic lunch that will be shared with them at the park? Can you donate a bit of extra time to your child’s, or grandchild’s, classroom? Might you offer to babysit or provide transportation to someone in a time of need? Encourage your children to give of themselves this year as well. Homemade presents from children are popular with everyone I know. No matter what time or talents you may have, I’m betting that it won’t be hard to think of something special to give to each and every person on your list this year.

I’m off to enjoy a warm and wonderful holiday season. My belief that life is an adventure has led me to Seek THE Positive in everything that I do, and I plan to enjoy this holiday season to the fullest extent possible! I hope that you will join me in my adventure, and I wish you and your family the best holiday season ever!


Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.


This article (including the copyright notice) may be reprinted with the following the following attachment:

© 2010 – 2012 Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

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Bingo Games, Motivational Material and More at www.UnCommonCourtesy.com! More than 200 holiday, religious, educational, and diversity bingo games and concentration sets available . Bingo games for adults and children to play at home, school, church, corporate meetings, and just about anywhere you can imagine. Games made to order for every occasion. Motivational articles and personal growth exercises too! Join Susan Rempel, Ph.D.’s blog: Seek THE Positive.

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