Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree – Top Holiday Tips

For many families, choosing the perfect Christmas tree is the start of the holiday season. Don’t drop the ball (excuse the pun), on this all-important tradition. Follow these simple tips by America’s Christmas Tree Growers in order to find the perfect tree for your family this year:

Choose a tree lot that will either let you cut down the tree you choose yourself, or will let you watch them cut it to ensure its freshness. In the event you must purchase a pre-cut tree, be sure to ask where it was shipped from and when it was cut.

When searching the lot for a good tree, don’t disregard ones with flattened or ill-shaped sides. Mother Nature tends to leave one side very full and the other flat. Put your tree in a corner or against a wall to hide any imperfections.

Remember, trees always look bigger out of doors with the sky as their ceiling. Be sure to measure your ceiling height correctly before leaving home, as well as door widths and room sizes to ensure that the size and width tree you choose will actually fit once you get it home!

Look for trees with pliable needles. If they snap or bend easily or pull off the branch with little effort, the tree may have been picked days or weeks earlier and won’t hold up to the heat indoors and lose its needles quickly once its decorated.

All evergreens shed needles from the inner branches on a regular basis, so don’t worry if a few fall off when you pick up the tree or shake it. Check to see if your tree retailer offers shaking service to help clear these loose needles from the inside of your tree before taking it into the house.

If possible, have your tree baled in plastic tree netting to make it easier to get home and set up.

Once you’ve chosen your tree and got it home, it’s time to take proper care of it to ensure that it will last throughout the entire holiday season.

Here area few tips on how to care for your family’s new Christmas Tree:

If you are not planning on putting your tree up immediately, cut about a half inch off of the trunk and set it in a bucket of water until you’re ready to take it inside.

When you’re ready to bring your tree inside, cut another ½ inch off of the bottom of the tree trunk, then place it in the tree stand with enough water to cover the entire diameter of the tree – about one quart of water for each inch of diameter stem. Be sure to keep the water at this level to ensure freshness. A trunk that is allowed to seal over will dry quickly and lose its needles before Christmas ever arrives.

Be sure that you check the label on your tree stand to make sure it can accommodate the size tree you have chosen.

The best tree preservative is plain water. No need for added chemicals.

Keep your tree away from all heat sources. Turn down the heat in that room if at all possible t keep your tree moist and fresh.

Business Traveling Tips for Men – How to Pack Your Carry on Luggage

Keeping your shirts­ and suits free of wrinkles is a constant problem for business travelers. Would you like to learn how to better manage your business clothes while traveling? Whether you’re an experienced business traveler or a first time traveler, follow these tips and your clothing will arrive at their destination wrinkle free.

Don’t let packing clothes be a stressful part of your trip. The problems always begin by packing too many items into a small carry on bag. You must make sure you have the correct size piece of carry on luggage for the intended items and duration of travel. Over packing items into your suitcase is the main cause of clothes developing wrinkles. Be realistic when packing and limit the amount of clothes you take on your trip. When traveling for extended periods of time, consider using a larger bag that you may have to have checked.

Once you have the right luggage for your trip, then you have to pack your clothing in a way to avoid wrinkles. The key to avoiding wrinkles is pack your delicate items in the middle of your case. Keep the delicate clothing away from the edges to limit the amount of wrinkling. Place your T-shirts first, your suites next, followed by shirts and ties, then your other clothes. Packing in this way will cushion your suites and other delicate items that are prone to wrinkling. Use caution when packing your shoes as these are a common cause of wrinkled clothes. Modern carry on luggage have compartments specifically for shoe storage and other hard items.

Garment bags are very useful and I highly suggest buying one for packing dress shirts and suits. Using a garment bag, in addition to your carry on luggage, is the best method for preventing wrinkles to your dress clothes. There are luggage manufactures that offer a folding garment bag which stores in your suitcase after packing. These are the most convenient when going directly to your hotel from the airport.

Silk neckties are among the most delicate items to pack in your suitcase. Other options to silk neckties are those made from wrinkle-free microfiber, but nothing really compares to a silk necktie. So, when packing your neckties, keep them away from the edges of your suitcase and away from objects that have sharp edges. It’s best to place them in the center of your other clothes which offer the best padding. Rolling your ties is another option for preventing wrinkles. Begin rolling from the narrow end which give a uniformly tight role and will fit easily into your dress shoes. If money is no problem, you can buy one of the commercially manufactured necktie travel cases, which will definitely keep your ties free of wrinkles.

It’s important to unpack your items as soon as you arrive at your destination. After unpacking, place your suits, shirts, trousers and neckties on hangers and hang them in the closet. Remember, failure to unpack and hang up your clothes will result in severely wrinkled clothing and all of you efforts will have been a waste of time.

Make sure you stay at a hotel that provides an iron and ironing board in your room as this will give you the ability to take care of those small wrinkles yourself. Do not iron your suits of neckties! If you see wrinkles on your suits or ties, hang them in the bathroom during your hot, steamy shower. As soon as you’re finished with your shower the wrinkles will be gone. Following these tips will insure a wrinkle free trip.

Managing the Holidays – Top 10 Tips

The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of year for many people. It’s a classic example of how we ask too much of ourselves and of others.

November comes around and suddenly we expect to turn into a “Martha Stewart!” We want a beautifully decorated house, delectable homemade treats, perfect, well thought out personalized gifts and well-behaved, eternally grateful children……even after we’ve disrupted their sleep routines and filled them up with cookies and candy. A little unrealistic, perhaps?

So how do you avoid creating a horribly hectic holiday? Here are some tips:

1. Ask each family member what their number one favorite part of the holiday is and only do those. You don’t have to do everything! You might be surprised that there are some things that aren’t as important as you thought.

2. Skip the holiday cards-send New Years cards in January or Valentine cards in February when you have more time. When you send something later, people are more likely to read it. If you send cards and family updates in January or February there’s a better chance they’ll remember what it said.

3. Give theme gifts: magazine subscriptions, donations in their name, gift cards, tickets to a concert, movie, play, etc. Go through a list of magazines and choose one that fits each person on your list. Think about their favorite store, go online and order a gift card for them. Give them tickets to an event you both like and maybe they’ll share the second ticket-the gift that keeps on giving.

4. Take a nap after Thanksgiving Dinner and wake up when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Thought I’d toss that in for fun.

5. Make a list before heading out the door. Nothing is more time consuming that wandering around the mall waiting for the perfect gift to jump out at you. Go through catalogs or magazines for ideas, decide what you want and buy only what’s on your list.

6. Go shopping with a friend and combine it with a massage, spa treatment, sauna or a soak in a hot tub. How fun would it be to shop for an hour or two and have a great meal or spa date afterwards!

7. Breathe……breathe…….breathe. A deep breath will help you slow down to think and make better decisions. Think about the last minute craziness before guests arrive-mind racing, bouncing from one thing to another. Stop, take a deep breath and your mind and body will automatically slow down.

8. Make the holiday meal a group event: ask guests to bring part of the meal. If you are hosting an event say up front you are providing the main dish and they can choose a side dish to bring. No need for a hostess gift then. How many candles or knick knacks do you need?

9. Schedule FUN things for yourself. While you do lots for your families and friends this time of year, don’t forget to do something for yourself-go to a movie, buy yourself a little gift, hang out with a friend, go skiing or try something you’ve always wanted to do.

10. And finally, do only the things you need to do and the things you love to do. Let go of the rest. What traditions do you love and which ones feel like chores? Going back to Tip #1,only do the number one favorites. And don’t forget your favorites as well! When you do activities you truly enjoy, you will be more energized and happy. Doing activities that feel like chores is draining and can leave you with feelings of emptiness and fatigue. That’s NOT what the holidays are supposed to be like.

The holidays have special meaning for everyone, gratitude, giving and celebration. You can’t honor those when you’re stressed out and exhausted.

Make this Holiday Season the happiest and least hectic one yet!

5 Tips To Help You De-Stress For The Holidays

Let’s face it. We all live pretty stressful lives.

With deadlines to meet; presentations to create; exams to study for; raising kids; caring for aging parents; the leaking roof or broken dishwasher that need to be repaired; the mortgage or rent that is due next week; and then there’s the technology that keeps changing faster than the speed of learning, providing us with the opportunity to constantly be on call, many of us are at the point where all it takes is one more stressor for us to collapse into a ball of emotion, or worse.

I have had the great good fortune to work with first and second year University and College students for the past twenty years and this time of the year is always the worst for stress levels for both students and faculty. Even friends and family who do not work around students are beginning to show classic symptoms of stress as the holiday’s approach – moodiness, anxiety, worry, feeling overwhelmed, fatigue, eating too much or losing their appetite. The scary thing is that the person under stress often does not even realize they are experiencing these symptoms or the extent to which they are being affected by stress.

So, before preparations for the holidays begins in earnest and stress levels begin to creep ever upward, here are 5 tips that I would like to share that can help you lower your stress levels and increase your ability to enjoy the holiday season:

1) Practice mindfulness: we often move through our days performing tasks and activities while being distracted by other things. We drive while reliving conversations or planning some future event; we have conversations with coworkers while trying to think through a solution to a work-related problem; we listen to our children tell us about their day while we are mentally going over our to-do list.

Mindfulness is the act of being present, in the moment. Of focusing on what you are currently doing without being distracted by other thoughts. For someone under stress, mindfulness involves being aware of not only the situation you are in, but of how you are reacting to that situation. Are you experiencing stress reactions of fight, flight or freeze? If yes, then how bad are these reactions? By noticing your reactions as they are happening, you can consciously choose to alleviate the stress that you are beginning to feel so the stress doesn’t continue to build.

2) Self Care: anyone who has traveled on an airplane has heard the steward’s speech about applying the oxygen mask to yourself first and then to your children – basically you are being instructed to take care of yourself first before you take care of others. The same instruction holds true in real life. If you do not have the energy to take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of anything or anyone else.

Self care is more than treating yourself to an occasional mani-peni or trip to the local spa. Self Care involves eating right, getting a bit of exercise every day, spending time on activities or hobbies that bring you joy.

Practicing Self Care can involve setting a weekly date with yourself to spend an hour a week doing exactly what you want to do – learn to swim, learn to paint, wander through nature, photograph beautiful local architecture, read, listen to music… the choice is yours as long as the activity excites you and is something you look forward to doing every week. Practice mindfulness during this hour, focus on what you are doing and how you are feeling while you are doing it – and on nothing else.

3) Identify how you want to feel and find ways to accomplish this: Identify your core desired feelings, tap into these core desired feelings and find ways and activities that honour them. Our core desired feelings are keys to understanding our true self. When we deny our core desired feelings, we are acting at odds with our true self and this can leave us feeling disconnected, frustrated, restless, stressed.

Identify how you like to feel – do you like to feel adventurous, creative, inspired, challenged, needed, etc – and then identify activities you can bring into your life right now to help you feel this way. Honouring your core desired feelings is a fun, effective way to begin to de-stress.

4) Delegate: A fourth way to begin to de-stress is to drop the need for everything to be done by you and only you. And while you are at it, you can also drop the need for everything to be perfect. If you are a solo-preneur, there are some magnificent virtual assistants who can provide you will all the support you need, without costing a small fortune. Eliminate the unnecessary, focus on what’s important, and delegate the rest.

5) Relax and have fun: Above all else, relax, have fun and be happy!! Take time to breathe, relax, and play. For most adults, play is something we stopped doing as part of the process of growing up. But play and fun can be awesome de-stressors. What did you enjoy doing for play when you were young – arts & crafts; riding a bicycle; video games; swimming; skating; reading; writing; drawing – whatever it was try it again. Or find a new activity that is playful and fun – kick through a pile of leaves, build a snowman, dance like no-one is looking, start that hobby you have always wanted to do. Tie play and fun to your core desired feelings and double the impact these activities can have on bringing joy to your life.

How do you relax and de-stress for the holidays, or anytime through the year?

What Tourists Should Know Before Going To Puerto Vallarta

If you are in search of a location to vacation in, consider travelling to Puerto Vallarta. This city lies on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and it is a favorite vacation destination for those who wish to unwind or indulge in a variety of adventures.

Getting there and around

Many visitors ride planes to go to the city. The Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport can be found at the north of the city center and many major US airlines conduct flights to and from the city. From there you can opt to use a taxi cab or hire private transport. Buses are also not hard to come by. Vallarta’s yachts, boats and water taxis can bring you to different gorgeous beaches.

Places to see

Vallarta is considered as one of Mexico’s most beautiful resort destinations. One of the most remarkable areas in the city is the Banderas Bay, which is one of the largest and deepest worldwide. Puerto Vallarta also has a growing number of cultural points of interest. The Museo del Cuale for instance has gorgeous pottery and clay figurines. No trip to the city is complete Jardines Botanicos de Vallarta. This facility houses numerous types of orchids and wild palms, and in there, you may find butterflies and hummingbirds flitting by from time to time. If you just want to rest, Vallarta has miles of sweeping golden sand beaches.

Things to do

The city provides a number of activities and excursions to keep you occupied and delighted. You can try whale and turtle watching, go on nature trips, visit the Sierra Madre, and experience many aquatic sports. If you’re up for it, the city is also offers canopy walks and zip lines. There are also many dining and shopping establishments to visit. Different options to rest are also readily accessible. Spas, for instance, are a fixture in many locations in the city.

Accommodation options

Accommodation facilities in Vallarta vary from well-known international hotel chains to more economical bed and breakfasts. For extended stays, you can also select from the city’s condominiums and apartment villas. Many of these accommodation facilities can be reserved on the internet.

The best time to visit

Peak season is December through April so count on seeing more expensive accommodation fees during that part of the year. The perfect time to go to Vallarta is between late June and October when hotel fees drop up to 40% and there are fewer people to compete with for various tourist services..

Accepted currency

Most establishments in the city accept US dollars as readily as they take the local Peso. Understand though that the exchange rates available at money changers are less favorable than what are available from the banks.

Outdoor Holiday Lighting Tips

Outdoor holiday lighting is truly exciting. Getting those holiday lights on your outdoor property can really help you get deeper into the Christmas spirit. Installing and using outdoor lights however are far different than with indoor ones. Here are some important tips to take note of to keep your holiday lighting installation and use both safe and enjoyable.

* Never use plain staples or nails for installing your decorative lights. These could cut through the wire and cause fraying. This in turn could endanger you and your property. As much as possible, settle for plastic clips that you can easily use on eaves, gutters and railings. If you really must use staples, make sure that they are the insulated type and that you do not cut through the wire.

* Never use indoor lights outdoors. Use only holiday lights that are specifically meant to be used for the outdoors. You should also strictly stick to manufacturer instructions on how to use your Christmas lights.

* Carefully check your outdoor holiday lighting even if newly bought. You shouldn’t just keep an eye out for busted bulbs. You should also check for frayed wires, exposed wires or broken connecting sockets.

* All lighting sockets should be wrapped with electrical tape. This will ensure that there is no gap in between connections. The electrical tape can also ensure that water cannot get into the connecting points.

* You cannot just connect as many lights as you want. You also have to be careful with using limited extension wires for too many lights. You could cause a circuit overload that could lead to power failure. Light makers usually have safety guidelines on the number of lights that can be connected.

* Be careful with power lines. A tree you are decorating, your ladder or even your body could come in contact with a power line. You could seriously injure yourself and damage your property.

* Do not leave outdoor holiday lighting unattended. Only have them on if you are at home and awake. Make sure they are turned off before you leave home or before you retire for the night.

* Don’t keep the lights attached way after the holidays. You may have had a hard time installing them all over the house. This may make you feel like wanting to enjoy your lights a little more. It isn’t safe though to leave them out for long. The natural elements could gradually damage your lights and make them a hazard.

* Don’t leave light cords and extension cords lying around loosely. People could trip on them. Small animals could also get entangled and choke. Keep the cords neatly to the sides and tie up any extra cord lines.

* You can enjoy your outdoor holiday lighting better if you do not have a big electric bill to pay. Lower your costs by using energy efficient lighting. Use LED bulbs. Aside from being energy efficient, they are also quite sturdy.

Keep your outdoor holiday lighting experience fun. Make sure you get the right kind of lights and materials. Make sure too that safety is always your top priority.

Deep Sea Fishing Tips

Fishing in the deep sea is an amazing experience that once tried you will never forget. Here are some tips that will help you to enjoy your trip even more.

1. Watch what the sea and its wildlife are telling you

If you see birds, such as gulls, hovering over an area of water, pay attention. There is a strong likelihood that there are smaller fish that are used by fishermen for bait in the immediate area. This shows that there will be larger fish under the surface of the water. Driftwood is another sign of larger fish in the area. Follow these simple indications and you will be landing fish in no time.

2. Watch out for snooks hiding places

If you are on the lookout for snooks on your fishing trip, remember to look underneath ledges as they are a favorite hiding place for them. Snooks are very similar in their habits to bass.

3. Use crabs during a full moon

Crabs tend to shed their skins during the full moon. So when fishing during a full moon, try using soft crab imitations for your bait. This will entice stripers out of their hiding places to look for the crabs.

4. Find dolphins when fishing for tuna

If you are fishing for tuna, particularly yellowfin, the best way to spot them is to look for dolphins. Tuna school with them, so if you see dolphins you can bet that tuna won’t be far away. Just be sure to be careful that you don’t land a dolphin by accident since they are a protected species and must be treated with respect.

5. Burn, don’t cut

If you find that you can’t cut your line, try burning through it instead. You will find it is much easier to do and avoid being cut if your scissors slip.

6. Fish near a reef.

If you haven’t tried it before, fish near a reef. You will be surprised at the number of large fish that are feeding on smaller fish that live on a reef.

7. Raise your chances with a Circle Hook

If you would like to raise your hook up quota, opt for a circle hook. They will increase your catches due to their make up. And you will find removing the hook easier as it will not stick in the fish gut.

8. Find your sea legs

If you find that you are suffering from sea sickness try watching the horizon. It may sound silly but try to stay on deck if you can. Staying downwind of fumes is also advisable as they can make you feel worse.

9. Anchor trouble

If you discover that you cannot raise your anchor after dropping, use a float attached to it. By noting when the tide turns you should be able to free the anchor and set sail once again.

10. Find the fish in order to fish successfully

If you thought that you should be catching your live bait first and then moving away from the reef to catch more fish, think again. If you stay near the live bait, you increase your chances of catching the larger fish that are feeding on them.

Top 10 Travel Tips To Help You Book A Dirt Cheap Flight

Smart travelers don’t sit in a travel agents office to plan their vacations anymore, they go to travel websites to find discount airfare deals and book their own cheap flights. Airline carriers are at war and smart consumers who know the secrets to finding great online travel deals, can take advantage of this instability and save hundreds on their plane tickets.

Despite what you may have heard, tickets on flights are not sold at a fixed rate. Most airlines have a complex grading system in place for ticket prices. They have a set number of seats they must fill for a certain price and a second block of seats they will let go for a slightly cheaper ticket price and third set of seats for a another discounted ticket price. So, at any given time when you try to buy online airline tickets, you could come up with a number of different prices.

The secret to dirt cheap airfare, is knowing exactly when, where and how to buy the tickets. Timing is everything when it comes to finding cheap airfare. Should you buy your tickets one, two or six months before your desired departure date? Will you save more by purchasing round trip tickets or one way flights? Should you travel on or off season, and exactly when are the popular flight travel seasons? And finally, should you buy your plane tickets through a discount travel site, or through a popular travel search directory like Expedia or Travelocity?

Your first tip to find cheap airfare is to check out several travel directories that offer price results for all the major airlines so that you can compare ticket prices at a glance. My favorites are Expedia.com for their consistently low flight price quotes and easy two click price checks, Cheaptickets,com for their large inventory of cheap airfare selections and sidestep.com for their huge selection of customized flight results. As a traveler you need to log on to these websites and get a feel for how often the prices change and bookmark them for future use.

Airlines and travel websites offer bigger discounts and cheaper airfare prices to people who book online because it saves them the overhead costs of printing and handling a paper ticket. So be sure to use the e-ticket option when purchasing your plane tickets online. Don’t wait till the last minute though, the best cheap airfare prices are found about 21 days before your departure date.

The highest plane ticket prices are found 14 days or less before departure, so don’t wait till the last minute to buy your ticket if you’re hoping to find discount airfare. But keep in mind that many airlines give away dirt cheap plane tickets about half an hour before liftoff.

Be sure to purchase round trip tickets rather than one way, the best cheap airfare deals are usually offered to round trip travelers.

Cheap flights during the holidays can be hard to find, the secret is to fly the day of the holiday not the day before or after when flights are jam packed.

You can save even more money on airfare if your plan your vacation during the off season. Travel professionals say that the best time to book a cheap flight online is mid-January to end February, April through May, and in the fall from mid-September to mid-December.

The time of day that you book online plane tickets is important too. If you checked plane ticket prices at 6 am and then again at 6 pm on the same travel website, you’d be shocked to find that you just lost 20 or 30 bucks by waiting too long or not long enough. Another variable that is imperative to finding dirt cheap flights is, the day of the week you make your online ticket purchase. Most traveler’s purchase their tickets on a Saturday or Sunday, but is that the smartest day to get dirt cheap airfare?

Tips For Safe Family Canoe Trips

Canoeing is an affordable and exciting vacation opportunity for families. The combination of traversing waterways and stealing away from daily life can be purely exhilarating. However, canoe trips necessitate early planning and accurate gear. The following information is helpful for planning a safe canoe trip that is also enjoyable.

Safety First

According to the United States Coast Guard, more than 250,000 rivers are present throughout the United States. This provides a vast number of options for families who desire a novel vacation idea. Whether choosing to stay near home or wishing to travel to another part of the country, canoeing is an ideal way to embark on an adventure.

A critical first step in choosing which river is ideal for your family’s trip is to plan. Determine the surroundings in which you are most comfortable and then research those rivers that meet such criteria. Once a river has been decided upon, regard the area in which you will be and familiarize yourself with it. For example, if you opt for a river that is far from town and mingled with dense forest, plan for such an environment.

Necessary Equipment

After the planning comes the packing. Canoe trips require more than a sack lunch and map of the river to be navigated. The list that follows encompasses a number of items required to safeguard your family during their excursion.

  • Water-proof first aid kit that can be purchased already-assembled from a variety of retailers. Included within this kit should be, at a minimum, bandages, burn ointment, anti-bacterial cream, medication for insect bites and pain relievers.
  • Water bottle for each member of the canoe party and subsequent jugs of fresh water.
  • Warm nylon jacket for each person.
  • Duct tape that can be used for repairs of the canoe or related equipment.
  • Dry plastic bags for storing additional clothing and gear.
  • Knife and heavy-duty rope.
  • Extra paddle.
  • Map and compass.

In addition to these items, each person also needs to have a personal flotation device (PFD) to wear during the actual trip. It is not sufficient to have the PFD in the canoe, but rather it needs to be worn. Many rivers are deceiving in appearance: they look shallow but in fact have rapid currents. Properly fitting PFDs are also important so as to remain secure against the body and promote easy movement.

Canoe Attire

The correct gear is just one element of safe canoeing. Clothing is another important consideration. Although persons are usually tempted to wear them, jeans are actually a canoeing hazard in and of themselves. Persons cannot swim sufficiently in jeans, and they may chafe the skin if they become wet. Instead, long nylon pants are more comfortable and can withstand various elements. Lightweight, long-sleeved shirts with a chamois blend are also optimal.

Shoes are absolutely essential for each person. Sandals do not provide adequate protection when one must walk through water and/or mud. Wetsuit boots are the best choice because they are waterproof; such footwear also safeguards against sharp objects, tree branches and rocks.

Canoeing Hazards

Caution should be exercised at all times while enjoying a canoe trip. This is for one primary reason: water hazards can occur at any time. For example, tree stumps are prolific in many lakes and rivers. These can disrupt the movement of a canoe and even tip it. Be weary of these and maneuver around them with slow and smooth paddle strokes.

Hazards exist outside of the canoe as well. Water lilies and razor-grass both pose serious threats to swimmers. Long grass along riverbanks creates the perfect grounds for snakes to hide. Finally, weather conditions should also be heeded: lightning can quickly turn an aluminum paddle into a lightning rod. Similarly, too much sun exposure can also be harmful. Canoes should be stocked with sunscreen, hats and sunglasses to minimize the risk of sunburns. A cord is helpful for securing sunglasses to the body.

Canoeing provides an uninhibited view of the outdoors as well as a sense of unity with nature. These are qualities quite unlike those of more mainstream vacations. Keep your family safe during your next canoe trip with the tips provided here. This will ensure future vacations in which the outdoors is aptly enjoyed.

Holiday Stress Relief – 12 Days of Christmas Stress Busters

If you’re looking at the Holidays as just another stress to add to your already overloaded schedule and life, I’ve got some tips you won’t want to miss. Keep reading for Stress Buster Tips that will keep you moving through the Holidays at warp speed with a smile, plenty of laughter, and cheer to spread around.

1. Minimize. Cut out the excesses, whether it’s food, people, gifts, expenses, or extra duties, cut them out of your life.

2. Personal Time. Give yourself a few minutes of down time every day to regroup, refocus, meditate, and alleviate stressors.

3. Focus. Do one thing at a time. Don’t try to get it all done at once, choose one thing and do that, then do the next thing. (It does help to have a list and mark off each item as you complete it.)

4. Allocate Chores. Delegate chores to others and allow everyone to carry the load normally left for you to bear. Move toward cooperative living.

5. Simplify. Who says the party has to have three kinds of desert? How about providing one desert that is extra special and plenty for everyone to have seconds if they choose? Or add a delightful selection of toppings?

6. Housekeeper. Hire a housekeeper for the holidays. Even if it’s just once a week for a couple of hours to dust and vacuum, if you hire someone else to get that part done, the rest is easier to face.

7. Services. When companies offer services to go with products you purchase, accept them, allow them to take care of details and you enjoy an extra five minutes at the spa getting your nails done.

8. Laughter. Take time each day to laugh. If you feel the stress building up, take a moment right then and read a funny story. Enjoy life! Laughter was created to bring joy – LET IT!

9. Rejuvenate. The most relaxing thing you can do some days is simply to take a nap. It doesn’t have to be long, but five minutes can revive you.

10. Resourcefulness. Be resourceful. If you think you can’t do it, you probably can’t, but…if you think you can, you’ll find a way. Look for options that you might not normally think of. Brainstorm solutions.

11. Ask a friend to lunch. Take a moment during this season to remember your friends and family. A real moment, actually sit down across the table from one person and focus on all the things you’ve missed in that persons life. Truly catch up.

12. Enjoy. Take time to enjoy Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth, take some time this season to reconnect with Jesus Christ and remember who He is and what He stands for.

Are you ready to enjoy a true 12 Days of Christmas experience?