By Christy Milan

The beginning of the holiday season is fresh upon us. During this time we have a tendency to become overwhelmed and stressed out with all the flurry of activities welcoming in the holidays. All this stress can be avoided with a little planning ahead. To help with the daunting task, look over the list below and plan which activities you and your family would like to do. You may even come up with others that you can add to your calendar. Some activities you may want to do with family or some with friends or with both. The idea is to enjoy and savor the holiday season without having the stress of it all.

Ideas for Celebrating this Holiday Season:

1. Warm your insides with a Hot chocolate drink

2. Get a tree at a lot or on an adventure

3. Decorate tree, house, hang wreath

4. Decorate gingerbread house, sugar cookies etc.

5. Have a bake day and hand out to others

6. Start a  new tradition

7. Watch winter sky bundled up with hot drinks

8. Go caroling or turn up Christmas music and dance

9. Go look at lights throughout your town

10. Visit Santa

11. Make reindeer food (oats, glitter in small Ziploc. (The reindeer see the glitter and eat the oats for their treat.)

12. Create and send out Christmas cards

13. Make crafts for gifts

14. Have a Christmas movie marathon

15. Snow trip! Go play in the snow with sleds or skis or make a snow angel.

16. Hang the mistletoe for mistletoe kisses

17. Give to those in need (food, toys, clothing or time)

18. Read a Christmas book before bed

19. Mail letters to Santa

20. Show Christmas spirit to those alone on the holidays

21. Visit a nursing home

22. Visit a Veteran/Veterans home

23. Visit the neighborhood animal shelter

24. Take holiday photos, photo shoot for the holidays

25. Celebrate  National Sangria Day- December 20th

26. Have a laugh and celebrate Ugly Sweater Day December 18th

27. Attend a community tree lighting

28. Enjoy a hearty dinner like chicken soup or a stew

29. Have a game night and listen to Christmas music

30. Be a secret Santa

31. Wrap presents

32. Watch a Christmas parade

33. Take someone Christmas shopping

34. Celebrate with a church

35. Watch a Christmas pageant

As the end of the year dissolves into history, time can slip by and before you know it, the New Year is arriving with the speed of a freight train. Now is the time to sit back, make a plan, and take comfort that you are prepared. Time may play in your favor and allow you to reminisce over Christmas’s past and savor in the knowledge that this year, time may be on your side. Be extra gentle and kind this season, including yourself. Things can run smoothly allowing you to relish in the joy, peace and love of this magical season.