Celebrate

You've Been Elf-ed! Start A Neighborhood Holiday Tradition

We've Been Elfed

Have you been Elf-ed? Join the fun with this Christmas version of the Halloween BOO game.

Sometimes called "You've Been Jingled", "You've Been Elf-ed!" is easy to play.

Sometime before Christmas, one neighbor starts the game, secretly leaving a basket of treats together with an Elf sign and Elf poem explaining how to play the game.

Ring the doorbell and run! It's the best part of You've Been Elf-ed!

Magic Elf Tradition: Will Santa's Magic Elf Visit Your Home?

magic elf

What would happen if one of Santa's elves came to your house to visit?

He'd arrive sometime before the holidays began. Sent by Santa to check on good little girls and boys, he'd roam the house at night, popping up in the most unlikely places come morning.

Sometimes, elf mischief would take place--and he'd be caught red-handed! Finally, on Christmas Eve, he'd report to Santa and hitch a ride back to the North Pole ... until next year.

If you can imagine it, you can do it: meet Santa's Magic Elf!

Keeping New Year's Resolutions: New Year, New You!

Keep New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Eve ... a festive beginning to a new year. It's a good time to take stock and decide to move toward a happier, more organized life.

But too often, what looks so easy as the minute hand approaches midnight falls away in the cold light of January days.

For most of us, New Year's resolutions die a slow and quiet death. They're tossed aside, along with the party hats and noisemakers.

As January winds down, so does motivation, energy and desire for change.

Tips for Holiday Season Travel

Tips for holiday season travel

Will you visit family or take a Christmas holiday?

Between tight security, cramped airports and busy highways, holiday-season travel can be a big source of Christmas stress.

Whether you're flying or driving, being prepared means you'll be better able to roll with the inevitable punches.

Try these tips to keep the “happy” in holiday travel:

Make Room For Santa: Pre-Season Toy Declutter

Declutter children's toys

Holidays ahead! About this time of year, it's a good idea to contemplate the toy situation in your child's room. Adding Santa's bounty to overstuffed kids' rooms is a recipe for January clutter disaster.

Clear the decks and cut kid clutter with a pre-holiday toy clear-out!

It's a fact of modern life. Children's playthings have exploded in number, size, and complexity, while children's storage options have remained static. Just try storing a Happy Meal collection in the average toy box! Even the best-organized kid's rooms can easily drown in today's toy avalanche.

"Gimme, Gimme" v. Doing Good: Teaching Children to Give

Teaching children to give

Recently, I eavesdropped on an online discussion about teaching children to give.

The original writer was a concerned, conscientious parent of a preschooler. This father shared his plan to teach his daughter about holiday giving. They would, he wrote, sort through the child's toys and set aside several toys "to give to needy children."

An admirable effort, I thought--until he set forth the rest. He hoped to locate a charitable agency that would permit his daughter to hand her toys directly to the child who would receive them. This way, he felt, his child would learn what giving meant in a direct and unambiguous manner.

I stared at the computer terminal and asked "What is wrong with this picture?"

Low-Cost, No-Cost Ways To Celebrate Christmas with Kids

Celebrate with Kids

Cutting costs at Christmas doesn't mean celebrating like Scrooge. It's not about what you buy--it's about what you do!

Putting "celebration" at the center of the season--and taking the focus off of gifts and giving--can be the key to happy holidays that don't break the bank.

Better, when it comes to kids and Christmas, cheap is good! Simple, inexpensive family activities can be as meaningful as pricey Nutcracker tickets--and no need for scratchy dresses or dress-up suits.

Try these no-cost, low-cost ways to celebrate the holiday season with kids:

Simplify Holiday Traditions: Do Less, Enjoy It More!

simplify traditions

"Tradition" is a powerful force that sometimes pulls an unsuspecting family along in its wake. Do your holiday traditions serve your family, your values and your spiritual beliefs--or are you running a tired and joyless circle each holiday season in the name of tradition?

To cut stress during the season, don't wait to give your family's holiday traditions a stiff scrutiny.

Give some thought to your family's holiday traditions well before the season is full upon you. Try these ideas to simplify your family's traditions--and deepen the season's joys!

Seven Tips for Sparkling Christmas Letters

tips for christmas letters

Christmas is coming, holiday cards and letters fill the mailbox--and it's time to write your family's annual Christmas letter.

Want your letter to stand out from the crowd? Looking for ways to spice up the same-old, same-old Christmas greeting?

Try these seven tips for a sparkling holiday letter.

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