Who doesn't want to make the season special for themselves and their families? With all the emphasis on DIY in recent years, it's easy to get caught up in creating unique, one-of-a-kind holidays that delight and impress our loved ones. Pretty soon you're knitting garland from reclaimed dryer lint, churning your own butter for cookies, and listening to a Christmas carol you composed last night on a vintage theremin. If that energizes you, all power to you.
As long as it's not a donation to George Costanza's The Human Fund ("Money For People"), a charitable contribution made in someone's honor is a wonderful gift. It reduces waste, helps someone/some turtle/some tree, and takes us out of our own life for a moment, as we realize how much we take for granted. It's amazing what an impact a small amount of money can have — and also how much more is needed.
It's hard to believe Christmas is only a week away! If you're mailing gifts to loved ones, don't let shipping deadlines sneak up on you. We highlight this year's shipping deadlines from the major carriers so your gift doesn't arrive too late to say it's from Santa!
For better or for worse, if you've experienced any significant life changes recently, the holidays can amplify those shifts. While returning to traditions can be one of the most comforting parts of celebrating a holiday, adopting and adapting to new ones can be a positive way to adjust to fluctuations in our individual lives and family structure.
Do you have 8 dozen cookies to cut out, bake, and decorate? Or 37 cards to stamp and address? Or perhaps a million pom poms to make and string into garland? If you're finding yourself faced with cozy but repetitive and endless holiday tasks, you're going to need some festive television to keep your spirits bright..
Long before the Elf on a Shelf was a glint in parents' eyes, my family used to hide knee hugger elves for me and my brother to find on Christmas Eve. It was a December version of an Easter egg hunt, and it's just what we did. I don't know how the tradition started, or who came up with it, but it was a staple of our holidays throughout childhood. I didn't realize until I was an adult that others didn't do the same thing, and had no idea what I was talking about.
If all goes according to plan, I'll be spending the end of December visiting faraway loved ones, so decorating my own apartment is one of the projects I had to cross off my holiday to-do list. Luckily, a few of my across-the-street neighbors have big, beautiful Christmas trees covered in sparkly white lights, and they generously leave their curtains open for all — or at least me — to enjoy!
The natural world offers so many ways to decorate our homes this time of year, from fresh greenery and vibrant fruits to warm spices and rustic pine cones. You don't have to spend a lot of money or time either. Sometimes the best ideas are also the simplest ideas.
For over a decade now, I've been a shopgirl. I've worked in flower shops, coffee shops, home goods and gift shops, a major organic grocery store, and the world's prettiest candy shop, and I've picked up a few holiday shopping lessons over the years…