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Two Weeks and Counting

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Every year after Christmas, I vow that I will start shopping earlier next year, get a jump start on things so I don’t try to fit everything in the month of December. But, similar to many New Year’s resolutions, the idea while well thought out, is just that, an idea and not an action.

Several years ago the Farmers’ Almanac suggested that we move Thanksgiving to October so that there would be more time between the holidays. Maybe that would help with the preparations too — Thanksgiving is usually when I realize that I haven’t shopped yet and that Christmas is coming up quickly. But then again if we move Thanksgiving up — can you imagine when the stores would start their holiday ads?!

Deep breaths. It’s very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Yet we need to remember the reason for the season and remind ourselves what the really important things are. Take a few deep breaths. Make a list and cross things off. The holidays don’t have to be prefect. Sometimes it’s the traditions — which can be as simple as baking cookies as a family or decorating the tree — that are more important than the gifts.

As you rush here and there here are a few ideas on ways to simplify and breathe a bit more easily:

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1.Wrap as you buy. As soon as you get home, if possible, wrap the presents. This will save you time in the long run.
2. Say NO to some things — you just can do it all.
3. Find time to exercise. It will help you burn off those extra holiday calories and it serves as a good stress reliever.
4. Take time to be thankful for what you have. Even though money might be tight and time short, remember there are others who don’t have nearly as much as you do.
5. Do something this holiday season to help the less fortunate or shut ins (help the elderly decorate their tree or fill out their cards).
6. Involve the kids in a new tradition: let them sign the cards, trim a tree outside for the birds or decorate the cookies.
7. Relax and remind yourself to set realistic expectation.

Good luck with your holiday preparations! Enjoy the season; it is a special time of the year.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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