My Holiday Advice: how to keep it real and fun

Ok I will try to make this short(er) than usual. Ha Ha.

Most of you I hope have read my previous post so I do not need to explain my position on the Holiday season.  Here are some advice to have a great shopping experience and then a great holiday with your peeps.

* Remember, every time you leave your house to go shopping that this is supposed to be a joyful event for YOU and whoever you are gifting.

* Be nice to the people who sell you the items you are buying. They often have to deal with awful customers (I know, I worked retail) so a nice smile or a little chat goes a long way.

* Take your time. Don’t rush. Don’t be annoyed if you’re in line. Make conversation with the person behind you or in front of you.

* If an item is sold out. Don’t be upset. It’s the Universe or God’s way of telling you, it wasn’t really that great or you will find it later.

* Follow your instinct. If someone is trying to scam you, leave.

* Shop at small shops as much as possible. We have great bookstores and little shops in Los Angeles. They are privately owned and the profits feed right back to our local economy.

* Shop at Farmers Markets. They are all over town and have great products. Make it an outting with your family. There are many parties you will go to and bringing snacks, gourmet food or wine is always good etiquette.

* Shop for Holiday food at local stores and farmers. Eat clean food.

* Charities usually have great offers. You can donate in the name of someone or buy a gift that will profit the charity. Some of things on my list were from UNICEF.

* If you buy a calendar, get it from a non-profit organization like Greenpeace or WWF.

* Make your own presents if you are crafty.

* Make your own cards and wrapping paper. Send e-cards to reduce your carbon footprint.

* Take the bus shopping to avoid parking fees and to avoid buying too much.

* Call people. It’s cheap nowadays with cell phones and Skype!

* Rekindle old friendships.

* Don’t forget your trash pick up workers, your postman, your ups driver, etc.

* Don’t forget your kids’ teachers.

* Bake cookies, cake, pies, any of your specialties. These gifts and gestures will be remembered forever.

* Give a service as a gift. My husband one year gave me a handmade coupon book of free services like cleaning my car, doing the dishes, etc (hmmm I have to find it, I don’t think I used all of them). You can offer to babysit, etc.

* Volunteer your time. Last year, we went to a Red Cross volunteering activity where we helped kids pick gifts that were donated throughout LA. You can also work at a soup kitchen. My grandmother in law used to volunteer at her church preparing holiday shoeboxes.

* Take your kids to a nursing home. They usually have activities, and volunteering opportunities.

* Don’t forget our troops and the homeless.

* Take this time of year as an opportunity to remind your kids that people of all faith are our friends. (PS: not all Muslims are terrorists and Jewish or Palestinian People are NOT to be blamed for conflict in the Middle East)

* Spread the joy over the whole month to really surprise people. That’s my favorite thing. I give the whole month, not just on Christmas day.

* If you are sick of old Holiday Songs, go to your music service provider and look for new special songs. Rhapsody has a great holiday folder and I found some neat songs there, like old Johnny Cash, etc.

* Ask people to give you a list so you really get something they want and need. Favor useful gifts over cute useless things.

* Take your own bag when you go shopping.

* Buy from reusable or eco-friendly stores. There a gazillion of them on the internet.

* Don’t go bankrupt over the holidays, keep it simple.

* Don’t overeat.

* Do something for yourself.

* Enjoy your family. Go out to the park. Play games.





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