From the mouths of one of our favourite Christmas CDs (yes.. we still have those #classic) “Merry Christmas, and happy holidays!”. – ‘Nsync
Have you ever felt just a little bit bored with your Christmas traditions? 😮 Here’s 5 things that you can try to implement to shake up your Christmas traditions!
1. Try Something Different…
In the spirit of shaking up our Christmas celebrations this year, our family decided to do a secret Santa 🎅!! It was so easy setting up our family account with Elfster (link below), this took the hassle out of arranging a traditional name draw- it was quick and easy. You add all the names and email addresses, enter date and time of the exchange, any cost limits and away you go! You receive a message within the app with the name of your Secret Santa. You can even create a list in order to help you Santa out on shopping for you. R2 even sent an anonymous survey in order to get an idea of what to buy. #genius.
2. Think Outside of the Box…
Every year, we sometimes get caught up in buying the same gifts or the same genre of gifts to people, it can get repetitive, even with ALL the ads and imagery during this period, I never feel like I have a clear idea of what I’m going to buy for whom (hence why I welcomed the secret Santa idea). Even so, here are some great ideas to really shake up your gift giving game.
- DNA Kit: If you’re like me and you enjoy learning about your family’s heritage and history, you can now find out your genealogy and lineage, by buying that special someone a kit, they spit in the capsule and you sent it off, and receive a details breakdown of that person’s DNA.
- An experience: These used to be super popular, buying someone a couple hours to drive in a F1 car or having a spa day up north. Buying the person who has literally everything or the person who will just buy their own gifts- an experience is a good way to change it up, plus if you’re lucky- you might tag along and get to take part as well! Mmmm spa day….(hint, hint)
3. Giving Back
We’ve stated on our blog post a few weeks ago (Make your Christmas LIT this year!), our family gives back to the community and others around Christmas, by putting together school supplies and other little necessities for children in underdeveloped countries. Participating in Operation Christmas Child, allows us the opportunity to ensure that a child who we will probably never meet, has something to look forward to on Christmas Day. Putting some effort into filling up a small shoe box, for someone in need, has become second nature to us. It’s so ingrained in our routine that it has become an extension of our preparations for Christmas. Whether you feed the homeless or fill up a food baskets, part of the meaning of Christmas is giving back to the less fortunate. It’s a very good way to put things in perspective.
Oh my goodness! Downtime is a MUST around this time of the year, our family gets pretty lazy on Christmas Day. Who wouldn’t be; all the running around you do just before Christmas, working “9 to 5” Monday through Friday and the list goes on, so for me (R2, heeeyyy!) I for one;
- Soak up as many corny Hallmark holiday & romance Movies as I can
- Catch-up on the TV shows I have fallen behind on (#thestrugglesofauniversitystudent)
- Work as many hours as possible (without killing myself), because someone has to pay those school fees 😉 .
- Get some quality time in with the people that mean the most to me.
- It doesn’t have to only be your immediate family, we all have friends in our lives, who have become a part OF our family, we barely call them friends, we consider them a part of “the Squad”.
5. And Last But Not Least…PLAN IT OUT!
If you don’t plan what you would like to get done before Christmas…it’s going to sneak up on you, like a thief in the night! Your plans don’t have to be followed down to the letter, but it wouldn’t hurt if you had a bit of a game plan…or a planner 😉 Sticky notes, To-do lists, will SAVE YOUR LIFE! It just takes you writing down your plan of action, to have you planning out everything you would like to achieve on December 25th.
Here’s a delicious cranberry sauce recipe we swear by!
CRANBERRY SAUCE RECIPE
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of orange juice
- 1/2 cup of water
- 12 oz of cranberries (rinced)
- pinch of salt
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 1 piece of orange peel (substitute anything citrusy)
- Combine the sugar, orange juice and water in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add cranberries, salt, cinnamon stick and orange peel.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries have popped.
- Let it cool for at least 30 minutes, cover and refrigerate until needed.
- Can keep for up to 3 days in advance.
No matter what, the holiday season is about spending quality time with loved ones, for many it is one of the only times when every one is gathered together. Throughout the year, we’re all very busy and sometimes it is only this time a year for us to touch bases with our loved ones. Be sure to enjoy your holiday season, tell them how you feel and most of all be safe. From both of us at RnR, have a happy and healthy holiday season to get you well rested and ready for the new year up ahead!!