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Tis The Season: Make the Most of This December

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it? What is supposed to be the happiest month of the year turns into the most stressful and expensive month for some. Don't let that be you this season and try this time-tested tricks and traditions for your best December yet.

1. Add a little "hygge" to your life: Hygge is a Danish word (who certainly know about winter) meaning far more than coziness. It's about that feeling or mood that comes taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day things more meaningful, beautiful or special otherwise considered the art of creating intimacy. For instance, sitting by the fire with a riveting book, good wine and beautiful candles would be a moment of hygge. A dinner party with friends under dim lights with a scrumptious feast would be considered hygge. This December incorporate more hygge into your life.

2. Crack out the old movies: There is nothing that can make us feel quite and warm and fuzzy than classic holiday films. Make it a point to watch one of your favorites per week (more if possible of course). The Hallmark Channel, Netflix, your movie store and Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas are all celebrating holiday films, so you should too.

3. Do (at least) one outdoor activity: The cold is, well, cold. But getting out of or your comfort nose and getting some fresh air into your lungs works winter wonders. Choose one outdoor winter activity (sledding, cross country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snow man making) and vow to do it before the season is over. Don't forget to have cookies and cocoa ready to go after!

4. Gift shop with a purpose: Don't spend your holidays mindlessly shopping for gifts without a plan. You'll end up logging way too much time on websites and way too much time wandering through the mall--exhausting and not cheery. Make a spreadsheet with everyone you need to buy gifts for along with present ideas and ideal costs. Then designate two shopping trips and one online shopping binge to knock it all out. This plan will give you more time for merry and less time for mall music.

5. Make holiday chores an event: It's too sad that holiday preparation has become a chore and not a joy. Baking, decorating, wrapping presents, etc. are all wonderful stops on the journey to creating a beautiful holiday experience for those you love. Honor it and don't dread it. Get the whole family involved, turn on holiday music or movies, and make sure to dress in something festive, not frumpy. 

6. Don't take it all too seriously: Often times, we put all the pressure on that one big holiday event. We stress and stress and forget that the holidays aren't about one big entertaining fête, but all of the wonderful moments of family, reflection and joy throughout the season. Stress and judgement should be the last things that the holidays invoke. So reassess when you feel overwhelmed. Leading up to the big day, don't forget to celebrate the season. Have movie night with your family. Invite friends over for a casual dinner and wine night.

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