I’m the kind of gal that loves to live in color, I don’t do beige. After looking through the endless color strips at various paint stores, my brain feels like the above pic. The interior design of my new home continues…
I am so over the tradition of buying random “stuff” for the ones we love. I am tripping over enough toys as is. How much do we really need? I am so not into keeping up with the latest gadget, I’ve caught onto the whole what’s new will be old in 5 minutes so why bother. I am never going to be caught standing in line for the latest Apple products, I have a life! That being said, I am changing the meaning of Christmas to be a time for giving back.
Starting this year, my family has decided we are only filling stockings with little, thoughtful trinkets for one another and not buying anymore large gifts. We will each get a Christmas fund (doesn’t have to be a huge amount of money) to distribute to anyone, or any charity we feel is deserving. Aside from mom and dad, my family consists of a 7-year-old and 2-year old so the choices as to who to give to will be interesting.
We can individually choose to give to the local food bank, adopt a family, give gifts (blankets, socks, gloves) to homeless people, bake for the homeless, or simply buy someone a coffee. No small act of kindness goes unnoticed. Plus, both parties involved will get the gift of love this Christmas. So why not join us in paying it forward and being the change we wish to see in the world.
There are numerous reasons why I am making it my goal to create the spirit of Christmas like that of Thanksgiving. Time to change the season of buying too much and make it more about gratitude and love. Thanksgiving reigns supreme over Christmas for all the reasons listed.
- No pressure to give gifts: I don’t hate gifts, but I despise all the stress that goes into picking gifts, buying them, and giving them to a loved one in hopes they’ll actually appreciate it. That’s all gone from Thanksgiving.
- The meal matters more: the focus is the food, which is wonderful. Nothing better than giving the love of food to your most cherished people.
- Easy to add extra people: What if someone extra shows up at Christmas? It’s a big scramble to grab a standby present (if you are even that organized) from the closet. At Thanksgiving, there’s always more than enough food to share.
- Rest: Need I say more?
- Way Less commercialized: People go crazy to buy the latest/ greatest gift for their family and friends. People will even go into debt over being able to “afford” the gifts. None of that nonsense during Thanksgiving.
- Freedom to easily change tradition: You can easily change the traditions of Thanksgiving without a fight. If you have kids, telling them no presents at Christmas is going to bring a river of tears. Heck, forget just kids, telling anyone there are no gifts for Christmas brings resentment.
- Starts the anticipation: Christmas is one of the last breaks before the long road of winter. Thanksgiving is just the beginning. The party’s just getting started. It’s like Friday night, instead of the Sunday night.
- Added bonus of Black Friday: While we’re talking weekends, Thanksgiving has the added benefit of wonderful sales the next day. Instead of shopping, I use it as an excuse to hang out with friends and family. The day after Christmas is just the end of the overplayed Christmas music.
- Promotes gratitude: Instead of asking people what they want or got for Christmas, you get to ask what people are thankful for. And that, by itself, is a reason to be thankful. My favorite reason why I love Thanksgiving.
For all these valid reasons listed, I am making it my mission to create a Christmas spirit like that of Thanksgiving. I hope you’ll try to do the same If you must give this Christmas season, give to those who are in need…the local food bank.
We all know the common cleaning brands and their strong, floral scents but have you ever stopped to think about the effects the chemicals have on you and your children’s health? After my emotionally taxing experience with trying to understand my daughter’s frequent health issues, I discovered the commercial cleaning products I used to clean the house was doing more harm than good. I researched and found natural alternatives that save money and our health.
1. Vinegar: all purpose cleaner.
- Mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water and put in a spray bottle.
- Natural disinfectant and deodorizer.
- Use in bathroom or kitchen
- Use as fabric softener, use 1/2 cup during rinse cycle- great for those with sensitive skin
2. Baking soda: abrasive cleaner
- Place box in refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors
3. Lemon juice: natural cleaning agent
- Dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits
- Clean and shine brass and copper
- Mix with vinegar or baking soda and use as cleaning paste
- Mix 1/4 cup of olive oil with 1/2 cup lemon juice and use as furniture polish for hardwood
- Use in your garbage disposal to freshen sink
Lemon scented all purpose cleaner:
- 1 tbsp Borax
- 2tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup hot water
Mix and put in spray bottle for cleaning kitchen and bathroom. Make a fresh batch next time.
Toilet bowl cleaner:
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup baking soda
Pour vinegar into toilet bowl and let stand for 30 minutes. Sprinkle baking soda onto toilet brush and scour.
- 1 1/2 cups of vinegar
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
Pour ingredients into the drain and wait 5-10 minutes before rinsing with hot water.
- 1 part vinegar
- 1 part alcohol
- 1 part water
Mix and put into spray bottle and clean glass, tile, stain-less steal, or chrome.
I hope you use the techniques listed above to clean your house; you will save yourself and your children from toxic chemicals. Cleaning green saves you money!