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Stop the Holiday Madness! Get on the Slow Train of Appreciation

Stop the Holiday Madness! Get on the Slow Train of Appreciation
During the holiday season, it's easy to get caught up in a to-do list full of school functions, work parties and gift shopping. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the season and start a new holiday tradition or two with friends or family. Breaking up the monotony of spending and excessive activities helps you focus on the things around you that really matter. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Don't buy "stuff" – Invest in experiences

Sure, that Xbox will provide hours of entertainment for young and old alike, but no one in your family will forget a trip to NYC to visit Rockefeller Center and see the Rockettes perform. How about a train ride to a nearby city to see the sites for the day before heading back? An annual membership to a zoo or museum is a gift you'll experience all year long. Go see a Broadway Show and make a big deal out of the event. These are just a few of the memories you can make with your family that will leave a lasting impression and promote unity.

Go old school

Not many people go caroling around the holidays, but it's a great activity that brings friends and family together and spreads holiday cheer throughout your neighborhood. Take the group on the road and visit nursing homes, children's centers or homeless shelters.

Give back

There's no shortage of ways to help families in need around the holidays. Actively giving back to members of your community teaches your children about volunteering and brings much-needed perspective to a holiday where the focus can easily rest on accumulating things. Here's what you can do:
  • Donate gently used items in your home to a shelter.
  • Find a giving tree and purchase gifts for local children.
  • Raise money for a needy family.
  • Volunteer at a food bank.
  • Participate in a food drive.

It's easy to get off the holiday-madness train and opt for a slower-paced season that focuses on others and making special memories with your loved ones. Why not make this the year that you shift the focus of the holiday and build traditions that will last?