Keeping the Spirit of Christmas Alive

It’s no secret that the Magic of Santa is something we all carry into adulthood. All of us, young old, have joined this worldwide evolution of “Santa”. He reminds of all of the simplest joys of childhood, from running to the tree on Christmas morning, unwrapping presents and marveling at the Man in the Red suit who always gets it right! Santa has transcended all of the things in life that divide us, bringing us together one time a year in unity and happiness. People of all religions and cultures have some form of generously giving man who one time a years shows us the joy in life isn’t about getting — but giving.

I confess I was one of those inquisitive children that when I turned about 6 or 7, was very skeptical about this whole “Santa” thing. Some questions I pondered were, “How can one person travel the globe in one night?” How does he know where I always am?” (We would travel to my grandparents in another state, and he always managed to find me, after all!) Once, my brother and I speculated that “Santa” was indeed our parents because Santa’s handwriting was the same as my Dad’s! That last tip-off inspired me to create the Santa Tags below. Like me, others have created products and traditions to keep the Spirit of Santa Alive. We’ve given you just a few easy ways to keep the spirit of Santa alive for the children in your life this year.

Give Santa A Call: How many times do your children ask to see Santa in December? If they are anything like my niece, she wants to see him as much as she can during the holiday season! Instead of taking her weekly to check in with Santa, she can make a call to him and even leave her gift list as a message! Call 1 951-262-3062, your child will hear a message from Santa that is sure to light them up with excitement!

Video from the North Pole: These days, Santa is as mobile as the rest of us! Portable North Pole is a magical online platform that lets Santa connect with his millions of friends around the world! That’s right Santa has own Ap, where you create personalized video messages for your young believer. Find out the answers to your favorite questions, read Christmas stories from the elves, download or print Christmas drawings, and much more in Santa’s Village.

Holiday Portraits: This is time that all parents want to document, from the growth of their family to the memories of the Holiday. Friend and Photography Contributor Garrett Nudd of Cobblestone Rue Photography plans portrait sessions in collaborations with Chattanooga business neighbor, Sophie’s Shoppe with Santa Claus every year. A sweet and cozy vignette is designed, complete with milk and cookies. As you can see from the image above, having great images like this continue to keep Santa’s magic alive for years to come!

Santa Tags — From Santa’s Workshop: The impetus for these tags are purely from my childhood suspicions with my father and Santa Claus uncannily having the same handwriting as one another! I created these 50 unique Santa Tags straight from Santa’s Workshop! Phrases include, “You Made the Nice List!” and “You’re as Sweet as a Cookie!” These tags will keep the spirit of Santa alive and well. Tags can be found at Paper Couture Stationery and retail for $23.95.

Elegant Santa Letters: There is no more elegant way to keep your child’s faith in Santa than a custom letter hand written by calligrapher and artist, Sarah Hanna with Artful Correspondence. Each letter is personalized, with information only Santa would know, which builds the holiday excitement as well as ensuring you child stays on their best behavior! These refined letters retail for $20.00 and can be ordered through Sarah: info@sarahhanna.com

Elf on the Shelf: In the past few years Elf on a Shelf has become nearly as popular as the big guy himself! You may have seen him on various forms of social media reaping all kinds of havoc! For ideas on what your child’s elf can do to keep the excitement of the season growing, check out this great review by Apryl Duncan Stay-at-Home Moms Expert.

  • PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: This cleverly rhymed children’s book explains the story of Santa’s scout elves, which are sent to be Santa’s eyes and ears at children’s homes around the world! When a family adopts a scout elf and gives it a name, the scout elf receives his or her Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day's adventures—that’s how Santa knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice!


House work got you down . . . Feeling Like Cinderella?

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So last year I had the genius idea to put an iRobot Roomba on my Christmas list. And let me tell you it is the BEST GIFT I HAVE EVER RECEIVED! This thing is AMAZING, it runs a three hour cycle and although it doesn’t seem like it, has a ton of suction (it’s farely quiet while running) the dirt tray is always overflowing when it’s complete. It even has it own detection system, knowing how to go around furniture legs and untangle itself from cords or curtains. Yes! That’s what I said, it actually will untangle itself if it runs over cords. Not to mention it goes under the bed, the couch, and all those places that dirt and grime just build up. The best thing about it is I can set it to run while I’m doing other chores around the house, it doesn’t scare the animals and when it’s complete it heads back to it’s charging dock. When it docks . . . it make this cute superhero tune to alert you it’s finished! It’s helpful and amusing all in one!

Except for area rugs, I don’t have carpet in my house. So I can’t speak to how it works on carpet, but I can tell you it goes from the hardwood floor up over the area rugs and vacuums them as well. Now I know that is is quite a splurge, as some of these iRobots can cost up to $700.00 — I’ve found the best time to purchase them is during the Holiday Season. This year you can find it at Target.com for $349.00, with free shipping and a free $40 gift. A deal that can't be beat! (For exact iRobot Specs- click here)

Ps. They also now have a Mopping irobot, this just might make my wish list for next year! If you have an iRobot (vaccum or mop) we would love to hear your review as well, please share with us below in the comment section!

 

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but cleaning my house is a necessary evil. One I dread tackling. As a busy entrepreneur, and parent to four animals with a social life and schedule bursting at the seams — cleaning is something I’m always moving to the bottom of my list. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty tidy, and I’m one of those crazies that believe “everything has a place.” So throughout the week, I’m always straightening, dusting, etc. But one thing I absolutely hate is vacuuming. I’m not sure why that is, the vacuum has never done anything to me!

With Allergies (therefore no carpet), animals, and the build up of daily dust… It seems I was developing a love hate relationship with my vacuum cleaner. Dragging it out, plugging it in, trying not run over the cord (which I did more than once) — overall it always just seemed like an ordeal. Granted this may be a little melodramatic, but as a self proclaimed “nature-girl” you’ll find me most of the time barefoot. And nothing is more annoying than walking around your clean house and getting grit on your feet. With four animals going in and out several times a day, I found myself vacuuming constantly.

product images courtesy of s hop.irobot.com

product images courtesy of shop.irobot.com

 

Relaxation Rituals PART 2 - Peppermint Aromatherapy

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We hope you enjoyed the lavendar detoxifying bath from Relaxation Series Part 1. Our hope is to bring you little tips and tricks on relaxing that you can work into your day. Here's another great one from Amy we all use to refresh and invigorate when those 3 o'clock blues hit!

When I’m feeling my day drag on, and the clock moves slow, I grab right for the Peppermint Oil! It’s scent is known to stimulate mental activity and increase blood circulation. It's even used in hospitals for easing digestion and getting the digestive system working smoothly! So when you feel your mind wandering, dab a little peppermint oil on your temples and forehead. Take a moment close your eyes and slowly breath in the scent. You’ll feel refreshed in no time! I keep some peppermint in my desk drawer just for this reason. It’s also good for relief in a pinch if you have a headache or migraine - use same recipe as above.