2017 Holidays

joy-2

Your Holiday Coach wants to remind you that everyday is a holiday.

Here are two links to reference so you don’t miss anything.

  1.  An abridged list of national and major holidays.  https://www.calendardate.com/year2017_holidays.php
  2. 2016-2017 Bizarre , Wacky and Unique Holidays  http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/

Let the joy begin!

January 2017

  • National Bath Safety Month
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Braille Literacy Month
  • National Hobby Month
  • Hot Tea Month
  • National Oatmeal Month
  • National Soup Month

Week Celebrations:

2nd Week Letter Writing Week

January 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

1 New Year’s Day

2 Run up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day

3 Festival of Sleep Day

3 Fruitcake Toss Day

Humiliation Day

4 National Spaghetti Day

4 Trivia Day

5 National Bird Day

6 Bean Day

6 Cuddle Up Day

7 Old Rock Day

8 Bubble Bath Day

8 Male Watcher’s Day

9 Play God Day

10 Houseplant Appreciation Day

10 Peculiar People Day

11 Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend’s Day

12 Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day

12 National Pharmacist Day

13 Friday the 13th

13 International Skeptics Day

13 Make Your Dream Come True Day

14 Dress Up Your Pet Day

15 National Hat Day

16 Appreciate a Dragon Day

16 Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday  , celebrated on the third Monday

16 National Nothing Day

17 Ditch New Years Resolutions Day

18 Thesaurus Day

18 Winnie the Pooh Day -The Birthday of Winnie’s author A.A. Milne

19 National Popcorn Day

20 National Buttercrunch Day

20 National Cheese Lover Day

20 Penguin Awareness Day

21 National Hugging Day

21 Squirrel Appreciation Day

22 National Blonde Brownie Day

23 National Pie Day

23 National Handwriting Day

23 Measure Your Feet Day– we only ask….”Why!?!”

24 Beer Can Appreciation Day

24 Compliment Day

25 Opposite Day

26 Spouse’s Day

27 Chocolate Cake Day

27 Punch the Clock Day

28 Chinese New Years – date varies

28 Data Privacy Day

28 Fun at Work Day

28 National Kazoo Day

29 National Puzzle Day

29 National Cornchip Day

30 Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day – last Monday of month

30 National Inane Answering Message Day

31 Backward Day

31 Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  How about we hit the pause button on all the chatter and refocus our attention on the many things to be grateful for?

Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

Daily journaling can be difficult to maintain.  Can you journal for seven days?  In one week, you will have thirty-five items to choose from as you go around the Thanksgiving dinner table and share something you are thankful for.

The challenge:  For the next seven days, write down five new things you are grateful for that day.

gratitudejar2Don’t have a journal?  I bet you do have paper and pens around the house.  Write each entry on a separate sheet of paper.  Look in the cupboard and find a jar, mug or glass to keep them in.

You are reading this on a computer or phone.  Both have a Notes app. you can use to record your thoughts.  No excuses for not doing this.

Be Very Specific

I am grateful for my spouse.

Versus

I am grateful for the daily text my spouse sends me to let me know he/she is thinking of me.  It brings a smile to my face and warms my heart.

or

I am grateful for my children/grandchildren.

Versus

I am grateful for the way Cindy snuggles up with me as we read books together.

Benefits of Gratitude

Many studies have been conducted on the benefits of gratitude.  The following was excerpted from the Harvard Mental Health Letter originally published November 2011.  In Praise of Gratitude:  Expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better.  More details and resources can be found in:  Harvard Health Newsletter

pooh-and-piglet-gratefulGratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

Those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

After a week-long assignment to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness, participants (in the study) immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores. This impact was greater than that from any other intervention, with benefits lasting for a month.

Who are you grateful for today?

What are you grateful for today?

It’s Time to Assess Your 2015 Holiday Priorities

What did you enjoy most about last year’s holiday season?  What do you want to spend more time doing?  What can you spend less time on or eliminate all together?

Give yourself a gift right now.

  • Close your eyes and take three deep breaths.
  • Recall holiday season 2014. What makes you smile?  What makes you grimace?
  • Fast forward to the 2015 holidays. Visualize how you want to spend the weeks ahead?  Write your vision on a piece of paper or card you can post in a place you will look at it every day.
    • Use key words such as family, music, movies, cooking, sports
    • If you are a visual person, make a vision board to post for everyone in the family to contribute and remember this year’s priorities
    • Take a picture of your vision with your phone. When tempted to say yes to something not in your vision, stop, look at the photo and you will remember your priorities

Your Holiday Coach says, “Enjoy the next two months engaged in what bring you JOY.”

vision board

Every Day is a Holiday

keep-calm-and-go-holiday-11

Your Holiday Coach says, “Why wait for the major holidays for a celebration.  Why not take a deep breath and celebrate the many observances that have been assigned to September?”  Here a few:

  • Baby Safety Month
  • Better Breakfast Month
  • Chicken Month
  • Classical Music Month
  • Fall Hat Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Honey Month
  • International Square Dancing Month
  • Little League Month
  • National Blueberry Popsicle Month
  • National Courtesy Month
  • National Piano Month
  • Self Improvement Month

Looking for something more specific to celebrate?  Here is a selection of daily events for the rest of September 2015.  For more information about these and many others, visit the following web site:  http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/september.htm

holidays calendar

17th = National Apple Dumpling Day, Citizenship Day and Constitution Day

18th= National Cheeseburger Day, POW/MIA Recognition Day

19th = International Talk Like a Pirate Day, National Butterscotch Pudding Day, and Oktoberfest begins somewhere

20th = National Punch Day, National Women’s Friendship Day

21st = International Peace Day, Miniature Golf Day, World Gratitude Day

22nd = Business Women’s Day, Elephant Appreciation Day

23rd = Checkers Day, Dog in Politics Day

24th = National Cherries Jubilee Day

25th = National Comic Book Day, Native American Day

26th = International Rabbit Day, Johnny Appleseed Day

27th = Crush a Can Day

28th = Ask a Stupid Question Day, National Good Neighbor Day

29th = Confucius Day

30th = National Mud Pack Day

Life is short.  Celebrate everyday as if there is no tomorrow. 

Comment below and let me know your favorite holiday from the list above.

It’s Never Too Early

Why is Your Holiday Coach nudging you in August?  This is back-to-school time.  Exactly!  Back-to-school-sales are happening.  This is the time to think ahead about gifts for the teachers and children and in your life.


teacher-clipart

More than ever this year I have seen ads for teachers’ school boxes.  They sound something like this, “While buying school supplies for your kids, pick up extra notebooks, folders, markers, etc. and drop them in the teachers’ box at check out.”  So why not put together a gift bag of school supplies to give to the teacher for the holidays?  They don’t need apples or cookies or mugs for the ‘World’s Best Teacher.’  Come January they will be short on supplies.  There are so many plusses to this.  Here are a few:

  • you get a lot for your money
  • teachers will be thrilled to get something useful
  • kids will have the supplies to enhance their learning

children

Does your state offer a tax-free incentive for back to school purchases?  This would be a great time to pick up an extra set of school clothes to replace the shirt or pants that will be too small or stained beyond hope.  Kids don’t like getting clothes as gifts, but we all do it.  So let’s be smart about it.

25-Back-to-School-Basics-for-15-or-Less

Your Holiday Coach says, “It’s never too early to shop for the holidays.”

Christmas in July

bells

 

Your Holiday Coach is back from a six month sabbatical to chime in on Christmas in July.

 

 

The origin of Christmas in July is unknown, but the following ideas remind me of super-sized snowflakes floating down against the night sky to melt on your tongue.   Here are a few unique theories:

  • A group of Europeans was vacationing in Australia in July, winter in the southern hemisphere. Confronted with snow in the mountains they exclaimed, “It’s like Christmas in July.” A celebration ensued and abracadabra a new holiday was born.
  • People in the northern hemisphere crave cooler weather when temperatures soar over 90⁰F so they dream about cooler weather. One thing led to another and a Christmas themed party broke out.
  • As families spread across the country it was easier to get everyone together in summer. Hence family reunions turned into Christmas in July celebrations.
  • No one really knows when Christ was born, so why not move his birthday celebration to summer? The weather is better.
  • It’s a marketing strategy to capitalize on an otherwise slow retail month. Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are over. Back-to-school sales start in August followed by Halloween and Thanksgiving, which of course brings us to the official Christmas season.  A made up holiday in mid-summer is a no-brainer for an Mad Man.

How can you capitalize on this trend?

  • Shop sales for red paper goods and decor among post July 4th markdowns.
  • Pick-up your collectible Hallmark Keepsake ornaments early and beat the holiday rush.
  • Tune into any of the shopping networks for holiday items and gift ideas.
  • Sign up for a free 30-day Amazon Prime membership. Why?  Amazon announced an online birthday shopaganza called “Prime Day” on July 15, the day before it turns 20 years old.  Amazon promises the day will be “filled with more deals than Black Friday.” Prime members will find deals starting at midnight, with new deals starting as often as every ten minutes.”

What can you do now to be ready for Christmas 2015?

Your Holiday Coach suggests that you re-asses your priorities.  I refer you to chapter one in the Survival Guide for the Festively Challenged.  I would add the following questions:

  • What did you enjoy most about last year’s holiday season?
  • What would you like do differently for 2015?
  • What do you have to do to make this year’s holiday the best yet?

Coming Soon

Your Holiday Coach will be available through additional sources, beyond Amazon and Kindle.

Happy Holidays!

Maintaining a Healthy Weight During the Holidays

Avoid Temptations

tday banner

This week is the perfect time to address an annual challenge:  maintaining your weight (Chapter 12 of Your Holiday Coach).  After the holiday season the bathroom scale reveals that you’ve gained a few pounds.  It’s commonly thought that the typical holiday weight gain is around five pounds. In reality, it’s probably less. The catch, though, is even a small holiday weight gain is seldom lost — adding to the cumulative weight gain that happens over time.

Focus on maintaining your current weight.  You can eat the foods that you like — even treat yourself to a few indulgences — everything in moderation.  Consider the following tips to help you enjoy the season and avoid holiday weight gain.

Plan ahead

If getting together with family and friends ranked high as a priority for you, plan for it.

  1. Before you go to a holiday party, eat a healthy snack so that when you arrive you won’t load up on sweets and fatty foods.
  2. If you arrive at the party hungry, drink some water to fill up before filling your plate.
  3. If you’re going to a potluck dinner, bring a healthy dish to share. That way, you’ll know you have at least one healthy item to choose from.

Be in charge of your choices

  1. Avoid party snacks. Don’t waste calories mindlessly munching salty or sugary snack foods. Save calories for the big event — dinner and dessert.
  2. Choose a small plate over a large one. You will tend to take smaller portions and the plate will look fuller faster.
  3. Survey the choices. Be selective. What looks too good to pass up? What can you live without? Focus on what you’ll enjoy, not how much you can squeeze on your plate.
  4. Fill half of your plate with salad and vegetables, one quarter with meat, and the final quarter with starch.
  5. Practice discretion. Avoid sauces made from cream, half-and-half or meat drippings. For salads, use oil and vinegar, vinaigrette or low-fat dressings.  Healthier choices use broth-based or vegetable sauces.
  6. What about desserts? Select a low-calorie choice such as fruit, an unfrosted mini-muffin or cookie, ginger snaps or angel food cake. If you must have a dessert with frosting, butter cream, cream cheese, or chocolate chips, limit yourself to one small cookie or one thin slice of cake.
  7. Use a three-bite strategy. Savor the first bite.  It will be as good as you think it’s going to be, flavorful and delicious. The second bite will be good but not as good as the first. By the third bite, the food isn’t going to taste any better, so you might as well stop.
  8. Monitor your beverages. Keep alcohol to one or two servings of lower calorie options. Instead of high-fat eggnog, have a light beer or wine. After that, stick with calorie-free drinks such as water, unsweetened ice tea, hot tea or coffee.

Say no politely

When people keep putting food in front of you, empower yourself to say no politely.  Say something like, “No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious,” or “I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything was wonderful.” Practice what you will say beforehand.  You’ll find saying “no” easier each time you say it successfully.

At sit-down affairs, graciously sample all foods — for your own experience and to please your host. However, you don’t have to clean your plate to demonstrate your appreciation.

Focus on socializing

Conversation is calorie-free.  Walk away from the food table – focus your energies on making conversation with others instead of focusing on food.

Limit tasting while cooking

If you do a lot of cooking during the holidays, limit yourself to two small bites of each item pre- and post-seasoning.

Walk it off

Start a new holiday tradition, the after-dinner walk. Besides burning some extra calories, everyone will get away from the food for a while.  Walking benefits you physically and puts you in a mindset to monitor what you eat. There’s something about activity that puts you in control.

give-thanks-and-eat-pie

Don’t swear off desserts

  1. Plan for indulgences. Ask yourself what you’re willing to give up in exchange — something at lunch or dinner, or your afternoon snack? Are you willing to put in the extra time at the gym?
  2. Practice the three-bite rule to keep your sweet tooth in check. You’ll get that amazing first taste, a satisfying middle one, and then a lingering third bite.

Coach’s Challenge:

What strategy will work for your priority of maintaining your weight?

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                     

Coaching Tip

Remember to celebrate good times with family and friends during the holidays.

be grateful