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Christmas and holiday season

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Top Story: The 12 Absurdities of Christmas

Christmas 2014 will be the worst on record for me. I won’t be able to buy my daughter anything until the end of the month, my car won’t start (again) and I can’t afford to have it towed to find out what’s wrong with. And, I’m also days or hours away from having my energy shut off! There is one bright spot: I was able to get this website back up and running after it was deactivated for 24 hours. Merry Christmas, indeed.

hatexmasBy John Prytz

Christmas, and the seemingly near endless commercial lead-up to Christmas, is one of the most – actually the most – absurd institutions society has inflicted on the vast majority of the civilized world. When you consider all the sorts of stressful hoops you are required to jump through in the months, but especially weeks before the Big Day, required that is if you are spineless enough to cave in to what society (mainly but not exclusively retail traders) requires, it’s a wonder the civilized world isn’t collectively a society of babbling idiots the day after. Still, most gleefully and willingly jump through the same stressful hoops the following year, paying through the nose for the privilege.

1) RELIGIOUS ABSURDITIES

A) Christmas has bugger-all to do with Christ. The odds that J.C. was born on the 25th of December are roughly 365.25 to 1. That’s because nobody has the foggiest idea what the actual date was. You won’t find it in the Bible, that’s for sure. The concept of a relationship between Christmas and J.C. was a hijack by the Christian Church of the ancient ‘pagan’ tradition of celebrating the Winter Solstice. Rather than fight City Hall, the church just adopted that already established tradition for their own purposes. Any similarity to really real reality is purely a matter of coincidence. That you swallow hook, line and sinker without any questioning, critical thinking or actual study that there is an actual relationship between the virgin birth (yeah, that’s credible and not all that an original idea either) of an alleged deity (whose historical bona fides can be questioned) who hasn’t been seen in over 2000 years, is absurd.

B) That shopping malls and stores like supermarkets and department stories play not only Xmas music but religiously themed (i.e. – Christian) Xmas music is absurd. Nativity scenes are often featured as well. That means these commercial enterprises are in fact promoting one specific brand of religion exclusively over all others. While that might be appropriate for a church, it’s not the proper place in any multicultural society for commercial for-profit stores to endorse any brand of religion. That they do so is another absurdity.

2) FOOD ABSURDITIES

A) On average, half the food you buy for the Xmas festivities will be thrown away. Now is that absurd or is that absurd.

B) How many of you had ham or turkey for Xmas dinner? Why? Probably because your society and your culture virtually demands you eat traditional fare, which means one of these two options, plus the obligatory egg nog and plum pudding and mince pies, etc. So what’s wrong with pizza, meatloaf, sirloin steak, Irish stew, macaroni & cheese, etc.? Why are you such a slave to someone else’s traditions? That’s absurd. I’ve established my tradition – even number years it’s pizza for Xmas breakfast; spaghetti for Xmas dinner. On odd number years I reverse the two.

christmas sucks

3) DECORATION ABSURDITIES

Think of the massive amounts of time and energy putting up, up and up and eventually pulling down, down and down all those gaudy Xmas decorations. What’s the point? And some people go so over-the-top, so overboard, you’d think they are trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records. Maybe they are! And haven’t we all heard or read those stories of those Xmas tree lights that were so overloaded they shorted, set fire to the tree, and burned the house down.

4) BRATS (Sorry, the Little Darlings) ABSURDITIES

Its absurd being ethically required to lie to your children (and anyone else’s children) about the reality of Santa.

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5) SANTA ABSURDITIES

The economic purpose of Santa is to install in brats (sorry, your little darlings) the concept of greed and a free lunch. The brats’ mantra – I want, I want, I want; gimmie, gimmie, gimmie; now, now, now. Why do you think shopping malls and large department stores employ a Santa? Hint – it has nothing to do with jingle bells but the jingling of coins transferred from your pockets to their cash registers, lots and lots of jingling coins (plus the rustling of paper currency too). Of course as an added insult you have to pay to get a photo of your brat(s) – sorry, your little darling(s) – taken sitting on Santa’s knee.

6) XMAS MUSIC ABSURDITIES

What you listen to in the privacy of your own home is your business, but in the many, many, many weeks in the lead-up to Xmas Day, you (and especially if you are a staff member in any supermarket or department store, etc.) are endlessly bombarded with piped in shopping mall Xmas music, not to mention out-of-tune brats (sorry, those darling little kiddies) on street corners who also see fit to serenade you with even more Xmas music. You can only endure so many renditions of Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, White Christmas and The Little Drummer Boy (to mention just four songs of a seemingly endless number of the Xmas repertory of musical drivel and pap).

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7) FINANCIAL ABSURDITIES

You spend massive amounts of money and energy preparing for a once a year happening that more likely as not you wish society would just totally forget about.

8) TIME & ENERGY ABSURDITIES

You spend more time preparing for a once a year happening than that happening itself takes up.

9) FAMILY, FRIENDS & OTHER RELATIONS ABSURDITIES

You spend ‘quality’ time with family relations that you wish were halfway around the world and thus unable to infringe on your personal space and time and wallet.

You spend lots of money you’d rather not spend on gifts for people you don’t give a damn about.

You send Xmas cards to lots of people you could care less about; you receive Xmas cards from people you could care less about.

You receive lots of gifts that are unwanted, useless, and have value only for what $$$ you might get for them on eBay (and related).

10) INSINCERITY ABSURDITIES

99.9% of people, mostly strangers and salespeople, wishing you a “Merry Christmas” are just going through the motions and don’t personally give a damn if you drop dead on Xmas Day. That goes triple for the zillions of “Merry Xmas” messages in ads that you see in the lead up to Xmas.

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11) HEALTH ABSURDITIES

Would your blood pressure, stress levels, and overall mental health be in a better and overall healthier condition if you could put your feet up, ignore Xmas and just watch the passing parade? Would your health be better if you hadn’t indulged in The Xmas Spirit as well as the spirits?

12) BENEFICIARIES ABSURDITIES

Who benefits from Xmas? Well clearly there are stories of various acts of kindness and self-sacrifice that come to the fore every Xmas. Now follow the money trail. Okay, on the plus side, charities obviously receive additional donations around Xmas time. So much for the plus side! Well the Post Office and manufacturers of Xmas cards benefit, especially since each year is a fresh year where everybody has to buy and post anew (unlike say with Xmas decorations that get reused year after year). Speaking of decorations, unless you use an artificial Xmas tree, the growers and sellers of real natural Xmas trees look forward to the Xmas season. Most of all, beneficiaries include all the manufacturers and retailers of all those to be given Xmas presents. Face it, Xmas is all about the economy and keeping people employed. Without Xmas (and to a lesser extent other overly hyped holidays like Mother’s and Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, etc.) there would be an economic collapse that would make 1929 pale in comparison. In fact, appearance-wise, a goodly percentage of news stories in the lead up to Xmas deal with how much people are spending; how well (or poorly) are retail traders are doing. They certainly outnumber by a substantial ratio stories that focus on the religious or warmer and fuzzier sides to Xmas.

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CONCLUSION

Absurdity is the foundation of comedy, so in a manner of speaking I enjoy sitting back and relaxing and enjoying the human comedy that unfolds in front of me each Xmas season as the entire good little sheep act out the standard Xmas routines (including paying off the bills in January). It’s a comedy watching all those members of society who take Xmas seriously and who jump as high as they can when society snaps its fingers as Xmas approaches for yet another reason of absurd madness.

Science librarian; retired.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Prytz
http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Twelve-Absurdities-Of-Christmas&id=8857433

 

 

5 Tips for Dealing With Rude Holiday Shoppers

holiday shoppers

By M. Lora

1) Holiday Shoppers can’t drive – It’s a statistical fact that drivers lose their minds more than usual at the holiday season. It’s like all those gift lists, overspending and eggnog specifically kill brain cells of coordination and common sense. Or maybe it’s actually from the alcohol they’re drinking just to get through it all. Really. Whatever the reason, your main job is to be on the lookout for those cars weaving and wobbling on the road so they don’t hit you on the way to the Piggly Wiggly much less the mall.

Another important tip is to use your turn signals! You may not bother the rest of the year. But it’s imperative at the holidays because it may be the only thing that keeps those other crazy drivers from playing bumper cars with your rear end.

2) Holiday Shoppers can’t park either – It’s another statistical fact that there are more fights in the Mall parking lots this time of year than any other. You don’t want to go there. Because jail is not where you want to be celebrating the holiday spirit.

Instead, take the spot that is farthest away from the store for three reasons: it’s the easiest one, you’ll get more exercise and by the time you’re at the store, you’ll have cooled off from dealing with the obnoxious traffic. Remember this important tip though: Stupid drivers are everywhere. They’re notorious for speeding up just as you’re trying to cross that little area from the parking lot to the store. Feel free to be as rude as you want and yell at them to SLOW DOWN! But make sure you do it from the sidewalk not the crosswalk. That’s one game of chicken you will never win.

3) Holiday Shopping ain’t life or death – It is not worth whacking somebody over the head for a hoodie. It’s just a gift. It’s rude to tangle over it especially when there are at least 40 more just 3 feet down the aisle. If somebody wants something that bad, just give it to them. It’s ridiculous why some folks feel like they’ve got to fight their way to the merchandise. It’s not like those gifts are gonna jump off the shelves and start running around like chickens with their heads cut off. That only happens occasionally on Black Friday and on that day, y’all are on your own.

4) Have aisle etiquette – or not – Retail stores are rude, rude, rude when it comes to aisle space. They give out these big ole carts and little tiny aisles where you have to beg for forgiveness every 10 minutes that you’re bumping somebody. Actually, you can tell a lot about a store is by the size of its aisles. The expensive places have wide ones and the inexpensive ones where the average American shops have skinny ones that stress everyone out completely. You’d think all those cheap prices would get you a deal on floor space too. Obviously not.

The bottom line is there are two ways you can go about dealing with this problem. You can be an angel and be as polite as you can, going slowly through the store, not letting your kids run all over everyone’s feet with your apologies ready for the crowds.

Or you can listen to that little devil on your shoulder and pay attention to the surveys that prove that if you bump a woman with a cart once, she’ll get mad. Bump her twice and she’ll leave the store. Then you just be as rude as you want to be banging into everybody and you’ll clear that place of holiday shoppers quick. Now if you’re the one getting bumped twice, don’t you dare leave. Just stay the course and get that special gift no matter what they do because everyone knows the best revenge is shopping well.

5) Be kind to the cashiers – Working a checkout counter is tough anytime but the holidays truly are Dante’s seventh circle of hell. And you don’t need to be making their job any worse so be nice when you get up there. Have a smile on your face and remember, it’s rude not to have your checkbook or credit or debit cards ready.

But it’s not rude to tell the store manager they need more cashiers. It’s amazing how hard it is for someone to figure out that 50 people waiting for 2 checkout counters equals an impending riot! You may have been one of the many people who have alerted managers that they need to open a new lane and and yet they still may have looked at you like it’s never occurred to them.

Then there is cell phone etiquette. Shopping is stressful and boring but it’s not your time to discuss every holiday recipe you’ve ever thought of making Once you’re at the cashier, it’s time to hang up the phone, get your shopping done and get out of there.

Author Miss Lora, “The Trailer Trash Miss Manners”, has over 1,000,000+ hits on her web series’ “Y’all Are Rude!” and “The Southern Guide to Internet Dating” at MissLora.com. She is a Southern Communication Expert, Dating and Life Coach, stand up comedian and air personality who’s been on national TV and radio and is the co author of “Power Lines: What to Say in Problem Situations” (Harper Collins).

Miss Lora is available for interviews live, via skype or phone through Anne Marie Petitto at annmarie@smithpublicity.com 856-489-8654 ext. 305. Her comedy book “Y’all Are Rude” is available on Amazon and Kindle.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=M._Lora
http://EzineArticles.com/?5-Tips-for-Dealing-With-Rude-Shoppers-at-the-Holidays&id=8171562

5 Ideas To Get Something Out Of Useless Christmas Gifts

Every year at Christmas, it seems you get at least one gift that’s useless to you. It could be an appliance for which you have no need, a piece of jewelry identical to a piece you already own, or an article of clothing that just does not quite fit your style. Instead of letting them sit in a closet and gather dust or re-gifting them to clients, coworkers or friends, why not use one of these ideas to turn that useless gift into a holiday boon.

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First idea:

Donate those unwanted gifts to a charity such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army. There are even charities that cater to specific needs, such as Dress for Success and Career gear, which allow people to donate business attire. These items will then be used to help dress men and women, who could not otherwise afford it, for job interviews. It’s a great way to donate the myriad ties you received. As an added bonus, you get a nice tax deduction for donating to nonprofit charities.

Second idea:

Many recipients of gifts find it hard to ask for the receipt for an expensive item, afraid that it might hurt the giver’s feelings. For items such as gold jewelry or gold cuff links, instead of letting them sit in your jewelry box and gather dust, why not take that jewelry to your local pawn shop and sell it for cash? Not only will you be getting quite a bit of cash, but a future buyer will be getting a great deal on a new piece of jewelry.

Third idea:

Most of us can’t find a use for two toasters, crock pots or blenders. Websites such as Craigslist.com are great places to unload small or large appliances for a bit of extra pocket cash. Just remember to take safety precautions when allowing strangers into your home!

Fourth idea:

In today’s fast-paced world, many of us don’t have time to do a lot of shopping for anyone other than a few select friends and family members, so we give and receive gift cards for Christmas. Sometimes, though, those gift cards are not suited to our interests and we just won’t use them. Instead of letting them expire and allowing the company to keep all that profit, you could donate those gift cards to children’s hospitals, senior living facilities or even military organizations. Many of these people will be without their families or on a fixed income over the holidays and the kind gesture would be appreciated.

Fifth idea:

If you’re the outgoing type, start a yearly neighborhood gift exchange. After the holidays are over, each person brings one gift they received, which is useless to them, and exchanges with another person for something more useful. It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors and turn a gift that wasn’t quite right for you, into something you’ll be able to use. For more fun, have each person bring a snack or drinks and turn it into a party!

Whether it’s a little pocket change for yourself or making someone else’s day a bit brighter, just follow a few of these suggestions, and maybe come up with a few ideas of your own, and you can turn those useless gifts into something beneficial for everyone.

Tomas Lloyd has worked as a financial planner for over 15 years. He recommends visiting mint.com/blog which he regularly reads for financial tips & useful investing information.

Christmas Is The Season Of Guilt And Emotional Blackmail

Christmas is supposed to be the season of good will and we all seem to make a massive deal out of the festive season. The build-up starts earlier and earlier each year and people save for months and make the most elaborate preparations. Why is it then that so many of us feel deflated after the event?

santa

Excessive Spending

For one thing the enormity of our expenditure is sure to lead to disappointment. Vast sums are laid out on food, decorations and gifts. The supermarkets are full of families wheeling trollies which are bending under the sheer volume of chocolates and treats and there is a shopping frenzy as we all search for the perfect gifts. The trouble is that this is all for one day which is usually spent cooking, eating and watching the TV so how can it ever live up to a level of spending which would easily fund a good holiday?

Disappointment

The simple truth is that it can’t and so we are all bound to be left disappointment and lamenting our excess. In reality much of our money is wasted and we know it. Huge volumes of food are left uneaten as we buy far more than we could reasonably consume and so many of the gifts we buy are not really wanted or appreciated by the recipients. You have to ask why we all do it? The majority of the population have no interest in religion and the recession has seen to it that our pockets are even more challenged than ever and yet we carry on spending furiously to fund the festive season.

Guilt

The reason we cannot break free is guilt and the emotional blackmail of our families. Christmas is now so inexorably perceived as the time when you should see your family and eat together that to not do so feels like a crime. This is, of course, ridiculous as we could get together any day of the year and buy each other gifts whenever we like but we don’t probably because we have spent all our money on Christmas!

Opportunity

The festive period is a precious time when we get some time off work and would be able to have some lovely days out or a good holiday without having to use up limited holiday entitlement. It is the perfect time to do the things we would really like to enjoy and yet guilt over indulging ourselves and the fear of upsetting the family usually see us confined to the house.

Breaking Free

I have tried to break free on a couple of occasions and turned my back on a traditional Christmas in favor of the golf course and a day in the countryside. Yes I felt guilty but the experience was a liberating one and something I plan to repeat when I gather the fortitude and a suitably strong feeling of righteous indignation.

This year I have evolved a compromise. The decorations are up, the Christmas tree lights are twinkling and the festive food has been ordered. After I have done my duty I am heading to the airport for a skiing holiday and will be enjoying myself on the slopes until after the New Year!

Sally Stacey is a writer and retail business owner who likes to get away from it all over Christmas but struggles to achieve her perfect Christmas.

 

5 Great Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a chance to give gifts the people that you love the most, but sometimes you forget to treat yourself to things that you wouldn’t ordinarily ask other people for.  A sexy pair of heels, a new iPad, or a massage day is just a few gifts to give yourself this season.

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A Day of Pampering            

As the year winds down, it’s a perfect time of year to spend a little money for some rest and relaxation.  A day spa or massage excursion can be a great answer for all the stress that your body has endured for the past twelve months.  Spas have a variety of treatments that can make you feel like a whole new person and it can be one of the best ways to spoil yourself when you really need it.

A Pair of Shoes

If there’s anything more subjective than a person’s taste in music, it’s their taste in shoes.  Giving someone a pair of shoes for the holidays can be a dicey situation.  Unless given specific instructions, chances are the recipient will be bringing them back for an exchange.  There are so many variables that go along with shoes, from sizing to styles, that it’s probably a better idea to leave the shoe buying to you.  This way, if you want a pair of sexy heels or comfy Uggs, you’ll get it right the first time.

New Electronics            

Every holiday season, the big-ticket items just happen to be the next innovation in technology.  This year, gamers are going crazy for the Next Gen video game consoles XBOX One and the Playstation 4.  These gaming systems can be pretty pricey, so you probably wouldn’t want someone else to get it for you.  Besides, as South Park has lampooned, people take their consoles very seriously and getting the wrong one can be an expensive mistake.

A tech gift for you isn’t limited to video games.  Tablets have become increasingly popular; even more so than laptops.  If you’re not much of a gamer, or you want a little more options, tablets are the way to go.

Tickets to Something You Love           

Concert or sporting event tickets are great ways to experience a passion of yours live, but again, variables and cost don’t exactly make them great gifts to give someone else.  When you buy tickets for yourself, you get to make the decision of where you sit and when you go.  Obviously, if someone got you tickets, it is a wonderful gesture, but at the same time, it can feel like somewhat of an obligation if you have to plan your busy schedule around it.  So if there’s an event like a concert that you’re really looking forward to, it’s a better idea to buy it yourself.

A Night On the Town           

Sometimes, what you really need more than anything is to treat yourself to a night out.  Dinner, drinks, and dancing can be a real treat, but it’s not exactly a gift someone can give to you.  If you’ve been in a rut this year and can really use a chance to break out of it, get dressed up and hit up some finer establishments in your area.  It can really break the monotony that life sometimes gives to you.

So when you’re rushing through the crowds at the mall trying to find the perfect gift for your loved ones, don’t forget that you can still do something nice for you.

Janine is a blogger from Miami who loves to shop and can sniff out a good deal from a mile away.

 

Dangerous Lee’s 2014 Christmas Wish List

Wish

Click to visit Dangerous Lee’s Wish List

Thank you very much for supporting the Dangerous Lee News & Entertainment Network. Each click, visit and share helps to put a few pennies in our (Senia and me) pockets.

Please have a look around and share all your favorite content from DangerousLee.Biz, SimplySenia.com and BlackGirlsAllowed.com with someone you love and for the hell of it, someone you hate.

We have something for everybody!

Happy Holidays and Keep it Dangerous!

-Dangerous Lee

Fashion Tips For Christmas Day

The holiday season is getting closer and it also means a lot of nice festive fashion pieces are hitting the shops. If you are looking for some style ideas for your parties this season or perhaps are thinking about gift ideas for a fashion fanatic here are the biggest fashion tips for Christmas 2013.

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All About The Bling

This season is all about the bling when it comes to accessories. Jewelry is really shiny and full of bling. The hottest pieces for Christmas 2013 include a lot of gold together with some big colorful stones. The rings and earrings are very big and full of a lot of bright stones such as jade and topaz.

You also have a lot more color combinations in jewelry as well. There are plenty of pieces that have bright colored stones in all the colors of the rainbow included. These are especially nice way of adding some color to your party look if you go with a simple black dress, for instance.

Back To The Past

The hairstyle trends for Christmas 2013 are very much a step back in time. There are a lot of influences from the 70s and 80s in the trends. This means that big and a bit messy hairstyles are quite a must this season.

There is still a lot of braiding left in hairstyles as well. These are either in the form of really elaborate and decorative braids or in much more toned down and simple versions. This is something really simple to achieve even if you are in a rush.

You should also definitely add some decorative pieces for your hair. These come in the form of large clippings as well as very soft and feminine hairbands.

Red And Green Are This Season’s Hot Colors

In the dresses it is all about red and green. These are the must have colors for this season whether it is in party dresses or in your more casual work clothes. There are a lot of different shades of green that are trendy at the moment but in reds the brighter the better.

Green works the best on its own but red is really often used together with a black piece of clothing this season. For instance, a red skirt together with a black top. This is a really classic and simple combination that works very well.

Another thing to look out for in your party dress is lace. Lace is a really big hit at the moment and you should definitely add it to your style. This works especially well if you get a dress with a 20s vibe in it. There are more great dress ideas at the Huffington Post’s website.

Metallic Shine In Shoes

When you are selecting shoes for this season it is a good idea to opt for metallic shine. This doesn’t mean that you need to go with either silver or golden shoes. Just make sure that no matter what color the shoes are they have just the right shine. There are a lot of great colorful shoes as well with this metallic bling effect. This is an absolute must have for Christmas 2013.

Adeela is a passionate fashion fanatic who is always on the lookout for fashionable hijabs for working women like herself. She is also a big fan of reading and loves to know more about the history of modern fashion.

Staying In Shape This Winter

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I used to have real difficulty maintaining my exercise regime after summer. Once the days started getting shorter, and rain and high winds set in, it would be all I could do just to get out of bed and go to work, perish the thought of going for a run afterwards. As a consequence, when I did start getting back into my routine, normally around February-time, I would have a lot of hard work to do just to get back to the condition I was in back in October.

But it needn’t be as hard as this. There are many ways to stay fit during autumn and winter, and by doing so you can also fight the depressive mood that often strikes hardest when it;s dark and cold outside. Here’s ten tips that will help:

Schedule

Set aside a morning or evening at the start of every week purely for exercise. As the week gets on it’s easier to make other plans and excuses for not getting out there, but if it’s already out of the way you’re free to do what you want.

Eat Well

It’s tempting to hit the comfort foods, especially during the Christmas period. But tough it out – restrict yourself to one treat a day, and eat foods such as soup that are healthy while still giving you that energy boost and warm feeling.

Stay Out

Stick with your outdoor exercise as far as possible. Obviously some activities, such as rock-climbing or surfing, are curtailed by bad weather, but you can still run or cycle, even do yoga, if you have the right all-weather clothing.

Or Bring It Home

If you really can’t face the weather, exercise indoors instead. You can’t run or cycle at home unless you have an expensive machine, but all kinds of toning and stretching is possible. You can skip, do squats, or sit-ups in the comfort of your living-room (but be careful to close the curtains first).

Reminders

Keep your workout kit next to the door to remind yourself constantly what you need to be thinking about. When you get back from your workout put it straight in the wash rather than leaving it to fester and be forgotten about for days on end.

Buddy Up

Find someone, either your partner, your kids, or a friend, to exercise alongside. It’s easier to keep going if someone else is depending on you.

Winter Sports

Why not try taking up a winter sport? Do you live near the mountains? Perhaps you can ski. Or if you’re close to a lake, curling or ice-skating may be a possibility too. These new sports will exercise muscles you may not have used before, and you may find you had a hidden talent! If you really get into it, then why not consider taking a winter break where you can practise. For instance on Alaska holidays: kayaking, climbing, skiing and bob-sledding are all popular activities.

Gym?

A lot of people join a gym in January to shake off the pounds gained over Christmas, but a large percentage will drop out shortly after, still trapped into a long, expensive contract. Before signing up for a membership ask yourself if you are absolutely confident you will keep this up, or if there are any other options that might be free? Such as continuing with your outdoor routine or exercising at home!

Prevent Sickness

Getting ill is one of the big stumbling-blocks to staying fit, and this is of course worsened in winter. But if you are exercising regularly and eating well, the risks are reduced. Wrap up warm, take care on icy pavements, and if you feel yourself coming down with something then take a day off to relax and recharge your batteries.

Motivation

Always keep in mind that spring is not far away. Remember you want to look good on that summer beach holiday or at your friend’s wedding, or to be able to keep up with your personal trainer when you go for a run in the spring, and this will motivate you.

Biog: Rob has been a fitness nut since he was sixteen, and now acts as an informal personal trainer to several of his friends and neighbors.

Top Story: Infographic – Holiday Gift Guide for Men

Buying a holiday gift for the man in your life can sometimes seem like a chore. However, if you think about the various activities that he likes or talks about you will be able to make a lot of headway. Buying a gift that is a conversation starter, such as a set of collector knives, will also show him that you care. Other great gift ideas include writing instruments, custom cufflinks and craft beer kits. Remember when buying a gift that you do not want to get him something for work. The gift should be something special that he can connect to your relationship, not something that reminds him of the stress of the office. Get him something unique that compliments his interests instead. Barbecue sets, workout gear or other gadgets are sure to be winners this holiday season. Read through the infographic below for more tips on how to buy the perfect gift for him this year.

Created by the marketing team at William Henry.

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7 Tips For Shopping On Black Friday

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People that want to make the most out of their holiday shopping nowadays tend to do it on Black Friday. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, gives you an opportunity to find deals that will let you save a ton of money when you need it. There are a lot of great ways to save money when looking for shopping deals, and if that is what you are looking for, here are 7 solid tips that you can take advantage of when you want to be sure you are getting an excellent opportunity to purchase electronics, clothing, subscriptions and any other deals that you want to take advantage of.

Shop Online!

The biggest craze and appeal of Black Friday is waking up early in the morning, or camping outside of stores in order to catch the deals that come out of it. However, one thing that people overlook is the fact that you can find some great deals by shopping via web, as opposed to getting up at the crack of dawn and standing in line. If you need to shop for just about anything these days, you can get it on the internet.

Double it With Coupons or Bonus Points

Even with deals in place, you can use coupons, membership cards, points and other opportunities to cut even more out of the price. That will allow you to get rock bottom prices on the things that you want.

Look into the Deals Ahead of Time

When you look into the Black Friday deals well ahead of time, you need to make sure that you understand what to expect, so that you are able to get the best price possible. It is important to know what deals are available, because it is very easy for things to sell out due to high demand. This goes for both in store and online sales.

Be Prepared to Get Up Early!

In order to catch the deal, the old saying is true–the early bird catches the worm. To get the opportunity to make the most out of your shopping experience, you should be sure that you are able to do what you can by getting out of bed and catching the best deals that you can.

Get Used to Crowds

If you are not in the state of mind to have your space invaded, you should make sure that you are able to get prepared for the crowds you will experience. That way, you will not have to worry about frustrations. You’ll be able to enjoy it overall if you take care of your expectations.

Do Your Christmas Shopping

Shopping on Black Friday is a great way for you to knock out your Christmas shopping. You can navigate it for personal shopping, but it would be to your benefit to give yourself the chance to shop for your family members by catching all of these deals.

Do it By Committee

Black Friday is a great way for you to have some bonding, because you and your family and friends can take part in it together. This will give you the chance to also handle more of the shopping, if there are limits on certain item purchases, and you will also be able to get through it stress free, knowing that you and your friends will be in good spirits and in holiday cheer.

This article was provided by Zoe White, creative writer at DelishSwimwear.com. She is a southern California native who loves the beach, sports, and trying new foods.

Top Story: 15 Worst Gifts To Give A Woman During The Holidays

bad christmas gift

Over the years men have been courting women, celebrating special occasions, and righting wrongs with gifts. With the holiday season coming up in the next few months, you may already be thinking about what to get that special lady. If you want to celebrate the special woman in your life, here is a list of fifteen gifts to never give her for the holidays.

  1. Candy is a great additional gift or a gift on Valentine’s Day. A major holiday or anniversary should be celebrating with something that shows how much you care, with maybe a side of chocolate.
  2. Perfume is only a good gift if she specifically asked for her favorite type. If you take it upon yourself to buy a scent at the fragrance aisle you are risking her hating the scent or being allergic to it.
  3. Cash is probably the most unthoughtful gift you can give. A gift card to her favorite store with the promise to go shopping with her to pick out something nice is going to go a lot further than just pulling money out of your wallet and saying you forgot that the day existed.
  4. A framed picture of yourself is self-absorbed and can easily be replaced with a picture of the two of you which will show her that you really care.
  5. Last year’s gift went over well, but if you give it to her two years in a row she may think that you are too lazy to think of a gift idea, or that she is unworthy of something new. If she liked the dinner at that Italian Restaurant last year try making one of her favorite Italian dishes and treating her to a massage this year.
  6. Flowers, like candy, are not long lasting or as thoughtful as a gift that you put thought into. Save that for date night or a day you want to cheer her up.
  7. Alcohol is another gift that doesn’t last. However, if you combine her favorite wine, flowers, a box of chocolates, and a home cooked meal you will definitely show how much you pay attention to what she likes. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy these things with her!
  8. Cosmetics are a gift like perfume that have too many variables. You may get a product she hates, is allergic to, or will cause offense. It is best to let her pick those items out herself.
  9. Novelty items without a significant meaning behind them are not a great gift idea. No one needs a hula dancer on their dash board. Unless you want the memories of this holiday to be bitter, stay away from anything that sings, shakes, wiggles, or has beady eyes.
  10. Tickets to a sporting event – unless this is something you two have talked about doing before and she loves the sport as much as you – is going to seem like a gift for yourself. Find out an event or concert that she would enjoy and go with her to that instead. Maybe she’s always wanted to go to the zoo and you love monkeys; now you have a picture you can put in that frame next year.
  11. A gift for yourself, like the newest gaming system that she may use once, is not a gift for her. She will resent you and this gift so just buy yourself the system next week and splurge on her today.
  12. A gym membership may be something that she talks about all of the time, but if you buy it for her she may think you are commenting on her weight. Don’t buy her anything that can send the message that you don’t like exactly who she is.
  13. Clothes are something that she has to buy herself. The issues of size, style, and cost are all easily misinterpreted and you are safer with that purse she has been talking about for months or jewelry.
  14. Any item that you cannot exchange can always be a bad idea. If she hates an item and is stuck with it you wasted time and money and she is upset. This is not what you intended, so play it safe and get that gift receipt.
  15. Appliances are one of the gifts heard as office jokes the most. Someone’s boss buys his wife a toaster for Christmas and next year he is sleeping on the couch. The implication being that a woman should be in the kitchen. Unless a woman asks for a specific appliance, it is best to just stay clear of this whole area.

These 15 gifts may be what the special woman in your life specifically asked for, but if not, please do not make the mistake of getting a gift that will end in tears. Put thought into a gift and purchase something that will last her as long as the memories that are made. You will be equally as happy in the long run.

Today, guest author Mark Reynolds is writing from first-hand experience! It seems he has committed every dating faux pas possible. As they say, those who can’t do – teach.  So, Mark now shares his advice online.  Usually, he is contributing to Do Girls Like Shy Guys?  He writes about everything from how to ask a girl out to meeting the parents.

5 Great Christmas Vacation Destinations

santa claus indiana

Spend the Christmas festive season in a new way this year by visiting a place that you have never been to before. Traveling to a new destination will automatically transform your experience this Christmas. You will get to learn and take part in Christmas celebrations in a new way. Avoid spending Christmas at home, this will make it boring and you will also be missing a lot. Locating that perfect place to visit is however not an easy task; however the following guide will brainstorm you with ideas on best destinations to visit this festive season. The following are 5 great hang out places for this Christmas.

San Juan Bautista, Puerto Rico

Enjoy a six week long festive season in San Juan full of colorful celebrations and different traditions. The peak of the festivities is January 6 during the Three Kings festivals. One will also get to enjoy different Christmas decorations and mouthwatering meals.

In addition to the meals and celebrations, San Juan has the best beautiful features to explore. The tourist destination capital of Puerto Rico will leave you with an unforgettable Christmas experience.

Bondi Beach in Australia

Summer holidays in Australia begin early in December; visiting Bondi beach during this festive season will ensure that you get to enjoy a weather friendly festivities.

Enjoy sun bathing and surfing on the beach in a new way. On December 25th, the whole beach transforms into a colorful festive grounds.

Many people gather on the beach to take part on the exclusive Christmas party on the beach.

New Orleans

One will fall in love with the festive season celebrations in New Orleans. The festive season begins late in November and the spirit continues through December.

During this season the whole city turns to a colorful city with different decorations and celebrations.

Places to visit include Oaks and Themed Christmas Park; the cultural celebrations will leave you with a lasting memory.

New York City

The world’s top city will make your festive season experience different, there are different places to tour in the city that will make your Christmas joyful.

Among the top places that one can visit include the Rockefeller or Radio City Christmas centers to get an experience of how different cultures in the world celebrate festive season.

Santa Claus, Indiana

The city is considered to be a Christmas home town, the different traditions and celebrations will cheer up your festive celebrations.

Many people come from different parts of the world to experience Christmas in Santa Claus. Apart from a different way to celebrate, there are also different destinations where one can travel to enjoy the festive.

Among the top places to visit on the city include; Santa Castle, Holiday World, Christmas Lake, Santa Stables and Santa Claus Museum.

Hanging out at any of the above mentioned Christmas destinations will indeed transform your festive season. There are a lot of fun activities to engage and enjoy for you and all your beloved ones. Start planning for a lifetime tour to one of the top 5 Christmas destination by applying for a traveling visa through the Electronic System of Travel Authorization, ESTA. This will help translate your Christmas dreams to a reality.

5 Reasons Not To Wait Until Black Friday To Start Your Christmas Shopping

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It happens every year. You’ve been walking past Christmas decorations in stores since August and even late July. But then before you realize it, November sneaks up on you. You are unprepared for Christmas, and now you get to join the throngs of people trying desperately to cram three months of shopping into one. This year, let the frustration pass you by. Take the time to do your shopping now, and reap the benefits when the holidays arrive.

1. Competitive Market

The hot new technological gadgets usually sell out quickly. If you want one, or your kids absolutely must have one, better buy early. If you don’t, you will either be left wanting, or you’ll pay. Businesses’ inability to meet demand with supply creates grey markets where scalpers sell the latest products and toys for two and even three times as much as retail.

2. Huge January Bills

This is another problem that seems to crop up every year. People wait too long to shop, then they spend to excess in December. By the time January arrives and it’s time to pay the piper, too many consumers cannot. Credit counseling agencies note a 25 percent uptick in new cases in January and February, most of which involve Christmas expenses. Don’t wait until the end of November or even later to start your Christmas shopping. Start it now so that the expense of it can be spread out over several months.

3. Time to Shop

Unless you are the most efficient shopper alive, you need time to plan your Christmas list and shop for the best deals. Yes, you can let your fingers do the walking by doing most of your shopping online. But if you wait too long, you still face the problem of competition and limited supply. Black Friday deals are designed to get you into the store so you can buy the more expensive stuff you really want or need. If you’ve shopped early, you can take advantage of other sales. Then you won’t be drawn in by door-busters that are often stocked in such minimal quantities that you wouldn’t be able to get one, anyway.

4. Thanksgiving

Remember the good old days? Remember when Thanksgiving was a time to eat until you were almost sick, watch football, and have awkward conversations with distant relatives? Those days are gone. If you use that weekend to kick-off your Christmas shopping, you can kiss Thanksgiving goodbye. No more sneaking off to the kitchen for a late-evening nosh on cold turkey and pumpkin pie. These days, if you didn’t miss dinner already to stand in line, you will at least need to be there by 8 pm. Stores know that they can take away your holiday. To entice you, they offer:

  • Midnight openings
  • Pajama-party shopping
  • Special Thanksgiving-day discounts

They make you think it’s fun. When really, you’d be better off spending that time with your family.

5. Death

Black Friday sales have become nightmarish and competitive to the point of violence. People would almost rather that you died than slow their progress to the door-busters. They will trample you without a second thought as to your welfare. It’s become so commonplace that The Onion, in its spoof article about Black Friday violence, had to say 42 million had died instead of 42. That’s because 42 would have been almost believable. If you can avoid the Black Friday mobs, your chances of getting to Christmas alive and in one piece goes up dramatically.

It’s so easy to just take some time in the next few months to complete your shopping so you can enjoy your Christmas holiday. Instead of stressful browsing through the crowds, you can spend your Thanksgiving with family and welcome in the new year healthy, happy, and solvent.

Nicole has been writing about gift giving for years, including everything from the smartest gift shopping strategies to the most unique Christmas gift ideas.

 

How To Handle The Holidays As a Single Woman

If you’re single during the holiday season, you might find yourself feeling particularly lonely this time of year. Even if you are enjoying your single status, the holidays seem to bring out the romance in all of us and it can be a bit too much to take if you’re single. But with the right frame of mind, it is possible to enjoy the holidays flying solo.

Here are tips on how to handle the holidays if you’re a single girl.

First, instead of fighting your relationship status, embrace it! Sure you could walk around all bummed out because you don’t have anyone to hold your hand as you look at holiday lights, but instead rally some of your single friends and make a party out of it. Schedule a girls night to watch your favorite holiday movies, bake cookies or wrap presents. Since you don’t have a significant other to take up all your time, you’ll have more chances to spend quality time with your friends and family. Rally around them, and soak up every minute of their company. Who knows, by next year you might be happily taken and not have as much attention to devote to them!

The holidays are a great time to be single and online dating, since there are so many different date options available this time of year! If you are dating during the holiday season, it’s important to make sure you aren’t getting too caught up in the romance of it all and jumping into a serious relationship too early. Enjoy dating during the holidays, but save any intense relationship commitments for after the New Year. You have to see how the New Years kiss goes, anyway!

It’s also important to allow yourself down time and opportunities reflect. With the year coming to a close, it’s a great time to jot down some goals and hopes for the future, especially when it comes to your heart and what you want. Staying busy with all of the festive holiday fun is great, but it’s also necessary to spend time with the most important person you know-YOU! One of the perks of being single is that you have nothing but time to figure out exactly what you want, and how to get it.

The main theme during the holidays is love, but it doesn’t have to be of the romantic variety. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have this year, look around you and remain grateful for all of the love you do have in your life, whether it be from family or friends. Even though it might feel like it sometimes, no you won’t be single forever…we promise!

 

WeLoveDates.com is a worldwide online dating site. For more dating advice and tips, visit their We Love Dates blog.

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