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Etsy Item of the Day: Buddy the Elf Quote

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“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”

I love this quote from Buddy in Elf, which is one of my favorite Christmas movies. This image is an instant digital download, not a physical print, so you can print it from home or enlarge and print it at a photo processing center. Since you’ll get this instantly, you won’t have to worry about delivery fees or transit time!
Buddy the Elf Quote ~ Etsy Seller: Ink & Parchment Press

Etsy Seller: Ink & Parchment Press

12 Easy Ways to Spread Christmas Cheer

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Christmas is just 12 days away! In the days leading up to Christmas, most of us still have many things to do, such as cookie decorating, holiday shopping, planning Christmas dinner, making trips to the grocery store, and more. With so much to do in a limited amount of time, it is easy to get swept away in the business of it all, neglecting the true meaning of Christmas.

Hopefully you’ll find these 12 ideas practical to implement into your daily routine in these 12 days before Christmas. If you like, you can choose one idea a day. To help you remember your “daily duty,” add a reminder to your calendar, phone, or write the task out on a sticky note.

1. Pay It Forward

Photo Credit: Christopher Cornelius. License: CC BY 2.0

Pay for someone’s drink at a coffee shop, meal at a restaurant, or drive-thru order. Do it anonymously and ask the server to give a message to the recipient. You could say something like “Merry Christmas!” or “Enjoy the coffee!”

2. Be Cheery When Waiting in Line

No doubt you’ll be standing in line somewhere: the grocery store, the mall, the gas station, or even the post office. Instead of anxiously standing in line, wondering why the cashier isn’t moving faster, take a moment to notice the people around you. Ask a simple question to the person in front of you, such as “I’m so excited about the holidays. What’s your favorite part about Christmas?” Even a smile can help brighten someone’s day.

3. Give Cookies to Local Law Enforcement

Photo Credit: Iryna Yeroshko. License: CC BY 2.0

Take a box of cookies or a gift basket to your local fire station or police station along with a note thanking them for their service to the community. If you’re health conscious, give them a fruit basket instead.

4. Let Others Go First

Hold the door and allow someone to go ahead of you when you are boarding an elevator or entering a store. When entering or standing in a checkout line, allow someone with fewer items to go ahead of you. These simple gestures may mean a lot to someone. All you need is a bit of patience and a smile.

5. Sing Christmas Carols


Buddy the elf says it best: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Spread Christmas joy by singing to your kids—or if you have the courage, grab a few friends and start singing in the middle of a shopping mall. Maybe you’ll get the crowd to join in!

6. Give an Extra Tip

If you are dining out anytime soon, give your server an extra tip. Write a quick, kind note on the receipt like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.”

7. Be Considerate When Driving

Photo Credit: Dennis Hamilton. License: CC BY 2.0

Show kindness to other drivers on the road. If you have tendency to speed, slow down and be considerate, letting other cars ahead of you instead of speeding ahead of them. Likewise, don’t get grumpy when other people cut in front of you. Your negativity affects you, not the other driver. Choose to let it go and enjoy the rest of your day.

8. Pack a Lunchbox Surprise

If you have kiddos, put a note in their lunchbox or even their backpack. You can write a riddle, joke, encouraging words, or a simple “Have a nice day!” (You can do this for spouses, too!)

9. Pause Under the Mistletoe

Photo Credit: Bart Everson. License: CC BY 2.0 Edited.

Take a moment every day to let your loved one know you care. A simple smooch when leaving for work or when you get home is a good way to stay connected.

10. Write a Love Note on the Mirror

Use a dry erase marker to write an encouraging note for your family members on the bathroom mirror. If you’re artistically inclined, draw a festive scene to brighten their morning!

11. Send Hugs & Kisses

Photo Credit: hairyhenderson. License: CC BY 2.0

Pack your spouse’s or your kid’s lunch with a hug and a kiss—a Hershey’s Hug and Hershey’s Kiss, that is! You could also tuck the sweet treats inside a coat pocket, briefcase, or backpack. Place the chocolates inside a small Ziploc bag if you’re concerned about them melting before they are discovered.

12. Give Unexpected Gifts

Give gifts to miscellaneous people, such as your hairdresser, vet, or pharmacist. Something as simple as a ribbon-wrapped chocolate bar can brighten someone’s day.

Etsy Item of the Day: Heart Christmas Crackers

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Covered in charming hearts, these Christmas crackers will be a fun addition to your holiday celebration. Not only is the recycled paper screen printed by hand, but the crackers themselves are handmade as well. Each Christmas cracker contains a festive badge, a candy cane, a joke, and a Christmas party hat. Also available are multi-coloured chevron, gold & white chevron, and metallic chevron Christmas crackers.

Etsy Seller: Sophia Victoria Joy

Raymond Around the World: London

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During our elfy downtime this year, Raymond and I have enjoyed our travels together. So far we’ve told you about our adventures in New York City and the Blue Ridge Mountains, but we also journeyed to other spots in the world outside of the United States. Any guesses? Here’s a hint: We went back to a place we visited in 2012 during the Olympics…

Yep—London!

London is one of my absolute favourite cities, and Raymond had a blast when we went there a couple years ago, so we decided to go back so that Raymond could explore some more.

One evening we headed over to Knightsbridge to pick up some biscuits and chocolates at the Food Halls at Harrods. What can I say—Raymond and I both have a sweet tooth.

Hey, double-decker bus, you’re in the way!
Excited to visit the amazing Food Halls at Harrods

The next day we went for a walk along the River Thames so that Raymond could take in even more sights, both historical and fun.

Scoping out the London Eye
Pausing on Westminster Bridge for a quick photo
Checking the time on Big Ben

Raymond liked riding on the subway in NYC so much that I knew he would really love riding the Tube, which we took to get all over London.

Raymond heeding the warning
London Underground train approaching on the Circle line
Hopping on the Tube

After traipsing around the city, Raymond and I were parched, so we popped into a shop for a cold drink. Raymond was so excited to see his friends’ names on the Coke bottles!

Christmas Reindeer Coke Bottles - London
But where’s the ‘Raymond’ bottle!?

I think Raymond might love London almost as much as I do, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the two of us visit there again! In the meantime, where else do you think Raymond went this year? Stay tuned to find out! :)

Catch a Hot Deal at Your Local Ice Rink

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Photo Credit: Georgio. License: CC BY 2.0

Ice skating is a fun winter activity that has been enjoyed for many, many years. In fact, ice skating has been traced back to Finland more than 3,000 years ago! People of all ages continue to love ice skating during the holiday season.

Perhaps it’s the brisk air rushing across your face or maybe the sensation of effortlessly gliding across the ice that makes ice skating a delightful experience. Whatever inspires you to throw on a pair of skates and hit the ice, you’ll enjoy it even more when you can save money.

That’s why we are happy to share some great deals on Groupon ice skating discounts in your area. With most of these deals, you will save around 50%! You can purchase an ice skating package for yourself or for a loved one—it’s perfect for a romantic date night or a fun family outing. Remember that all of these deals are available for a limited time only, so grab them while they are hot!

Atlanta, GA

Chicago, IL

Los Angeles, CA

New York, NY

Portland, OR

If your city isn’t listed above, please search for deals in your city on Groupon. We just didn’t have space to list every city here. Happy skating!

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure here.

Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Holiday Special

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Established in 1992, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is devoted to helping find adoptive homes for children currently in foster care. Dave Thomas himself was adopted, so throughout his life, Dave spread the word about adoption and encouraged folks to consider foster care adoption. Unfortunately Dave passed away in 2002, but his legacy lives on with DTFA and Wendy’s. [Yep, Dave Thomas was also the founder of Wendy’s!]

There are many ways you can get involved with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, such as by donating money, starting a DTFA kickball team, or supporting them at Wendy’s. [Psst… most of the ways to support DTFA at Wendy’s involve a Frosty—yum!]

Another way you can get involved and learn more about adoption this month is to watch the CBS special “A Home for the Holidays.” Presented in association with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Children’s Action Network, this show features heartwarming stories about adoptive families, along with performances from popular artists. The 16th annual “A Home for the Holidays” will include entertainment from Jennifer Hudson, Train, Earth Wind & Fire, Rixton, Katharine McPhee, Ashley Monroe, Dan & Shay, and Jillian Michaels. Tune in on Friday, 19 December at 9pm ET/PT to catch this uplifting television special. Perhaps watching this will become a new holiday tradition for you.

“A Home for the Holidays”
CBS
Friday, 19 December
9–10pm ET/PT

Etsy Item of the Day: Christmas Tree Soap

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Handmade in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this soap is created with pure goat milk, balsam fir essential oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and soy oil. Goat milk helps maintain skin’s proper pH balance, and it is gentle and moisturizing—plus it’s produced by cuties like the goat below!

With its Christmas tree scent and design, this 4oz. soap would be a great stocking stuffer. Mountain Farm also has plenty of other scents to choose from, such as peppermint, oatmeal & lavender, and clove orange cinnamon.

Etsy Seller: Mountain Farm

Raymond Around the World: Blue Ridge Mountains

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A couple months after we visited NYC, Raymond and I went out of town again to celebrate another birthday. This time we went to the Blue Ridge Mountains outside Asheville, NC for my best friend’s birthday. All of us enjoyed relaxing while surrounded by nature, as it’s very peaceful in the mountains. While there, Raymond pointed out that the crisp mountain air was almost as refreshing as the air at the North Pole.

Enjoying the sunshine and blue skies
Taking a big whiff of the fresh mountain air
Raymond loved the gorgeous sunsets from atop the mountain
One happy reindeer

Where else do you think Raymond went this year? Stay tuned to find out! :)

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