Tag Archives: holiday

Comfortable Self Catering Holiday Cottages!

Holidaying is something that every one of us loves and we almost wait for the time of year to have fun. We get to relax and rejuvenate our moods only when we go out for holidays or at least when we have a short trip for two or three days. Every time when we think about holidaying, the first thing that comes to our mind is the place where we can enjoy and the budget that we have to spend over it. Though a lot of us know that hotel accommodations are costly, we have no other choice other than bearing it as we won’t have friend’s home or relatives who could give us room to stay until we are there.

Apart from the accommodation charges, food and travelling is the next two important expenditures that are unavoidable. When you plan to spend holidays in big groups, the expenses increases and the trouble of finding cheap but good food and accommodation will become more. You can never underestimate any hotel and its unexpected charges, especially when you have children around you. Though there are countless hardships in arranging comfortable holidaying, you will have to take necessary steps in order to make your process easy as well as cheap as much as you can.

Just think how good it must be if you have a home like atmosphere to stay where you holiday! When we say home like, it includes furnished rooms hall as well as kitchen where you can cook what you want. Now you will have to take in account that the amount you might have to spend on outside food is also cut off in this. Yeah we are talking about the most comfortable as well as economical Self Catering holiday Cottages. Especially when you travel along with many people or in a group, hiring holiday Cottages can make a great difference to a lot of stuffs.

When you can have the comfort of home and get home cooked food at the place where you are holidaying nothing can be as good as this. The advantage of these Holiday Cottages is that they have all necessary facilities and cookware that are necessary for a regular kitchen. The experience of staying together with your buddies or relatives in a cottage during your holiday is something that can give you evergreen memories that can be cherished for years. There are a variety of cottages to suit your taste as well as budget, these cottages range from small ordinary ones to luxury cottage. When you get a chance to tighten up your bond with your close ones with the freedom of staying at a home like atmosphere and enjoy home food while holidaying is such a great experience. You should never miss to have this fun during your lifetime.

What to Say and Not Say at Your Company’s Holiday Party

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when businesses across the globe become more festive than ever-with holiday music piped throughout the buildings, dazzling decorations and of course a big party to celebrate the season.

At these parties, you’re sure to participate in conversation with your colleagues. What an opportunity this gives you to create bonds with newcomers, and to enrich longtime workplace partnerships!

You don’t want to can these conversations, of course, because they would come across as artificial and robotic. It’s helpful, though, to keep in mind some guidelines that will make the evening more pleasant for everybody you associate with-and prompt your teammates to remember you more favorably. So I suggest you consider these four tips for chit chat at your club’s annual party.

FIRST: Steer away from politics. Because many of us stay informed by watching the news, we get saturated with interviews and commentary about who the good guys and ladies are and likewise who are the bad ones. Most of us hope that when we go to our corporate party, we won’t be bombarded again with conversation about indictments, treason, accusations, lawsuits, resignations, firings, inappropriate comments, e-mail misuse and other distressing topics.

Not only are you and your colleagues weary of hearing political pundits who seem to get paid by the word, there’s another fact to consider: In most cases, talking about politics is not going to change anybody’s mind-either yours or theirs. What happens instead is that highly opinionated people will get frustrated, angry, and even hostile.

The recent funeral for President George H.W. Bush reminded me of his call for a “kinder, gentler nation.” Unfortunately, we’re not there yet. Too many zealots bristle when more moderate individuals question their judgment.

SECOND: Stay highly positive. This is not a time for gloom and doom. We get so much of that the rest of the year. For a couple of hours, all of us want to unwind and remain upbeat. Examples:

–We may be tempted to say, “Service at our table seems especially slow. That table over there is enjoying desserts, while our main course hasn’t even arrived.”

In place of that negative approach, you could comment: “Well, I noticed that other table got its dessert sooner than we got our food. But I commend those food service professionals-they have a big assignment serving so many meals at one time. Amazing how well they do!

–Again, we may be tempted to say, “Aren’t you shivering? Below freezing outside, and feels like that here, too”? Far better to stand and say, “I’m going to ask our host if he can adjust this thermostat. I think we’d more comfortable with a couple of more degrees of heat.”

Reminds me of one of the times my wife and I took a cruise. Every night we ate with the same two couples. One couple was jovial, upbeat, and positive. The other couple spent the entire dinner talking about all that had gone wrong that day. Guess which couple we remember fondly and would want to dine with again.

THIRD: For tip number three, be very careful about your jokes and off-the-cuff remarks. Headlines throughout the year have confirmed this new reality: language that might have been tolerated previously has become unacceptable, offensive and in extreme cases leads to highly undesirable publicity and even legal action.

Naturally, we can still compliment another party goer about how they look and how well they dance. Tastefully expressed compliments are welcomed. Good judgment tells us the language borders we shouldn’t cross.

FOURTH: My fourth tip is also very important for conversation. Long ago I read this advice somewhere: “When holding a conversation, be sure to let go of it once in a while.”

Think for a minute about the men and women you enjoy being with the most. Chances are strong that you will not name the gentlemen or lady who tells many long-winded stories that dominate the time with you. Quite the opposite… you’ll

have high esteem for the acquaintance who makes remarks like these:

“Very interesting… tell me more… then what happened?”

When you become the keenest listener at your club’s party, you can easily become the most memorable conversationalist.

In closing, I recommend putting these talking tips into action at your company’s holiday party. You’ll be glad you did, and so will everybody you associate with at the event.

Holiday Gifts: 15 Best Gifts for Runners

The holiday season is approaching and finding the perfect gift for a runner can be a struggle, especially if you are not a runner yourself. It is easy to assume that the only things they’re going to want are running shoes. Fortunately, there are many other good gift ideas that provide comfort or help runners recover more quickly from long runs or races.

Compression Garments

Compression shorts, socks, sleeves, and pants are all the rage in the running community because of their comfortable materials, styles, and colors that coordinate with their running attire. Compression gear squeezes ever so gently to enhance circulation, help reduce swelling, and aid in optimal recovery while wicking sweat from your body. While compression gear can get a little pricy, they’re a highly recommended gift because they provide a layer of protection from the winter weather. Prices range from $7 to $258.

Running Watch

A running watch is at the top of every runner’s gift list for a very good reason: it provides information on time, distance, heart rate, and more. The watch help runners set goals and measure their progress without using pen and paper. They can simply download the data onto a computer and view whatever information they want. So if you want to splurge a little, a sports watch is probably the most exciting gift that any beginning or experienced runner would want. Prices range from $150 to $400.

Music Player

If your runner likes to listen to music or audio books during their workouts, a music player may be the ideal running gift. While many runners opt to listen to music from their smart phone, the concern is that the sweat and moisture may cause unintended damage. MP3 music players are inexpensive and a durable alternative, which allows runners to still play their favorite music to stay motivated. There are a lot of great choices with some of the best MP3 players being reasonably priced and most offering quality sound. Prices range from $30 to $490.

Hydration Belt/Pack

Proper hydration is one of the key elements to any runner performing at their peak whether training for a 10k or 26.2 marathon. Depending on your runner, a handheld 12-ounce water bottle with a pouch is a useful gift for runners of all levels. They come with an adjustable strap that tightens to your hand so you can run without actually having to grip the bottle. However, a handheld water bottle simply does not carry enough water for a long distance runner. It would require too many pit stops to refill. Long distance runners tend to use hydrations packs/belts, which will allow them to run greater distances and still remain hydrated. Generally, hydration systems hold between 18 and 100 ounces of fluid and include pockets to carry food, cash, a phone, and other essentials. A hydration pack is an excellent marathon gift choice for a distance runner. Prices range from $10 to $265.

Massage/Spa Gift Certificate

After months of training and running the big race, their body is in need of some special care and this is a unique post-run gift. Not only does a massage feel good, but it helps restore flexibility, reduces muscle soreness, and promotes injury healing. Whatever the running level, a gift certificate to a local spa or sports massage therapist is always a good gift idea. Prices range from $100 to over $500.

Running Book

Running books are the best gifts for runners for under $15 that provide helpful running tips on every topic from marathon training and running form to nutrition and running workouts from experienced runners. There are tons of books and eBooks available on Amazon. Just put a gift certificate in a gift bag and let your runner pick the books that they want. Prices range from $6 to $14.

Marathon Gift Basket for Runners

A gift basket for runners is designed to provide many of the essential nutritional products runners need so that they can carb load before and replenish vital nutrients after a grueling run or interval training. Also, they contain runner’s favorite brands of energy gels, recovery protein bars, water, energy drinks, and more conveniently in one package. If you’re not too sure what gift to give to celebrate their race, get them a gift basket and it will show your support. Prices range from $30 to $160.

Pedicure Treatment

The feet are a runner’s most important feature and they take quite a beating while running. All that pounding adds up to sore feet, blackened toenails, and tired ankles. A good foot scrub, massage, and pedicure will be welcome gifts for female or male runners from time to time. Most local spas sell gift certificates. Prices range from $25 to $50.

Running T-shirt

A technical shirt is an important part of any runner’s running apparel. A shirt protects the runner’s skin from the elements while it wicks away sweat during running sessions. Look for a lightweight, breathable performance t-shirt made of 100% polyester, mesh, or similar synthetic fabrics. When choosing colors, runners seem to prefer brighter colors. Avoid selecting cotton t-shirts because they become heavy once they become wet and the constant rubbing during a long run causes chafing. A running shirt is a good gift for under $25 that will keep them inspired. Prices range from under $25 to $70.

Marathon Display Case/Metal Holder

Do your runners have a fair number of cherished race metals accumulating on a doorknob or inside a shoebox? Why not give them this unique running gift to display their most memorable metal and race bib. A well-crafted medal display framing kit can be assembled within 10 minutes. If they have lots of race metals, a customized metal holder with several hooks would be the better option. Hung on a wall, it’s a daily remainder of their most proud achievements and amazingly inspirational for friends and family to see. Check them out on Amazon. Pricing ranges from $40 to $140.

Gym Bag for Runners

Runners need a good gym bag to stow their running shoes, towels, and other essentials on trips to the gym or travelling to race events. A stylish sports bag is a functional present for runners that travel a lot or participate in multiple races each year. You can choose from the smaller sack pack-type bags or the larger traditional gym bags. Prices range from under $20 to $80.

Massage Stick/Foam Roller

If the runner in your life doesn’t yet own a foam roller/stick, this is a must-have running gift. Runners use this recovery tool to self-massage sore, tight muscles and help prevent injuries. It’s particularly effective at increasing flexibility and accelerating muscle recovery. This is a nice running gift that every runner should have and it is small enough to fit into a runner’s gym bag. Prices range from $10 to $160.

Running-themed Gift Coffee Mug

What better way to start a runner’s day off than with a cup of coffee or tea from their favorite coffee mug? This motivational mug is perfect for the running and fitness enthusiast who needs that pre-workout boost. Prices range from $10 to $20.

Reflective Running Gear

With most runner’s busy schedules and longer nights, running workouts happen either during the early morning or in the evening after dark. Runners simply must have reflective running gear to increase their visibility to protect themselves from distracted drivers. Get a reflective vest, headlamp, strobe lights, or bright and reflective clothing so they can be seen out on the road. Prices range from $20 to $100.

Running Sunglasses

Running sunglasses not only look super cool, but they protect the runner’s eyes from harmful sun rays. A good pair of sunglasses won’t slip and glasses should be shatterproof and durable. Prices range from under $20 to $300.

Other Notable Stocking Stuffers

Running socks – Comfortable socks are a runner’s best friend. Extra padding on the ball and heel of the foot provide maximum comfort and protection against blisters. Prices range from $10 to $65.

Running gloves – These gloves are made of breathable and moisture wicking fabric to keep your hands dry from moisture. Prices range from $10 to $80.

Hats/head bands – It’s a good fashionable accessory to wear year-round to protect runners from direct sunlight and keep hair and sweat away from their face. Prices range from $15 to $50.

Running Ear Phones – For music lovers, running with quality ear phones is a must. They are compatible with most portable devices and smart phones.

Nutrition – Protein bars, energy gels, and electrolytes are popular among runners as they provide the nutrients lost during a run. Prices range from $1 to $30.

Final Thoughts

This gift list was written to share some running gift ideas that will make your special runner happy when they unwrap their present on Christmas day or on any special occasion.

Avoid Plastic Pitfalls This Holiday Season

The holiday shopping season has commenced! Merchants aren’t the only ones who want to capitalize on all the holiday spending. Credit card companies will make even more money than the retailers. To attract your business, credit card companies aggressively promote low rates and special offers. While there are some legitimate good deals to be found, there are also a host of pitfalls in the fine print. Be sure to keep your credit sanity in check by avoiding these potential credit hazards.

The first of those is found in the words “interest-free.” A favorite of retailers who promote their in-store cards, they promise you can buy something “interest-free until 2018.” While it is true that you won’t pay interest, the monthly statement usually encourages a minimum payment that won’t have you paying off the purchase by the time your interest-free period runs out. This leaves you a high interest rate on the remaining balance at the end of the promotional period. Even worse, sometimes-retroactive interest is applied to your debt if not paid off in a certain time period.

Beware of store credit cards. Even though they may come with tempting coupons or purchasing discounts, they probably come with a high interest rate – sometimes as much as 21%.

Watch out for balance transfer fees. Most major card issuers charge 3% on average for transferring a balance. For example, if you transfer a $5,000 balance, you could pay as much as $150 fee.

Always read the fine print. Make sure you know the terms of your credit card. Does it offer a low introductory rate and hit you with a higher rate at a later date? What about cash advances? Do they come at a higher interest rate than normal purchases? Don’t overlook those costly details that hide in the fine print.

Thousands of Americans use credit cards as a way to finance their holiday spending, and then aren’t able to pay it off. With high interest rates, that can be the start of a vicious cycle of bad spending and credit habits.

Instead of potentially becoming a victim of the problems of plastic, take out a low-interest holiday loan from your local credit union. If you are short on money this year, start saving for next year by putting money away in a Christmas Club account. Both of these options make you less dependent on plastic, affording you peace of mind that you’ll avoid all of the pitfalls over the holiday season.

Ten Do’s and Don’ts of a Company Holiday Party

DON’T – Drink too much. It can easily happen to the best of us. You’re talking, and drinking, not eating a full meal as you nibble on tiny tartlets and dip. One glass turns into four. Be conscious of your alcohol consumption. No one wants to be taken home by their significant other, only for the office to talk about their inability to control their drinking for the next two years.

DO – MINGLE! You are not here to talk with your date all night. You can talk to them whenever you please. Reach out to coworkers. Ask them about the sports their children are playing. Compliment your coworker’s wife’s dress, or jewelry. There is ALWAYS something you can talk about, and if the conversation expires, it’s easy enough to excuse yourself and move on.

DON’T – Talk about; religion, politics, or sex. Remember that while you are enjoying yourself, this is still a professional atmosphere. You are not at home on the sofa watching The Bachelor with your girlfriends. Avoid any off color jokes. While you may THINK you know your audience, there is always a chance you don’t. You could potentially find yourself in an irreconcilable disagreement with a coworker that could go far beyond this party.

DO – Dress nicely, not suggestively. We all know that person that uses the holiday party to show off what they can’t at work. Consider this party still “at work.” You can look nice, potentially sexy even, but no one will think it’s cute if you come in that Santa dress you bought for a Christmas party in college. Save the cleavage for a girl’s night out.

DON’T – Bring Children. Unless otherwise specified by your host, do not bring children. While you may find them to be the cutest, funniest children in the world, bringing kids hinders everyone else’s good time. Children can be noisy, lacking in self control, and at risk to break things even when supervised. If they weren’t specifically invited, they don’t belong at the company party.

DO – Clean up after yourself if the event is hosted in a home. While empty wine glasses and dirty plates get swept up at a catered event, this is often not the case in someone’s residence. Your hostess will more than appreciate you getting your trash in the trash, and dishes into the kitchen.

DON’T – Overstay your welcome. Don’t be the last person to leave, hanging off the arm of your coworker. Everyone is there to have a good time, but all good times must come to an end before they become bad times.

DO – Bring a hostess gift. This applies only if the party is hosted at someone’s house. A bottle of wine is always a good bet, but pretty Christmas cookies, seasonal coffee, and small holiday gifts are always great as well.

DON’T – Partake in office gossip. This should be a professional tip that is followed ALWAYS, inside or outside of the office. Not only is it trashy, but it paints you in a poor light. You don’t need to whisper about the secretary who is getting a divorce. Or that your office mate won’t be here this time next year because you heard he’s getting fired. If it’s not something you would want people sharing about YOU, don’t partake in sharing it about others.

DO – Know your date. Keep in mind this person is a representation of yourself and the type of person you spend your time with. If this isn’t a spouse or long term boyfriend or girlfriend, make sure you haven’t just called up the most recent date you had and invited them to your company Christmas party. This could go south very quickly. You may not know who this person is when they drink and loosen up. They might share opinions that weren’t asked for, or worse, come off as insulting to your coworkers.

Armed with these tips, you can be sure your holiday parties will be fun, professional, merry and bright.

Going On a Cruise Vacation This Holiday Season?

The month of December brings with it many changes including a change in topics of discussion. Already talk of Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations has begun. Millions of Americans will be celebrating the holiday season in their own special way. Some will spend it at home with family and loved ones. Others will celebrate it in another country. Some will take a holiday cruise.

When it comes to cruises, special considerations are required. Unlike air travel that lasts mere hours, cruises last for days and weeks. Passengers on board need to have everything they need to ensure their time is properly spent and any needs that might arise are taken care of either by themselves or by the cruiser liner. With that being said, there are certain things passengers can’t pack for themselves. This is where companies that provide special needs services truly shine.

These companies in the very basic sense are your very own concierge service that provides access to vital equipment during a cruise. Almost all of these items are vital in the sense they cater to a specific need medical or otherwise. These items include

On-board Transport

Don’t get on a cruise unless they offer these! Unless of course you love walking for miles. A cruise ship by all means won’t extend that long however the many decks and the passages within it can seemingly go on forever. To cover that much terrain will require the use of mobility scooters and wheelchairs, both of which should be readily available on the cruise liner. For people who have trouble walking or those with a medical condition that requires those to sit and not stand for extended hours will definitely benefits from this feature.

Facilities for Children and Toddlers

Just because you have a toddler doesn’t mean you can’t get on a cruise vacation. Cribs are a welcome sight for most vacationers going on a cruise. They provide a nice safe spot for the little ones. They are sturdily built and well balanced so as to not lose balance and fall. Now everyone can enjoy a cruise vacation and won’t have to put it off until the kids have grown some!

Oxygen Tanks

The sea air is not for everyone. Far from the pollution effects of land air, the ocean air can be a pleasant and at times intense experience for some; thereby requiring them to use oxygen tanks. If not that, travellers who have asthma or any condition that could hinder in their breathing would require the steady of use oxygen masks and tanks. Since they can’t be packed in a travel suitcase, cruise liners take the initiative to provide them for their passengers.

If you are going on a cruise, one of the first things to do is to inquire about all the services that it offers. Be sure to consult with a special needs group before making reservations. Knowing what all is offered is a great way to ensure you get to make the most of your holiday vacation.

Avoiding Holiday Dangers

Ho Ho Ho and a Boo Hoo Hoo. Holidays are here, watch out for your pets, there are a lot of scary things out there. Holidays are fun times for humans and pets but there are lots of dangers associated with holidays that can be avoided by just a little awareness.

The obvious and most common cause of visits to the ER or veterinarian is vomiting and diarrhea with or without blood in it. Why does this happen? Joy of course! Everyone loves their pets and are so happy to be celebrating with family and friends. People love eating rich foods and so they decide to share their foods with their pets. For many dogs and cats this is not a problem because they have stomachs of steel and could probably eat rocks and be okay. But for others a rapid change in diet or undetected sensitivity to certain foods can cause a bacterial over growth that sends them into severe diarrhea. They usually come see us the next day. The usual culprits are Halloween candy, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah dinners.

The obvious Halloween dangers are; costumes that are too tight or restrictive. Pets left unattended who eat their costumes (not cool!), animals being scared by costumes and showing aggressive behavior towards family members (like kids), pets that run off and escape due to the constant opening and closing of the front doors (secure your pets), burns due to unattended candles (all holidays!), poisonous candies to pets such as chocolate and especially candies containing the artificial sweetener called Xylitol. A little bit of Xylitol can cause severe liver failure or death. I consider it a danger to pets and believe it should be taken off the market. The other scary thing about Halloween is the ingestion of foreign bodies such as; strings, artificial spider webs, lace, etc. These are very dangerous so be careful of their placement and try not to leave them lying around as cats are especially prone to these types of dangers.

As for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the same sort of rules apply, decorations can be eaten and cause trouble. Don’t be a turkey! Be careful with the placement of Thanksgiving props and remember cooked turkey bones get lodged in your pet. Keep the ribbons, tinsel and other ornaments high on the tree and not deep in your pet. The water in the Christmas tree base can be toxic if preservatives are added to it, so watch it! or cover it up if its non organic Christmas tree water.

Finally, watch out for beautiful seasonal plants like Poinsettia, mistletoe, and holly because they are toxic too. So now that I said all that, hope I didn’t rain on your parade and holiday decoration plans I’m just trying to keep you out of my office from things you can avoid!

The Saddest Jewish Holiday – Tisha B’Av

The ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av has come to be known as Tisha B’Av. It begins at sunset on the eighth of Av and ends at sunset on the ninth. It has come to be known as the saddest day in the Hebrew calendar.

Throughout Jewish history, the ninth of Av has been recognized as a day of tragedy. Many dreadful events occurred or began on this day in history, including the destruction of the First (586 BC) and Second Temples (516 BC), the razing of Jerusalem by Romans (70 CE), the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition (1492) and the beginning of World War I (1914), which presaged events leading to the Holocaust. During the First Crusade, 10,000 Jews were murdered on Tisha B’Av (1095). In 1290, Jews were expelled from England on Tisha B’Av. It is also said to be the day that Moses returned from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments and discovered his people worshipping idols. During the Holocaust, deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Nazi Treblinka death camp began on Tisha B’Av (1942). More recently, the deadly bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires occurred on Tisha B’Av (1994).

In addition to fasting during Tisha B’Av, observant Jews refrain from washing, working, drinking, using electricity, shopping and having sexual relations. Jews mark the day as they would during a shiva, the Jewish period of mourning. Torah study is forbidden and Jews often bury old and damaged prayer books on this day. Many Jews sit on low stools or sleep on the floor. They refrain from greeting visitors and read the scroll of Eicha (Lamentations). During the three weeks before this holiday, Jews are forbidden to marry. This period of mourning begins with another fast day, the 17th of Tammuz, when the Second Temple walls of Jerusalem were breached in 70 CE.

Orthodox Jews believe that Tisha B’Av will remain a day of mourning until the messiah arrives and the temple is rebuilt. At that time, it will turn into a day of celebration forever. Although Reformed Judaism has never assigned this type of significance to the destruction of the temple, Tisha B’Av is still observed as a day to recall Jewish tragedies.

While Jews observe Tisha B’Av by looking backwards on the calendar, the holiday can have significant contemporary meaning. When fasting, Jews can comprehend the pain and suffering of destitute people around the world. This realization can be turned into compassion and charity. Having been victims of genocide many times in the past, Jews can use this holiday as a time to aid contemporary victims of ethnic, religious, racial and gender persecution. Jews can also realize how fortunate they are compared with their ancestors. Although anti-Semitism is increasing today, Jews are not persecuted to the same extent as they were throughout history.

Coming to terms with disaster is never easy. No race or religion has had more historical experience with disaster than the Hebrew people have. Repeatedly, Jews have been conquered, enslaved, massacred, tortured and expelled. Somehow, despite all efforts to destroy this tiny religion, Jews found a way to survive and even prosper. The Jewish people found a way to turn disaster into survival and survival into a new nation, rebuilt over the crumbling rocks of the ancient Jewish kingdoms of David and Saul.

It has been more than 2,000 years since the destruction of the temples in ancient Israel. During that time millions of Jews have been slaughtered by Greeks, Romans, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and the Holocaust. Despite the indignity of historical perspective, Jews continue to exist. They worship the same God, recite the same prayers, observe the same holidays and perform the same rites and rituals as their courageous ancient ancestors did. This astonishing chronicle of survival may be one of the greatest legends of human history.

Although Tisha B’Av is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar, it can also be considered, through careful reflection, as a day to be grateful for the survival of the Jewish people. Despite civilization’s persistent attempts to destroy Jews, this tiny, persistent religion has found a way to survive, prosper and contribute to the cultures of countless societies. In this regard, Tisha B’Av can also be observed as a day to be thankful for the resilient endurance of the “chosen people.” Always persecuted, never destroyed; the Jewish people march on through history, unabated, undeterred and ever grateful for the influence of their ancestors.

How to Keep The Holiday Spirit When You Have Cancer

The most wonderful time of the year is not so wonderful when you and your family are struggling with hardship. A cancer diagnosis or cancer treatment during the holidays can make it especially difficult to find joy in celebration, but that does not mean it is impossible. There are steps you can take to, not forget about your cancer, but work with it so that you can find ways to enjoy the season, even if you may not be able to participate in the same events you used to, at least in the same way.

Coping With Cancer During The Holidays

Everyone deserves to have a joyful holiday season, especially when it has been difficult to find things to be joyful about. These tips can help you and your family keep the holiday spirit alive while still preserving your physical and emotional wellbeing.

  • Shopping can be tiresome and frustrating. Do as much online shopping as possible and get creative. A shirt may not mean as much as a memory from childhood.
    It’s perfectly fine to say “No” and you should. People will understand if you can’t do certain activities.
  • Do things you enjoy, such as reading, playing board games with family, or even taking a nap, to lift your spirits when you’re not feeling at your best.
  • Enlist support for organizing holiday gatherings, meal preparation, and cleanup. Don’t try to do everything yourself.
  • Express your feelings and embrace the support of the important people in your life. Give yourself permission to feel and express your feelings. Let yourself laugh or cry.
  • Don’t overindulge in alcohol. Because alcohol is a depressant, it can “bring out” or heighten bad feelings.
  • Maintain healthy habits: Eat balanced meals, drink in moderation, get plenty of sleep, and try to make time for some physical activity, which is a good way to relieve stress.
  • It’s all about preparation. Plan how you want to spend your time, with whom, and for how long. Create a list of the usual traditions and events and decide if you want to continue certain traditions or create new ones.
  • Trying to celebrate alone can be very difficult. Make plans to get together with friends, family or co-workers over the holidays to balance the time you’ll spend alone.

It may seem like there isn’t much to celebrate, but there is always something to be grateful for and that is worth celebrating. You and your loved ones have developed new strengths with the day-to-day challenges of cancer. You have discovered a greater capacity for courage and love and that is worth embracing and building on during the holidays.

12 Simple Ways to Support a Grieving Friend This Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us and it seems that many people have decided to simplify their holiday traditions this year. Instead of spending hours shopping and getting frustrated at the mall, they have decided to spend quality time with friends and family.

In the spirit of simplicity and kindness, we have compiled a list of 12 simple and memorable ways to support a grieving loved one this holiday season. This list comes from the suggestions submitted by our online community. So take a minute to check your holiday To Do List and be sure you have added your grieving loved ones to the list.

1. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the loss. One of the most important things you can do for a friend that is grieving is to understand that special occasions and holidays may be filled with both sorrow and joy. A message as simple as “I know the holidays may be difficult for you. I want you to know that I am thinking about you.” will let them know you care.

2. Listen and allow the tears to flow. Allow your friend the opportunity to feel all the feelings he or she is experiencing this time of year.

3. Allow the person to set the pace. Grief is a little like a roller coaster with many ups and downs. Your friend may want to cry one minute, talk about fun memories the next and then the next may want to have some time alone. Respect their needs and understand that their change in mood is not about you.

4. Encourage your friend to talk about the person that has passed away. If you knew the person, share your fond memories too.

5. Invite your friend to join your holiday gathering. As family members pass away, traditions change and a loved one may not be able to spend the holidays with their family. Including them in your family festivities will help ease the loneliness they may be feeling this time of year.

6. Send a card and be sure to acknowledge the loss. Don’t be afraid to mention the person’s name or to include your own personal memories of the person that has passed away.

7. Visit the cemetery with your friend or leave flowers with a note for the family at the gravesite.

8. Prepare your friend’s favorite holiday treat or a favorite food of the person that has passed away. Each year I prepare my mother’s holiday cookies to remember her love for the holidays.

9. Create a scrapbook of memories. Ask friends and family to write down their memories of the loved one that has passed away and put together a scrapbook of pictures and stories to give to your grieving friend.

10. Make a donation to their favorite charity in memory of the person that has passed away.

11. Encourage them to take care of themselves. Self care is very important to the healing process. Give a gift of pampering at a spa or prepare a care package that includes a relaxation CD, bath salts, and an aromatherapy candle. If going to a spa is not their way of relaxing, find an activity that brings them joy and relaxation.

12. Don’t run for the hills. Many people are afraid to be around a person that is grieving. They often treat the grieving person as though they have a contagious disease. A true friend is the one that stands by their friend and allows them the space to feel all the feelings they are going through…the good and the bad.

Offering your support, understanding and companionship during the holidays will be a cherished gift. Be sure to listen to your friend’s wishes and do not force him or her to participate in activities that may be overwhelming. Be sure to only offer your support if you know you can truly follow through. And remember, it is the simple acts of kindness that are delivered with an open heart that are remembered year after year.