DEC

Go check out some holiday lights.

Every year Scott and I go to nearby Annapolis to have an amazing dinner near the water, then to check out the boats. Local boat owners string lights on the boats, decorate like crazy and really go all out. My favorite boat every year is the A Christmas Story boat; complete with big, lit up leg lamp lights. We also live by the National Zoo so we usually walk over to their light display, aptly named Zoo Lights.

Most towns have light displays, just check out your local newspaper or Google it. Even if you’re just cruising around your hood and looking at people’s holiday lights, it’s tough to NOT be in the holiday spirit.

Volunteer!

I plan on volunteering with the elderly this season. Consider how many elderly people are in nursing homes with either no family left, or just family that doesn’t visit. It literally breaks my heart. I’m planning on visiting a nursing home to hands out gifts and little treats with Scott.

Just call your local nursing or elderly home, they’ll love the company.

Host a holiday cocktail party.

Holiday cocktail parties are so fun and so easy; especially if you tell your friends to BYOB. Then, you just have to make snacks! Set out grass-fed cheese, olive oil potato chips, olives, dips, gluten-free crackers, cherry tomatoes, chopped up carrots and cucumbers and a meat plate. You’re good to go!

You can even do a Secret Santa or white elephant gift exchange.

Decorate your home.

The holidays are the busiest time of the year for some of us, decorating your home can get pushed aside for other tasks. Last year the holidays flew by and I never really got into the spirit, largely because I didn’t take the time to slow down, to decorate or to even pay attention to the holiday season.

Make homemade holiday gifts to give to friends and family.

Homemade gifts are the best! Last year I made my lavender body scrub for friends, but you can make anything: cookies, infused liquors, fudge, etc.

Give gifts to the less fortunate.

There are always programs in which you can sign up to give gifts to the less fortunate. I love this. You can check with your local community shelter, synagogue, church, mosque, etc. Or, just google!

Donate to a food bank.

I like to check out my local organic market for sale items; usually canned foods are regularly on sale and they’re all organic. There is no need to donate cheap, obesity and disease promoting foods to your local food bank. Just buy organic food that’s on sale.

Make holiday crafts.

Like a wreath, a dreidel, strands of popcorn to go on the tree, or homemade Christmas decorations. Just Pinterest “holiday crafts” and sort through the one million pins for ones you like.

Host a cookie exchange.

I love me some paleo cookies. They’re easy to make and taste just as good as regular cookies. This one may be more difficult if you have wheat/sugar/vegetable oil eating friends; but you could also host a craft exchange.

Go ice skating.

It’s the perfect time of year for ice skating! There is an outdoor ice rink in the winter right by Scott’s office. Ice skating is so fun (especially for me because I’m not terrible at it). Go ice skating and warm up with some homemade hot chocolate.

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