Tuesday, November 29, 2011

269 - 289 Holiday Fun Things to Do!

269 - 288 Fun Things to Do for the Holidays!

269 - Write love letters to your friends and families. You can write on special holiday paper, or decorate your own. This might be their favorite present of all!

270 – If you’re a kid, it’s always fun to get your photograph taken with Santa, but you could surprise someone with a picture of yourself with Santa as your grown-up self! Since my birthday is Christmas Eve, I have told my children since they were teen-agers that if they gave me a photo of them with Santa, that would be the best birthday present ever, so I have a wonderful collection of my kids with Santa from babyhood on way into their thirties. This year, I surprised myself by hopping onto Santa's knee and having a friend take a picture -- a wonderful birthday present to me!

271 – Give coupon books for chores you are willing to do or talents you are willing to share.

273 – Get a carload of people together and drive around and see the holiday lights. Some papers publish a list of the best lights, so you can plan a route in advance.

274 - Have a Christmas Caroling party and sing around your neighborhood. You can even have each person pick someone they would like to surprise, and carpool to various locations. Assisted Living places always welcome cheerful Carolers, and the happy responses can make anyone’s holiday season get brighter!

275 - Give the gift of an adventure! This could be hiking some trails, going to a local brewery, attending a program at an art museum, taking a class together – just think about what that person enjoys and do a little research about what is available in your area.

276 – Make your holiday cards. You can go all out, and make very expensive and fancy creations that will be amazing to send out, but you can also make lovely expressions of joy and peace with simple materials very effectively, too. Or even a combination of both!

277 – Keep your eye out for tickets to events and then check around to make sure your recipient would likely be available. Here’s the best part, you might be the one to accompany your friend or family member on this adventure! This doesn’t have to be a high dollar event either – I recently got tickets to one of the best concerts I have ever attended (Alex Bevan) for $10.00!

278 – Give a magazine subscription. If you are low on money, or need a last minute gift, this is perfect. You can gift wrap the current issue of the magazine, with a note that a subscription is coming. Then, after the first of the year, you can, send in that subscription card when you have some more funds.

279 – A gift certificate for a manicure and/or a pedicure is always a fun gift to give.

280 – A full body massage gift certificate is a really thoughtful and much appreciated gift. After the holidays, everybody needs a massage! For economy, you can get gift certificate at local massage schools.

281 – Create your own luminaries to line your front walk. Just use brown lunch bags, put in a little sand or kitty litter, and a candle. Or you can use plastic milk jugs, cut out the front part on the other side of the handle, put in the sand or kitty litter and you are ready to go. We have whole neighborhoods that do this, and it is fabulous!

282 – Bake cookies with children! If you don’t have any of your own, borrow some, or see if you can invite yourself over when the cookie baking action happens. What is more fun than watching a child decorate a cut-out cookie? Getting to eat it, after they joyfully offer you their magnificent creation!

283 – Make your own gift tags. These are easy and fun to make, with cardstock, stamps, markers – whatever supplies you might have around the house.

284 – Write in a journal during the holiday season. Even if you usually are not prone to writing in a journal, this is a great time to do some spontaneous writing, and capture your gift ideas, memories, and whatever else pops into your mind. Next year, this might be a wonderful reference for you.

285 – Write a holiday letter to your friends to let them know what has been happening during the past year. I love to get these letters for the updates, and fun of having more than just a card. Bless the holiday letter writers!

286 – Adopt a family that may not have a Christmas without you. You might even make it a family project.

287 – Pick a special charity and donate your time and/or money. Some charities get a lot of attention during the holidays, and there are others who need us, too.

288 - Eliminate a tradition! If you have been celebrating the holidays for many, many years, you may have developed so many traditions that every year they make your head spin! This might be the year to eliminate a complicated tradition and slow down the pace of your holidays! Or you might do it one more time, take lots of photographs, and put it to rest. You might even replace it with a more simple holiday activity that can be different each year.

289 – Take time during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to have some quiet time, to relax, and enjoy what you believe the season to really be about. For me, outside of the obvious things that we all celebrate, it is a season of love and expressions of joy and caring. I love the decorations, carols, lights, and all the happy activities. Spending too much money, getting frazzled, feeling way too busy – those are things I am not too fond of during the holiday season. So I try to slow down whenever I can, and give a lot of thought to how I spend my time and money. I am always on the lookout for ways to make the holidays special that are a reflection “Happy Holidays” and not “Hectic Holidays”.

Please add your ideas by clicking on “comments” below. We can help each other have the best holiday season ever!

Friday, November 25, 2011

268 Fun Things to Do!

268 - Make a collage candle. Rae Payne, from "The Art of Collecting Yourself" - http://collectingyourself.wordpress.com started an Illuminata Intentional Art Circle for the holiday season. Check out the website for detailed information. The basic idea is to do little art projects throughout the holidays to keep in happy spirits. The first project was a collage candle, with a theme of whatever intention you might have for the holidays. My two basic intentions are LOVE and CALM ENERGY -- if I can manage those two, I know I will have terrific results! I think my family and friends will benefit, too. I made the collage into a cylinder so I can put it on another candle later.

There is an image of one of the men from the Blue Man Group, drumming into hot pink paint -- that's for fun energy, and a big purple bubble, a kaleidoscope image, and the words at the bottom are: "Using your spare time to pursue what gratifies you can be as rewarding as any dream job." (It is my opinion that even a dream job can get dreamier when we do creative and fun things, too!)

The poem in the middle is by Brian Andreas - AWAKENING In those days, we finally chose to walk like giants & hold the world in arms grown strong with love & there may be many things we forget in the days to come, but this will not be one of them.

I was happy to include Mary Engelbreit from my page-a-days - "A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place" since I just moved my art studio and office back home and I am dealing with temporary chaos! Also appearing are some of the cast from "The Muppet Movie" for more fun.

Thank you, Rae, for a wonderful start to the 2011 holidays!

Friday, November 18, 2011

262 - 267 Fun Things to Do!

262 - Take photographs while you're moving. I love the memory of my sofa sitting on our front lawn during the process of the moving of my art studio and office back home. There was a book of photographs once about a red sofa where it was taken all over the world and put in unusual places, like on the tops of mountains, in the middle of streams, on the tops of roofs -- it was hilarious. This is as close as I could come!

263 - Wake up to music. Lately, I have added music to my morning routine. (See #117 if you want to see more about my very unusual wake-up ritual!) It's fun to stay under the covers, and just appreciate some lively music for a while. It seems to get into my system and energize me a bit and make me feel a little cheerful. Right now, I am listening to Alternative music, but that could change at my whim!

264 - Try a wild new flavor of ice cream! For many of you, that might seem like a simple thing, but I spent many years of my life with chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate chip -- only! I even worked at an ice cream parlor in high school, but even that didn't make me more daring. In the last few years, I have been exploring the miracles of all kinds of ice cream. A while back, I had Butterfinger™ ice cream with Butterfinger™ sprinkles! Does it get better than that? I am willing to do more exploration in the name of happiness ice cream research!

265 - Try counting your blessings on a beaded bracelet. This would be a great thing to do any time, but if you were having a rough day, you could silently count some of your blessings on your bracelet, and I am betting that you would feel a lot better in a hurry.

266 - If you see a quotation you really like, take a photograph of it. I am developing a new presentation on "The Power of Quotations" -- on walls, church signs, bumper stickers, in books, everywhere. I even write down quotations sometimes from people when they are being interviewed on talk shows.

267 - When some big change is happening in your life, try introducing other little changes that are fun. Sometimes the big changes are not fully our choice, but we can coordinate to do other things that will amuse and empower us.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Certified Zentangle Teachers all over the world did Zentangles, and Zentangle inspired art beginning at 11:11 a.m. or 11:11 p.m. and posted their creations on their Zentangle Yahoo group and on their Facebook page. I am also hoping that some members of the Zentangle Club of N.E. Ohio joined in the celebration of this unusual date. The Certified Zentangle Teachers were also honoring Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, the founders of Zentangle, because of the recent passing of Rick's mother. It is Veteran's Day and we remember with deep gratitude all the sacrifices that our Veterans have made, and are making, for our country. See zentangle.com for more information about Zentangles.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Free WRAP Webinar on November 10!

WRAP is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, which is amazing in itself -- with wellness tools, daily planning, identifying triggers, early warning signs, when things are getting worse, and even a crisis and post crisis plan. Now there is a new initiative of the Copeland Center called WRAP PALS (Peers Advocating, Supporting and Listening) which really energizes WRAP and empowers relationships. Even if you don't know anything about WRAP, you can find out about the basics, and learn about how it can combine with families and friends for terrific results. You can register at WRAPandrecoverybooks.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

253 - 261 Fun Things to Do!

253 - Take photographs of people you love with their pets. Here are Andrew and Nate, our grandsons, with their beloved boxer, Woody, who is a gentle and wonderful dog.

254 - Combine fun things to do! If two of your fun things are to take a walk and you also like to go to the movies -- walk to the movies! If you love to have a cup of tea, and you also enjoy talking to a friend, make a cup of tea and call a friend on the phone. Better yet, make arrangements in advance so your friend can make a cup of tea, too!

255 - Listen closely when children speak and write those priceless gems down! Often when a child says something memorable, we think we will remember it all our lives, and then two weeks later, we can only remember fragments, if anything at all. Recently, Nate and Andrew were working on a Zentangle project (see zentangle.com), and Nate yelled out, "Yippee Yo Yo YO!" I was really excited because I have been sticking with hooray, yippee, and yahoo for years now and thanks to Nate, I have a new happy exclamation. Of course, I was very casual and didn't let him know that I going to be blatantly stealing his phrase in the future.

256 - Give a new Mom or Dad a blank book so they can record all the amazing baby triumphs along the way. This could turn out to be the most priceless possession of their baby's childhood.

257 - If you are going to be making changes in your house or apartment, or before you move in, take some before and after photographs. Here is a photograph of part of my second floor where I will be creating my new art studio. Soon it will be a hub of creative activity and fun!

258 - Buy tickets for someone you love. A friend of mine just bought tickets for his wife's birthday to "Jersey Boys". I hope he put "from your Ohio boy" on the birthday card! There are free and low cost tickets available everywhere if you pay attention to the newspaper and local bulletin boards. Community theaters, local libraries and art museums have lots events that are fun, interesting, and either free or very low cost. Taking someone out for an adventure is a VERY fun thing to do, and if there are not exactly tickets for the event, like a lecture at the library, you could design your own and present them.

259 - If you are trying to decide whether to donate something or not, take a photograph of it and send it on it's way. That way someone else can have the full benefit of it, and you will still have the memory of it, but it won't take up any more room and get in your way!

260 - Take a photograph out of an airplane window. I just missed a sky sunset with this one, but it's still beautiful.

261 - Go to the library, look through some cookbooks, and pick out an interesting recipe. Make out a list of ingredients you need, and go directly to the grocery store and get them. Then go home immediately and try out the recipe. This is great good fun, especially for those of us who collect recipes and then forget them. It is important to do the library, grocery store, cooking part all together so you can have the full blast of new recipe excitement. It would be acceptable to get the recipe at home and then proceed, but maybe not quite as exciting.