1. Learn more about them
You might be surprised by the wide variety of shops in your area. Find out more about what each store carries to spark gift ideas and make your holiday shopping a breeze. Certain places even offer custom creations, allowing you to give your loved ones unique presents.
2. Start shopping early
The longer you wait to do your holiday shopping, the more tempting it is to purchase last-minute gifts from large online retailers that offer rapid delivery. If you want to support local businesses, avoid lineups and keep your stress to a minimum, start early. This also ensures everything you’re looking for is still in stock.
3. Send one-of-a-kind cards
If you want to send out cards to let your friends and relatives know you’re thinking about them over the holiday season, see if any artists or boutiques in your area sell handmade cards. These handcrafted works of art will look beautiful on a mantel, and they may even feature depictions of local landmarks.
4. Decorate with handmade items
When it comes time to decorate your home for the holidays, deck the halls with locally sourced creations. From wreaths and garlands to Christmas tree ornaments and stained-glass window hangings, the artists in your area are sure to offer handcrafted pieces that’ll imbue your home with the spirit of the season.
5. Buy from festival vendors
Does your community host Christmas markets, parades, or outdoor performances during the holiday season? These present a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones, so make the most of visiting them. Buy a round of hot chocolate for your friends, treat your kids to seasonal snacks or surprise your partner with a little something from one of the stalls.
6. Update your wardrobe for parties
A new outfit will help you put your best foot forward at your upcoming holiday office party or New Year’s Eve bash. The staff at your local stores can help you put together a look from head to toe. You may also want to keep an eye out for the perfect ugly Christmas sweater or matching pajamas for the whole family.
7. Build your own gift baskets
If you’re short on inspiration, gift baskets make ideal offerings for co-workers, housekeepers, personal trainers, and your child’s teacher or babysitter. Many stores have a selection of pre-made baskets, or you can build your own with an assortment of locally sourced jams, soaps, teas, scented candles, chocolates, wine, and more.
8. Treat yourself to a meal out
Indulge in the magic of the season with a night out at a restaurant. This can be a great way to take a break from all the cooking and cleanup that comes with hosting holiday celebrations. Plus, many establishments have live music, special menus, and seasonal cocktails during this time of year to mark the occasion.
9. Remember to tip generously
‘Tis the season to give, and one way to show your appreciation is by leaving a generous tip for the people who help make the holidays special. This may include the staff at a restaurant, hairdresser, or beauty salon, as well as an employee who offers to wrap your gifts or helps you strap your Christmas tree to the car.
10. Keep it local when you buy online
Shopping online is a convenient way to quickly check items off your gift list (not to mention avoid crowded stores). Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between convenience and supporting local merchants. Many of the stores in your area have websites where you can buy what you need from the comfort of your couch.
11. Opt for gift cards over cash
Some people are harder to shop for than others. If you want to leave the choice up to them, consider offering a gift card rather than money. Not only will this guarantee the cash goes toward a local business, but a gift card is more personal as it shows that you took the time to select a store based on the person’s interests.
12. Cook with local ingredients
Whether you’re planning an elaborate Christmas dinner, preparing your contribution for a holiday potluck, or looking for the perfect hostess gift, you’ll get nothing but the best from regional producers. Visit the markets and shops in your area for everything from artisanal cheeses and pastries to seasonal produce and craft liquor.
How to celebrate National Nurses Month
May is National Nurses Month. The theme of this year’s celebration is Nurses Make a Difference. The spotlight is on the diversity of roles nurses play in improving people’s lives, raising awareness about the importance of nurses to the well-being of society.
To celebrate National Nurses Month, think about the impact of nurses in your life and those you love. Use social media to share pictures, stories, and expressions of thanks to nurses. Every week in May will have a different area of focus:
• Week one highlights self-care. This week focuses on promoting mental and physical well-being. Challenge yourself, colleagues, and friends to engage in healthier activities.
• Week two highlights recognition. This week aims to honor nurses’ critical work in hospitals and community settings.
• Week three highlights professional development. This week is centered around helping nurses excel in their profession. Think about how you can lead in your nursing career or inspire others in their professional nursing journey.
• Week four highlights community engagement. This week focuses on how you can promote nurses’ invaluable contributions by educating your community on what nurses do and by encouraging future nurses.
Moreover, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has created a free Nurses Month Toolkit, which can be downloaded on nursesmonth.org. The ANA will also host a live event entitled YOU Make a Difference on May 18 to celebrate nursing through storytelling.
Follow the ANA on social media to keep up to date on nursing, including National Nurses Month.
4 ways to celebrate Mother’s Day with your grandmother
When it comes to elderly loved ones, a little extra attention in the form of a simple visit goes a long way. This is especially true if they have limited mobility or their social lives have diminished over the years. Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show your grandmother how much you love her. Here are four ways to give her some joy.
1. Dust off old board games
Many elderly people grew up playing classic board games. Therefore, why not spend an afternoon challenging your grandma to a friendly game of Scrabble or backgammon?
2. Flip through photo albums
Although less prevalent in the digital age, physical photo albums are a treasure trove of memories. Flip through a few pictures with your grandma to reminisce about days past and learn about your family’s history.
3. Offer a personalized gift
Personalized items make a great gift for grandmothers. For example, you can create a calendar featuring family photos. This is a fun and functional gift your grandma will cherish.
4. Go bargain hunting
Many grandmothers enjoy visiting boutiques, thrift shops, and bazaars to sniff out rare finds. Therefore, why not plan an outing with your grandma? You never know what hidden gems you’ll discover in your neighborhood.
Grandmothers are an essential part of the family and play a significant role in the lives of their grandchildren.
Give your partner a Mother’s Day weekend fit for royalty
Receiving a Mother’s Day card or homemade gift from your little one is heartwarming. However, a gesture of love from your other half is even better. This year, why not show your significant other how much you appreciate everything she does as a mom by treating her like a princess for the entire weekend? Here’s how.
• Declare housework off-limits. Make it clear that you’ll do all the household chores. If you see her hand go into the laundry basket or kitchen sink, step in. Tell your partner gently but firmly that you’re at her service for the entire day.
• Give her other options. Your partner may feel caught off guard by a sudden reduction in duties. Therefore, prepare a list of activities she can indulge in guilt-free. For example, she can take a hot bath, read a book, binge a TV series, work on a hobby or call a friend. Give her this list and encourage her to take more time for herself.
• Pamper her. Think of things that make her happy, like visiting a cafe or getting a foot massage, and arrange for her to do them over the weekend. You can also organize childcare so she can take a nap, either alone or with you.
• Talk with her. Nothing beats a heart-to-heart conversation. Consequently, plan a time when you can be alone together and chat about everything and nothing. Ask her open-ended questions about how she spends her days at home or work. You can also ask about her projects and dreams. Allow her to express herself and be a listening and loving ear.
After a memorable weekend like this, she’ll feel like a queen!
Skip the diet and celebrate body diversity
Celebrated on May 6, 2022, International No Diet Day (INDD) is the perfect time to put aside your food inhibitions and celebrate body diversity. Inspired by her own eating disorder and recovery, Mary Evans Young first declared this day in the UK in 1992. Today, INDD is a day to remember that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few ways you can observe No Diet Day.
Wear a blue ribbon
Stand in front of your mirror and wear a light blue ribbon to commemorate INDD. As you look at your reflection, take a moment to love and thank your body for everything it does for you.
Experiment with new foods
Engage your curiosity by preparing a new recipe. For example, explore an unfamiliar aisle at the supermarket or pop into the international grocer you always pass by on your walk home.
Indulge at a restaurant
Book a table at a restaurant you’ve never tried before. Pull out all the stops and order every course. Furthermore, look for eateries offering meal specials to observe INDD.
Celebrate your body
Plan an activity that indulges all your senses. For instance, take a hike or hit the dance floor with a troop of good friends. Moreover, find a scenic picnic spot to enjoy refreshments while reading a book or taking in the view.
Lastly, observe International No Diet Day by expressing unconditional love and gratitude to your body. Indulge your senses and celebrate good food and good living.
Mother’s Day: 5 gift ideas for a tight budget
Do you want to express your love for your mom on Mother’s Day but have a limited budget? Here are five gifts your mom will love that won’t break the bank.
1. Kitchen torch. This affordable kitchen accessory is perfect for browning the cheese on French onion soup or the fluffy white peaks on a lemon meringue pie.
2. Novels and non-fiction books. If your mom loves to read, why not gift her the latest bestseller, a timeless classic, or a non-fiction book on something she’s passionate about?
3. Essential oil diffuser bracelet. Your mom can enjoy the benefits of essential oils wherever she goes, be it the relaxing scent of lavender or the refreshing aroma of lemon.
4. Heated slippers. Gifting your mom a pair of microwave-safe slippers will help her relax and unwind after a long day. These slippers will also keep her feet toasty warm in the winter.
5. Plantable greeting card. If your mom enjoys gardening, buy her a greeting card with seeds embedded within the paper. Whenever she likes, she can bury the card and watch your good wishes transform into magnificent flowers.
Remember that when buying a gift for Mother’s Day, it’s the thought that counts!
4 delicious Mother’s Day gift alternatives to chocolate
Chocolate is a standard Mother’s Day gift. However, some moms simply don’t like this sweet treat. Fortunately, there are plenty of other edible gifts that are sure to please.
1. Specialty coffee. Coffee is an excellent source of antioxidants. Prepare a gift box filled with organic or fair-trade varieties and choose whole beans to optimize freshness. You could also include an affordable coffee mill.
2. Seafood. If your mom is a seafood lover, gift her high-end prepared items like pre-cooked shrimp or smoked salmon bites. You could also cook her a delicious feast of mussels, oysters or scallops.
3. Wine and cheese. Pick out an assortment of fine cheeses to pair with charcuterie or a bottle of good wine. If you’re not sure what your mother likes, talk to the staff at your local wine retailer for advice on what’s most popular.
4. Honey and maple syrup. Many local bee-keepers and maple syrup producers offer spectacular products in attractive packaging and pretty gift baskets.
Consumable gifts are perfect for moms that seem to have everything.