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I love the holidays and it’s double the fun around here because we celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah.

1. You can personalize this online Christmas Countdown Clock with your child’s name and time zone (or with yours).

2. Of course, when we get closer to the big day, it’s always fun to track Santa’s progress delivering presents using the NORAD Santa Tracker.

3. My favorite way to count down to Christmas is the Jacquie Lawson Advent calendar. A new interactive digital world comes out every year and it’s tons of fun for school-age kids through seniors, who are still children-at-heart.

4. A kindness-a-day is another great approach that doesn’t cost anything. Here are a few examples I found:

5. I enjoy being generous, so giving a little money each day for 25 days is an approach I’m trying this year. I’ve already given five dollars twice and I’m planning to keep it up all the way through the 25th.

There is nothing wrong with Giving Tuesday, but this is a way to feel generous every day for 25 days. You can also use this as a way to thank online services you benefit from all year. A little giving really goes a long way.

6. Advent calendars with candies or other treats can be a fun way to count down. They come in just about every variety you can imagine these days.

7. An act of gratitude a day. A thank you note a day to someone who has made a difference in your year. Or write a positive book review for something you’ve read or leave a rave review on a site like Yelp! Reflecting on all you have to be grateful for will lift your spirits.

What do you do to count down to Christmas? Share your ideas in the comments!

So much inspiration, so much time! Please subscribe to the Create, Share, Prosper blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Click on the Enter School tab above to put your creativity to prosperous use right now. Like words? Check out my Etsy shop. And you haven’t seen anything, if you haven’t seen all the helpful offerings in my online shop. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing this post with fellow creatives!

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As a busy work-at-home mom, I am always interested in things that make our lives easier.

Setting up the Christmas tree is one of the activities that is infamously peppered with stories of unwrapping favorite ornaments, bobbled and broken heirlooms, and parent bickering over whether or not the tree is straight, the lights look right, and what should crown the tree.

For us, this year, a couple of bulbs on our tree lights strings spontaneously exploded as we were wrapping them around the tree.

Luckily they were equal opportunity explosions: Jason and I each had one.

Mine went first and I was super annoyed at the way the bulb shards went everywhere. We had one of those, “Nobody move!” moments a la A Christmas Story. Then a few minutes later, the same thing happened to Jason.

“That’s really annoying, isn’t it?” I asked.

“Yes. It. Is.” he responded, as we once again scrambled to sweep up all the teeny-tiny shards.

But one part of the tree decorating process wasn’t as frustrating as usual for us this year.

Our old tree stand was worn-out, broken, and leaking last year, so I’d promised to get us a new one this year.

Teaching my Jewish husband how to screw a freshly cut tree into an oversized tree stand was an exercise in patience because I’m super-picky about my tree being as straight as possible.

Naturally, this resulted in much screwing in and re-screwing in of the tree, which drove Jason crazy, and resulted in a lot of complaining and bickering.

So this year, I did some online research and found the most amazing tree stand ever. It’s pricey—about three times the cost of the largest screw-in stand. But once I read the description and reviews, I had a to try it.

And what do you know! We didn’t bicker about setting up the tree this year. It only took two attempts to get the tree centered in the stand and then, voila, the stand grabbed the tree base, Jason pumped the foot pedal to tighten the stand’s grip on the tree, we threw an old combination lock on the stand to make sure the pets would not accidentally unlock the stand, and we were done in record time.

There is even a nifty water gauge, which means I am not lying on my stomach on the floor every morning sticking my finger into the tree well to figure out how much water to add.

In other words: worth every penny! And the stand is so sturdily built, I am sure it will last many years. Check it out if setting up your tree this year was a nightmare, and if you want to minimize tree-prep bickering.

The stand is on sale now, so you can get it for even less than I paid for it. I highly recommend it!

Happy holidays!

So much inspiration, so much time! Please subscribe to the Create, Share, Prosper blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Click on the Enter School tab above to put your creativity to prosperous use right now. Like words? Check out my Etsy shop. And you haven’t seen anything, if you haven’t seen all the helpful offerings in my online shop. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing this post with fellow creatives!

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The holidays are a time to gather with those you love, exchange gifts, and tap into a joy that seems to hang in the air every solstice.

I hope you won’t let this holiday season be any different. And, if you are surrounded by contention of any kind, I hope you will let it go, pull your energy inward, and remember that holiness can only happen when you keep yourself happy and whole.

Times of tumult takes us out of ourselves. And although, it’s not a bad idea to reach out to others from time to time, this is a time of year when we are all called within. And there are really no exceptions to this lure, no matter what is going on in the outside world.

Trying to maintain a slew of parties, travels to far-away gatherings, and the hustle and bustle of this season are all in opposition to the energy that emerges annually. So it’s up to us to keep our balance by making happy and healthy choices, whatever that means to us.

I hope you can use the holidays to ground and center yourself in your creative endeavors. Everything I do and everything I have created is geared towards helping writers thrive despite the outside world and, often, despite ourselves and our own care-taking impulses. We may as well acknowledge that being a writer in a compulsively social world is challenging.

And yet, it’s a challenge we can meet and master. You just have to develop the focus and concentration of a master. You have to embrace being master-like, even when you are a novice or an intermediate or a veteran. Only once you develop the ability to focus and concentrate at will, can you write your way through chaotic times.

So, these are our chaotic times. Let us write our way through them, together!

These are my heartfelt holiday gifts for you. I hope you will add them to your personal wish lists.

Online Courses

My online school is a safe, promotion-free space where you concentrate on your own work. No wonder it is so popular among those who are serious about learning! My online courses can be taken at your own pace. Instructor feedback can be added if you wish. Even with feedback, the low prices won’t put too big of a dent in your wallet. But hurry, because prices may go up in the New Year.

More Joy Now! Stop Struggling & Start Thriving LINK

Writing Stories About The Holidays for only $99 LINK

3 Online Article Writing Courses for only $99 each LINK

3 Platform Development Courses for only $33 each LINK

Ebooks

My ebooks help you accomplish practical and crucial tasks, such as self-care, self-awareness, increased creativity, and writing for publication. You can do one without the others, but why would you wish to?

Write For Regional Parenting Magazines For Fun & Profit Learn More

Permission Granted: 45 Reasons To Micro-publish Learn More

Writing Prompts For Winter Stories Learn More

Writing Prompts For Autumn Stories Learn More

Writing Prompts For Summer Stories Learn More

Writing Prompts For Spring Stories Learn More

Creative Knowing, 50 Self-reflection Questions For Women Learn More

The Art of Making Time for Yourself, A Collection of Advice For Moms Learn More

Inspirational Posters & Prints

My Etsy shop, Words, Glorious Words! does a steady business lifting people up, when they need a little boost (or kick in the caboose). If you need help believing in the power of your self-expression, I hope you will browse my offerings, which I created with the help of my talented husband, Jason Katz.

Whether you purchase gifts from me for yourself this holiday season or not, always remember: you are the gift. Your work is to get what is coming through you, out, where you can share it with the world.

Happy holidays, everyone!

So much inspiration, so much time! Please subscribe to the Create, Share, Prosper blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Click on the Enter School tab above to put your creativity to prosperous use right now. Like words? Check out my Etsy shop. And you haven’t seen anything, if you haven’t seen all the helpful offerings in my online shop. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing this post with fellow creatives!

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The world is a chaotic, noisy place sometimes.

So what’s a busy creative to do in order to stay focused and productive?

I’m sharing a few tips from my everyday routines.

They help me feel joyfully productive no matter what else is going on in the world.

Remember, you can’t control the entire world nor any of the other people in it. But you can control the choices you make.

You can choose to create joy every day no matter what anyone else is doing.

Be excited about your schedule

Keep electronics turned off as long as possible

Drink quality morning beverages

Have a morning attunement practice

Wear clothes that feel comfortable

Light something like a fire or a candle

Work in an inspiring space

Start work with something fun you really want to do

Take little breaks throughout the day

Resists time-sucks

Make moments to bask

Recap all the good work you’ve done

Always be letting go of what is not crucial

Celebrate what you do every day

So much inspiration, so much time! Please subscribe to the Create, Share, Prosper blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Click on the Enter School tab above to put your creativity to prosperous use right now. Like words? Check out my Etsy shop. And you haven’t seen anything, if you haven’t seen all the helpful offerings in my online shop. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing this post with fellow creatives!

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