Wild ladies loose in the stores

Christmas gifts

Christmas gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Esperanto: Patro Kristnasko kaj malgranda knabino Suomi: Joulupukki ja pieni tyttö (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu.

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This time of year, women go crazy for a couple of weeks or three, as they put all their energy into securing the best deals for Christmas. I’ve personally witnessed grown women get into hair-pulling, knock-down, arm-slinging fights in the narrow aisles of department stores.

Females, with hair that looks a cross between slept on and cat fight, elbows plowing anything non-essential, barge through entire sections with a 50% off sale. I’m sorry ladies, I am confessing for all of us, we can’t leave a store with a clearance sign that says 70 % off without going through that rack twice.

When we find something that appears worth the sale price of $2.99, we will go through our entire list (the one we keep in our heads) of friends and relatives to find someone who can wear a size zero. Hey, it’s a name-brand blouse. If the sale is on designer clothes or shoes and we find something that was regularly worth (In who’s opinion?) $80, on sale for $5, we will consider holding it until our chubby niece loses enough weight to squeeze into it.

Deciding what gift goes to which person on our list every Christmas is a challenging job, but finding the money in our budgets to pay for all the gifts is a horse of a different color. Some women try to buy gifts through the year so they can relax during the holidays. Other women lack the desire or ability to do this and find themselves in need of the biggest bargains on Black Friday.

Personally, I think stores get a kick out of forcing a large number of women to fight over the 15 in-stock Barbies dressed in the latest, on sale for $20, but only for one hour. This hour is usually the hour before dawn or between 10-11 a.m. No rain checks are allowed on these sale items, making them infinitely more valuable.

Some women enjoy this ritual every Holiday season. I don’t. I do buy all year long and fill my closet with birthday and Christmas presents for my family. Of course, I track down every bargain clearance available.

I use my coupons and ad matches, watch for store sales and stock up on expensive shampoos I manage to purchase for next to nothing. I’ve done so well on my bargain quests that I really don’t have to buy shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, disposable razors, hand soap, lotion or mouthwash for the next 30 years. Hey, they were on sale. What was I suppose to do?

The good news is that I caught my addiction in time to turn my life around. There may be no hope for those wild-eyed banshees hell-bent on getting a flat-screen, high definition television for their three-years-old sons this Christmas. Never mind that it cost $5 to make the regular price before it went on sale was increased from $150 to $225 so the sale would look more appealing at $175.

Face it ladies, the stores have us figured out. We can’t help ourselves. We need to band together and lend our strength to a fellow mom on a mission to get the best prices on Christmas gifts this year. We can’t make it alone. Corporation is stacked against us. Maybe it is time to get back to nature’s gifts. Did you know that gumbo fíle was dried sassafras leaves? That stuff sells for a bundle in stores.

By picking the wild fruits of the land all around us, we can capture the ultimate gift – the one that cost nothing but a little time and effort. God bless and watch your rear this holiday season.

Tropical Traditions: Your source for virgin coconut oil

When making your own soaps, balms, lotions and other grooming products, there are a number of oils you can use. I use coconut oil because it is rich and creamy and I love the fragrance of coconut. Think long, lazy days, the beach, suntan lotion and the warmth of the summer sun. The key is using high quality oils like those sold by Tropical Traditions. One lucky person will win one quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut oil to use for the holidays. With a full 32-oz. jar of coconut oil to use, you can make the rich, creamy fudge and the hand-crafted soaps for grandma this year.

Although Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, I was under no obligation to review this product. Neither was I obligated to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free sample.

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut OilYou can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. In my opinion, the coconut oil from Tropical Traditions is superior to all others I have used in making my natural grooming products. The taste of Gold Label just has to be experienced to appreciate how much better it tastes and performs than other oils.

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Since there are hundreds of uses for coconut oil, you may appreciate these recipes by Tropical Traditions. Yes, virgin coconut oil can be used to make delicious cakes, pies, desserts and more, like creamy black and white toasted coconut fudge.

Click on the link below to enter for your free 32-oz. jar of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. The giveaway starts November 27 and ends December 18, 2012. Enter once a day until the giveaway ends.
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Buy virgin coconut oil from Tropical Traditions today. They have a money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose. Receive bonus entries by doing the following:

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If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

Dealing with Christmas stress

Whether you look forward to Christmas every year or dread the very thought of Christmas, either way, there is stress involved. Christmas has become time-consuming and expensive and is rife with opportunities for misunderstandings.

When you consider all the Christmas parties you and/or your children are expected to attend, all the family gatherings and all the food you have to prepare, it is little wonder that stress comes with Christmas.

Some stress is good for the mind and body, but too much can cause physical illness. If you notice excess hair falling out, daily headaches, insomnia, muscle tension in the neck and shoulders, inability to tolerate minor nuisances, anxiety or sudden weight gain several weeks before Christmas, you probably suffer from Christmas stress.

Natural treatments for periodic stress include:

  • Understanding the cause of your stress by writing in a journal: Whenever you feel your muscles tensing up and your anxiety rising, make a note of your symptoms and what took place just prior to the symptoms. For instance, you receive a phone call form a sibling about whose house will be used for the family Christmas gathering and you feel a headache coming on, write, “Sue called, where to meet for Christmas, head began to ache.”
  • When you can see the pattern of cause and effect, you can begin to deal with the issues.
  • Drink chamomile or green tea to help calm your nerves. Use a small amount of honey to sweeten.
  • Ask your spouse, friend or relative to massage your neck and shoulders where tension usually settles.
  • Lie down for 20 to 30 minutes in a dark room with soft, soothing music playing.
  • Exercise: Do some stretches to keep muscles from becoming tense.

If Christmas events cause you great stress, you might want to make new traditions that will lessen the stress and bring back the joy you once had at Christmas. Too many activities, too little time, too little rest and sleep and too little money to spend on gifts equals a great deal of stress.

Always remember that you are in charge of your life. You decide what you are willing to do, with whom, where and when. You can’t please everyone no matter how much effort you put into trying. No one expects you to be perfect. If they do, the problem belongs to them, not you.

Have one Christmas gathering for each side of the family. Draw names for gifts or agree that all gifts will cost no more than five dollars and will be functional, usable gifts. Gifts can also be handmade, re-purposed or come from a thrift store.

Begin a new Christmas tradition of baking cookies with the entire family where each makes their favorite kind, then exchanges so that each person has a dozen of each kind. This can take the place of a formal gathering with the exchanging of gifts.

Don’t give in to emotional blackmail. No one can make you feel guilty unless you allow them. The more you know about your own expectations, the easier it will be to make a stand for your beliefs and your values.

Enjoy this Christmas and end the stress that robs you of your joy.

Christmas plus credit cards equal overspending

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Esperanto: Patro Kristnasko kaj malgranda knabino Suomi: Joulupukki ja pieni tyttö (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Humans are strange creatures. We reason that, since we don’t have any extra money to buy Christmas gifts, it is okay to charge the gifts. With a credit card, it is too easy to charge and charge until we have created a huge bill. Where will the money come from to pay the large monthly bill? No problem, we have an entire month before we have to start paying it back.

Every parent wants to buy gifts for his children. Nobody wants young children to learn too early that Santa doesn’t exist. If Christians would tell their children that Santa is just a fairy tale like Cinderella or Snow White, and mom and dad have to buy the gifts, maybe they wouldn’t be so expectant of expensive gifts. For some reason, parents believe it is justified to lavish children with anywhere from five to 15 expensive gifts. Children won’t expect what they have never received.

Keep Christmas gift-giving sane. Don’t get carried away and try to buy every gift on a child’s wish-list. The entire family suffers when the credit card bills come due anyway. Even if you have already established a pattern of over-giving at Christmas, you can still halt this run-away train and put it in reverse.

If children are old enough to understand, explain that Christmas will be lean due to financial circumstances. Ask them to choose just one gift this year. If children are too young to understand about finances, they are too young to know the difference between what they received last year and what they will receive this year. In other words, just buy one or two durable, but inexpensive gifts. Too many toys just overwhelm children anyway.

For gift exchanging among friends, church family and relatives, bake your best desserts, cookies or make candy and wrap it in pretty package. You can’t really please everyone anyway. Food puts a smile on their face every time. You could also get ideas for homemade gifts that look as elegant as anything you could buy by checking pinterest or stumbleupon.

Don’t let Christmas put you in depression when the bills roll in for the new year. Take charge instead of letting the charge cards take control of you. Getting out of debt is like losing weight. It takes a few minutes of pleasure to gain it, but a lifetime to lose it.