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Christmas Traditions from A to Z

presented by the Messenger-Inquirer Sunday, December 1, 2019



Messenger-Inquirer Sunday, December 1, 2019

Advent Advent, a season observed as a time of preparation for and celebration of the birth of Christ, begins Dec. 1 and ends Dec. 24. Many churches offer special advent-related services and programs, and gift-filled advent calendars are widely popular, increasingly varied and often a great gift.


Cookies Now is the time for icing and glitter, sprinkles and fairy dust, so dive in with these recipes!

Candy Cane Hearts Serving: 24 cookies Put ¼ cup icing in a small bowl and pour another ¼ cup icing into a small plastic icing bottle with a narrow tip. Place the sprinkles, sanding sugar, edible glitter, nonpareils or other decorations in separate small bowls. Unwrap 48 mini candy canes. Working with one cookie at a time, use a small paint brush to paint the edge of each cookie with icing from the bowl. Roll the cookie edge in the decoration(s), coating it evenly. Set on clean parchment paper. Use the icing in the bottle to drizzle a line onto what will be the bottom side of two candy canes. Set them in place on a cookie so the hook ends and the bottom ends of the candy canes are just touching each other; this will create a heart shape. Use the bottle to pipe icing into the center of the heart, then cover with your chosen decoration. Repeat to use all the candy canes. Set the cookies on parchment or a wire rack to dry.

Lisa Cherkasky, Special to The Washington Post

Santa Hats Serving: 24 cookies Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place ¼ cup red sprinkles in a small bowl. Have 24 mini marshmallows nearby. Melt 10 ounces (1 bag) white chocolate melting wafers according to the package directions and place in a separate bowl. Dip the top one-third of each cookie into the melted white chocolate coating, letting excess drip off. Sprinkle the top three-quarters of the coating with red sprinkles, leaving a white border to resemble the fur on the hat. Press a mini marshmallow into the coating on one side to create a pompom. Set the cookies on the lined baking sheets to dry.


Buying the perfect gift

You don’t have to go far to find a thoughtful gift. Turn to small businesses such as these in the Owensboro area and treat your loved ones to a present that also benefits our community. • Heading to an out-of-state gathering? Bring a bottle of Kentucky bourbon from Val-U Liquors with you as a hosting gift. • For the sushi lover in your life, treat them to an evening of fine dining at Shogun Bistro. • If your friend is stressed to the max, take them to Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness and let them try some relaxing CBD oil. • Grab a gift basket and stock it with savory treats. Start with a delicious Father’s Country Ham from Gatton Farms and complete it with a jar of Old Hickory Bar-B-Q’s famous sauce. • Gift a makeup lover a sweet treat: A card to cosmetics wonderland Merle Norman to purchase whatever their heart desires. • Does your friend like to grab food and go? A Ritzy’s gift card is the go-to gift for them. • Glitzy gifts are appealing, but the true way to a homeowner’s heart is help with their home projects. Call Scott Baird and Company and help a loved one finish a much-needed project. • Give future generations of your family a head start by setting up and investing in a BB&T savings or money market account in their name.


Decorations Don’t despair over decor — shop here!

• Keep your home bright by paying a visit to The Lamp Shoppe in Henderson. • Give your display a touch of charm with elegant finds from Owensboro Antique Mall. • Religious gifts, relics, art and decor are plentiful at Saint Maximilian Kolbe.

Sunday, December 1, 2019 Messenger-Inquirer



Events in our area that celebrate the holidays From stunning light displays, showstopping performances and delightful gatherings, many of these events are treasured holiday traditions. Cirque Dreams Holidaze Dec. 12 RiverPark Center

43rd annual Holiday Forest Festival of Trees Through Dec. 31 Owensboro Museum of Fine Art

Holiday Stroll Dec. 7 Second and Third streets

Holiday in the Park Through Jan. 2, 2020 Legion Park

Reindeer Run/Walk for Care Net Dec. 7 Smothers Park

Dailey & Vincent: The Joys of Christmas Tour Dec. 12 Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum

Christmas at Panther Creek Through Jan. 2, 2020 Panther Creek Park

Owensboro Dance Theatre presents ‘The Nutcracker’ Dec. 7 RiverPark Center

Owensboro Symphony Orchestra presents ‘Home for the Holidays’ Dec. 14 RiverPark Center

Owensboro Holiday Market Dec. 7-8 Owensboro Convention Center

Goldie’s New Year’s Eve Show Dec. 31 RiverPark Center

Theatre Workshop of Owensboro presents ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ Dec. 6-8, 13-15 Empress Theatre

Wishing our employees and customers a Merry Christmas!

Owensboro O ensb bo o C Converting on e ting



Messenger-Inquirer Sunday, December 1, 2019




Fiddle with your holiday wardrobe no more: Try on these Christmas fashion tips and see how they fit.

In 1916, Lawrence Hager of the Owensboro Inquirer began a service donating to impoverished Owensboro children at Christmas. More than 100 years later, Hager’s organization, known as the Goodfellows Club, continues to provide for needy children in Daviess County. Proceeds are raised through several fundraisers each year, such as this summer’s Yard Party, the popular Soup Day for Kids in November and goodwill donations at Third Baptist Church’s annual “Messiah” performance each December. The largest fundraiser is the annual Christmas drive, known as the “Roll Call,” in which the Goodfellows Club partners with the MessengerInquirer and accepts donations of clothing and gifts every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. During the annual Roll Call, many people donate in honor or memory of loved ones. Goodfellows Club also provides money for dental work, as well as emergency medical assistance and disaster relief. More information on the Goodfellows Club, its programs and annual fundraisers can be found at

BRIGHT COLORS Stand out from the crowd by opting for a trench coat in a rich red, a button-up in a deep turquoise or a pencil skirt in a juicy orange. BOLD PATTERNS It is possible to look good without resembling a 1970s sofa. Balance a statement item with a demure wardrobe staple, and you’re set. SPARKLY DETAILS A hint of shine signals party time, and crystal-trimmed clothing gets the job done.


Hot chocolate

Goodfellows Club

Make this holiday favorite even more indulgent by using three different types of chocolate.

TRIPLE HOT CHOCOLATE 1 cup water 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate (55 to 60 percent cacao), chopped 2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (about 70 percent cacao), chopped 1 1/4 teaspoons teaspoons sugar 1 3/4 cups milk (whole, low-fat or nonfat) Pinch of salt 1/4 cup heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring the water just to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder, stirring until smooth. Add the semisweet and bittersweet chocolates, sugar, milk and salt, stirring until most of the solid chocolates have melted. Return the saucepan to the stove top over low heat, stirring until the chocolates have completely melted. Add the heavy cream; increase the heat to medium and whisk rapidly and constantly until the mixture is well incorporated, smooth and heated through, with small bubbles at the edges of the pan and steam wafting off the top. Do not allow it to boil or bubble rapidly. If you are monitoring the temperature with an instant-read thermometer, aim for 150 to 160 degrees. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Serve right away.

— Becky Krystal, The Washington Post




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Sunday, December 1, 2019 Messenger-Inquirer

Photo by Alan Warren, Messenger-Inquirer




Joy As enjoyable as the holidays are, they can also bring about stress and anxiety for a variety of reasons. Whatever your situation, if you’re struggling to find joy this holiday season, try one of these tips to reclaim it:

KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL MEDITATE Meditation has long loosened the muscles Each day, write about something you’re and relaxed the mind. Even practicing brief grateful for, whether it be an attentive friend, mindfulness each day can help you relax and sparkling Christmas lights or a random act of refocus on what you love about the holidays. kindness.

Ice skating

Celebrate the holidays by zipping around the rink at Edge Ice Center. In addition to regular open skating and instructive classes, the ice rink is putting holiday spirit on display with its Polar Express event Dec. 14. Hearkening to the beloved holiday classic, participants are encouraged to dress in their pajamas and purchase a golden ticket so they can skate with Santa.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LOVED ONES ... Gathering friends and family for a meal, game night, Christmas carols, decorating party or holiday movie night will bring loads of laughs and lighten the toll that the holidays can take.

PLAY SOME MUSIC AND SING ALONG Showtunes. Rock ‘n’ roll. Heavy metal. ‘90s ska-pop. Whatever your musical tastes, put it on blast and sing till your heart’s content.

FIND DOWNTIME As the holidays tend to involve more activity, increasing your opportunities for ... OR VENTURE OUT rest and relaxation is important. Even if it’s TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS Join a painting party, crafting class, church just reading a book, listening to a podcast or or civic group or sporting event to meet new quietly enjoying a hot beverage, make sure people and make friends. to carve out time to yourself.

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Messenger-Inquirer Sunday, December 1, 2019


Kindness Christmas often leads people to open their hearts to others. Here are a few ways to reach out to the community and make sure everyone has a happy holiday.

SPONSOR A CHILD, FAMILY OR MILITARY PERSONNEL Sponsorships such as the Salvation's Army Angel Tree program, Operation Christmas Child by Samaritan’s Purse, and the care package program initiated by the Spc. Brandon Scott Mullins Memorial Foundation allow volunteers to provide others with holiday cheer while also meeting their physical and emotional needs.


SPREAD CHEER TO THE HOMEBOUND Unfortunately, many people are unable to get out to enjoy the holidays, so consider bringing some cheer to them instead. Residents of area long-term care facilities enjoy receiving visitors, carolers and decorative Christmas cards, as do those who are homebound. Check with local rest homes and churches for a list of names of residents who may enjoy hearing from you.

Lights Like to admire holiday lights? Here’s the scoop on displays in our area, plus the details on entering the annual lighting contest sponsored and awarded by the City of Owensboro and OMU.

HOLIDAY IN THE PARK The City of Owensboro invites visitors to tour its annual light display at Legion Park, 3047 Legion Park Drive. Put on by the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation and Public Works, the production includes more than 50 structures and 200,000 lights depicting everything from Santa’s sleigh to dancing trees. The tour is open now through Jan. 2, 2020. There is no admission fee. CHRISTMAS AT PANTHER CREEK The Daviess County Parks and Recreation Department puts on this favorite outdoor driving lighted tour, which customarily features more than 400,000 lights winding through Panther Creek Park. The tour is open 6-9 p.m. each evening from Nov. 29-Jan. 2. Admission is $5 per vehicle, with half the amount raised going to the county’s maintenance fund and the remaining half donated to area organizations. This year’s tour benefits a different group each week: • Nov. 29-Dec. 5: Burns Middle School dance team • Dec. 6-12: Daviess County Diabetes Coalition • Dec. 13-19: Sorgho Elementary School PTO • Dec. 20-26: St. Benedict’s Homeless Shelter • Dec. 27-Jan. 2: Knights of Columbus Bishop Soenneker Council 2018’s tour brought in 5,396 vehicles and $16,106 in donations.

HOLIDAY LIGHTING CONTEST Owensboro Municipal Utilities and the City of Owensboro’s Neighborhood Alliance Program co-sponsor an annual holiday lighting contest, with the winning property receiving the Golden Santa Award along with a $250 OMU gift certificate, $100 gift certificate to Colby’s Fine Food & Spirits and a lighted yard sign. The winner will also be recognized by the Owensboro City Commission and the Owensboro Utility Commission. Entries are judged based on originality and use of light, color, design and movement. The contest is open to OMU customers within Owensboro city limits. The deadline to register is Dec. 9, with judging scheduled to take place Dec. 11-13. More information is available at . STONEGATE NEIGHBORHOOD Many homes in this stately neighborhood along Kentucky 54 do their decor up big for Christmas, with the shining star long claimed by the Lashbrook family’s home. Its holiday display involves more than 300,000 lights, a handmade nativity scene and lighted bells that are synchronized to music. The family’s display was included in ABC’s 2014 Great Christmas Light Fight, and thousands come from around the area to visit it each year. The Stonegate neighborhood also holds a donation event around Christmas Eve, with proceeds given to a local charity. Since 2000, the event has raised more than $75,000.

Sunday, December 1, 2019 Messenger-Inquirer


Annual ‘Messiah’ performance by the Owensboro Choral Society

Legend has it that, during the first “Messiah” performance, it was announced to the general public that Pearl Harbor had just been attacked. The performance on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, began an annual tradition of the Owensboro Choral Society performing George Frederic Handel’s well-known “Messiah” — a 53-part oratorio composed in 1741. Since then, “Messiah” has been performed each year through the Owensboro Choral Society on the Sunday nearest to Pearl Harbor Day. This year’s performance is scheduled for Dec. 8 at Third Baptist Church. Admission is free, but a goodwill offering is collected to benefit the Goodfellows Club of Owensboro. In a 2018 interview, conductor Constance Ford said “Messiah” is a special performance for the community because it’s the only event of its kind. There are “wonderful performance groups in the community,” she said, but the “Messiah” performance is unique because it’s a tradition that started nearly 80 years ago. That, along with the chamber orchestra that accompanies the chorus, makes it exciting. Mary Lou Kapfhammer has performed “Messiah” for several consecutive years, and she said in 2018 that it wouldn’t be Christmas without it. “Handel is magnificent,” Mary Lou says. “For me, it’s tradition for Christmas.”




Annual production of ‘The Nutcracker’ by the Owensboro Dance Theatre

Owensboro Dance Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” is one of many longstanding traditions for the community, and it returns to the RiverPark Center to kick off the 2019 holiday season. This year’s production is sponsored by German American Bank and marks the 27th year ODT has put on the show, which has become a favorite holiday happening in Owensboro. The main event is slated for Dec. 7, while school-day performances will take the stage the day before. Each year, ODT adds something new to the production. In 2018, it added a Rat Queen and rat minions to dance alongside the Rat King in the magical scene. This year’s production will feature new costumes, flying effects and a flying duel between the Rat King and the Nutcracker Prince. Giordano Dance Chicago and the Kentucky Ballet Theatre are scheduled to join ODT onstage.

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Messenger-Inquirer Sunday, December 1, 2019

Ornaments Trim your tree this year with these homemade ornaments.

REINDEER BOTTLE TOPPER Put to use any wine corks you have lying around. Attach googly eyes and a small fuzzy nose to the front of a cork. Insert twisted, brown pipe cleaners to make the antlers up top. Add ribbons, small snippets of faux fur or any other extras you desire.

MINI SLEIGHS Create miniature replicas of Santa’s sleigh. Paint several popsicle sticks to form the main body of the sleigh and glue them together. Put one at the top perpendicular to the others to serve as the steering rudder. Two silver-painted popsicle sticks placed on their thin sides act as the blades of a sled.

PHOTO ORNAMENTS Print out several different photos that you SWEET SENTIMENTS love. Purchase round or square thin wood Use old Scrabble letter tiles to form a pieces from a craft store and attach the favorite holiday phrase, like “Joy to the photos with Mod Podge. When dry, drill a World.” Glue the tiles together and hang hole through the top and thread with twine. from the tree on a piece of ribbon.


Quality time Put a twist on holiday time with loved ones with these activities.

MYSTERY GIFT GRAB Gather friends around the table, put one die at each end, throw in a wrapped gift per person playing and set a timer for five minutes. Start by rolling the die at either end of the table; after rolling once, pass the die to the person to the left. Anyone rolling a one or six can grab a present from the stash on the table. Once all the gifts in the middle are gone, players can start grabbing from each other. For some extra competition, tape lottery tickets to a few presents. Once the timer dings, players with multiple gifts choose one in their stack and put the rest in

the center of the table. Players without gifts can go another round for the chance to snag a package. GAMING TOURNAMENT Grab your favorite board, card and video games and get a group-wide competition going. The winner gets a modest prize and bragging rights. TALENT SHOW Whether musical, comedic or otherwise, let your creativity fly with this far-ranging competition.


Holiday Pajamas

If you’ve ever loved cute, matching pajamas, the holidays are the perfect time to indulge your every whim. Christmascentric pajamas sets are easy to find, allowing for the whole family to join in the fun.

Sunday, December 1, 2019 Messenger-Inquirer





FOR THE PORK Canola oil, for frying (about 3 cups) Four (5-ounce) pork shoulder cutlets, pounded thin between 1/4- to 1/8-inch thickness 1/2 cup flour 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Lemon wedges, for serving

Wow the crowd with a crispy pork milanese with gribiche by Olga Massov for the Washington Post.

FOR THE GRIBICHE 4 large eggs 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot 2 tablespoons finely chopped drained capers 2 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons (about 4) 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Place the eggs in a small saucepan, cover them with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Cook the eggs at a rapid boil for 9 minutes, then transfer them to the ice bath. Let the eggs cool for about 5 minutes, then peel. Finely chop the eggs and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, shallot, capers, cornichons, parsley, mustard and vinegar and mix well to combine; the gribiche should be the consistency of paste. If the gribiche is too thick, stir in 1 tablespoon of water. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven, heat 3 cups canola oil over medium heat until it reaches 400 degrees. Pat the meat dry with paper towels and, using a meat mallet, pound each pork cutlet to a 1/4- to 1/8-inch thickness between two large pieces of parchment paper. If necessary, pat the pork dry again. Put the flour, eggs and panko in 3 separate shallow containers and set them in a row. Season the pork with salt and pepper and lightly dip in the flour, just to coat. Dip the cutlets in the egg and then in the panko, pressing to help the crumbs adhere. Let the cutlets sit, undisturbed, for about 10 minutes this helps the panko absorb the egg. When the oil is ready, working in batches, fry the pork cutlets, turning once, until golden and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and immediately sprinkle with kosher salt.

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FOR THE SALAD Generous 4 cups (3 ounces) baby mustard greens or baby arugula Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more as needed Extra-virgin olive oil Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon In a large bowl, gently toss the mustard greens with lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of flaky salt until combined. Taste and season with more lemon juice or salt, if desired. Serve with a dollop of the gribiche, the mustard greens, and lemon wedges for squeezing over the meat.

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Messenger-Inquirer Sunday, December 1, 2019


Meet the holiday man himself at a festive event Dec. 14 at the Owensboro Convention Center. Breakfast with Santa includes a meal of pancakes, bacon and your choice of juice or coffee, as well as a photo op with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tickets are available online at, by calling (270) 297-9932 or in person at the convention center.


Ugly sweaters

Long live the hot glue gun! Before shopping ahead of your ugly Christmas sweater party, consider making your own. Choose a comfortable sweater from a secondhand shop, then hit up crafting stores to find fabric scraps, buttons, greenery, embellishments and odds-and-ends. At home, assemble your pieces and arrange them on the shirt. Break out your trusty hot glue gun and get to work affixing your finds to your sweater. Allow ample time for the glue to solifidy, and then don your homemade creation proudly.


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Toys Good Housekeeping has published an exhaustive list of the top toys for varying age groups. Among this year’s highlights:

AGES 2-4 • Pinkfong Baby Shark Song Cube • Mr. Potato Head Movin’ Lips Electronic Interactive Talking Toy • Disney Frozen Elsa’s Ice Palace by Little People • Corn Popper • New Sprouts Mix It! Stand Mixer Set • Ultimate Walking Buzz Lightyear • Car Carrier Vehicle Toy Set • Touch Shape to Life Studio • Ferocious Dragon Robot Toy • Fuzzikins Cottontail Cottage Craft Pop-Up Book Playset AGES 5-10 • Rainbox Slime Kit • Hidden Side Newbury Building Kit • Blinger Deluxe Set • Make Your Own Cross-Stitch Jewelry • GO Glam Nail Stamper • Creator Space Shuttle Explorer Kit

• Colossal Crash Track Set • Rainbow Sandland • Zero Gravity Laser Racer • Power & Play Motorized Building Kit STEM TOYS • Code ‘n Learn Kinderbot • Ooze Labs: Soap & Bath Bomb Lab Kit • Construction Building Set • Electro Guitar Kit • Little Genius Starter Kit • Boost Creative Toolbox Building Kit • Happy Atoms Magnetic Molecular Modeling Set • Frozen Science Kit GAMES • Soggy Doggy Board Game • Rally Roll • Pie Face Sky High Game • Monopoly Classic Game • Ker Plunk Gam • Hearing Things Board Game • Don’t Spill The Beans

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Sunday, December 1, 2019 Messenger-Inquirer





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Wrapping gifts Don’t settle for run-of-the-mill gift wrap this year. Instead, try these ideas to spruce up your packages.

REPURPOSE MATERIALS Look for materials that can be repurposed into gift wrap, such as parchment paper, fabric scraps, wallpaper and tissue paper. Here at the Messenger-Inquirer, we’re rather fond of using the Sunday comics as a colorful gift wrap that also delivers a punchline. ADD A FESTIVE TOPPER Everything from fresh springs of holly or eucalyptus, candy-striped twine, crocheted ornaments and spicy cinnamon sticks add a pop to the top of each present. GRAB A BAG (OR BASKET) Got a gift that’s a cumbersome shape? Skip the gift wrap and go straight for a bag. Flexible, durable and virtually tear-proof, gift bags offer ample room for stuffing each gift to the hilt. Another option is a basket, perfect for an open-faced, multi-tiered and visually appealing gift.

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Messenger-Inquirer Sunday, December 1, 2019

Xtreme holidays

A dazzling display of thousands upon thousands of lights? Sure. Motion-sensing props of larger-than-life seasonal characters? Bring it on. A Christmas carnival complete with rides? Even better. Take your creativity to the max and put on a Christmas show that the neighbors will talk about for years to come.


Yuletide carols

Ever take the time to research your favorite Christmas carols? You may be surprised by some of their origin stories, as well as the volumes of revisions that the songs have undergone to become the standards we sing today. Lots of European folklore provided the background stories for the more secular carols, while ministers often refined the religious hymns over the years.


LIMIT SCREEN TIME It’s been long known that screens engage our brains, while backlighting keeps us awake. So turn off the TV and put away all mobile devices. TRY CALMING ACTIVITIES Once the screens are turned off, go for a calm, low-impact activity to ease into sleep. Read a book, listen to soothing music, do some light

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Already running ragged this holiday season? It’s time to make sleep a priority, and small tweaks in your daily routine can make lasting changes.

MAKE A PLAN (AND STICK TO IT) As unrelaxing as it sounds, schedule your sleep time each day. Try to stick to about the same bedtime every evening so your internal clock isn’t tuned early one night and late the next.

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Getting zzzz’s during the holidays

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stretching, snuggle a pet — anything that reduces your blood pressure and heart rate. Stay away from activities that energize your body and brain. SLEEP ON FLANNEL SHEETS The cotton feels cozy and keeps you insulated, allowing the overall home temperature to stay lower at night. REST INTERMITTENTLY In between wrapping gifts, grocery shopping, running errands, prepping meals and wrangling family, carve out time to rest throughout the day. Even if it’s just to lie down and close your eyes for 20 minutes, your body and mind will be able to relax and recharge for the next round of activities.

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2019 Christmas Traditions  

2019 Christmas Traditions