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    The Holidays are here! 

    2020 has been one of the most disruptive years of the century, so why not make this coming holiday one to remember.

    Here are some fun ideas to help you navigate the holidays with a festive spirit despite all the constraints of life in 2020.

    1.) First of all - Let's start with a clean palette - take a few hours to clean up your main living space. If you find yourself with a bunch of odds and ends that you really don't need consider a donation to a local shelter. Many of them accept donations of basics like clean blankets and other household necessities. Locally there is Mary's Home, Opportunity House & Hope Rescue or google homeless shelters in your area. - HSFT!

    2.) Get Organized - Don't be a last minute shopper, let's make this holiday be packed with meaning instead of $$$. Start by making a list of the people you want to give something to. With Black Friday/ Cyber Monday sales starting earlier this year it's easy to just buy stuff. But to make this season more festive, giving gifts with meaning is really where it's at. That is why I have created a fun Holiday Gift Guide to help people find something with the Have Some Fun Today spirit. We have little gifts to big gifts for all ages, genders, sizes & budgets.- HSFT!

    3.) Create Some Fun Activities  - Ok, so I'm not a baker or a crafter and I don't even do a very good job lighting a fire with wood in my fireplace, but I think this year I'm going to be adventurous and HSFT with a few group holiday activities.

    a.) Ornament making - After googling DIY ornament making ideas I saw so many fun ways to spend an afternoon with my daughters, mom and nieces making customized ornaments. My favorite one was an easy tutorial on painted ornaments with a touch of copper metallic trim. -HSFT!

    b.) Baking something naughty but healthy - I know, I'm so boring because I really don't crave or eat sweets, but this holiday I think it would be fun to select a cool and yummy recipe to make together. Like the Carrot Cake I saw on the Goop Instagram page that is gluten-free, dairy-free , soy-free and supposedly tastes great! I am dying to make this over the holidays with the help of my girls and mom.- HSFT!

    c.) Creative Wrapping Party - This sounds like so much fun to me:) Over the covid 19 lockdown my girls and I got into painting and all kinds of artsy endeavors. So rather than the boring & expensive traditional wrapping paper, I think it would be  fun to create original and artistic wrapping for the gifts we give this year. Purchase some plain white or brown craft paper or even use the newspaper as the base. Pull out the acrylic paints and even add a little glitter to make your wrapping paper customized to the person you are gifting. HSFT!

    4.) Be A Secret Santa: Make a list of 5 -10 people you want to surprise with a little holiday Secret Santa gift... To me this doesn't have to be reciprocated or planned. One of the things I find joyful is giving gifts. You don't need to spend more than $10-15 gift, put it inside one of the crafty little gift bags you are going to make, add a little piece of a fir tree sprig along with a sweet and kind note. A little HSFT item would be ideal :) - the feeling you will receive spreading some love is worth it!- HSFT

    5.) Holiday Playlist Perfection: Whether it is classic Holiday tunes or mixing genres, I think it could be a lot of fun to create some holiday playlists and share them with your friends. After all these next two months are going to be a lot of nights in with the fam and we want to make this memorable, so it's gonna take some effort and planning. Whether your into AppleMusic, or Amazon Music and the featured holiday playlists or if you love creating your own on Spotify or do the Pandora thing- music is a backdrop for memories and good moments shared. -HSFT!

    6.) Give Back - For anyone who can give their time to a soup kitchen over the holidays here is a link for you to check out no matter where you live. With all that has happenned this year, more people are homeless and hungry than ever before. Please consider doing something. You can find out how to go in person to volunteer, or you can make a monetary donation online or also visit the organizations Amazon wishlist to order supplies they need like underwear, shampoo, fresh socks and clean new tee shirts. Do Something. Do what you can - It feels good. - HSFT!

    7.) Write a note to each member of your family on Christmas Day. I have done this for years for my family and I feel it is truly the best gift to share with people what they mean to you and why. Now more than ever, family- if you have one; needs to be valued and appreciated. What a wonderful gift it is to share with others the qualities you cherish about them. Try that this year and feel the joy that brings.- HSFT!

    8.) Include someone who needs people around. I know this one may be tricky, but if you can make it work in some way please include someone in some way over the holidays either in your gathering or by bringing something to them. Not everyone has a family or access to them. Sharing some extra love with someone not so fortunate is a great way to spread love and right now the world needs as much love as we can create this 2020.- HSFT!

    9.) Show your gratitude. Whether it is a polite thank you, a huge hug or a handwritten thank you note, let's be mindful of saying thanks to each and every person that is part of your holiday celebrations. So often we rip open the gifts and in 10 minutes we are left with a heap of wrapping paper on the floor and a let down feeling. Take the time to watch others receive their gifts, and to enjoy the warm feelings of gift exchange as it is meant to bring. Giving thanks is one way of making the world smile. - HSFT!

    10.) Pitch in for the holiday feast preparations and the cleaning up. Why not blast some holiday music as you all do your jobs to make that holiday meal a success? There is nothing more fun to me than when my family is playing some Frank Sinatra and we have our aprons on, champagne flutes clanking, laughter, stories being told and everyone taking part in the cooking and the cleaning up. It's not the girls job, make it an all family endeavor and it will truly be the best holiday ever. - HSFT!

     I hope this little list gives you some fresh ideas to making more out of what many will look at as a challenging holiday. Wherever there are challenges, there are also opportunities. Don't forget to use the code 2020 to get an extra 25% off and also look out for our BFCM sale and all other sale events leading up to Christmas and the end of 2020.

    "Have Some Fun Today." - Joe Rado

          Love & Light,

     

    hsft, holiday guide , 2020, charity, volunteer, goop, diy ornaments, carrot cake ,holiday shopping, secret santa, gratitude, fun, family , music, pandora, amazon music, Spotify, apple music, frank sinatra, christmas, soup kitchen, hand written notes, donating, homeless shelter, opportunity house, marys home, BFCM, give back, holiday playlist

     

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  • Raising Women - Brittany Decker

    HAVE SOME FUN TODAY - In our series "Raising Women", we've put the focus on what it means to parent girls to become amazing women. But we are also celebrating what it means to "Raise Women" in our community, as in lifting them up, acknowledging them, helping them, supporting them, and being an advocate for all women. Today we feature HSFT woman Brittany Decker. 

    Brittany Decker is the poster girl for Community Involvement. With 3-year-old twins and a teenage son at home, to say she is busy is an understatement. Spend any amount of time with her and you get the feeling that's the way she likes it. She and husband Jonathan both believe in the importance of giving back with their volunteer efforts. "I volunteer to make our community a better place for our children and to help the non-profits that are doing so much to help everyone." 

    Girl Power

    She is currently the vice president of community development for The Junior League of Reading and they have created programs to help empower young girls. One such program is the Young Women's Summit held in the spring in the Reading School District. A four day leadership program aimed at girls between 11-14, they work on issues like self esteem, building confidence and facing the challenges many of the girls deal with at home. Brittany describes it as eye-opening and inspiring. "Some of the things they deal with on a day-to-day basis are horrific. Abusive parents, not having a safe home to live in or not enough food. And they want to learn how to move forward in life and be a better person, even with their circumstances."

    Making a Difference 

    Brittany will be the president of the Reading Junior League in 2018. She also is currently the president of the Leadership Berks Alumni Council, the restaurant committee chair for Opportunity House Souper Bowl event, and event assistant at Habitat for Humanity. Whew! That may be more exhausting than the 3-year-old twins, but she does it all with a megawatt smile and gracious heart while truly living the Have Some Fun Today philosophy. 

    When it comes to supporting women around her, Brittany believes you "raise them up" by just being there. "I think it means being a great friend and that encompasses being there through the good and bad and reaching out and supporting them in the highs and lows." 

    We couldn't agree more.  

     

    Written and contributed by HSFT writer Rebecca Doubek 

     

     

     

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