Spending Intentional Family Time Together during Holidays & Healthy Essentials to Save Time!

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Disclosure: This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS ® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Healthy Essentials

The holidays are such a busy time of year when we find we are just going, going & going trying to get everything done from the holiday shopping, hosting or attending holiday events, kids Christmas performances and more.  A number of years ago, I first learned about an idea to help you slow down & take more intention time to spend with your family & ever since then, we have been doing this during the month of December. It’s called the 25 Days of Christmas, but it could really be any amount of time you want – such as the 12 Days of Christmas, 5 Days of Christmas, etc. It’s basically a Christmas countdown of activities we do together each day or night.

Even though we’ve had super busy schedules this month, that intentional family time each night has been so important and very fun with the different activities we’ve been doing. However, with all the activities, it’s been important to stay healthy & as stress-free as possible, so that we can enjoy those special nights of memories.  We also look for shortcuts (especially in the kitchen) to help survive the busyness and be able to spend more of our time together doing our fun Christmas Countdown activities! Thanks to Johnson & Johnson, we keep a number of Healthy Essentials on hand to make it easier to keep having fun this season!

Here are some of the fun Christmas Countdown activities we’ve done this season:

Visit to the Christmas Tree Farm

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We headed out to a local Christmas tree farm last weekend to chop down our Christmas tree. This is always a fun tradition in our family & we head out with friends every year & love to try out new Christmas tree farms. This year, we found a farm called the Family Farm in Graham, WA where they donate all the proceeds from the tree farm to a charity (Feed My Starving Children).  Plus they had a tractor wagon ride out to get our trees & then good, old-fashioned fun in a barn for the kids when we got back (petting the cows, sliding down a slide on top of the hay & jumping the hay bales). Definitely keep it in mind for the future if you’re local.

With all that fun, though, it’s important that we don’t let little issues slow us down like headaches (wouldn’t you know I woke up with a headache that morning & a full day of fun planned), so I was thankful for Motrin to clear that headache right up to enjoy that busy, full day. Plus I always keep Band-Aids  and a Johnson & Johnson first aid kit in our car to have on hand for scrapes & bumps – which was a good thing as my daughter fell & scraped her knee. {And as you can see from the pictures, there was definitely potential for needing that first aid kit more from the fun barn activities – so glad we only needed band-aid though :) .}

Pictures with Santa

Santa Pictures

Every year, we have a tradition of taking professional pictures with Santa and I love to have those to look back on. A local photographer, Stacy Jacobsen Photography, takes pictures at a local nursery with Santa, so that was our activity this past Sunday. The girls love being able to whisper their wishes for Christmas to Santa & sit on his lap!

Wouldn’t you know, though, we try to pack too much into a day sometimes & we were rushing after church to get the girls cleaned up for their pictures. Thank goodness for Johnson’s No More Tangles Detangling Spray, as both my girls are growing out their hair long as you can see- but that means crazy tangles (especially my curly haired little one). We brought the detangling spray in the car with us (yes, their hair was still wet – shows you how late we were running) & got the tangles out in time to put their hair up pretty for pictures! I haven’t gotten the Santa pictures back yet, so they are posing at the nursery above.

Tortilla Snowflakes

Tortilla Snowflakes

 We had a busy night last night with a Christmas performance at my girls’ school, so we needed a fast & easy Christmas activity to do when we got home, so we made Tortilla Snowflakes. My dad was in town, too, and we all had fun seeing the cool designs we could make for our snowflakes…out of tortillas! My daughters thought these tasted a little like churros. Very tasty as an after-dinner treat, either during Christmas or anytime during the winter season!

Here’s the recipe:
-Fold your tortilla in half & then in half again & use scissors to cut out various shapes in your tortilla
-When your tortilla is the shape you want for your snowflake, spray it with cooking spray or brush with melted butter.
-Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar on top. We used Splenda No Calorie Brown Sugar blend mixed with cinnamon & it tasted great!
-Bake at 350 degrees for 5 -10 minutes & then enjoy!

These are just a few of the fun activities we have been doing this month! You can find a whole list of activities to countdown to Christmas on our 25 Days of Christmas activities list.

Definitely make sure you stay healthy & stress-free though so you can enjoy this special time with your family, by keeping these healthy essentials  on hand. I also found this great article on how to reduce stress around the holidays  on the Healthy Essentials website.   I thought these were great tips for mom & dad, to help you stay focused on having fun & experiencing the true meaning of Christmas this season & spending that quality, intentional time as a family.

High Value Printable Coupons for Healthy Essentials Products:

Make sure to take advantage of up to $35 in printable coupons available on the Healthy Essentials website. They have coupons on such a variety of great healthy essentials such as:

  • $1/1 Clean & Clear Products
  • $1/1 Lubriderm product
  • $1/1 Aveeno product
  • $1/1 Neutrogena products
  • $1/1 Listerine Smart Rinse or Antiseptic Rinse
  • $3/1 Rembrandt Whitening Strips
  • $1/1 Listerine Floss or Flosser products
  • $1/2 Band-Aid First Aid products
  • $1/1 Splenda Sweetener Product
  • $1/1 Tylenol Cold Product
  • $2/2 Benadryl or Children’s Benadryl Products
  • $1/1 Motrin IB Products

What are your favorite activities to do together as a family during the holidays to spend time together? 

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