12
Dec

Best Christmas TV Show Guide

Christmas, Christmas TV, 25 Days of Christmas, tv guide, Christmas TV Guide, show, family time, family fun, Chirstmas TV Shows, holidays, family, family time, movies, Netflix,
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Christmas Television Shows - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Best Christmas TV Variety 2018

The best Christmas TV shows are a great time for family time. There are multiple opportunities to get together, share, and talk about family values and learn some valuable life lessons while watching them.  There are many options to choose from: Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas, ABC, NBC, Disney Channel, Hallmark channel's Countdown to Christmas, AMC, Lifetime & even Netflix has stunning Christmas original programming!  With so many options, where do you start?  Which are age appropriate?  Moreover, Common Sense Media does great review that includes their recommendations for age appropriate viewing.  Therefore, I've included those links for many of the best Christmas TV shows and movies below.  Here's my guide!       

Netflix

The Christmas Chronicles

Netflix

Netflix

I'm going to start by telling you our first watched Christmas TV show for 2018.  I happened to see Netflix had a new Christmas show called The Christmas Chronicles starring a very entertaining Kurt Russel as Santa Claus.  I figured we'd take a chance with something new.   Plus it was an older brother & younger sister story.  Frankly, this was right up our alley as that is exactly our household sibling dynamic.  We LOVED it!  Why?  For instance, Santa rocks in the jailhouse while he has the brother-sister duo help save the very Christmas that they accidentally set on a course to be the Christmas that might not happen!  These siblings helping Santa while coming to some personal revelations about growing up & making us laugh along the way. 

Angela's Christmas

Then, there's Angela's Christmas.  It's a tear jerker about the family, loss, poverty & the chaos created when a little girl tries to warm the Baby Jesus, taking it from the church.  She had good intentions, but things go awry.  Above all, her family is there to help and support her.  My little girl really loved this one.  That is to say, she connected with special little Angela's her big heart and fierce determined personality.  

Other Netflix Christmas TV Originals

Likewise, some other entertaining Netflix originals include The Princess Switch and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding.  

Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas

Above all, Freeform has the best Christmas TV show schedule that is includes Christmas movies too!  I really like that there is a great variety of non-Christmas shows & movies.  They are shown on the Freeform Channel, ABC & the Disney Channel.  What programming do they offer?  Here's a sampling with some of our family's favorites!  On December 11, 2018 they are showing Mickey's Once Upon a ChristmasMickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, & Disney's A Christmas Carol.  On December 12, 2018, there are some repeats & a few different options such as Call Me Claus, Deck the Halls & The Santa Clause.  To sum it up, their schedule is great with a lot of variety aside from the Holidays, such as Disney's Finding Nemo, Brave & Tangled.  The whole family has an opportunity to pick a couple of favorites.  

ABC

Elsa & Anna, Best Christmas movie, Olaf's Frozen Adventure, Christmas TV show

Elsa & Anna

ABC has their Christmas TV show  schedule that includes some very special kid shows that are great to re-watch.  Here's a sampling are some of my family's favorites!  On December 19, 2018, the Disney geek in me is happy to see Olaf's Frozen Adventure!  There will also be Dreamworks' Shrek the Halls.  On December 20, 2018 there will be the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas.  On December 23, 2018, they will air Disney's Prep & Landing and Prep & Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice.  To sum it up, I  can't resist those two elves.  One is funny & anxiety ridden & the other a bit of a daredevil in my opinion!                                                                           

NBC

It's a Wonderful Life, Christmas movie, family time

It's a Wonderful Life

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is another absolute best Christmas TV show that NBC is scheduled to air on Christmas Day! To be honest, we own the cartoon original & the movie.  As a child, I was scared of the Grinch.  Then, my son came along.  As a result, I love the Grinch now.  Therefore, we plan to go see The Grinch movie soon too!  On December 24, 2018, NBC will also air It's a Wonderful Life.  This is the best Christmas show in Black & White.  And it never gets old!  It teaches so much about life, love, struggle, self-worth, self belief, community & that one person really makes a HUGE difference in so many unknown ways.  I grew up watching this one.  

Tampa Theatre

Ultimately, this year we're going to watch It's a Wonderful Life at the Tampa Theatre with showtimes are from Friday, December 14th through Thursday December 20th.  The Tampa Theatre is a wonderful experience is known as Tampa's Non-Profit Movie Palace & a National Historical Landmark.  My kids haven't been there yet, so this will be an extra special magical treat.   

AMC

Elf, Christmas movie, family time

Elf

This year, AMC has achieved a great trifecta!  They are exclusively showing ElfNational Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, & The Polar Express.  My family favorite filled with the magical ride to the North Pole is definitely The Polar ExpressElf is one of the best Christmas TV movie comedies that makes me laugh and laugh!  AMC has a Christmas movie lineup of over 40 movies sure to satisfy the Christmas movie fan!                                                                                                                                                    

Hallmark & Lifetime Original Movies

Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas lineup does not disappoint either!  They have a Christmas movie lineup of 22 new original movies!  Lifetime's Christmas movie lineup has 14 new original movies!   While I wouldn't call these the best Christmas TV shows, I would say they have some ice entertainment value.  In addition, they are family friendly which is a plus!

The Original Christmas Specials

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Christmas movie, family time, Christmas show

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Three of the best Christmas TV shows are Rudolph the Red Nosed ReindeerSanta Claus Is Comin' To Town (on Freeform Christmas lineup) & Frosty the Snowman.  A classic, Rudolph is the longest running Holiday special in TV history, broadcasting for 54 years!  I loved these every year since I was a little girl.  It was always special because I didn't get a chance to spend much time with my dad since he worked nights.  Christmas movies with my dad will never be forgotten!  They give my inner child a special warmth and a lifetime memories.      

FX

Christmas movie, Rise of the Guardians

Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians

Rise of the Guardians is another one of the best Christmas TV movies.  However, it seems the FX channel is the only one playing it.  Magic is in the air when Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and Santa Claus need to save the world from Pitch Black,  the Boogeyman, who is the nightmare maker. Will the children be able to believes still?  There are scary parts for the little ones. Consider this before you let your kids watch.  However, at the core of the movie is Jack's search for his special center.  Santa's is his sense of wonder.  It made each of us think, 'What's my center?'

 

Family Time

In conclusion, what matters most about Christmas TV shows & movies is not just their content or quality.  Most importantly, too much TV is not a good thing.  Certainly, a few good shows is all it takes to have some memories & some good times.  The family time is the best part!  We have movie nights with popcorn, blankets, and all lights off, except for the Christmas tree. How do you create Christmas TV & movie memories?  Do you still believe?  While you're at it ... What's your center?  Please share it with yourself, your loved ones, and here as well.

18
Nov

Healthy Eating & Steps at Holidays

Thanksgiving, active, steps, eating, healthy, affirmation

Thanksgiving Eating & Steps -  Photo by Element5Digital

Healthy Eating & Steps During Holidays are important during Thanksgiving.  This is a time for eating and family, so it's important to be healthy on this holiday too!  Many people are trying to have a healthier lifestyle.  Then, Thanksgiving comes along and seems to ruin it all.  Then, before you know it, you're making yet another New Year's resolution to lose weight.  So how about starting your New Year's resolution early?  And how about not focusing on weight loss?  Rather, focus on your steps and healthy eating.

 

Tips on Staying Fit & Healthy Eating

Be Thankful

Extra Steps & Healthy Eating is great to remember on Thanksgiving.  Also, being thankful helps us to savor the food at a good pace.  The slower you eat, the sooner you'll feel full.  A Thanksgiving Affirmation will help you to remember how to be thankful on Thanksgiving.
 
 

Drink Water

Water helps your stomach feel full.  In addition, sometimes we feel hungry, meanwhile we are actually thirsty.  Our body will confuse thirst for hunger.  In addition, holiday time can mean eating rich foods and drinking alcohol, all of which has lots of calories.  Water helps flush out a lot of preservatives & sodium from our system.  Remember to drink lots of water every day you indulge.

 

4 Ways to Squeeze in More Steps Over the Holidays:

https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/4-ways-to-squeeze-in-more-steps-over-the-holidays

 

“A Stumble May Prevent a Fall”

Author Gretchen Rubin cites this as one trap that can send you into a cycle of negative thinking.  In other words, if you slipped up or had a day where healthy eating wasn't the priority, then you may be hard on yourself.  You may give yourself a harder time, ignoring all the good healthy steps and eating you have done.  So, don't forget the good.  Don't let a slip up erase all the good habits you have accomplished, formed, or develeoped.  A slip up is just that,  a slip up.  It doesn't have to be a slide or downward spiral.  In fact, the slip up may make you feel physically uncomfortable, thereby reminding you to go back to your good habits.  

 

Ways to Add More Steps to Your Day

  1. Set a Reminder to Walk – If you can add 15 min of walking during lunch & after work, then you’d be surprised at many extra steps you add into your week.
  2. Walk & Talk – Make a phone call during your walk time.  You’d be amazed at how quickly your walking time flies by, allowing you even to add extra steps too!
  3. Walk & Listen – While walking, download a podcast, an audiobook, etc.
  4. Walk Wherever You Can – Park the car farther away when you shop, pick up kids, run errands, etc.
  5. Partner Up – Walk with a Walking Buddy.
  6. Walk During Commercials – Walk around the room, the house, etc until the commercials are over.  You will gain steps & not be a coach potato.
  7. Make Things Inconvenient – Return the shopping cart to the store.  Skip the drive-thru.  Take the stairs.
  8. Cook – Standing & moving around while cooking burns calories.  Add steps in the kitchen while waiting for that water to boil, oven timer or the microwave timer to go off.  You’ll save money by eating at home.
  9. Clean – Even everyday household chores will add steps every time.  And your home will be cleaner

 

Cooking Healthy Sides

There are many ways that sides can add a lot of calories.  All the starches, all the butter, all the extra yummy pies - all add extra calories.  Try these tasty sides that are each under 250 calories.  They're a healthy and tasty alternative, especially if you're going for sceonds!

13 Thanksgiving Sides Under 250 Calories

 
 
24
Nov

Oh Christmas Tree!

‘Tis the season to be decorating! Many families celebrating Christmas have already or will soon decorate the outside and inside of their homes, celebrating in style. But for some of you, safety may be a concern. Both infants and toddlers can become injured by electrical outlets, ornaments and even a Christmas tree. This may be the first year you’ve had to think about safety issues at Christmas either because you are a first time parent or because your toddler has started developing an interest for these lovely decorations.
 
If your stories include, “I woke up to find all the ornaments smashed all over the floor,” or “My infant had a glass ornament break in his mouth,” then here are my top 10 suggestions for you:
 
1. Use plastic ornaments.
Learn to see the world through a child’s eyes. These shiny and sparkling ornaments attract your child like a moth to a flame. Glass or sharp/pointy ornaments in his/her mouth can cause injury.
 
2. Use garland instead of lights.
Remove the temptation to play with the light bulbs or the electric light sockets.
 
3. Keep electric sockets covered.
If you have not already purchased these, these covers are available at a number of local pharmacies and stores.
 
4. Keep lights out of reach from all children.
Depending on the bulbs used, this can hurt sensitive little fingers or hands. Not to mention, older toddlers can pull the bulbs apart from the light set. They can chew on them or offer them to the younger children in the home. In addition, the light set can be pulled causing the Christmas tree to topple onto your child.
 
5. Avoid ornaments & lights at the bottom of your tree.
Some families decorate the top ½ or ¾ of the tree to help their child resist temptation. Again, for the same reason that when pulled, the Christmas tree could fall onto your child.
 
6. Use play yard gates to surround your Christmas tree.
To avoid direct contact all together, these gates are the best. You can find them at your local store or by doing an internet search for Superyard XT Pay Yard.
 
7. Keep candy dishes out of reach.
Your child can choke on a lot of traditional candy. In addition, if they pull the candy dish, it may fall & shatter onto the floor. Then, your child might get glass or ceramic cuts on their hands, feet, or elsewhere.
 
8. Avoid marshmallows.
This is a fun treat if used appropriately. However, small children and even older children have choked on this. Some have even died. Marshmallow does not dissolve. So, it would be very hard, if not impossible to get this out of your child’s throat, even if you know how to use the Heimlich maneuver.  Two very famous cases involved the death of a 12 year old girl in 1999 and a 32 year old woman in 2006 while playing the "Chubby Bunny" game (http://bit.ly/1sqHoWR).
 
9. Ask for help; have someone watch your child while you decorate.
It’s hard to keep your children away from all the decor while still trying to decorate. A watchful eye is especially needed if you are decorating the outside of your home. Children have a way of getting into trouble or hurting themselves whenever you are not looking. As a pediatrician, I commonly hear, “It was only a minute.” Then, injury occurs.
 
10. Lastly, be careful when you gift wrap.
Even wrapping gifts can result in an injury. It may only be bags, wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, & scissors to you, but it’s a gold mine for your child. If left unattended, small children can suffocate in plastic bags and cut themselves with scissors. Keep these items out of your child’s reach at all times.
 
A Christmas tree and Christmas time decorations can be a wonderfully fun time at home, as long as you keep safety in mind.
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