Tag Archives: Christmas

Give Back Christmas Wishes

Give Back for the Holidays

This week, we’re helping you find ways to give back this holiday season.

Donate a homemade scarf to the Orphan Foundation of America’s Red Scarf Project and give foster teens in college a way to stay warm.

Donate a Red Scarf

 

Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped, or your homemade toys to give to kids in need. Find a drop-off center.

Donate new, gently used, or homemade coats to those who need them with the Warm Coats & Warm Hearts Coat Drive.

Giving Warmth

 

Send a thoughtful holiday card to American service members, veterans, and their families with the American Red Cross’s Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

Reaching Out for the Holidays

 

Fill a shoe box with handmade or bought gifts to send a personalized present to a child in need through Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child program.

Give a Personalized Gift

 

Donate your old cell phone to Cell Phones for Soldiers and give the gift of communication to our troops and their families.

Give Your Old Phone

 

Give the gift of a good holiday meal to a family that might otherwise go without through a food bank near you.

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Holiday Orange Recipes

Healthy Orange Recipes

While you decorate your house and whip up holiday treats, we’ll help you make use of your leftover in-season oranges with these orange recipes.

This Pomegranate Orange Salad is a light and healthy lunch in the middle of holiday meal season.

Pomegranate Orange Salad
Image and Recipe via Chelsea’s Messy Apron

 

Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken is perfect for weeknight dinners or the holidays.

Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken Recipe

 

These Grilled Scallop and Orange Kebabs with Honey-Ginger Glaze are a quick and easy showstopper.

Grilled Scallop and Orange Kebabs with Honey-Ginger Glaze

 

Your family will love these Copycat Orange Fruit Chews made with fresh juice.

Sun-Kissed Fruit Chews Recipe {100% Fruit}

 

Orange Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus is way tastier and healthier than picking up takeout.

Orange Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus

 

Citrus and Fennel Salad turns in-season produce into a pretty holiday side.

 

This heart-healthy Orange-Rosemary Glazed Salmon will only feel decadent.

Orange-Rosemary Glazed Salmon
Image and Recipe via Cooking Classy

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The Holiday Season

Long View: Did You Thrive or Survive this Holiday Season?

Here at Health Alliance, we’ve made it through another holiday season. Most years I’m stressed from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Add in Medicare and Individual enrollment seasons, and it’s easy to wish the holidays away. Here are some ways I managed to thrive, not just survive, during the holidays.

I need to say no sometimes.

I didn’t attend every activity I was invited to, and I am a better person for it. Most years, I cause a lot of my own stress by trying to fit too many things on the calendar. Setting aside some time to relax and reflect became an important part of this round of celebrations. Try it. You might enjoy the things you agreed to do a little more.

I need to get over myself.

I don’t have to be involved in every decision. All the adults in my life are capable of selecting a turkey or picking up family from the airport. My involvement is not only unnecessary, but sometimes unwelcome. That realization took stress off me and my family!

I will not whine.

The grocery stores seemed to be crowded every time I needed to shop. Long lines, people rushing around, tempting candy displays—you know the scene. Every time I was close to whining, I remembered almost 20 percent of the population in Champaign County doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from. We can all stand in line without complaining. This gave me a much better attitude throughout the holidays.

I will not mention how cold it is outside.

I need to hunker down and stop focusing on the weather. We live in Illinois, not Hawaii. The weather is no surprise. I’m trying to focus on the warmth of the holidays, not the cold outside.

These little steps helped me have a more enjoyable holiday season. We’re also using them to get through our Health Alliance busy season with great results. Give them a try and you can thrive during the holidays, too.

Baking Christmas Cookies

Healthy Christmas Cookies

This week in food, we gave you delicious and healthy recipes for Christmas cookies to make for your holiday celebrations.

First up was a classic Gingerbread Cookie that clocks in at just 91 calories.

Gingerbread Cookie

 

Chewy Molasses Cookies are a spicy holiday classic you can leave out for Santa.

Chewy Molasses Cookies

 

These Chocolate and Peppermint Cookies have all the flavors of the holiday season.

Chocolate and Peppermint Cookies

 

These Raspberry Linzer Windowpane Cookies are delicious at just 79 calories each.

Raspberry Linzer Windowpane Cookies

 

Try these easy Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies for a gluten-free option.

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies

 

These organic Coconut Butter Cookies are also gluten-free and no-bake.

Organic Coconut Butter Cookies/Bark Recipe

 

Mexican Chocolate Cookies have a surprise kick, and are just 80 calories each.

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

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Season of Giving Presents

Season of Giving

While it’s getting down to the wire to give to a Christmas charity, it’s never too late for giving. Donate to one of these organizations that works year-round.

UNICEF strives to help children around the world all the time. Learn more about them and give this holiday season!

It’s not too late to adopt your kids a pet for Christmas! Help an animal or just give at the American Humane Society.

Adopt an animal with the World Wildlife Fund and teach your kids about protecting them around the world.

Make-A-Wish International helps give joy to sick kids around the world all-year. Donate today!

Direct Relief helps people around the world, particularly in emergencies, like Ebola. Deliver a world of good!

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital works to treat and cure the diseases that hurt our kids most. Help them operate.

The United Nations Foundation has campaigns to help people around the world. This holiday season, choose a good cause.

Holiday Safety

Holiday Safety

This week on social media, we gave you helpful holiday safety tips for staying safe this season.

Make sure you carefully inspect holiday lights each year and throw out old or damaged lights that could cause fires.

Holiday Lights

Fresh trees are best for avoiding fires. Fake trees should say they’re fire resistant.

Christmas Trees

 

Always turn your holiday lights off when you leave the house and go to bed.

Outdoor Holiday Lights

 

Never connect more than one extension cord together. Use one long cord. Connecting extension cords increases the risk of fires.

Tangled Cords

 

Never keep open flames near your trees, garland, wreaths, or fabric decorations.

Candles and the Holidays

 

Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. They can ignite and burn suddenly and intensely, causing worse fires.

Holiday Fireplace

 

Be careful with fire salts that change your fire’s color. Keep out of the reach of children, they can contain heavy metals.

A Fire During the Holidays

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Christmas Breakfast and Coffee

Healthy Christmas Breakfast

While most of your holiday food is pretty standard, seize the unique opportunity for family Christmas breakfast with these recipes.

First up, is a cozy Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal that you can make ahead in your slow cooker.

Pumpkin Spice Slow Cooker Oatmeal + A Double Giveaway!

 

These Cranberry Chocolate Biscotti are a great breakfast treat with coffee, and make good gifts.

Cranberry Dark Chocolate Biscotti
Image and Recipe via Pinch of Yum

 

These Savory Breakfast Pizzas are quick to make, and sure to be a family hit.

Savory Breakfast Pizzas
Image and Recipe via 7970 Miles

 

These Linzer Muffins are perfect for the holidays and will be good made in advance or the morning of.’

Linzer Muffins

 

This Berry, Banana, Quinoa, and Steel Cut Oats Bake can be made in advance and is healthier than coffee cakes.

Berry Banana Steel Cut Oats and Quinoa Breakfast Bake

 

This Asparagus Quiche has a secretly healthy crust, and your family will never know.

Asparagus Quiche
Image and Recipe via Tasty Kitchen

 

These Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes look fancy and tasty, but are healthy!

Old Fashioned Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes

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