News, Reviews & Resources   ||   Issue 129 December 2016 Dear Reader, In this last issue for 2016, I'd like to wish you all the very best for the co

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News, Reviews & Resources   ||   Issue 129 December 2016

happy-holidays-sm

Dear Reader,

In this last issue for 2016, I'd like to wish you all the very best for the coming holiday season!

And it's a special holiday issue this time, focusing on snippets particularly related to this time of year. I hope you find something useful in the collection!

Whether you're sweltering in southern hemisphere summer heat, or freezing in the northern hemisphere winter, may you enjoy a holiday filled with light, love and laughter!

Cheers
Sue
BJ Seminars International

Things to Do in the Holidays

Some of us may well be looking forward to a holiday where we do nothing much at all - other than the usual family gatherings and friendly get-togethers.

But if you're looking for other activities for yourself, your kids or a group of friends, you may like to look at these websites for ideas.

ONE

Weekend Notes
The company that owns this site is based in Sydney, Australia. So it began as an Aussie resource and the majority of the cities and towns it covers are located in Australia. But it's attracting an increasing number of international locations as well! Don't be fooled by the briefer list of cities on this home page, which covers only some from Australia and the UK and one from the US. Hit 'show all towns and cities' for a much longer list!

TWO

What's On
What's On is also an excellent site to search - almost wherever you live in Australia. Admittedly it does have a bias towards the main cities! But there are other locations also included. Enter your location and the type of activity you're looking for and it'll come up with a list for you to browse. Mostly activities for which there's a cost - but not for all of them.

THREE

Around You
Another useful site. According to their 'about' information, "What distinguishes AroundYou is the vast array of local content you will find on the site. This can include things such as community events, book clubs, music festivals, theatre productions and much more. Not only does AroundYou cover the major cities, but we are in all towns and communities across Australia".

FOUR

What's On 4 School Kids
This is an online "directory to find children's activities, classes, sports, events, school holiday ideas and children's party services. With over 10,000 listings from across Australia". It is also an advertising platform, so many of the listings are for commercial entities. But it's still a great source of ideas, not all of which will involve any cost - or very little anyway. For example, check out their page of school holiday activity ideas.

FIVE

100 School Holiday Activities for Teenagers
A long list of ideas - many of which cost nothing but can provide a fun time for all. You might find the list handy to counter the moans of 'I'm bored!' But don't make the mistake of suggesting ideas yourself. :) Why not copy the list, cut it up and put the individual items into a hat? Kids could then 'lucky dip' till they find one they'd like to do.

Just Breathe ...

holiday-sadness

The approaching Christmas and New Year period is a time for celebration, fun and reconnecting with family and friends. But it can also mean anxiety, stress, depression and loneliness for some. The title above is simplistic advice of course - but it's a good start! And here are several other sources to find practical advice and other kinds of support during the coming weeks.

Coping with the Ups and Downs of the Holiday Season
Written by Greg Krech, this article has 8 very practical and sensible tips to help you "make this a better holiday season for you and those around you"

Coping with the Holidays Survival Guide
Refreshed and updated for 2016, this section of Psych Central's website provides a wealth of ideas, tips and resources. Although the site is based in the US, most of its content is relevant for Australia as well. The site is "the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health social network. Since 1995, our award-winning website has been run by mental health professionals offering reliable, trusted information and over 250 support groups to consumers"

Reach Out
Begun way back in 1996, Reach Out "provides practical tools and support to help young people get through everything from everyday issues to tough times". As well as a huge source of information for young folk, it also has sections for professionals and parents. A very useful site for young people for whom the Christmas period is a stressful or anxious time! You can also read more about the story of Reach Out here.

Beyond Blue
As well as being an excellent source of information about support services, Beyond Blue also has a Forum with the opportunity for connection and conversation with others. One of the topics is the CHRISTMAS 2016/NEW YEARS Chillout Lounge. Started by a forum member who is a "Community Champion", this is "a safe place where people can post and say hello, chat or send wishes to others and have a 'Virtual Christmas/New Years'! Whether you have plans for Christmas/New Years or having a quiet one you can kick back and just enjoy company of others." Visitors need to join/register with the community to post in the forum - membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Ethical Gifts

Wanting to shop ethically? Are you looking for fair trade, cruelty-free, non-toxic and/or eco-friendly presents to give your family and friends?

Well, here are some sources where you can find gifts that benefit the world, as well as give pleasure to giver and recipient. I've not yet used the third one myself, but can personally vouch for the professionalism and excellent customer service of the first two! I have no affiliation - just a happy customer. :)

nourished-life

Nourished Life
Nourished Life hosts a diverse range of products across beauty, health, wellbeing, home and lifestyle products. They select every product they offer using a unique approach to product assessment and selection. When curating our product lines and mix we use a number of proprietary tools which make up a unique and complex matrix which determine what we will and will not stock. We call this our Nourish Matrix and it’s how we ensure only the safest and best products remain on our shelves.

biome logo

Biome: Green Christmas
We bring you Australia's most beautiful and thoughtful collection of green Christmas gifts and decorations, featuring fair trade, recycled, sustainable plants and Australia hand made creations. Select one of the categories to narrow your search, or use our "Filter by brand" feature to browse a specific range.

ethical gifts

Ethical Gifts
If you are looking for a unique gift, a fair-trade gift, or an eco-friendly gift here you will find a fantastic variety of gorgeous and ethical gift ideas. All of our products are handmade and carefully chosen to ensure they have a positive impact on the people who make them and do no harm to the planet.

Last Minute DIY Gifts

gifts-under-tree

And here are a few ideas for some last minute gifts you can make yourself. Creating something with your own hands not only produces a very special gift - but may ultimately take no more time and effort than those endless tramps around crowded shopping centres looking for just the right thing! :) Several of them are also great if you're on a tight budget.

Homemade Gifts Made Easy
(This site is for all occasions - not just the silly season)

25 Last-Minute DIY Gifts That You Can Whip Up in No Time

This DIY Gift Guide Rules: Cheap, Last Minute Ideas!

31 Cheap And Easy Last-Minute DIY Gifts They’ll Actually Want

The Gift of a Garden

coffee-pot-terrarium

And finally, what about giving the gift of a small garden? And from what I could see, these could be a beautiful gift idea even for those who have 'black thumbs', like I do! :) Here are several sources for instructions and ideas. The last link is for kits you can purchase on Etsy. It's unlikely you could order any of these in time for Christmas - but I've added it here for future reference.

How to Make a Terrarium

How to Make a Terrarium Quickly and Easily

How to Create a No-Fuss Garden

25 Ideas for Tabletop Gardens and Terrariums

Terrarium Kits on Etsy

"Black thumbs" are the opposite of "green thumbs". When plants take one look at you coming and curl up die in protest. :)

Celebration Food to Tickle Your Taste Buds

Here's a collection of yummy Christmas recipes. And a couple of these websites have lots of other seasonal information and tips as well!

real-simple

18 Easy Christmas Recipes

 
kidspot

Christmas Recipes

 
taste

Welcome to Taste Christmas!

 
sbs

Christmas in Oz - Recipes and Food

jamie-oliver

Aussie Christmas Recipes

 
martha-stewart

Quick Holiday Recipes

 
kidspot-kids

Christmas Recipes for Kids

 
lifestyle

Christmas Recipes and Tips

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