The Zeitgeist Blog

Zeitgeist's Tips to Ease the Holidays!

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Hi guys, Julia here! As the winter holidays are some of the most anticipated times of year, I have been looking for many ways to prepare, but keep on my effective schedule. However, with the snow falling, children bursting with Santa excitement, family in town, and tons of holiday gatherings with delicious food, it can be difficult to stay sane.
 
Don't fuss. Take it easy, use all the help you can get and still stick with your routine. With all of this activity going on, are you ready? Use some of my favorite tips to avoid stress and be prepared this season.

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Stay stress-free this holiday with all the help you can get

Each year, my family trades off hosting our annual Christmas Eve party to ease the stress of having loads of people over. Use this awesome holiday-themed app called Santa’s Bag that gives you a countdown, helps you track your budget and stay organized with gift giving. Gather up your children as elves and have them help you with organizing
and planning meals, decorations and gifts!

Try to make some holiday favorites healthy

Every family has those food traditions over the holidays. Whether it be baking cookies or that Christmas roast, there is always room for improvement. Try to make your cookies on the healthier side: use coconut or almond milk instead of dairy milk. Try to find other alternatives for your flour and sugar, so they’re less processed and more healthy. Experiment with plant-based recipes and try to make a new tradition your family will love! Get inspired with these new options from Eating Well. With the holidays being heavy on sugar and carbs, do your best to make this time of year a healthier holidays. Check out better cookie recipes here and others using almond milk.

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Discover stocking stuffers that won’t break the bank

Here at Zeitgeist Gifts, we know that getting quirky gifts for those who have everything can be difficult. What about some funky wine stoppers, unique candles, paper watches or cookie cutters? Discover something special in our Gifts Under $10. Order a bunch of different items and create your own gift basket for friend who just moved or workmate who loves cooking!

Plan a white elephant exchange to avoid stress on gift ideas

There are many forms of a white elephant gift exchange that are practiced in the United States. A good friend of mine told me how they celebrated here in the US:
Once we all turned 18, we were allowed to join the gift exchange with our aunts and uncles, and it is an ongoing tradition that we practice every year. We each bring a gender neutral gift that is worth around $50. When we get together on the night of Christmas Eve, we all choose a number 1 through however many people brought a gift. We put all of the gifts in the middle of the room and number 1 chooses a gift. Number 2 can either steal the gift from number 1 or choose a gift from the pile. If number 2 chooses to steal, number 1 will have to go back into the pile and choose again. It’s best if you get the last number, because then you can see all of the gifts and choose the best one! The white elephant is an amazing way to bring everyone together and at least have one gift when leaving your party!

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Secret Santa

Secret Santa is another common tradition in the US, and is a fun and secretive way to give someone a special gift. You basically write all participant's names on a piece of paper and everyone goes around picking a name. Once you’ve chosen your person, you have a few weeks to think of the perfect gift and leave it on their desk (if at work), or bring it to your holiday party. View some of our gifts for under $20 that you could use in either a white elephant or secret santa exchange, depending on your budget.

Advent, Advent!

Buy or create your very own Advent Calendar to countdown the days until Christmas!
Advent is a big tradition in Germany and it still reminds me of my childhood. Some advent calendars have little goodies and toys for children, or chocolate for you! Advent calendars can be for any type of person and any family! Find the right one for you and celebrate this holiday with some of your favorite things! At Zeitgeist, we have an stylish advents calendar, perfect for a modern home. Best part is that you can reuse it each year and continue the tradition. This will definitely get your child excited for the countdown!

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The holidays can be a bit stressful for many, but once it’s all over, you’re already counting down the days until next year! Create new traditions, make your own gifts, and help make this year’s Christmas one you and your family will never forget!
Cheers, Julia

8 Unique Activities for this Year’s Halloween!

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Halloween is a once-a-year opportunity to be whatever you want to be! It gives children the chance to be creative with their costumes and gives adults the opportunity to decorate, party and be crazy! It’s a very fun holiday no matter what age you are. Here at Zeitgeist Gifts, we want you to make this year’s Halloween one to remember, with 10 unique activities that you can do with your group of friends, or your children!

1. Visit a Real-Life Haunted Place

In the U.S., it seems every city has its own horror stories with various abandoned warehouses, spooky graveyards or real-life haunted houses. Get your children or your own group of friends together to enter these eerie places and see if you experience any paranormal activity! This can give you the chills this Halloween! Make sure to check if these places are open to the public, some haunted places do not allow trespassing, while others have guided tours. See which haunted homes are near your neighborhood and give yourself a real-life scare! Places can be find here.

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2. Plan a Scary Movie Marathon

Invite your friends over for a scary movie marathon! Make Halloween-themed treats and drinks for your guests and have a creepy night! For children, have a Halloween-themed sleepover party and show some children-friendly “scary” movies for the little ones. You can make dirt cake with gummy worms or other gummy body parts, pumpkin cookies and/or creepy-colored drinks.

3. Make a Halloween-Themed Dinner

Make a Halloween-themed dinner. Look up some crazy Halloween dinner ideas for a group of friends or your family. We thought these recipes were pretty cool and scary! For appetizers, make “pigs-in-a-blanket” mummies, spider deviled eggs, stuffed Jack O' Lantern bell peppers, or zombie pasta. You can get as creative as you’d like!

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4. Decorate Your House with DIY Ideas

Get in the spirit of Halloween with easy DIY spooky decorations. For outside your home, carve pumpkins or make jug ghost lanterns. Simply cut the bottom out of an old milk jug, draw a spooky face on the front and insert some white lights to illuminate your ghosts! For your front door, make a Halloween wreath by using a simple wreath and spray painting it grey or black. Then glue on some felt ghosts or a orange bow and TADA...you have yourself simple decoration that you can use every year! For your dinner table, take white napkins and splash them with some red-blood paint! Then use some vampire teeth for a center design. This will definitely add some creepiness to your dinner! For inside your house decorations, use fake spider webs to create an eerie effect, or fill mason jars up with water and creepy objects, and scatter them around your home! Check out Zeitgeist Gifts for some of our fun wall decals that can add some spookiness to.

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5. Hold a Pumpkin Carving Contest

In your neighborhood, start a pumpkin carving contest with your children’s friends. Make an event of it! Have everyone go to a local pumpkin patch and get together to carve pumpkins. Have the parents be the judges and give out a fun prize to whoever was the most creative!

6. Make Instead of Buy your Costumes

Why waste money on a Halloween costume when you can get creative in your home? Some costumes just require face paint! Get creative with cardboard! Dress up your child in all white and buy a white tutu, add some black facial features and you got yourself a ghost! Use some face paint and old clothing for your grandparents and dress your child up as an old man/woman!

7. Make your own Halloween punch (adults only!)

Having a get together with your friends? Start by getting some killer drinks in their system! Use food coloring to create some bloody alcoholic beverages, or find some gummy garlands to add a spooky twist. Get more ideas here!

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8. Throw a Crazy Halloween-Themed Party at your House

Get into the Halloween spirit with decorations throughout your home and crazy DIY costumes. Invite all of your neighbors and friends for an awesome Halloween party. Use many of the ideas from above, creating a haunted house, DIY decorations, DIY costumes, spooky adult beverages, and have an amazing night with friends. Maybe have a costume contest for the best dressed? Make this Halloween one to remember with the friends you love!

Halloween can be a very unique and fun holiday if you get into it. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more tips and inspiration. Get your kids involved, make lots of fun DIYs  and enjoy the festivities in your city!

Happy Halloween!

Are You Ready for a Fun & Active Fall?

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Depending on your location, September can be a fairly warm/summery month or start cooling off for winter. Either way, we at Zeitgeist Gifts want to give you ideas of how to enjoy this month with school starting, weather changing, and hectic schedules!

Make Healthy Choices & Stay Active!

It seems that when the winter comes closer and holidays begin, people get a little lazy with their health/wellness goals and their motivation. Don’t let the cold weather discourage you! Stay active, always find healthy choices in your area, and keep your goals up-to-date. Sign your kids up for fall sports like cross-country, soccer or indoor swimming. Keep them moving, and yourself as well! Bring your kids to the park to fly some of our unique kites during the chilly windy days. Look for meet ups in the area that moms can do together. Whether it be a walking club, crafts club or wellness group! Finding other like-minded individuals to help you with your goals is essential if you want to be successful. Set time aside each week for “personal development”. Look at your current goals and the activities you do everyday, update and repeat!
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Get Organized but Have Fun!

With all the busy fall activities, it’s important to keep your schedule with a routine that is seamless! There is nothing worse than a hectic schedule with no preparation. If you have busy events, athletic games, appointments and work coming up, make sure you’re organized with a personal planner or one of the amazing apps such as Cozi or OurHome. Have a day designated to plan for the week, Sunday usually works best, and run with it! Align your schedule, have a family meeting to discuss the week, do healthy meal prep for school lunches and dinners! 

Activities in your city! Every city, no matter if it’s big or small, has events going on throughout the year. Search for your city and see if there are any drive-in movies being played, fall activities being held near your downtown, or fun runs to do with the family. Visit Running in the USA for a list of all the running events in your area! You can search by city, distance and date. It’s a great way to stay active and have fitness goals once the weather starts getting cooler.

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Dress for Weather Changes & Be Safe!

When the weather changes, it’s common for sicknesses to start and spread, so remember to wear enough clothes on cooler days outside and take vitamin C and vitamin D. Remember, with weather changing and days getting shorter, it’s essential to keep our families safe! Check out our amazing line of athletic safety accessories to help light the way to a safe workout, to school or simply to work!

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Lastly, September is of course Apple Season!

Apples, apples, apples! From visiting orchards, to baking apples pies, to creating little apple creatures, the fun is guaranteed! Not only are fall flavors bursting with deliciousness-- they also provide plenty of ideas for family time. Find local orchards where you can pick your own apples, pumpkins, or berries. Orchards often also include more than fruit-picking too-- from bonfires to hayrides to maple-syrup-sampling. To make the adventure last, take your freshly picked apples and turn them into an afternoon baking extravaganza! A few modern twists on apple pie include apple pie barsapple pancakes with maple walnuts, or this fresher, healthier version of McDonald’s Apple Pie.

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Overall, make this September a healthy, structured and successful one! Enjoy the beautiful weather while you still can and keep your children active to boost their metabolisms, which in turn helps with development and learning abilities. Don’t forget to take care of yourself as well! Moms need all the help they can get and finding ways to reduce stress and stay on top of things, so make sure you’re chiselling out time during your week to focus on YOU!

Happy Fall!
Cheers Julia
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