Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How to Help Your Kids Get Their New Year Off to a Great Start

Everybody, especially the children, enjoyed eating all types of food and goodies during the holidays. They played on their computers, talked on cellphones and watched television. Now it's time to start the year right by learning to live a healthy lifestyle. It is much easier to set goals of a healthy lifestyle for your kids if you join in with them. Make it a family goal. Children join in more easily when they see it as a family activity. You should make the goal appear exciting and enjoyable.

Make healthy eating a family affair!

Eating Right

Start off by providing nutritious food, such as meat and vegetables. Fast foods like pizza, fries, and burgers should be minimized. Eating vegetables becomes more enjoyable when you turn it into a game. Try mixing different types of vegetables together. The meals become more colorful and interesting. Ask your children to identify the different vegetables that are mixed together. You can offer rewards for those that get a perfect score.

Be sure your kids eat a good breakfast. Breakfast is considered the most critical meal of the day. Breakfast should provide sufficient nutrients and energy for the day. Load breakfast meals with fruits, cereals, milk and other healthy food. A variety of food during breakfast makes it easier for your kids to select different types of food. But be sure they get an assortment of food for breakfast. The varied choices make the meals more interesting and exciting. You can offer prizes to the child that eats the most assorted healthy food during breakfast.

The entire family will enjoy getting active.

Keep Them Moving!

Besides eating a healthy diet kids need to have adequate exercise. You can have them do chores around the house to keep them busy and moving around. You can set up outdoor games to keep your kids more physically active. If they get sufficient exercise during the day, it shouldn't be difficult getting them to sleep early. Rest and sleep are equally important in ensuring a healthy lifestyle.

Remember, children do not fully understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle. They are young, strong, and vibrant. You need to show them how to live a healthy lifestyle. They will see the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle in time. And they will be glad you showed them how to integrate healthy eating habits and regular physical activities into a busy lifestyle.

When you’re in need of ideas on ways to make life more interesting, remember that the team at Package From Santa is here to help. Please visit the blog often - we add new content each month.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Around the World

Christmas Around the World

When we talk about Christmas, it’s easy to assume that the holiday is the same all over the world. But is that really true?

Traditionally, kids in the United States write letters to Santa to talk about the things they want for Christmas. If they’ve been good throughout the year they will likely receive a letter from Santa that assures them their name is on his ‘Nice List’. These same kids will probably have a decorated Christmas tree in their homes and they will hang stockings for Santa to fill with wonderful surprises.

For most of us, Christmas includes an exchange of gifts, a visit from Santa, and a delicious meal that is shared with loved ones.

But what about Christmas in other places: Is the holiday celebrated in the same way? Now, we have Internet and social networks that make it possible for us to see and experience how people observe Christmas in different parts of the world.

Christmas Foods

Christmas food is not only ham, turkey, and delicious side dishes and desserts. In other parts of the world, different kinds of food will be served on Christmas. Most European countries
celebrate Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. The Czech Republic, Austria and Germany serve carp with vegetables.

The carp is cooked in a beer and ginger sauce which makes it very tasty and spicy. Bulgaria serves twelve dishes, none of which are meat. They are different kinds of beans, fruits, cakes, cheese and spinach. Some countries, like Australia and Brazil follow the traditional turkey, ham, and stuffing viands.

The Christmas meals in France vary based on the regions. Parisians enjoy foie gras and oysters, while goose is the main fare in Alsace and Burgundy. Spain and Portugal concentrate on seafood such as sea bass, almonds and marzipan.

Christmas Traditions

Some Christmas traditions follow the cultures of the country. Russia celebrates Christmas on January 7. On Christmas Day, the Czech Republic women try to predict if they will get married in the coming year. With their back to the main house door, the shoe is thrown over their shoulder. If the heel is nearer the door, they will remain single.

German children leave their shoe outside the door and if they are good, the shoe will be filled with candies. This is similar to leaving your stockings in the fireplace, with the expectation that it will be filled with goodies the following morning. Slovakians throw a spoonful of loksa to the ceiling to predict if they will have a good harvest the following year.

The harvests are plentiful if more loksa stays stuck to the ceiling. Christmas is normally celebrated on December 25. But there are countries that because of their culture and tradition, might celebrate it on a different day and for a longer period.

But wherever it is and whatever food you partake, the spirit of Christmas lives in everyone. From the team at Package From Santa: A very Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The First Thanksgiving

Things You Didn't Know About the First Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving today is very different from what the first Thanksgiving was. Firstly, Thanksgiving was looked upon as a time for prayer, giving thanks for the bountiful food and the friendship the pilgrims forged with the Indians.

Now it is considered a holiday and a day for celebration. This is not too far from the reasons behind the first Thanksgiving. On that day, pilgrims and Indians took the day off to eat, be merry and enjoy the company of one another.

Thanksgiving Food

The food during the first Thanksgiving meals was very unlike what we have today. The pilgrims and Indians had to contend with the food that was available at that time. In terms of meat, there was deer, venison, duck and other wild fowls. Turkey, as we know it today, was not available at that time.

Aside from the meat, there was a great deal of seafood, such as bass, clams, oysters and lobsters. This is because the sea and lakes were nearby. Interestingly, we rarely see seafood now as part of the Thanksgiving meal.

There were nuts and berries growing wild around the area. The Native Americans taught the pilgrims how to plant and farm on the arid land they were living on. However, the land was full of rocks and the soil was too acidic. The pilgrims could not successfully grow crops until the Native Americans taught them the technique of small gardens.

Gardening Basics Provided Some of the Main Dishes

Fresh vegetables are still part of the typical Thanksgiving meal.

There were small sections of land around the area that could grow crops. By limiting the gardens to the land that could grow the crops, the pilgrims enjoyed successful results. Although the harvests were small, it was enough for a family. And there were many small farm plots around the settlers.

The Thanksgiving meals included crops from the garden. There was corn, squash, and beans. The stalks of the corn were used for the vines of the beans. The beans provided nitrates to the soil, keeping it fertile for the next planting.

Thanksgiving: A Favorite Holiday Then and Now

The first Thanksgiving included fresh vegetables, fish and meat. Although they didn't have pumpkin pie, potatoes, and bread stuffing during the first Thanksgiving meal, the food the pilgrims and Indians shared was probably delicious.

Our Thanksgiving meals today have gone through a series of changes over the years. But despite the changes in food, we still maintain the tradition of giving thanks for our food, the family, and close friends. 

From everyone at Package From Santa, Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

6 Steps to Make Your 2015 Holiday Season Special

6 Steps to Make Your 2015 Holiday Season Special

Are you like the team at Package From Santa, are you already excited about Christmas 2015? We are gearing things up and preparing for a truly magical holiday season!

The North Pole is beautiful this time of year. It seems that everything suddenly looks more vibrant. The holiday season is exciting and we very busy and of course, and Santa and Mrs. Claus are too. Santa is reviewing his list of nice little boys and girls and he has stacks and stacks of paper ready so he can write letters to them. Mrs. Claus is spending lots of time baking her famous cookies.

But at the North Pole everyone plays an important role in the holiday season. The reindeer are practicing their jumps and leaps and the elves are busy in the toy workshop. But that’s enough about us for now.

The truth is, everyone at the North Pole is working hard to make sure the 2015 holiday season is the best holiday season ever!

What about you? Have you started planning your Holiday Season yet? Don’t panic, but October is almost over. That means you don’t have time to waste. On the other hand, you do have time to do all the things necessary to make this Christmas extra memorable.

Step 1: Take a deep breath….

Step 2: Make a general to-do list….
This will include things like ‘holiday shopping’, ‘holiday decorating’, holiday party’, ‘gift list’, ‘letters from Santa’, and, well, you get the idea.

Step 3: Create specific to-do lists….
Use the general to-do list to make detailed lists for each topic.

Step 4: Start completing and checking things off your lists….

Step 5: Celebrate the completion of your work….

Step 6: Enjoy the 2015 Holiday Season!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What Does Preparing for Winter Mean to You?

Winter is coming and it will be here sooner than you might think. Even though the official start of winter is December 21st, most of us refer to cold temperatures as wintertime. As the temperatures drop we start thinking about everything from winter boots and clothes to staying warm and avoiding colds and flu. Fortunately, with a little planning, you can be prepared for winter and all it brings.

Before it gets too cool you should take inventory of winter clothing and boots. Kids grow fast so even those cute boots you bought Suzy after Christmas last year may be too small for her now. The idea is to ensure that Suzy and Johnny will have warm boots and jackets that fit when they are needed. A cold morning is not the ideal time to discover that these items are too small.

Of course you want your home to be warm, so take some time to ensure that your furnace is operating as it should, that your chimney is ready for fires, and that you have enough insulation in the attic. You might also want to add caulking around windows and doors.

Now’s a good time to think about flu shots. It’s also a good time to gather typical supplies you will want and need for cold and flu season. This could include things like a humidifier, vapor rub, cold and cough medicine and tissues. Planning ahead may help you avoid a last minute trip to the drug store.

Along the same thought, consider what foods are ideal on cool fall and winter days. This could be a great time to stock up on your favorite soups, teas and other ‘warm me up’ yummies.

Everyone at Package From Santa understands that winter brings changes, some good and some not so good. But along with cooler temperatures and the challenges it can bring, we can also look forward to the winter holidays and wintertime fun. 

Keep your focus on the positive and plan ahead for winter, and keep reading this Package From Santa blog. It’s dedicated to providing great information that families can put to use. We post helpful advice on a regular basis.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

End Summer With Some Fun!

End Summer With Some Fun!

Summer will soon come to an end, but before that happens there's still time to plan some summer fun. Let's talk about some of the different ways people celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall.


A vacation is fun anytime of year. But there's something special about time away from home when you know it's the last vacation of the summer. After all, school will be starting and the temperatures will be dropping. Lots of changes are on the way. A vacation can be a good way to rejuvenate yourself before the new routines start, and a vacation is a good way to encourage family bonding.

Backyard Barbecue

Getting together with family and friends in your own backyard can be lots of fun. All you need to add is a great game or activity and some delicious food. The more people you include the more fun you will have. And the bonus is, guests can contribute to the meal. Why not plan a backyard barbecue now?

Trip to the Zoo

Whether you visit the zoo often or it's been years since you've been, the zoo is not only interesting and educational, but watching animals can also be relaxing. A trip to the zoo can be an ideal way to spend time with your family.

Visit the Fair

Take advantage of the opportunity, if you're lucky enough to live in a place that has an annual fair. Whether it's a state fair or a smaller one, the fair can be lots of fun. Even if you are not interested in the rides or shows, you can enjoy some unique food and spend time people-watching.

As summer ends we can all look forward to the beauty that fall brings as the leave change from green to orange, red and shades of gold. And of course, along with fall and winter we can start thinking about some special holidays, like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The team at Package From Santa is already gearing up for the fall and winter months. 

How about you? How will you end the summer? Please share your comments with us.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Staying Cool and Having Fun

Staying Cool and Having Fun 

Summer heat can be unbearable. You can cool off in your own backyard by taking a long dip in your swimming pool. But of course, not everyone has a pool in their own backyard. Fortunately, there are a lot of other ways of cooling off. For instance, swinging on a tire or resting in a hammock is a relaxing and comfortable way to ignore the heat.

Get Wet & Stay Cool

But there is no better way of cooling off than getting yourself completely wet. You can use a water hose and spray everybody in the yard. Join the fun by spraying yourself too. Set up the sprinkler and have everyone play games around the sprinkler.

Games with water guns are lots of fun and can be played by everyone. You can even use water balloons to fight against the water guns. If you have toddlers and small children, you can set up a kiddie’s pool for them to wade and splash in. Even older kids can join in – they can lie down or wade in the shallow pool.

Playing Games Can Take Your Mind Off the Heat

If you have a large backyard, you can play other outdoor sports like football, baseball, soccer and volleyball. You can spray everyone with the water hose while they are playing the various games. Try to think of other outdoor games, like horseshoes, cricket and basketball. Focus on enjoying the breeze and staying wet and cool.

Cool Off With Homemade Fruity Popsicles

When people get thirsty, offer them homemade fruity popsicles. It is healthy and refreshing, especially on a hot summer day. You can get the fruits that are in season, such berries, watermelon, melon, apples and grapes. Place them in a blender with some sugar and nuts.

Pour the liquid juice into paper cups and molds. Place the cups and molds in the freezer. After they are frozen, they are ready to be served. Have a lot of popsicles ready. Everyone will love the taste and they will be asking for more.

Healthy Veggie Popsicles

You can also make veggie popsicles from tomatoes, carrots and cucumber. You can also mix them in the blender with a little salt and pepper for flavor. Keep everyone cool and refreshed during those hot summer days. Shower them with healthy popsicles.

We hope these ideas from the team at Package From Santa help keep you cool during the hot days of summer!