Making New Year's Resolutions Stick

  • December 26, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell
Making New Year's Resolutions Stick

Ok. Now that Christmas is over, we shift the focus to the next big holiday, which is New Year’s.  New Year’s parties are on many people’s holiday to-do lists and it’s an annual favorite celebration amongst the masses.  A traditional part of New Year’s celebrating has been setting New Year goals or resolutions.  Many of us participate in this annual resolution making, and make big plans to become a whole new person as soon as that ball drops on New Year’s Eve.  A recent survey has shown, however, that most resolutions that are created for New Year’s are given up and completely abandoned within six months.  Here’s some great tips for you as you make your New Year’s resolutions to help you create goals that you can not only live with but are much more likely to stick!

Going Way Too Big:  Even though it may fall into the category of “it seemed like a good idea at the time,” setting goals that are too gigantic or unrealistic may set you up for nearly immediate failure.  There is nothing wrong with having lofty aspirations, however, your goals may be much more attainable if you break them down into smaller, more palatable changes that are more readily adjusted to. 

Relying Too Much on Sheer Willpower:  If you rely on willpower alone to achieve your goals you may soon be in trouble.  It’s human nature to fall off the wagon as soon as a stressful situation arises or get overwhelmed by the challenges of daily living.  Willpower isn’t enough to make real changes; you have to have behavioral changes to back it up.  Making your lifestyle changes enjoyable is a much better alternative because then you don’t feel deprived and all too ready to fall back into your old habits when inevitable challenging days arise.

Think Positively:  It takes a lot of mental energy to retrain your brain into making real change.  Watch yourself and eliminate negative self-talk.  Tell yourself that you know you can succeed at your goal--even if it is only in the smallest increments, perhaps just a day at a time.  Visualize frequently how great you will feel and the positive effects that attaining your goal will have on your life.  If you do find yourself in a funk and are thinking negatively, train your brain to focus on the negative impact that not attaining your set goal will have in your life.  Sometimes thinking about these ramifications can be positively motivating as well.

Plan Ahead:  No matter what your resolutions are, planning ahead will help you to not come up with an array of excuses as to why you aren’t starting now to move forward.  If your goal is to work out regularly in a gym, make sure you have a membership at a gym that is convenient.  If you are trying to eat more healthfully, throw out your junk food and fill your refrigerator with healthful options.  Make sure whatever obstacles you foresee that may delay you on your journey are removed.

Leave Past Failures Behind:  No matter what your track record is, no matter how many times your resolutions haven’t worked, today is a new day and you have to learn to let go of the past and not let it influence the here and now.  A good strategy to embrace is to accept before you begin that you will fail now and then and that is part of the journey.  Knowing that you will have setbacks and having the ability to pull yourself back up and continue to move forward is huge.

Go Public and Get a Partner:  Letting your friends and loved ones know what your goals are makes you more accountable.  Let people know what your intentions are and this will give you one more incentive to keep persisting when things get hard.  Having a friend or loved one that is in your corner is also a good way to buoy yourself up when you are having a weak moment or a bad day.  Another good idea is to find a friend with similar goals as yourself and work together to attain them.  Being able to talk about the challenges you may face on a day-to-day basis is great when you are working as a team, plus a partnership approach injects a level of fun and camaraderie into the effort as well.

Reward Yourself Along the Way:  At various milestones during your journey, have incentives or rewards that motivate you.  Buy yourself a new outfit for so much weight loss or consistent days spent working out in a gym.  Giving yourself a pat on the back for sticking with your goals is a huge help in attaining them and a well-deserved reward for your effort.

Saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming the new one brings with it many opportunities for growth and improvement.  With a bit of planning and foresight you can use your New Year’s resolutions to make your life much better and brighter in 2012!


A Few Pointers for Finding That Perfect Gift

  • December 18, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell
Tips for Finding the Perfect Gift

Well, here we are, the final week before Christmas. In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed with the holiday shopping process.  Poor Santa, can you imagine the stress he must be under as he attempts to please kids all over the world in one night?  Some of us find Christmas shopping completely overwhelming--others really seem to embrace the whole shopping experience and seem to always get gift giving just right.  For those of you that seem to be struggling a little bit with finding those perfect gifts for the recipients on your shopping list, here are a few pointers to help you in your quest for that perfect gift. 

 

According to our shopping pros, here are a few gifts you should always avoid:

 

Household appliances: Let’s face the facts, if you need one, you are likely to buy it yourself, getting one as a gift just isn’t very fun.  Even if your recipient is the most practical person on the planet, avoid these--no matter how you wrap up an iron or a hand held vacuum, it’s just not very exciting to open on Christmas morning.  If you were to give one to your spouse, you may even find yourself getting the holiday cold-shoulder.

Pets: Unless you are 100% positive that your recipient is ready for the responsibility of a new animal in the family, the gift of a pet is best avoided, especially if it is a legitimate surprise.  Not everyone is ready to become the new parent of a pet on Christmas morning. This is a gift that although well intended, could easily backfire on you. If your family has been considering adopting a pet into the household, find a less chaotic and exhausting time to introduce a new pet into your home as having a new animal around has challenges of its own. 

Heavily advertised on TV:  Whether it is jewelry you’ve seen about 1,000 times in holiday ads, warm body wraps with sleeves, pottery that grows plant life that looks like hair, or light switches that go on with a clap of your hand, no one really ever gets very excited about the cliché, oversold gifts that are heavily advertised on television.  These gifts often end up in the return stack for the weekend after the holiday-don’t be a victim that gets caught up in an advertising gimmick.

Pre-made Gift Baskets:  Assume your recipient has already received a few of these type of gifts, as they are everywhere that shoppers go over the holidays.  These baskets are very tempting to buy as they are packaged very festively and are a shopper’s dream as they are all ready to go.  The problem with them is that what is inside is often small on content and big on packaging--and some of the items grouped together may not necessarily appeal to your recipient.  The best gift baskets are those you put together yourself--then you can select the best goodies and items to fill your basket with based on the likes and needs of your lucky recipient.

Pre-Paid Gift Cards:  Be extremely careful with these as they often have fees attached to them when you buy them, or can be difficult to use if you are loading them with a smaller dollar amount.  Many of these cards (if not used promptly) will charge a monthly maintenance fee after a certain number of months have gone by.  This will lead to a lot of disappointment when the card is actually used.  It’s better to stick with a gift card or gift certificate for a store you know your recipient will enjoy as these type of gifts rarely have an expiration date or fee attached to them.

 

Still out of ideas?  There is help! Here Are A Few Ideas ...

 

Gift an Experience:  Sometimes the best gift isn’t something that can be put into a box.  Tickets to an upcoming event that you know will be enjoyed make a fantastic gift.  You can go out on a limb and gift something crazy like a hot air balloon ride or scuba diving lessons.  Sometimes the gift of relaxation is wonderful, too--a spa day or a relaxing massage makes a perfect escape after enduring all the chaos that leads up to the holidays.

Gift of Imagination:  Kids get bored with the most popular holiday toys very quickly.  Consider the gift of imaginative playtime--with a gift full of fun accessories and children's costumes just for dress up and creative adventures.  This type of gift never seem to lose its luster with kids and will give your children hours of playtime fun.

Family or Couple Getaway:  After the holidays are over, a family getaway may be the perfect way to recharge your battery.  If you live someplace cold and wintery, it may be fun to go someplace warm in order to unthaw yourself and relax a bit.   If you are lucky enough to live in a warmer climate, it’s still fun to go visit a colder, wintrier place to get a true taste of winter fun and to play in the snow. 

Finding the perfect holiday gift doesn’t have to be stressful or hard, with a little extra thought you will find that perfect present that brings Christmas smiles to all those on your own Santa’s gift list!


Toyland Treasures

  • December 12, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell
Costumes are a great way for a child to dress up in character as many of his Christmas toy favorites--and can easily bring your child’s favorite toys to life--straight out of Santa’s sack.

There is absolutely no doubt about it--at Christmastime, kids want toys!  It’s traditional for Santa Claus to come bounding down the chimney with his infamous sack loaded to the brim with all the favorite toys that every kid wants.  This year, make sure that your Santa (dressed head to toe in one of our jolliest Santa Claus suits, of course!) is fully loaded with plenty of toys--and may we suggest a new twist on a few old favorites?  Costumes are a great way for a child to dress up in character as many of his Christmas toy favorites--and can easily bring your child’s favorite toys to life--straight out of Santa’s sack. 

Toy Soldiers:  Kids love playing army and pretend war games have been a favorite childhood imaginative play theme for many years.  Make sure that your child is fully outfitted in proper soldier apparel for a Christmas gift that will bring him hours of adventurous fun at playtime!

Dolls that coddle and coo:  If your little darling wants a baby or fashion doll from Santa, she’s likely to take great delight in dressing up as one, too!  We have many costumes that look exactly like your child’s favorite fashion dolls and all of the accessories she will find necessary and really fun to complete her best fashionista look. 

Sugar Plum Fairies: (and princesses, too!)  Your little girl may have many visions of Sugar Plums dancing in her head this holiday season, but one of her favorites is likely to be a lovely Princess or Fairy ensemble so she can dress from head to toe like the special royalty that she really is!  With a regal Princess or sweet Fairy costume your child’s holiday will have lots of extra Christmas magic!

Raggedy Ann & Andy:  This rag doll duo is a popular Christmas classic toy that your child will delight in recreating herself through a darling Christmas costume--don’t forget the red yarn-like wig!  Dressing as this sweet rag doll will bring hours of imaginative playtime fun to your child as she embarks on her very own Raggedy Ann adventures.

Western Cowboy with a Cap Gun:  Whether you choose the Disney favorite, Woody from Toy Story, or a more classically styled cowboy, dressing as a gun slinging cowboy from the Wild Wild West is great fun for any child ready to take his imagination on a truly wild ride.  Yee Haw!

Traditional Clown:  What could be more fun for a kid than taking an exciting and imaginative trip to the big top?  Running away to the circus can be as easy for your child as going straight to his costume box.  Make sure he has everything he needs to dress up as his favorite silly clown character, from the rainbow Afro wig to the squeaky horn. 

No matter what your child’s toy wish list has on it, Santa can easily bring a costume to thrill and delight him as he kindles his imagination with fun and excitement through dressing up like his favorite classic Christmas toys!

 


5 Easy Ways to Add Some DAZZLE to Your Holidays!

  • December 05, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell
It doesn’t take anything overcomplicated to make your Christmas season extra special as well as very memorable.  With a little extra planning, your holiday will be an exciting, happy as well as joyful time for your entire family.

Deck the Halls:  Gather the kids and make a family event out of decorating your Christmas tree as well as the rest of your home for the holiday season.  Even the youngest children will enjoy this annual ritual and will look forward to doing it every year.  Turn on some seasonal music, put some spiced cider on the stove to simmer while you are working and then quickly get into the Christmas spirit while you make your home ready for the holidays!  Getting out the ornaments each year and putting up the Christmas tree is always a special way for your entire family to reflect on Christmases past and make a few new memories in the process, too.

Making Spirits Bright:  Unfortunately, Christmas isn’t necessarily a joyful experience for everyone, and there are always many at this time of year who are in need.  Bringing Christmas joy to others is a wonderful way to lift your spirits as well as to help those who may need a helping hand.  Sub for Santa programs are in most every community and many localities have donation sites collecting items for Toys for Tots or other programs that give toys and necessary clothing items to needy children.  Costumes make a wonderful item to donate to these programs! Look into your heart and make sure that every child has something to smile about this Christmas!

Turn it on:  There really isn’t a better way to rapidly get into a Christmas mood than to turn on festive Christmas music.  Many radio stations switch their format during the holidays to play primarily holiday music.  Fill your CD player with your favorites and when you pile the kids into the car, make sure you have the music playing and make sure to sing along!  Don’t forget to assemble all your favorite Christmas movies as well and create some time to watch these films as a family.  It will become one of your favorite family rituals over the holidays to watch these old (and new) favorites.  Make the event extra special by having some of your favorite holiday treats handy to munch on while you are having your family movie night.

Winter Wonderland:  Baby, it IS cold outside, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking the kids out on a starlit winter walk to get out and enjoy your neighborhood’s holiday decorations as well as Christmas lights.  If you know of a special place nearby that has an extra amazing holiday light display, it will be worth your time to head out and walk by, taking in all the special effects and the unique magic of the decorations.  The chill of the night air and the flicker of the beautiful lights will put everyone into the Christmas spirit.  After your frosty walk through your neighborhood, have some steaming hot chocolate with peppermint stick skewers ready to sip so you can warm everyone right back up! 

Dress like you mean it:
  The holidays bring with them many opportunities to dress up in various Christmas-themed costumes, so make sure you have all the holiday attire and accessories that you will need to make your Christmas truly sparkle.  Beautiful Nativity costumes will keep you from using that bath towel headdress again to become a shepherd in Bethlehem.   Dressing as holiday characters is easy with the right costume.  You can even become the jolly old boy himself with one of our very special Santa Suits.  This festive get up will surely delight all the children in your household and wearing one will fast become a tradition that your entire family will look forward to every year!

It doesn’t take anything overcomplicated to make your Christmas season extra special as well as very memorable.  With a little extra planning, your holiday will be an exciting, happy as well as joyful time for your entire family.


Santa Suits On Sale

  • December 01, 2011
  • Jenna Maxwell
SANTA SUITS ON SALE THIS WEEK 25% Off

Santa Suits On Sale 25% Off


* This offer is for 25% Off SANTA SUITS. To use this discount you must click the above image where indicated (or CLICK THIS LINK) and immediately complete your purchase online. This discount will only apply to costumes in our Santa Suit category found here. Discount is valid for online website purchases only. This offer is expected to be valid through SUNDAY 12-04-11 at 11:59pm Eastern Time (expires at 12:00Am Eastern Time 12-05-11) however it may be discontinued sooner. Minimum purchase of $35 exclusive of shipping and handling fees with a maximum merchandise purchase amount of $499.99. In-stock items only. One use per customer. Cannot be combined with any other discounts, coupons or promotion. Non-negotiable and not valid for prior purchases. Offers are subject to limitations and conditions found HERE.