http://herbladyisintoday.blogspot.com - Our Christmas Corner. My father made the manger stable himself. It is a precious gift to remember both my father who came from Germany and my childhood memories. Christmas is about the love of God and family not the amount of money we spend. I am a grandmother and to me just getting a card that says how much my kids love me or phone calls is enough. The hand made ornaments my two youngest grand-daughters gave me are so very precious. We are retired and on a strict budget so I am not going to feel bad because we can't afford to give them fancy and expensive presents. I am not going to stress over what we cannot do. So be honest with your budget and give your time, your visits, you shoulder to talk to or cry on. Buy several small things for presents from the Dollar General or Dollar Tree. I have found some great books for Christmas for a buck. You can find new pot holders and cute trinkets. Christmas paper is a dollar. Stocking stuffers are cheap. Cards for a buck. I found some really cute ones there...worth sending. If they don't say what you would like, write in the card your feeling of love and appreciation. If its books they love, the Good Will has bookshelves of books for every interest out there. My sister finds the best books there on Alternative Medicine that I would buy if they were not so expensive. Give funny presents. My sister and her husband have cattle. I found these cute beans that are decorated like cow prints...and it says, " Seeds to start a cow herd!" and a can from a cute store that reads 'catfish milk' but really is canned milk. If you are creative, there are so many cute things you can make yourself. Leave the credit card behind, and think creatively and from the heart. The most important gift you can give-Time is the most precious gift in the world. Hugs and a listening ear ranks right up there in the top two as well. So many people are depressed at Christmas. Many have lost their whole life as in the fires and hurricanes. Many are mourning the loss of a loved one or financial loss of difficulties. Give of your smile, your hugs, your help, and your ear. That is the real meaning of Christmas....love of God and family. Adopt a family in your corner of the world who is hurting or one of the families who lost everything this past year in the fires or hurricanes. We live in a poor county here is Tennessee and there are so many families that need help at Christmas and during the whole year. If you can't give money, give your time. How to Avoid Overeating at Christmas - Now to the overeating aspect of Christmas. It is for only one month of the whole year. In that one month you can gain 20 to 30 pounds and raise your cholesterol by 20 points. I know because my husband did that and it took him several months to bring it down again. If you or your loved one is a binge eater, don't leave goodies in plain site. Even healthy treats contain calories if you eat too many. If they have any sugar in them, they can still raise cholesterol counts. If you eat much food, no matter how healthy, you will gain weight. Too much food is just that....food that adds weight to your body. After you inhale your first two cookies, put them up on the highest shelf so that you have to get on a stool to get them down. Freeze them in a container that is not see through. Make one set of cookies at a time, rather than several different kinds. Make a small batch of whatever you are making, rather than dozens. Eat before you go to a party so that you are less hungry. Drink a large glass of water with fiber in it before you leave for the party. Remember why you don't want to eat those cookies and keep that reason there in your mind. It is almost impossible to not make anything for Christmas holidays. So that is why I don't say, just don't bake anything or go to a party. Christmas, family get-togethers and eating goes hand and hand, so learn to enjoy it without gaining 20 pounds. It is about people. If it is pot luck, wait at the end of the line. It is a given that most of the good deserts will be gone before your turn is up so you will have less temptation. Hang out at parties far away from the snack table. Again, wait and all the good stuff will be gone to make it easier. Take small dabs of different foods. Eat lots of salad first or protein. Nibble at your food and talk in between bits. Take small bites and chew them well. Eat slowly...very slowly. Remember the acute ingestion you experienced the last time you ate too much as a potluck dinner. In your mind think stomach discomfort rather than oh how good that looks. That one works for me. My stomach is very sensitive and if I eat too much or the wrong foods, I am miserable and in discomfort. That helps limit my plate size and my selections. I have to tell a funny story here. In 2014 it was Christmas and we were getting ready to move here to Tennessee. In fact, three days after Christmas we loaded up the U-Hall. That month we were both stressed to the max and I made cookies. We both ate too many the first two days. So to save us both, I hid them on a top kitchen shelf. I forgot they were there until we were cleaning the house after we had packed the U-Hall. They were hard as rocks so not very tasty at that point. If its staring you in the face, you will have a hard time ignoring it. The more stress, the harder it becomes to be sensible. Keep your goals in mind, as you wade through the stress of Christmas. Is that third piece of cake really worth gaining weight for? Learn to separate yourself from the table of goodies. Make love and appreciation your goal for this Christmas. Think about your health...and what is important! Kate, the Herbladyisin Please visit https://alternativemedicine-womenshealth-articles.com for alternative medicine articles and research.