Are you feeling that holiday energy buzz where you realize it’s the end of the year and there’s so much left to do? In today’s world, the holidays encourage, ending business with a bang, making holiday travel plans, shopping for bargains, and getting the house ready for family and friends.  To ease into the holidays instead of sliding in head first I share 9 practical holiday tips to less stress that have worked for me year after year.

Let’s start with where the holidays might hurt the most and that’s your pocket book. Saving money and time makes everyone happy, take note of  the creative ways in which to accomplish both: 

1. Buckle down and write your to do list now. Start crossing off what is most important two weeks or so before you celebrate your holidays. This saves you on time by organizing yourself ahead of the holiday rush.

2. Cash in on credit card and banking points. Learn where you can use those points now for cash that you have already spent throughout the year. For example, did you know you can use your American Express points on Amazon by linking your account to them? Your accrued points can be utilized to buy and ship holiday gifts in time to be opened.

3.  Take advantage of the super sales, Groupon and Living Social specials. Small business’ are offering some fantastic deals right now with great prices on services. Buy now to gift those savings to your Mom, sister, friend or yourself with a gift certificate, yoga classes, facial, gift basket etc.

4. Your trash is someone else’s treasure. Consign what you no longer require and use the cash or store credit for gifts. You might be surprised what you can sell or purchase via consignment shops. Old jewelry, vintage coats and holiday dresses and shoes are hot items now. The extra $20 or more dollars can  go a long way in purchasing gift wrap or a stocking stuffer.

5. Send E-Holiday cards and save money , it’s fast , convenient and green. For those who prefer the postal route, utilize unused cards bought last year or craft a photo card of you, your pets, family or favorite trip you went on. Creating is fun and encourages the holiday spirit.

6. Clear the clutter and renew your space. As you prepare your space for a new year why not toss out papers, magazines and the piles of stuff that accrues over the year. If you have not read it or utilized it by now, recycle it. A cluttered house is a cluttered mind. A feeling of freedom ushers in by detoxing your environment, this includes your computer, email inbox and office space.

7. Do a trade! Swap your service or product with someone who offers what you might be looking for. This is a great way to collaborate, build referrals for your business and save some cash. 

8. How about giving yourself a break in the kitchen and pot luck social meals ? Save your time and money and ask family and friends to contribute to the holiday feast, instead of doing it all yourself.

9.  Give your self permission to enjoy yourself, take time out for YOU! The Holidays are for enjoying family, friends, co-workers, and resting from a year of hard work and celebrating LIFE. Say NO to stress and YES to holiday happiness, you deserve it!  

From our Zone to yours wishing you a wonderful and peaceful holiday season!     happy holidays 

Quote: “See the world as if for the first time; see it through the eyes of a child, and you will suddenly find that you are free.”  –Deepak Chopra

Jackie Ruka is an Author, Art Therapist and  America’sHappyologist who started Get Happy Zone, a personal development organization dedicated to crystallizing your passion and purpose and launch a personal happiness campaign through her VIP sessions and upcoming book Get Happy and Create a Kick Butt Life.

What would you like to change in your life’s canvas? If you are stuck and feeling uninspired Get Happy Zone is where we want to help you flesh out your desires and embark on a more positive course ! Should you or your business require inspiration please inquire at

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Mothers DayMother’s Day is right around the corner! Each year it comes, and each year we children are faced with a similar question: what is a good way to show our mom how much we really care about her? The gifts have all been said and done…but this doesn’t mean they should be discarded! Mother’s Day isn’t about going to the store and buying something material and expensive, it’s about telling her that you love her and that you’re thankful for her every day. Here are 5 creative and inexpensive ways to turn the outplayed, traditional gifts into new, personalized gifts from the heart.

1. Make her a card. That’s right, break out the markers and art supplies take yourself back to the good old elementary school days, when the only thing you wanted to do was make mama proud. You can use as many or as few words as you choose, with as much or as little effort as you’re willing to put in. The fact that you took the extra time to make the card yourself instead of quickly browsing through kind but generic cards at the store is both thoughtful and original, and it’s something she’ll want to hang on her refrigerator, just like the old times!

2. Pick her a blossoming bouquet. Grocery stores and florists offer a wide variety of arrangements and beautiful bouquets. But consider how much more it would it mean to mom if you made a personal arrangement of your own flowers. If you don’t have a garden of your own, plant a couple seeds so she can watch the flowers grow and bring new life to her home!

3. Personalize a charm bracelet. Jewelry is often a go-to gift at this time of year. Instead of falling back on a simple pair of earrings or a plain necklace, your gift will be much more personal in the form of a charm bracelet. This way, you can fill this small piece of jewelry with charms that capture the special memories that you and your mom share, and you can keep adding to it as the years continue.

4. Capture your memories in a scrapbook. If jewelry is not the path you want to take, another way to capture the unforgettable moments is through a scrapbook or photo album. This way, she can look back and see your smiling face anytime! An alternative to this could be a memory box, filled with any and all artifacts and pictures that remind you of your time spent together. Just like a charm bracelet, you can add to it as your relationship continues to grow.

5. Create a relaxation basket. If a weekend trip to the spa is a bit out of the budget, fill a basket with bath salts, lotions, and loofas. This way, she can create a relaxation station in the comfort of her own home. Give your hardworking mom a reason to kick up her feet and relax!

A price tag has never been determined how much love you can show your mother on a particular day of the year. When you were young, why did she hang your cards on the refrigerator and wear the macaroni necklaces you made so proudly? It was the thought, the effort, and the love that went into every word in the card and every noodle in the necklace. What will mean most to her this Mother’s Day is not the object but the thought behind it, even if it’s a simple call to tell her you love her.

Comment below to share more of your inventive ideas! To all the moms out there – Happy Mother’s Day!



“America’s Happyologist” Jackie Ruka is a lifestyle expert who founded the Get Happy Zone ( personal development organization. She is also the author of the soon-to-be-released book, “Get Happy and Create a Kick Butt Life, a Toolbox for Rapidly Activating the Life You Desire.” Contact Jackie and take her Become Fearless Quiz online at


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