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Easy and Fun Holiday Traditions For You and Yours

Christmas time is a great time to start a new family tradition that you can do every year and your children will remember forever. So if you’re looking for a new one yourself, check out this list of our favorites. 

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Christmas time can be one of the best times of the year for a family. It’s a time to bake cookies together and decorate the tree together and snuggle up in front of the fire together. And it’s a great time for traditions! I will always remember listening to an Oakridge Boys Christmas album every year when my family and I decorated the tree together. It’s my absolute favorite Christmas memory.

So if you have a family, no matter how old your children are, it’s never too late to start a new Christmas tradition! And there are so many great and simple options out there that you and your entire family are sure to love. Here are some of our favorites.

GO ON A DRIVING TOUR OF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD’S CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Christmas lights are one of my personal favorite parts of the holiday season. I just love driving around and taking in all the amazing light displays my neighbors have put up. So, if you’re like me, you might as well have your family in the car with you! You can even walk around the neighborhood if everyone’s up for it and it’s not too cold outside.

And make a little game of it, if you like. You can make your own competition where everyone picks their favorites and then the whole family votes to find out who will win America’s Next Best Christmas Decorations!

VOLUNTEER AT A SOUP KITCHEN

As we all know, Christmas can also be a very difficult time for a lot of people. Especially those without a family or, even worse, without a home. The unforgiving cold of the winter season in some areas can make it especially difficult for the homeless. But seeing as how Christmas is the season of giving, why not give your time to those in need!

Volunteering at a soup kitchen to help feed the homeless is a great thing to do any time of year, but especially around Christmas. And while it’s a wonderful use of your time even if you’re unmarried and have no kids, it’s especially a great activity to do as a family. You’re doing it together, which is special, but you’re also teaching your children how to think of others and help those in need. It’s really a beautiful thing.

GET NEW MATCHING PJs EVERY YEAR

This is certainly an old classic. I know me and my brothers got new matching pajamas every Christmas when we were young and we always loved it. But it doesn’t have to be just the kids! You and your spouse can get pajamas that match your children’s as well. It’s fun and brings the family together, but it also makes for the cutest family photos!

CAMP OUT UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE

I had actually never heard of this tradition before writing this article, but now I love it and am definitely going to try it out with my family. It’s simple, once your Christmas tree is up and fully decorated, just pick a night before Christmas where the whole family camps out around the tree! Bust out every sleeping back, soft blanket, and fluffy pillow ya got and sleep together as a family around your beautiful Christmas tree. How fun does that sound?!

If you’re feeling especially wacky, do it on Christmas Eve! Then you’ll all wake up together on Christmas morning, ready to tear apart those presents.

FIND A FAMILY MOVIE

Another classic that is extremely easy but does wonders to bring the family together and keep the bond strong. All you have to do is pick one out of hundreds of classic Christmas movies and make a point to watch it together as a family every year. It sounds boring or not that special, but believe me, it can be so fun! Especially as the anticipation builds the days before watching the movie.

Pick from any number of great holiday movies like Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and the list goes on and on.

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Best Charities To Donate to To Help Animals

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A lot of people want to donate to charities that help take animals away from situations that hurt them. If you’re not sure which charity to donate to, Animal Charity Evaluators has your back. 

ACE is a California-based nonprofit company that releases annual lists of top recommended animal charity foundations, and they offered assistance by funding some of Future Perfect’s work for 2020.

Most of the charities featured in the list are focused on strategies that can get around factory farming by enforcing the transition to plant-based diets, or at the very least, by improving the conditions in factory farms. 

Focusing on factory farms makes the most sense because this is usually the site of suffering on a large scale. Unfortunately, death is not the only unpleasant process that happens on these farms, but a lot of the animals suffer a lot before they are killed. 

In these farms you’ll notice that pigs, calves, and hens are put into extremely small spaces where they have little to no wiggle room, and that the things they undergo are so horrific that there are ag-gag laws which are used to hide the details of the cruelty from the masses. 

ACE looks and promotes the most effective way to help animals, and have three main criteria when it comes to choosing and recommending certain organizations:

  • Charities must be able to produce greatest gains for animals
  • Charities should evaluate and improve their programs actively
  • Charities must present a demonstrated need for funding

With these three evaluating criteria in mind, ACE chose these organizations that you can donate to.

Wild Animal Initiative

This is a new entry compared to the other charities listed, and the goal of this charity is to research and advocate ways to assist free-range animals.

The Humane League

This charity runs campaigns that urge corporations to adhere to higher animal welfare rules, and also promotes grassroots legislative advocates.

The Good Food Institute

This charity focuses on the development of plant-based substitutes to meat, eggs, and dairy. They believe that developing plant-based options is an effective way to weaken animal agriculture.

Albert Schweitzer Foundation

This charity group has outreached corporations to promote the use of humanely raised products and they also offer legal services. They are also one of the first animal charity groups that prioritized corporate outreach for farmed fish.

If you are looking for the best animal charity group to donate to, you should check out ACE’s list so that you can look into the different charities and their advocacies and determine whether your values align with theirs.

Being able to donate to charities that help prevent animal suffering, and while it may not be you going to these farms to stop the horrors, supporting charities is an easy way to help. 

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4 Things That People with Multiple Partners Want You to Know

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Polyamorous relationships are not everyone’s cup of tea. However, there are some couples who find it better to have a so-called third wheel. Others discover that having multiple partners work best for them.

Polyamory is not a popular lifestyle choice. Most people opt to enter monogamous relationships, preferring to have one partner at a time. In fact, individuals who opt to have multiple partners are usually frowned upon. To better understand why some people adopt—and perpetuate—polyamory, we collated several reasons:

They’re not the jealous type.

Dr Elisabeth Sheff, author of the book entitled “Polyamorists Next Door” asserts that people with multiple partners do not easily get jealous. Additionally, polyamorists assert that opting to be in a polyamorous relationship even helps overcome that natural predilection. They mention that being in a relationship with multiple partners allows you to ease too much focus on a single partner and distribute your affection to accommodate all the other partners you have.

The relationship isn’t purely about sex.

Sheff claims that people with multiple partners do not merely opt for the said lifestyle due to their need for physical intimacy. However, it is still one of the major reasons. Sheff shares that polyamory also works for her and her wife, especially since she travels a lot and they rarely have time for their relationship. 

“We have a lot of flexibility, but we don’t tend to act on it very much. Me because I don’t have a very high sex drive, and her because she’s been working like a fiend. She’s very serious about her career, and spends zero time trying to date. It’s only happened the once, where she met someone she really connected with,” she explains.

For some, having multiple partners helps provide the intimacy that may sometimes be lacking in a purely monogamous arrangement, as well. 

People fall into this lifestyle.

Sometimes, couples choose to try the lifestyle and find out that it makes their relationship better. “We learned a lot about how poly worked…and soon it was quite a normal thing in our social circle,” mentions Alex who also practices polyamory together with his wife. He narrates that, at first, he and his wife were reluctant to adopt the lifestyle. “It did make us more relaxed about other things, we became more comfortable telling each other when we found someone else attractive or had fun flirting with someone or whatever,” he explains.

It requires constant and open communication.

To maintain the beneficial effects of having multiple partners, Alex and his wife adopted the necessity of having constant and open communication. He says that they make it a point to prioritize their relationship even as they practice polyamory. He shares that it isn’t always easy. “…we found we were able to work things out for ourselves through lots of honesty and conversation and being loving and considerate in a way that has also made our relationship much deeper and stronger,” Alex explains.

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Study Says Lockdown Helped Make More People Happy

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According to the Bennet Institute for Public Policy in Cambridge University, about half of the people who previously reported feelings of happiness decreased in the 3 weeks right after the lockdown. Data from various platforms mention that only about 51% of Britons declared feelings of joy before the report of the first COVID-19 death in the UK and only 25% were feeling happy after the declaration of lockdown on 23 March.

When the lockdown eased a bit, however, numbers started improving as around 47% started saying that they were happy by the end of May.

The same research also mentions that there is a relative difference between the rich and the poor in terms of happiness levels in relation to the lockdown. Those who were well-off in life mention the dwindling levels of joy while the poorest sector asserts a rise in hopefulness and satisfaction.

Dr Robert Foa of YouGov-Cambridge Centre for Public Opinion Research and Cambridge’s Department of Politics and International Studies mentions, “It was the pandemic, not the lockdown, that depressed people’s wellbeing. Mental health concerns are often cited as a reason to avoid lockdown.”

“In fact, when combined with employment and income support, lockdown may be the single most effective action a government can take during a pandemic to maintain psychological welfare,” Foa adds.

In many parts of the world, there is a huge outcry for aid especially because the widespread declaration of lockdowns caused many people to lose their jobs. Many people were also cut off from their loved ones due to the social distancing requirement that is still in effect today. People who were used to freely mingling and going out daily were suddenly left with nothing to do and no one to be with. The sudden need to stay indoors greatly affected the different aspects of living, causing huge impacts on both physical and mental well-being.

With the news of various attempts to discover an effective vaccine for the coronavirus and the increasing improvement in contract tracing and testing, many people are feeling hopeful once again. The need to go back to various jobs and reconnect with loved ones allow more people to regain the positivity that was lost during the height of the pandemic.

Summary

The sudden onset of the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis heavily affected the whole world. Various countries around the world were forced to enact hard lockdowns and require social distancing protocols to stop the rapid spread of the deadly virus. The general feelings of happiness decreased during the onset of the pandemic as the report of the first UK death made people realize the seriousness of the issue at hand. With the attempts to discover a vaccine for the disease, however, and the gradual easing of lockdown in the country, more and more Britons are now claiming feelings of hopefulness and joy. Around the world, the clamor for a definite covid-19 cure is heard.   

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