THE STRAIGHT UP
WHATWILL YOU GIVE FOR CHRISTMAS? The Extraordinary Benefits of Giving
“TODAY, MY FAVORITE PART OF THE HOLIDAYS IS GETTING GIFTS FOR MY LOVED ONES. I REALLY LOVE FINDING THE PERFECT GIFT FOR MY FRIENDS, THEIR CHILDREN, MY GODCHILDREN, MY HUSBAND, AND, STARTING THIS YEAR, MY DOG, BUSTER.”
I didn’t expect to get every gift I wanted, but I loved the mystery and excitement of it. To me, wondering what I might get was as much fun as actually opening the presents on Christmas morning.Years later, I learned this phenomenon is called “anticipatory savoring,” and it can actually help you enjoy any experience more. As I grew up, the object of my seasonal anticipatory savoring shifted from the gifts I would get to the gifts I would give. Today, my favorite part of the holidays is getting gifts for my loved ones. I really love finding the perfect gift for my friends, their children, my godchildren, my husband, and, starting this year, my dog, Buster. It’s fun to picture how excited and surprised the person will be when they open the gift. I know I’m not the only one who enjoys gift-giving so much. In fact, there is substantial research on the impact gift-giving has on our wellbeing. Would you believe giving can help you live longer? In 1999, a study led by Doug Oman of the University of California found seniors who volunteered at two or more charities were less likely to die over a 5-year period, compared to nonvolunteers. This is likely because people who provide social support to others tend to have lower blood pressure, and therefore enjoy the associated health benefits.
o you remember the Sears Wish Book? Back in the time of holidays past, Sears would release a massive catalog each year,
In addition to the physical benefits, giving truly makes us happier people. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that when people give to charities, it activates areas of the brain associated with pleasure, trust, and social connection. This may be why giving is contagious. Research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science showed that when a person acts generously, it inspires others to follow their lead. That generosity continues to spread from person to person. This is great news, because giving helps build cooperation and social connections. Giving, whether we’re giving our time or a physical gift, strengthens our connections with other people. It can help us build a better community. I love the idea that giving can help make the world a better place. When we give a little, we truly get a lot in return. Isn’t making the world a better place what the holidays are all about?
featuring over 500 pages of consumer dreams. The Sears catalog had all kinds of things in it, but, as a kid, the only thing you cared about was the 100 pages of toys. I remember being 10 years old, flipping through the pages and marking the toys I wanted Santa Claus to bring me. I figured he was so smart, dog-earing a page in the SearsWish Book would be enough for Santa to know what I wanted.
Merry Christmas to you all! May you get, and give, everything you were hoping for this year.
–Dr. Leslie Pitner
Smile big. Smile often. • 803-781-5225
SMILE MORE IN 2018 MAKE YOUR NEWYEAR’S RESOLUTION SUCCEED The new year is fast
Research conducted at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK found 88 percent of NewYear’s Resolutions fail. This kind of number can make you ask, “Why bother?” but you shouldn’t give up before you’ve even started! Here are some simple tips to help you succeed in your NewYear’s resolutions. Make a Game Plan Dr. BJ Fogg of Stanford University found most NewYear’s resolutions fail because “people aren’t picking specific behaviors.” Your resolution might be, “Take better care of my teeth,” but you need a plan to get there. When you pick a resolution, map out steps you will take to make it a reality. For example, the first step might be to commit to flossing every day. Grab your favorite wax floss, waterpik, or floss picks, and resolve to make flossing part of your nightly routine. Don’t Wait! There is one big problem with NewYear’s resolutions; they suggest we have to wait
until Jan. 1 to start improving our lives. Our busy schedules
approaching, and we can guess what your NewYear’s resolution
can make it difficult to plan things for ourselves. If bad teeth have you down, there’s no reason to wait for a particular date on the calendar to start smiling again. Dr. Pitner opened her office, Pitner Downtown, specifically for adults who want orthodontic care to match their busy schedules! To help patients achieve their dream of a perfect smile in the new year, we’re offering complimentary consultations at Pitner Downtown. This $249 value includes dental exam, photos, digital X-rays, and complete analysis with treatment options, and it can help you plan your path to a beautiful smile.
might be: to have a healthier mouth! Okay, maybe “eat better” or “exercise more” are bigger priorities, but “enjoy a beautiful smile” must be on the list, right? Whatever your resolution, there’s something you should know.
Call (803) 781-5225 and schedule your consultation today! While you’re here, tell us about your other NewYear’s resolutions. We’d love to root for you!
TO ENJOY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON UNUSUAL HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPES
’Tis the season for hot beverages! Sure, Americans love coffee all year long, but as the holidays roll around, hot chocolate sales boom. There’s something satisfying about sweet, rich chocolate topped with whipped cream and marshmallows. It’s a classic combination, but who says the classics can’t be updated? Broaden your hot chocolate horizons this holiday season with some truly unique recipes! Aztec Hot Chocolate This spicy drink pays homage to those original chocoholics, the Aztecs. Cacao beans are native to Mesoamerica, and the ancient Aztec loved to grind the beans and serve them in a bitter, frothy liquid. In this recipe, dark chocolate,
Frozen Hot Chocolate If your winter wonderland
chili pepper, and cinnamon blend into a rich treat, but you’ll also have access to a couple ingredients the Aztecs didn’t have: sugar and milk. Learn how to make the perfect winter drink at theendlessmeal.com/spicy-aztec-hot- chocolate. Raspberry Hot Chocolate Tired of the dreary, gray winter weather? Is sounds like you could use a dash of sweet pink! Real raspberry puree gives this drink a much-needed burst of fruity delight, especially when you swap out the usual milk chocolate with creamy white chocolate. Toss a few raspberries on top, and you’re sure to be enchanted by the colors and the flavor. Check out the recipe at sugarhero. com/raspberry-white-hot-chocolate/.
view is less than snowy, you might be craving a cooler hot chocolate beverage. It’s your standard hot chocolate recipe, but it replaces the pot and stove with some ice and a blender!Yes, you can still top it with whipped cream and sprinkles. Find the full recipe at centercutcook.com/frozen-hot-chocolate/. Whether you're a casual cocoa drinker or a true chocolate connoisseur, there’s an incredible recipe waiting for you. The best part?You can keep trying different hot chocolates until you find your new favorite.
IS YOUR CALENDAR CHRONICALLY CRAMMED? Try This Must-Do Resolution
In her book, “The Life-ChangingMagic of TidyingUp,” Marie Kondo gave us a transformative method for decluttering our homes. Based on feng shui principles and Kondo’s own study of organization, the KonMari Method has led thousands of devotees to new heights of tidiness. Kondo instructs participants to assess each of their possessions, itemby item, category by category, and then dispose of those that do not provide joy. It’s touted as a simple, though not easy, guide to long-termorganization. calls her 10-month experiment in doing so an “unqualified success.” Most of us could benefit from trimming our jampacked schedules.Those various calendars synced to our phone, each emitting noisy reminders about the upcoming hour’s plans, aren’t exactly harbingers of harmony. Get a jump-start on your organization resolution by applying the KonMari Method to your calendar. What would happen if this approach were applied to your calendar? Entrepreneur ChristinaWallace
Step 1: Assess First, envision the life you want to lead. Next, assess all the items listed on your calendar within a two-month period.Organize each commitment according to categories — social, work-related, doctor’s appointments, etc. Be thorough. Including each commitment, nomatter howminor, is the key to this process. Step 2: JoyTest Do these commitments bring you joy?Are they part of your ideal life? When you look at “Lunch date withMargot” from last week, are you reminded of her unfriendly comments about your waiter and her negative attitude toward your renovation ideas?Consider each commitment and its impact on your joy. Of course, not all commitments will live up to the joy standard.Youmay not love your annual check-up, but it is important for your health.When you encounter non-negotiable items like these, consider the long-term impact they have on your well-being.
Step 3: Discard Put an end to commitments that are not bringing you joy.This might mean having tough conversations with clients or friends. No one said the KonMari Method is easy. Decluttering entails getting rid of items that do not pass the joy test. Step 4: Apply! Follow through. Cancel commitments and long-standing obligations that are not benefiting your life. Have the difficult conversation. Apply the joy test as new commitments come up. By considering each commitment and its impact on your life, you will make room for those that bring you joy.To readmore about the KonMari Method, check out Kondo’s “The Life-ChangingMagic of TidyingUp” and its companion book, “Spark Joy.”
HOLIDAY S T A R C O O K I E S
Looking for something a little lighter to eat during the holiday season? Try these paleo-friendly star cookies!
• ¼ cup coconut oil, melted • 5 tablespoons agave nectar or honey • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 2½ cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal) • ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt • ¼ teaspoon baking soda • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. 2. In a small bowl, mix coconut oil, agave, and vanilla. 3. Mix wet ingredients into dry. 4. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until ¼ inch thick. 5. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 6. Remove top piece of parchment paper and dust dough with almond flour. 7. Cut out cookies with a small star cutter. 8. Using a metal spatula, place stars on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 9. Bake at 350 F until edges are lightly browned, 5–8 minutes.
Smile big. Smile often. • 803-781-5225
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5953 Wescott Rd. Columbia, SC 29212 803-781-5225 Monday–Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.drpitner.com
Give a Little, Get a Lot
Big Plans for 2018? Unique Hot Chocolate Recipes You Need to Try Go KonMari on Your Calendar Holiday Star Cookies
Local Events to Liven Up the Winter ‘TIS THE SEASON OF FUN
Holiday Lights on the River Where: Saluda Shoals Park, Columbia When: Wednesday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Dec. 31; 6–10 p.m. Admission: $15 per car Website: icrc.net/holiday-lights It’s the dead of winter, but you can still find light in the darkest of nights when Saluda Shoals Park is illuminated with over a million colorful bulbs. Journey through a glittering wonderland, complete with animated displays, a laser light show, tube slide, hayrides, and marshmallows for roasting.You might even see Santa himself! With a new route this year, Columbia’s favorite holiday tradition will be as magical as ever.
"AChristmas Story: The Musical" Where: Koger Center for theArts, Columbia When: Dec. 19–20; 7:30 p.m.
NewYear’s Eve Masquerade Party Where: Blue Moon Ballroom,West Columbia When: Sunday, Dec. 31; 8 p.m. to midnight Admission: $50 for singles, $80 for couples Website: bluemoonballroom.dance/home.html NewYear’s Eve is a time for celebration, but the loud parties downtown aren’t everyone’s idea of fun. If you’re dreaming of a more elegant way to ring in the new year, Blue Moon Ballroom is where you want to be. Enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres, drinks, door prizes, and a midnight champagne toast, while the Soda City Dance Band performs all your favorite ballroom tunes. Find a mask, get dressed to the nines, and dance into the new year!
Admission: See website for pricing Website: broadwayincolumbia.com
“AChristmas Story” is a beloved movie which captures our hearts every year. Now, you can see the holiday classic live on stage! Step back to the 1940s as a young Ralphie Parker schemes, and sings, his way to his dream present — an official Red Ryder, carbine-action, 200-shot, Range Model air rifle. Full of new songs, lots of laughs, and the infamous leg lamp, get your tickets now to see why the New YorkTimes wrote, “You’d have to have aGrinch- sized heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face.”
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