Festive fun for all: Journey’s Happier Holidays recap

December 31, 2021
A couple wearing Christmas-colored socks resting their feet by the fireplace

In November, the Journey program hosted the return of its Happier Holidays Zoom series, which offered virtual attendees an opportunity to stress less about the holidays while picking up pointers on doing it up right. The holidays continued to look different for so many of us, so we figured a fresh look at holiday traditions would be just the thing for our participants’ festivities. This Journey series was designed to tone down the tension, jump up the joyful, and put more holly jolly in the holidays.

We rounded up industry experts and brought them live via Zoom to our registered participants each Tuesday in November for amazing presentations, festive pro tips, and often some great Q&A sessions. Many of our frequent “attendees” — along with some new faces — tuned in for tips on holiday giving, spending, relaxing, and more. We even hosted experts on making the holidays more fun, not to mention safer, for your furry family members. If you missed out, don’t despair! We recorded the segments for our YouTube channel. Below are brief overviews and links to each video — enjoy!


Happier Giving: Gifts with Greater Meaning

Featuring Elena Madsen, Crafting Consultant at Mākit Tākit Craft Studio, and Jill Smith, Community Outreach & Education Officer at UBT

This segment illustrated that gift-giving can be so much more than a Black Friday special, for the giver as well as the recipient. Elena showcased some unique handmade gifts to make and provided inspiration for experiences and supplies to give kids and adults alike. Jill shared some incredible ideas for incorporating charitable giving into both gift-giving and celebrations, including “giving twice.” Talk about meaningful giving!

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Happier Spending: Tricks to Keep your Budget on Track

Featuring Caitlin Moore, Financial Educator at UBT 

The holidays don’t have to be budget busters. Caitlin, a certified financial coach, walked us through formulating a comprehensive holiday budget (don’t forget the dinner!) and proactive spending plan that help minimize the stress around gift-giving. She also shared tips for making the most of credit card purchases and rewards. What about avoiding the headaches that can come with scams and fraud? Caitlin’s got us covered there, too, as she discussed best practices for online safety and how alerts, travel notes, and card controls can help keep your money safe. She wrapped things up with current and common types of scams to watch out for.

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Happier Moments: Holiday Gifts We Give Ourselves

Featuring Tracey Foreman, CPT – Community Health Educator with Aging Partners

Life goes on during the holidays, even with the added layer of activities and responsibilities. Rewinding or fast-forwarding through the season isn’t really an option (nor would you want to), but Tracie had some timeless tips for coming out refreshed, recharged, and happy on the other side. Her sage advice, simple steps, and gentle humor make this segment a pleasure to view. She even takes us through a relaxation demo on how to give yourself the gift of calm through the holidays.

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Healthier Holidays: Intentional Indulgences 

Featuring Sam Dolezal, EdD, MS, MSE, CSCS – Wellness Advocate at Union Bank & Trust

The holidays aren’t always compatible with a healthy lifestyle, and it’s too easy for many of us to run off the rails. Never fear, we brought in a UBT expert who knows how to help you enjoy life without scrapping your health! From planning for the foods you enjoy most to setting yourself up for successful celebrations by finding creative ways to sneak in some physical activity, Sam covered smart tips and easy tweaks for happier, healthier holidays with her trademark straightforward approach. 

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Happier Paw-lidays: Safe Celebrating with Your Pets

Featuring Brianna Moline, DVM – Vondra Veterinary Clinic and Dave Vrbas & Jason McCown – 
Co-Owners, Lucky Larry’s Dog Treats

So many of us want to include our furry family members in our holiday festivities, but we also want them to be safe and calm. Dr. Moline covered pro tips for avoiding toxic foods and plants, helping your furry family members adjust to new home décor, and decreasing busy-home anxiety. She also offered sound advice for making pets more comfortable to travel or board. Jason and Dave joined us to offer ideas for safe spoiling of your pets, including healthy holiday treats and gifts for lucky pets and pet parents alike. A good time was had by all!

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