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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Working Off Holiday Dinners

Chances are you’ll be taking in a few extra calories this month. From Thanksgiving to New Years Eve, a barrage of dinner engagements, cookie exchanges, and parties fill the calendar. Gift baskets and tins arrive with fudge, divinity, rich chocolates and gooey caramel candies. The calendar is full and so are you. Is there anyway to survive the holidays without gaining weight?

12 practical ways to burn (or prevent) extra calories this month.

- Sweep your porch instead of using an electric blower.
- Rake fallen leaves in your yard or rake an elderly neighbor’s lawn. What a great gift!
- Clean your windows, indoors and out before stringing lights.
- Split firewood. No fireplace or wood burning stove? Construct a simple fire pit outdoors, the whole family will enjoy.
- Home projects are a rewarding way to burn calories. Spruce your house up for the holidays. Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door or fireplace mantle. Wallpaper, paint, or apply stucco to a room or one wall.
- Clean the ceiling fan blades in your home. Then, if you haven’t already done so, reverse the blades to circulate the heat. Stepping up and down on a ladder to do this chore is good exercise.
- Walk or workout during your lunch hour.
- When shopping in the mall, walk around the mall indoors once or twice before you start shopping!
- Attend or participate in holiday events that aren’t fattening: caroling door-to-door in your neighborhood or at a retirement home, Christmas Cantata, Christmas play, parades, toy drive, donate or volunteer time at a food bank or rescue mission.
- Freeze surplus of candies and cookies received or share with those less fortunate.
- Don’t make or buy the sweets you lack willpower to resist. To avoid gaining weight, make everyone else’s favorite desserts.
- Don’t eat Santa’s cookies and milk! (No wonder Santa’s fat!)

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.