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Things To Do

Monday, December 21, 2009

The calendar is moving rapidly toward December 25 and people are going crazy trying to get everything done in time for Christmas. I watch them and ask myself "Why?" Beginning about December 10, people start asking "Are you ready for Christmas?" Does it matter? If I am not ready, will Christmas wait until I get ready? NO!~

Take a moment and take stock. Look at all the stuff you have to do in the next few days. Look at each thing you have to do. Ask yourself "What happens if this doesn't get done?" "Can this be done next week just as well?" If your answers indicate that not accomplishing this task will not totally ruin someone's Christmas, put it at the bottom of your list and do the important stuff. That way, when the last page falls off the calendar and Christmas is here, you will have done the stuff that had to be done and that you wanted to do and you have not exhausted yourself on things that didn't really matter that much.

Give yourself the gift of time this Christmas.

Merry Christmas

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJHWMSTN 12/21/2009 10:03AM

  Thanks, but I don't have this problem. I see Christmas totally different. The true meaning of the day is not how much materiality governs each day getting to THE day, but how much love, concern for others and hospitality you have to give. Everyone seems to believe that the day is all about material gifts. I view it as a day of thanks and zeroing in on the birthday we are celebrating in the first place. I decorate minimally and give gifts to my friends and family throughout the year. I visit with those I can and if not on this particular day, then as often or as soon as is best for all.
I don't adhere to all the hype created by the merchants whose only concern is how much they will profit from your crazed spending.

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MJHWMSTN 12/21/2009 10:03AM

  Thanks, but I don't have this problem. I see Christmas totally different. The true meaning of the day is not how much materiality governs each day getting to THE day, but how much love, concern for others and hospitality you have to give. Everyone seems to believe that the day is all about material gifts. I view it as a day of thanks and zeroing in on the birthday we are celebrating in the first place. I decorate minimally and give gifts to my friends and family throughout the year. I visit with those I can and if not on this particular day, then as often or as soon as is best for all.
I don't adhere to all the hype created by the merchants whose only concern is how much they will profit from your crazed spending.

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ANDIEBM71 12/21/2009 9:54AM

    I agree completely! Happy Holidays!

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VEUVEGIRL 12/21/2009 9:53AM

    Very nice :)

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Carpe Diem!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

- John Burroughs, essayist and naturalist

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNABOY 12/21/2009 12:50AM

    Good time to reflect.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 12/20/2009 11:14AM

  thank you for sharing, I love this quote

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Christmas is Coming, The Goose is Getting Fat

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas is Coming, The Goose is Getting Fat, won't you please put a penny in the old man's hat?

Christmas has gotten completely out of hand. Maybe the current recession has a good side to it. We all have to re-evaluate Christmas and our reaction to it. Where we would give in to impulse buying in the past, this year we are asking ourselves if they really need this present and questioning why we are exchanging presents with some people whom we don't see all year and then feel obligated to exchange presents at Christmas.

We should all take a lesson from the Christmas song quoted at the beginning and put a penny in the old man's hat instead of buying the latest game or the newest fashion clothing item. A pair of $150.00 designer jeans will not really be appreciated, they will be worn but they will get stained and torn and not much will set them off from a $10.00 pair of Levis. Take the same $150.00 and but thirty games at Wal-Mart and give them to Toys For Tots (God Bless the United States Marines) or give it to a local food bank to feed the hungry. You money will go a lot father. The game you brought at Wal-Mart may be the only present some child gets. The meal the food bank serves might be the only wholesome nourishment someone gets for a month. Donate some blankets to a shelter. We all have a closet full of coats we don't wear or that don't fit. Why are we saving them. A shelter can use these to keep someone warm this winter.

Go back and read my blog from yesterday and have a Merry Christmas. No better than that, make it a Merry Christmas for yourself and for some less fortunate person.

  


A Christmas Story

Friday, December 18, 2009

For the Man Who Hated Christmas
by Nancy W. Gavin

It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas--oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it--overspending... the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears.

It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat.

Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them." Mike loved kids - all kids - and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition--one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.

Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down the envelope.

Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Editor's Note: This true story was originally published in the December 14, 1982 issue of Woman's Day magazine. It was the first place winner out of thousands of entries in the magazine's "My Most Moving Holiday Tradition" contest in which readers were asked to share their favorite holiday tradition and the story behind it. The story inspired a family from Atlanta, Georgia to start The White Envelope Project and Giving101, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating youth about the importance of giving. To learn more about honoring a loved one through this special tradition, please visit www.Giving101.org/WhiteEnvelopeProject. On the site, you can browse a catalog of unique giving opportunities, create and send your own white envelope gift, purchase charity gift cards, and more.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRENFALL09 12/18/2009 10:25AM

    This is what Christmas should be about, the true meaning of unconditional love, respect and giving from the heart!
Thank you for sharing this (as a tear runs down my face). I think this will be brought up at the dinner table tonight.

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SHANNONSTILLS 12/18/2009 8:50AM

  Thank you for sharing

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The Strangest Secret

Thursday, December 17, 2009

An excerpt from
The Strangest Secret
by Earl Nightingale

George Bernard Shaw said, "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, they make them."

Well, it's pretty apparent, isn't it? And every person who discovered this believed (for a while) that he was the first one to work it out. We become what we think about.

Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn't know where he's going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety and worry - his life becomes one of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing... he becomes nothing.

How does it work? Why do we become what we think about? Well, I'll tell you how it works, as far as we know. To do this, I want to tell you about a situation that parallels the human mind.

Suppose a farmer has some land, and it's good, fertile land. The land gives the farmer a choice; he may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn't care. It's up to the farmer to make the decision.

We're comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn't care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn't care what you plant.

Now, let's say that the farmer has two seeds in his hand- one is a seed of corn, the other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds-one corn, the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land...and what will happen? Invariably, the land will return what was planted.

As it's written in the Bible, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."

Remember the land doesn't care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn. So up come the two plants - one corn, one poison.

The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn't care what we plant...success...or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal...or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety and so on. But what we plant must return to us.

You see, the human mind is the last great unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARYNJEA 12/17/2009 11:02AM

    How true!
Great blog John.
Thanks for the comment that you left for me.

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LIS193 12/17/2009 10:58AM

    Very wise... Thank you, I needed to hear this today :)

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