Take Control of Your Christmas Calendar

Here it comes – the Christmas season is beginning and so is the busyness that always seems to go along with it.  I mentioned in a previous blog that I would talk a little bit more about taking control of your own calendar, so here it is.

So many people, myself included, attend events because we are expected to do so.  And also attending these events is a myriad of people who we know and love, know and don’t love, don’t know, and some we don’t want to know.  Yet, we are there because we are expected to be there.  Why is that?  Who places this expectation on us?  Someone else?  Ourselves?  And there is the really big question – what would happen if for one year we did not attend the event when we were expected to be there?  What if we finally said that we could not make it this year?

I’m going to make the guess that the Earth would not open up and swallow us whole, we would probably not be shunned, and no one would send the flying monkeys out to get us.

More often than not, if we were really honest with ourselves, we would acknowledge the fact that other people are expected to attend said party as well and are not there.  Maybe they took at night out with their kids.  Maybe they had tickets to something.  Or maybe they just said to heck with the craziness and had a night in.

The Earth did not swallow them, they will not be shunned, and no one is sending out the flying monkeys to get them.

So why can’t we let the same rules apply to ourselves?  This is not a scorecard type of life, where we win if we do the most stuff expected of us.

All of this to say – setting boundaries is not selfish or wrong.  It is actually one of the sanest and loving things that you can do for you and your family.  You are sending the clear message that you and your family are important, and you have to take time for that – time that is not running from one place to another.

So block out time on your calendar – time for you and the people with whom you choose to spend this special season.

And this year, you take control of your calendar, instead of letting control you.


My Black Friday Prayer

Love this!! So beautifully said.


This Christmas help us to spend less money…
But more time.

Let us not give to those who expect…
But rather to those who need.

Let us not buy presents…
But rather be Your presence,
to a world lost and dying.

Let us incarnate You.

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Gratitude in the Season of Attitude

Reblogging this post from last year. The sentiment remains the same. Let’s keep it civil out there.

Simple Thoughts

I don’t want to turn on my TV this morning, or for that matter, any radio with people who speak between songs.  I just don’t want to hear it.  It is Black Friday, and I don’t want to hear about people who are willing to do physical and emotional damage to another human being just to get the best deal.  All I can think is:

Seriously, people???  Does it really matter that much?  Really??

I’m not talking about those people who shop Black Friday sales because the deals are awesome.  I’m not talking about people who map out the mall and have tag teams and a strategy. That is organization.  And I get that because I am all about saving money.  I’m not even talking about people who wear light up antlers and singing sweatshirts.  That is making it fun.  I’m talking about those people who are willing to trample…

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Leftovers….Now What?

Give it some thought for tomorrow morning.

Simple Thoughts

Leftovers…they have taken over your refrigerator.  And you need to start sorting all of that out and making sure that it does not go to waste.  So what do you do?

  1.  Freeze the meat in dinner or single portion sizes. 
  2. If you have a ham bone, freeze that as well.  It would be great to flavor beans at a later date.
  3. Save the turkey bones to make turkey broth later.    
  4. Make a frittata with some of the leftovers.  Add veggies, and maybe a bit of the stuffing or ham or turkey or all of them, to a skillet.  Sauté the veggies in your fat of choice just to warm them a bit, and then add egg whites or several beaten eggs.  Add cheese if you would like, and then cook the eggs until they begin to set (just leave them there – don’t stir).  Put skillet in broiler to…

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Giving Thanks Today and Beyond

On this day of Thanksgiving, take time out this day to really think about what you are truly thankful for in your life.  Not the stuff, but the people and relationships and positive things that you have seen in your life. Even the negative stuff that taught you how to be a better person.

On the day after Thanksgiving, do the same thing.

On the day after that, do the same thing again.

Keep going – day after day after day – and you will see how truly blessed you really are.

Don’t limit yourself to one day or one month of thanksgiving, but make it a way of life.

All Done by December 01 – Week 6

So here we are at the last week in this process, and there is relatively little left to do.  This is especially true for me, since I used to not start this until after I was out of school for the semester, which sometimes left a matter of days to get all of this done.

Which leads me to the last week…now that most of this process is complete, what do you really want to focus on this season?  What is truly important to you and your family?

More and more I am finding that time is the most important focus for the season.  We tend to get caught up in being busy, rushing from place to place, thing to thing, and one school event to the next, that we tend to end up feeling more stress than joy.  The joy comes in the time to enjoy the relationships you have with people, and not just checking something off of a list.

I love having the time with my family and friends.  We don’t have to be doing anything fancy – just being together is plenty.  We can hang out in our pajamas and watch Christmas shows, and that is so much more meaningful that any trip to the mall.

So go ahead determine your focus for the season, and what is really important to you to make memories.  Don’t be afraid to reclaim your calendar, and make decisions that are in the best interest of your family (more on that next week).

And most importantly, enjoy your Christmas!

Taking People for Granted

This is a reblog from this time last year, but the sentiment remains the same. Enjoy!

Simple Thoughts

Taking People for Granted

A very sweet lady that I have known since I was probably eight posted this on Facebook for her granddaughters. I love it for that, and for the very simple message – notice and appreciate. This simple lesson is something that we can take from this season of gratitude and apply it year round. We will be better people for it.

We take so much for granted – people most of all – so think about the small opportunities that you have to notice and appreciate. That harried clerk who has to ask for your id when you use a credit card. Instead of harrumphing about what a pain it is, thank the clerk for being concerned about fraud and show your id with a smile. It will totally change the day for both of you. And on a side note, thank you to those companies who check id from…

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