imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Countdown to Christmas! Do you have all your gifts ready?

Christmas is only 2 days away.  Do you have all your gifts ready?  I don’t mean those shiny, expensive things wrapped and sitting under the tree.  I mean all the important things like:

  • the gift of love for your family and friends
  • the gift of forgiveness for everyone you know, NOT just those who are nice to you
  • the gift of sharing everything you have with others
  • the gift of compassion for those who are in a dark, unhappy place
  • the gift of time to spend with others, creating awesome new memories
  • the gift of serving by doing something helpful for someone else
  • the gift of conversation and taking time to sit and listen

These gifts don’t put a dent in your finances but they are worth far more than anything money can buy.  Life can be full of happiness when you show love to others through your actions.  Spread joy around this year by searching inside for those wonderful gifts you already have and share them with your loved ones.

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What does Christmas mean to you?

For many people, the Christmas season means weeks of stress leading to a short peak of excitement, then a feeling of emptiness.   We spend all our time planning a family celebration, preparing food, shopping and wrapping gifts.  Then we have one or two days to share with family and friends; sharing gifts, eating and making memories.  Too soon it is all over and the stress takes its toll leaving us exhausted and let down.

Christmas is supposed to be a season of celebration – a time of peace and joy.  Instead of rushing around buying gifts that don’t last, we should be spending time with family and friends, making memories that will last.   Taking a walk with a loved on to see the Christmas lights or inviting a friend over for coffee shows you care much more than just quickly handing them a gift.  Taking the family to an outdoor event or to the park to play in the snow shows you value them more than buying them a pile of gifts.  ‘Presence’ is worth so much more than ‘presents’.

Money does not buy happiness but money does buy debt.  Don’t make Christmas the season that causes you pain throughout the rest of the year.  Make Christmas the best time of the year and make meaningful memories by showing love to everyone around you.

May God bless you during this wonderful time of year!

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Handling stress during the holidays

Christmas is a wonderful season but it can also be a season of tremendous stress.  If you want to really enjoy the holidays, it is important that you take care of yourself and find ways to handle the added pressures that can take away any peace or joy.

  • Consider what Christmas is all about.  Why do we celebrate?  Is it just a holiday or is there something more important?
  • Don’t try to make everything perfect.  Nothing in this world is perfect so stop trying to do the impossible.  If something doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, just make the best of things and enjoy yourself anyway.  A burnt pie or a forgotten gift doesn’t have to ruin the day.
  • Don’t spend all your money on unwanted or frivolous gifts and end up in debt.  Make a budget and stick to it.  Those wonderful gifts don’t seem so wonderful when you are paying for them months later.  Spend your time instead investing in the people you love and create some great memories.
  • Take time for yourself and don’t neglect your health.  Eat healthy, exercise and sleep well.  Relax with a good book, take a bath, listen to music and meditate.  If you don’t exhaust yourself, you will be able to enjoy the holidays.
  • Have a good attitude and be forgiving to the people around you.  Try to resolve any differences and work on repairing strained relationships.  Be a positive role model and express thanks for all the great things you have.
  • Plan creative but simple meals.  Get family and friends to help instead of doing everything yourself.  Share the load so you aren’t overburdened.
  • Try to include someone who is lonely in a family experience.  There are many people who don’t have family or friends to share Christmas with.

Christmas can be the most wonderful time of year.  It can be a time of peace and joy.  It can be full of love and warmth.  It all depends on what you focus on.  Remember what Christmas is all about.  Jesus came into the world to bring us hope.  Hallelujah!!

 

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A Christmas checklist

What is on your Christmas checklist?  Buying presents, preparing for guests, creating a tasty meal plan, attending special events?  These are certainly things that need attention but when we get caught up in all the excitement, we can end up feeling stressed and full of anxiety.

There are a few important things that you should have on your Christmas checklist.  These include:

 

  • HELP  Get family and friends to help.  Think of an aunt, cousin or friend who is bored and would like to help you wrap gifts, clean the house and prepare meals.  Things go faster and are more fun when you have help.
  • FAMILY TIME  Spend time with your family.  In our attempt to create a perfect Christmas, we often neglect our family.  This certainly won’t create a feeling of love and peace in the home.
  • GIFTS  Don’t buy gifts at the last minute.  Watch for special sales all year and pick up the rest early in December so you can get them wrapped and under the tree.
  • SHOPPING TIME  Organize shopping so you aren’t running around in all directions or going out every day for wasting time running out for just one item.  Combine gift shopping with your regular errands and make plans to go several places in one day.
  • DIET  Make sure you eat properly.  When you are rushing around, it is easy to grab fast food or go without meals.  Your family also needs proper meals, so take time to prepare something healthy.
  • RELAX  Book time to relax in your schedule.  Make sure you spend at least an hour each day relaxing.  Read a book, take a bath or just sit and meditate.
  • SHARE LOVE  There are so many lonely, unhappy people, especially at this time of year.  Spread some love around by smiling and saying hello to everyone you see.  You might just get a smile back!

If you want Christmas to be a joyful event, you need to make sure you are not focusing all your attention on gifts and glitter.  Focus on what is important and what the Christmas season is all about.

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. ~J.L.W. Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

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What is the best gift under your tree?

the-best-of-all-gifts

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Are you ready for Christmas?

People are always in such a hurry, especially at this time of year.  We rush here and there trying to get everything ready for Christmas and it often seems like we are getting nowhere fast.  What we do get, is a lot of stress and frustration.

Christmas should be a time to create new memories with family and friends.  We should be able to stop our busy lives, take some time to relax and reflect on what Christmas is all about.  Christmas was never meant to be a mad rush to spend a lot of money trying to impress people with lavish gifts.   Consumerism has taken the joy away from this wonderful season.  We spend more time and money looking for gifts that people don’t really want or will soon lose interest in or even replace with something that is newer or more interesting, than we spend sharing memories with the people we love.

Think about the time you spend shopping versus the time you spend with your families and friends and ask these questions:

  • Do you spend more money or more time with your loved ones?
  • Do they really need those items you are madly searching for?
  • Can you afford those items or will you be paying for them months and years down the road?
  • Are you feeling relaxed or stressed?
  • Are you happier before, during or after Christmas?

We all need to slow down and stop rushing through life.   We all feel pressure to want things to happen immediately and we don’t want to wait for anything.  The problem is, we are often disappointed with our lives and in our busyness we miss a lot of what is going on around us.  There are so many little, important things that happen when we are too busy to notice: the smile of a child, the chirp of a bird, a beautiful sunset, laughter, acts of kindness.

Are you ready for Christmas or are you still rushing around doing things that are not really that important?   Take some time this Christmas to slow down, relax and reflect.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  Luke 2:11

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Christmas repost from 2012

We all have different holiday traditions and we celebrate according to our beliefs.  Many families gather together to share a meal and open presents.  Others travel to a vacation spot to reChristmas Elflax and forget about the stresses of everyday life.   Some people don’t celebrate Christmas because of various reasons and it is just another day for them.  Then there are those who don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with because their families live too far away, they have no family, there is conflict or all their loved ones have passed away.

Most of us have high expectations of Christmas.  We want to spend time with family and friends, enjoying the season.   When this doesn’t happen we feel like something is wrong and we react in a negative way, often hurting ourselves in the process.

Christmas can be a difficult time if you are alone.  However, being alone does not have to result in unhappiness.  Many people spend Christmas alone by choice and they are not lonely or miserable.  It is all a matter of perception.

Instead of feeling bad about the season, try making a list of things you like to do and then take action.   Here are some ideas:

  1. Watch some favourite movies, read some books, listen to music.
  2. Call some friends and invite them to come for coffee.  They might feel lonely too and enjoy the company.
  3. Consider getting a pet if you don’t have one.   They are great companions.  Find one that suits your needs and is easy to care for.  Having a dog is a great excuse for taking a walk.
  4. If you belong to a church, make sure you attend Christmas services.  If you don’t, consider attending one as it will help you feel part of the celebration.
  5. Organize your home or start a new project.
  6. Do something creative.  Starting writing, drawing or do some crafts.
  7. Play a game like solitaire or do crossword puzzles.
  8. Visit a mall while they are open and watch people.
  9. Help volunteer at a soup kitchen or visit a senior home and share yourself with others.  This is guaranteed to bring happiness to all.
  10. Always be positive about life.

These ideas are great for anytime of year.  If you fill your life with positive activity and surround yourself with positive people, you won’t have time to feel lonely.  Treat yourself like the special person you are and have a very merry Christmas!  Love to everyone!  🙂

This is the message of Christmas:  We are never alone.  ~Taylor Caldwell

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What are you giving this Christmas….Presents or Presence?

We all know that Christmas is a time for giving presents and that can be a good thing if the presents are simple and come from the heart.  However, many people believe that they have to spend a lot of money on extravagant gifts so they will be loved and appreciated.  A big screen TV, a new expensive designer outfit, gold jewelry, the latest gadget or gimmick.  Doesn’t it mean you love someone more if you spend more money???  No, this is certainly not true.  It is just a false belief that tricks you into parting with your money, makes you feel bad and often puts you in debt.

It is far more important to give your PRESENCE on Christmas rather than PRESENTS.  Think about it.

  • Is a child happier when they are surrounded with piles of new toys and have nobody to play with OR are they happier when they have one game to play with someone they love?
  • Is a wife happier when her husband gives her a diamond bracelet and then works overtime to pay for it OR is she happier when her husband gives her an inexpensive pair of earrings and then spends time watching TV with her every evening?
  • Is a friend happier when she gets the newest I-phone from her friend and doesn’t see her for 6 months because she is too busy OR is she happier when her friend takes her for coffee once a week and spends time chatting with her?

Spending time with people spreads more happiness than spending money on people.  What are you giving this Christmas…..Presents or Presence?

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How to have a perfect Christmas

book and candlesIf you want to have the best possible Christmas this year, try the following:

  • spend lots of time with your family and friends (and not lots of money on worthless presents)
  • give thanks for what you have (and don’t be unhappy for things you don’t have)
  • show love and kindness to everyone you know (even those people you don’t particularly like)
  • forgive people who have hurt you (and forgive yourself for hurting others)
  • think the best of everyone (not the worst)

Most importantly, remember what Christmas is all about.  We are celebrating the birth of Jesus and praising God for His wonderful gift to the world.   May you all experience peace and joy in this Christmas celebration.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas!

 

 

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Relax…Breathe…Take it easy…Slow down

People are such a rush these days!  Christmas should be a time when people can enjoy the season and anticipate being together with family and friends.  Unfortunately, many people don’t have time to enjoy Christmas because they are rushing to buy gifts and get all those last minute errands run.   I could never understand why so many people wait until the last minute to get things done.  I start early in December so I don’t get caught in all those crazy crowds.

Just this morning, I was driving down the street and had to stop for a red light.  I looked to the left to see if any cars were coming so I could make a right turn.  This probably took my eyes away from the traffic light for about 3 seconds and I heard a beep from the car behind me.   The light had just turned green and she was obviously very impatient for me to start moving.  Wow, she had wasted 3 whole seconds!  I felt so bad that I made her wait for so long!  (Not really)

People need to slow down and stop rushing through life.  Where is everyone rushing to anyway?  Is anything that important that we can’t wait for a minute or two and take a deep breath.  We are all programmed to want things immediately.  We don’t want to wait for anything.  We want it NOW!!

The reality is, everything is not an emergency!  Trying to rush through life just stresses us out and we miss out on a lot of important things.  We miss what is happening around us, those special moments with our families, especially our children.  We miss the beauty in nature.  We miss all those little, important things that happen when we are too busy to stop and look.

Take time this Christmas season and just relax…breathe…take it easy…slow down.  Enjoy the blessings of the season.

 

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