Secret #3 for a Perfect Christmas

Remember that on the 25th of each month we will be revealing one of our secrets for the perfect Christmas in 2012.  Today we share Secret #3- Giving Time is More Important Than Giving Things!

One of the most over used sayings at the holidays is “It’s better to give than receive”.  This is often uttered by those trying to justify a less than expected gift or holiday experience.  I wish that we could all try to live this statement more than say it.  We have shared many ideas and thought throughout the year about the extreme joy there is in helping others.  Many ways to prepare and save to be able to help those in need have been written.  With less than 3 months until Christmas it is time to really think about how we can give to others.  So often the best gift of all is time and that is what secret #3 is all about.

Lots of us volunteer time and energy in December in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This is one of the most volunteer active times of the year.  Plan ahead now to spend some precious time helping others.  Do it as a family and make a new tradition.  Find that special community group or organization to add your energy in the mix or do more with your church.  Start looking for ways to help groups get ready for the holidays.  Help decorate local buildings, set-up the christmas pageant at church, or maybe stop by the hospital or local nursing home to see what is needed.  A great idea I read about was to start visiting a nursing home now.  Get to know some residents and really make a bond that will be so much more special to keep at the holidays and after.  I imagine so many seniors get excited about the rush of holiday volunteers and visitors only to have a depressing January when they are all gone.  Make a difference in someone’s life and be there.

I would guess that, for some, giving your own family the gift of your time would be a fantastic gift.  Plan your days to increase your time at home with the family 30 minutes a day until Halloween, then an hour a day until Thanksgiving, and then do fill that extra time with family interaction and fun!  Giving the gift of you and your time is really the most luxurious gift of them all.

Secret #8 for the Perfect Christmas

Remember that on the 25th of each month we will be revealing one of our secrets for the perfect Christmas in 2012.  Today we reveal Secret #8- Christmas is not the time to bear a grudge- forgive!

Better late than never!  In the excitement to discuss all the friends of St. Nicholas I completely lost track of the date and missed posting this on the 25th.  Keeping track of all our holiday fun can be more that one post a day can handle.

This secret to a perfect really gets to the heart of the spirit of Christmas.  It is a perfect time to forgive and if nothing else to forget.  Far too often in today’s hectic lives families can drift apart.  Divisions and arguments from the past can grow into year-long avoidance and even estrangement.  Christmas is the best time to put those differences to rest.  Include everyone for the party.  Don’t forget to extend Christmas dinner plans to your cousins, uncles, aunts, sisters, brothers, parents, and even children.  Use the happiness and kindness of the season to bridge the gap and start fresh.  It may end up being only a short reprieve from whatever trouble you were having, but it may end up being the start to a new time of happiness for you! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Forgive!

Remember in the movie Home Alone when Kevin finally talks to the scary neighbor man?  The neighbor shared about how he spent Christmas alone and didn’t get to see his son or grand-daughter due to a fight years ago.  Kevin convinces him to call them and try to make up for the past.  The end scene of the movie has Kevin looking out his window to see the neighbor man, who isn’t that scary anymore, walking up to his house with his grand-daughter and son.  Cue the sentimental musical score and grab the tissues.  Christmas might be able to fix just about anything.