The Importance Of Celebration

The Importance Of Celebration

There are many important things in life. Learning, growing, loving, and exploring are all things that each person should take time for. Celebration is another thing that everyone should take time for. Celebration adds an excitement and a lot of fun to life. The Importance Of Celebration.

Celebration can happen for a variety of formal or informal reasons. Probably most people have gone to a celebration in honor of someone’s birthday, wedding, or the birth of a new baby. There is something deep inside hu…

There are many important things in life. Learning, growing, loving, and exploring are all things that each person should take time for. Celebration is another thing that everyone should take time for. Celebration adds an excitement and a lot of fun to life.

Celebration can happen for a variety of formal or informal reasons. Probably most people have gone to a celebration in honor of someone’s birthday, wedding, or the birth of a new baby. There is something deep inside humanity that loves to celebrate the best things in life. We love a good Christmas or Fourth of July celebration or other celebrations that mark special holidays or family traditions.
Celebration doesn’t have to be reserved for the biggest events or holidays of the year though. Because the majority of our days are spent doing trivial tasks like working or cleaning our homes, we all need things to look forward to. Celebrations of all kinds give us the excitement to keep making it through days that seem purposeless. Have you ever felt like life was a little too routine? I’m confident that by the time the next holiday or birthday celebration rolled around you were grateful for the change of pace.

Celebration allows us to relax and unwind in the midst of busy and crazy lives. We use celebrations as an excuse to gather with the friends and family that mean that most to us. We also enjoy celebrations because they allow us to remember the things in life that truly matter. As we celebrate, we allow the stresses of life to fall behind and we spend our time doing things we love with the people we love. There is something about a great celebration that reminds us of the purpose of our life and of the power of our closest relationships.

Think of ways to incorporate celebrations of all kinds into your life. Make a big deal out of birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries. Throw huge celebrations for Thanksgiving, Christmas or other holidays that are important to your religious beliefs. One of the biggest keys to getting the most out of life is to have celebrations for no real reason at all. Just invite your friends over, cook great food and spend a few hours playing games that cause laughter and build friendship.

Perhaps the best thing about celebration of any kind is that it makes our lives richer and more full.

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Happy Christmas Joy

Happy Christmas Joy
by Jimmy Boyes

Happy Christmas Joy
Happy Christmas Joy

Christmas comes and goes at the same lightening speed as the bank balance. We put on a few pounds as the wallet is shedding its. Then comes the January sales “hooray” that s if I had any money to spend on them. Never mind I’ll just look and drool and think of what might have been saying to myself, as I do every year, next year will be different, I’ll definitely plan ahead.
Am I alone, I think not.

Happy Christmas Joy
Organisation is the key. Take time to think and plan the year ahead. Try to get a little extra steady income and put it away. Not easy when you have a wife, four kids, a horse and a dog to look after.
But as the saying goes, “mustn’t grumble” just have to grin and bare it.
Woo hoo here comes the New Year. I’ll have a small libation and forget some of the worries. Life is only as good as you make it.
Jimmy Boyes

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Lisa’s Christmas
by Bonnie Kettenbach

Lisa was born into a loving Christian family and went through life knowing of The Lord and his supreme sacrifice. She was accustomed to Amazing Grace each Sunday and saying grace before meals. Lisa knew of the birth of baby Jesus; that worshippers came from far and wide bearing gifts. After all this was no ordinary birth.
One day while in the car with her mother when Lisa was about 8 years old, she saw a sign saying Merry Xmas. “What does that mean?” she asked her mother. “Well” said her mother “I believe it used to be a cross however over the years it has gotten turned”. “OK but why a cross” asked Lisa It is the birth of Christ not X”
Her mother proceeded to explain that people are so hurried now they don’t take the time to write out the full word and by not doing so they change the meaning entirely. Well Lisa was determined she was never going to write Christmas that way.
Lisa also knew of gifts at Christmas and again had a question “Why do we give gifts to each other when it is Christ’s Birthday not ours?”
“Good Point” replied her mom ” Love is a Christian act and giving is too so these are Gods principals being followed” “OK said Lisa now I understand”
Christmas Morning Lisa came downstairs; in her hand was an envelope. There was a beautiful tree and loads of presents. Lisa did not seem to care. She was anxious about something. “What is wrong?” her mom asked. “Nothing replied Lisa but I have no gifts for you. I have one gift and it is for the one having the birthday.”
She opened the envelope and in it was a letter to Jesus Here is what it said
Dear Jesus
Happy Birthday! I love you very much and wanted you to know I remembered. I don’t know why so many people lose sight of what this day really means but I promise never to do that. I promise you to try a little harder this year to be nicer to those that are mean to me and to love those that don’t love me. I promise to try to talk to you more often not just when things go bad for me. Most of all Jesus I promise to keep Christ in my heart so that those I touch you will touch also.
I hope your birthday is special and at least for one day in honor of it I hope everyone will be nice and loving to each other and help others.
Thank you for everything Lord
Love Lisa
When her parents got done reading the letter they both were in tears. Sometimes the eyes of a child can see things so clearly.
Heres wishing you all a merry Christmas and remember please leave the Christ in Christmas.
Bless You all
Bonnie

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An Angel Special Christmas Gift

An Angels Special Christmas Gift
by Steve Brunkhorst

An Angel Special Christmas Gift
An Angel Special Christmas Gift

Towering ponderosa pine trees reached up to touch a blue December sky. Their top branches waved to billowy white clouds sailing over the snow-covered Colorado forest. Sniffing the sweet-scented Ponderosa bark filled my head with the aroma of Christmas candles and butterscotch cookies.
I lowered my tripod to the ground, and pointed my camera lens toward the top branches of these living giants. Their pinnacles formed a lofty monument to centuries of natural perfection. If these trees could talk, they would tell tales of the forest dating back hundreds of years.
The sky was alive with moving cloud forms. I thought, “Maybe there will be some angel clouds to photograph today.” I walked into a small clearing to get a full view of the moving clouds. Suddenly I froze in my tracks, amazed at what I saw.
Upon a large boulder was a perfect angel made of snow. She posed graciously with wings spread while I photographed her from several perspectives. Her framed image would make a unique Christmas gift for a friend who collects angels.
I had witnessed again the magnificent perfection of nature; its artistic forest patterns are filled with divine symbols. All of creation bares God’s signature in ways we can read it.
Like a moment of compelling photographic light, every moment can bring gifts of joy and empowerment. Yet we must attend to them, and choose to see them with new eyes. Awareness allows us to see through the eyes of the spirit, and understand with the heart.

How can we increase our level of awareness to fill our moment-to-moment experiences with more wonder and joy?

An Angel Special Christmas Gift
An Angel Special Christmas Gift

1. Stop, and attend purposefully to sights, sounds, smells, and feelings in the present moment. Accept this unique moment as your own, and notice the perspective from which you view it.

2. Continue to focus on the feelings within your present experience. Rather than compare your experience with a previous one, bask in the moment. Focus on its uniqueness.

3. Return a silent feeling of gratitude for each experience, knowing that all events are divine gifts given to help us learn and grow in faith.

4. Record your experience by writing it in a journal, recording it on tape, or taking photographs if possible. Your recorded perspectives will allow the sensations of your experience to remain fresh in your memory.

5. Share your experience. Thoughts that continue to receive our attention will increase in our daily experience. Sharing our experiences divides the joy with others. It is also a great way to keep a newfound level of awareness growing and thriving.
The snow angel indeed provided a unique Christmas gift for my friend, and also for me. It’s a special gift that has kept giving year after year.
Every time I view the angel’s image, it reminds me to attend to the present moment, and to view the gift of life through a spiritual lens. Life’s perfection is always there, in sunshine and storm, in bright and overcast light.
I will always recall that crisp December day when I met an unexpected friend in the forest – an angel made of snow. Her reminder to see with the spirit’s eyes has been a life-empowering Christmas gift – the kind of gift one might expect to receive from an angel.

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I will Be at Home For Christmas

I will Be at Home For Christmas
by Wayne and Tamara

I will Be at Home For Christmas
I will Be at Home For Christmas

I have been married 25 years. We come from completely different backgrounds. I grew up in a large family in a small town, and we were poor. My husband is an only child, privileged, and he was given everything by his parents. This continued throughout all our married life.
The house we moved into, against my wishes, is theirs. It was “given” to us when they retired and built a home in a warmer climate. However, the deed remained in his parents’ name, and they came back every summer for a visit. For me it was a nightmare.
I work full-time but arranged time off to get everything in immaculate order for Abigail, my mother-in-law. It was never good enough. It was always a white glove inspection with her rubbing her hands across my kitchen counter and glancing at her fingertips. She even poked her head up inside the fireplace.
She would say, “Oh, honey, you need to clean your mirrors,” or “I rewaxed your floors because I didn’t think they were clean enough.” When she asked how I liked my house, I would say I didn’t really think it was mine. She would smile at me and say, “No, it’s not, is it?”
One year after they arrived and we were having dinner, I made a grammatical error. I said “me and Linda” instead of “Linda and I.” Abigail rapped her spoon on the tabletop screeching, “Honey, Honey, Honey! It is not me and Linda! It is Linda and I! Linda and I! Linda and I!” I was so stunned and embarrassed I excused myself from the table.
My husband and my father-in-law just dropped their heads. As usual, what Abigail did was “for my own good.” The following year she brought me a grammar book.
I adored my father-in-law. He made me feel special. He would put his arms around me and tell me how much he appreciated me putting up with them. My husband would say, “That’s just my mom.” So I quit trying to fight her for the sake of my father-in-law and husband and to keep the peace.
Three years ago when my father-in-law died, something happened inside me. I felt so much anger at Abigail I wanted to stay away from her. Last Christmas I didn’t want to go see her. Abigail went berserk saying, “How will this look to my friends?” So I went.
Within 24 hours she started in on me, as always, after my husband left the room. This time I called my husband back. It shocked my husband to see his sweet mom screaming, but when she saw she wasn’t going to get away with it, she switched like a light bulb. She hugged me and told me how much she loved me. The rest of our visit she was as nice as pie.
It is Christmas again, and we are scheduled to return to her house. I’ve asked my husband to go alone, which he thinks is a horrible idea. I am on antidepressants and scheduled for therapy after the first of the year. Am I being selfish?
Melanie
Melanie, the Greek playwright Aristophanes said, “The wise learn many things from their foes.” Last Christmas you learned two things from Abigail. You learned she would be embarrassed if you refuse to visit, and you learned she will not confront you in front of her son.
If you can stay home without doing serious damage to your marriage, that is one possible course of action. But there is another answer. Can you distance yourself from the situation? Can you decide in a perfectly calm, cool manner that you will go, but if your mother-in-law is not nice as pie, you will confront her in front of her son?
Abigail has shown you that you can alter her behavior by standing up to her. The power has shifted.

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Your Capacity To Give And Grow Financially

Expand Your Capacity To Give And Grow Financially
by David Cameron Gikandi

Your Capacity To Give And Grow Financially
Your Capacity To Give And Grow Financially

Christmas, that time of the year is here again. I would suggest that you use it wisely to learn more about your subconscious financial blueprint, and expand it. Here is how.
At Christmas time, we give gifts. And we receive gifts. It is a time of giving and receiving, perhaps the biggest such time of the year. What else is about giving and receiving? Money! One of the top reasons why most people find it hard to acquire riches is because they are terrible receivers, even worse than they are weak at giving.
If you look at all life, you will notice that it is all a process of exchange. When you breathe, you breathe in and out. And a river gives water to the plants, the plants give water to the atmosphere, the atmosphere gives to the rivers, and it continues. When any part gives, another part receives. When you buy something, you give money and receive some kind of value from whatever you bought. Life is an exchange that always involves give and take.
Your capacity to receive directly determines your wealth! So does your capacity to give.
If you find it difficult to receive compliments, to be praised for your work, to be paid highly for what you do, to be given random gifts by strangers, to accept and see opportunities for expansion, and so on, you will find it hard to become wealthy. If you feel that you do not deserve these things, well, you will not get them. Likewise, if you find yourself unwilling – resisting – to part with your money when you pay for things that you want, or you find it hard to give some value to someone (say, helping them with something), and so on, you will find it hard to become wealthy.
Therefore, your ultimate goal is to expand your internal capacity to give and receive. Most people actually find it easier to give than to receive and so for many people receiving will be the side they would work on more.
Now, let us get into how you can expand these internal capacities. First, know that it is an internal job. You are simply going to make it OK for you internally to give more and receive more. In other words, you will simply start feeling better about giving and receiving anything. Feeling better. That is all. It means you feel less and less resistance to giving and receiving anything (compliments, gifts, money, work, etc). It means you move towards eliminating shame and guilt when it comes to giving and receiving of anything. It means moving towards feeling joy (the emotion of expansion) in any transaction, any give and take.
Therefore, the first step is to know how you currently feel, to become aware of where you are right now, and face it truthfully with compassion and openness. Do not judge yourself for anything. How do you become more aware? You do so by observing yourself this Christmas whenever you are buying a gift, giving it, or receiving one. How do you honestly feel? Do not run away from any feeling – welcome them all, whatever arises. This will show you where you stand when it comes to giving and receiving. Most importantly, take notes. Just jot down your observations. Having it all on paper is infinitely more powerful than “thinking about it”.
By the time Christmas is done, you should have a nice little notebook full of all your feelings towards giving and receiving. This notebook will show you exactly where you have difficulties allowing wealth to come your way. This is why: Your results in life are determined by what you think and feel. You never act in ways that you have not thought about or felt about. Your thoughts and feelings prompt whatever actions you take or don’t take. In fact, they go as far as determining what opportunities you see or don’t see, believe or don’t believe. The only problem is that a lot of us are not aware of what our feelings are because we try not to feel them! And so in that resistance, that avoiding to feel, we make ourselves unable to consciously know what we feel. What is pushed out of conscious awareness through resistance becomes unconscious. Yet it still affects us and our reality. The smart thing to do would be to make it conscious again so that you can deal with it. So this Christmas you can get a little notebook and a pen, carry it everywhere – shopping, home, friends places – and choose to allow yourself to feel whatever you feel and write it down. This will show you what is keeping you in whatever financial position you are in now. And, using the right tools and acquiring new beliefs and emotional patterns, you can get out of your box and move into a new, more expanded life experience that includes the wealth and abundance that you desire.

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Christmas Shopping with Kids

Christmas Shopping with Kids

Christmas Shopping with Kids
Christmas Shopping with Kids

Did you read the title of this article correctly? You might want to go back and double check to make sure you understand what this article is going to be about. The most significant word in this title is the word with. Had we used the word for in the title instead this would be a completely different article but the use of the word with indicates this article will be about shopping while your children accompany you to the stores which is a totally different subject. An article on shopping for children would cover subjects such as buying age appropriate toys and choosing toys which will meet the parent’s approval. This article, however, will focus on how to have a successful shopping trip with children in tow.

While it is certainly true that shopping with kids can be difficult at times, it is also possible to have an effective, efficient and fun shopping expedition with children. It does take a little advanced planning and cooperation on the children’s’ behalf but it can be done. This article will cover a few of the basic tips for having a successful Christmas shopping trip with kids. Some of these tips include ensuring the children are well rested, taking frequent breaks, incorporating activities appropriate for children into the adventure and being prepared for any situation.

Depending on the age of the children, it might be critical to ensure the children are well rested at the start of the shopping trip and that the trip does not last so long that the child will be tired out before the end of the trip. This is very important especially in the case of young children who still take daily naps. If you plan on Christmas shopping with a child who still takes daily naps, it might be worthwhile to plan your shopping trip after the child’s nap. This will ensure the child has had sufficient rest and will not run out of energy or become cranky during the shopping trip as a result of exhaustion. It might be possible to plan a shopping trip for the time before a child’s nap if the child takes an afternoon late in the day but in this case care should be taken to end the Christmas shopping trip well before the regularly schedule nap time.

It is also important to take frequent breaks when Christmas shopping with a child. This is important because children categorically have short attention spans and are not likely to be able to be able to shop for hours on end without short diversions. A few examples of breaks which may be appropriate may include stopping for a small snack, taking a lunch break or visiting a play area in the mall or shopping center. Each of these breaks will give the child an opportunity to enjoy a break from the monotony of shopping and will also help to distract the child if they become frustrated with the shopping.

Christmas shopping with children can also be made easier by incorporating activities appropriate for children into the schedule of the shopping trip. This may include visiting stores which may be of interest to the child. For example a trip to a toy store or a store which offers the opportunity to test out gadgets might be interesting for a child. It might even be worthwhile to promise the child a small toy as a reward for cooperating during the trip. This would be most effective if you schedule this trip for late in the shopping trip. This will help to ensure the child behaves for the majority of the trip. It will also help to make the remainder of the trip easier because the child will be interested in his new toy and too distracted to complain about visiting more stores.

Finally, it is important to be prepared for a variety of situations when Christmas shopping with kids. If your children are not yet potty trained, be sure to bring a supply of diapers and a change of clothes. Bringing along small toys and snacks is also helpful. The toys can be used to distract the child while standing in lines. Snacks will be helpful if the child complains of hunger or as a distraction if the child starts to become bored with the shopping trip.

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Wishing an Awful Christmas

Wishing an Awful Christmas

by Kevin Eikenberry

Wishing an Awful Christmas
Wishing an Awful Christmas

Words are very powerful. In fact, vocabulary has a remarkably high correlation with IQ scores. We use words to communicate our thoughts and feelings. Internally, we use words to think. For both reasons – thinking and communicating – having a strong vocabulary is valuable, and improving our vocabulary is a worthy self-improvement goal.
I’m not writing about a new, highly technical, or difficult word though. I’m writing about a word that most of us use everyday. And I’m writing to tell you we all under-use or misuse it.
The Holiday Season
I have always found it interesting to observe behaviors and listen to conversations about the Christmas season. If you listen to shoppers they’ll talk about long lines and out of stock items. They’ll talk about rude clerks and over-priced merchandise. They’ll talk about getting things shipped on time, finding the gift for Uncle I-Never-Know-What-To-Get-Him, stale fruitcakes, and nasty weather. They’ll talk about getting the wrapping and baking done, and the cards mailed. They’ll anguish over whether the decorations on their house look ok. They’ll grieve over the gift they bought before it was marked down 30%.
You’ve heard the tirades, the stories of woe. You may have even had them or told them yourself. Somewhere in that conversation you described someone or something as “awful”. Others in the conversation shook their heads in agreement.
The Christmas Season
During the same month as those complaints and frustrations something else happens too. People smile more. People who rarely talk all year, whether neighbors or people whose offices are opposite ends of the hallway stop, or even make a point, to say “Merry Christmas”. We even wish total strangers “Happy Holidays!” We listen to a whole different set of CDs and cassettes, and for a couple of weeks it seems the #1 Song in America is “Joy to the World”, or “I’ll be Home for Christmas”, and not the latest hit from a band no one will remember in two years. People are kinder on the freeways, making room for someone in their lane. People are more giving and forgiving. Even in the midst of the hustle and bustle, the shopping and wrapping, people still have the Christmas spirit.
When I think of these circumstances, of these positive changes in behavior, I am literally filled with awe – that we seem to automatically move into a mental space of being more kind, gentle and loving, simply because we turn our calendars to December.
The Word
About a week ago, I wrote down the phrase “awful vs. awe-filled” on a piece of paper and began ruminating on that as my thesis for an essay. I was going to talk about how a couple of additional letters could change a word – and our perspective a great deal.
I decided to check my book of word origins, looking up “awful” and “awe” to see what I could learn. I learned nothing. So I went to the Dictionary, and here is what I learned:
Aw-ful adj. [see awe and full] 1 inspiring awe; highly impressive 2 causing fear; terrifying 3 dreadful; appalling 4 full of awe; reverential 5 very bad, ugly, unpleasant, etc. [an awful joke] *
I would bet that no one reading this uses the word awful with its number one definition. Definitions 2, 3 and 5 – well that’s another story. Then I realized my Dictionary is old – with a 1988 copyright. Hmm… perhaps the meaning has changed, I thought. So I went to Dictionary.com, to get a more recent definition, and here is what I found:
Awful adj.

1. Extremely bad or unpleasant; terrible: had an awful day at the office.
2. Commanding awe: “this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath” (Herman Melville).
3. Filled with awe, especially:
a. Filled with or displaying great reverence.
b. Obsolete. Afraid.
4. Formidable in nature or extent: an awful burden; an awful risk.
The order of the definitions is different, but the message is the same. We are shortchanging the word awful! My earlier thesis about adding a few letters is out the window. Awful and awful, the same word with two very different meanings.
While awful isn’t the only word that has conflicting meanings, it is a powerful example precisely because of those meanings and how different they are. The words we use are powerful. They define our state of mind and our perspective. They help us explain the world around us.
Not Just in December
I picked December to make my point because while we all want to get into the spirit of the season, some seem to get there quicker and stay in that spirit longer. The people who succeed at “getting the spirit” are those the most reverent about why we celebrate and the wonderful things that can happen during that time of year. In other words, people choosing to see the awe in the season.
While I described a whole set of positive and negative behaviors that occur during the holidays, I could do it for any month and any situation. I could point out what people find to be unpleasant – awful – about that time or situation, or I could describe what is highly impressive – awful – about that situation. So while I write this essay in December, the message should be clear all year. We can make a choice which definition of this word we want to use, and which definition we want to look for.
The Challenge
I see people who seem to search for things to complain about; looking for things to confirm how awful things are. We find what we look for. If I am looking for “very bad, unpleasant” things around me, I will find them. However, if I am looking for things that “inspire awe”, I will find those awful things as well.
Which of those do I see during the holidays? Which do I seek the rest of the year? Recognizing that you have a choice in what you look for, which will you be looking for tomorrow?
I wish you an awful Christmas, and an awesome New Year.

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