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Friday, 16 December 2016 00:11

Sharing the Secret of Santa!

This week’s post is borrowed from a Facebook post. I think it is the most unique, loving, caring, giving thing a parent or family member can do for a child. Enjoy this good read!

"In our family, we have a special way of transitioning the kids from receiving from Santa, to becoming a Santa.This way, the Santa construct is not a lie that gets discovered, but an unfolding series of good deeds and Christmas spirit.

When they are 6 or 7, whenever you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready.

I take them out "for coffee" at the local wherever. We get a booth, order our drinks, and the following pronouncement is made:
“You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown, too. [Point out 2-3 examples of empathetic behavior, consideration of people's feelings, good deeds etc, the kid has done in the past year]. In fact, your heart has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa Claus.

You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren't ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE. Tell me the best things about Santa. What does Santa get for all of his trouble? [lead the kid from "cookies" to the good feeling of having done something for someone else]. Well, now YOU are ready to do your first job as a Santa!"

Make sure you maintain the proper conspiratorial tone.
We then have the child choose someone they know--a neighbor, usually. The child's mission is to secretly, deviously, find out something that the person needs, and then provide it, wrap it, deliver it--and never reveal to the target where it came from. Being a Santa isn't about getting credit, you see. It's unselfish giving.
My oldest chose the "witch lady" on the corner. She really was horrible--had a fence around the house and would never let the kids go in and get a stray ball or Frisbee. She'd yell at them to play quieter, etc--a real pill. He noticed when we drove to school that she came out every morning to get her paper in bare feet, so he decided she needed slippers. So then he had to go spy and decide how big her feet were. He hid in the bushes one Saturday, and decided she was a medium. We went to Kmart and bought warm slippers. He wrapped them up, and tagged it "Merry Christmas from Santa." After dinner one evening, he slipped down to her house, and slid the package under her driveway gate. The next morning, we watched her waddle out to get the paper, pick up the present, and go inside. My son was all excited, and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. The next morning, as we drove off, there she was, out getting her paper--wearing the slippers. He was ecstatic. I had to remind him that NO ONE could ever know what he did, or he wouldn't be a Santa.

Over the years, he chose a good number of targets, always coming up with a unique present just for them. One year, he polished up his bike, put a new seat on it, and gave it to one of our friend's daughters. These people were and are very poor. We did ask the dad if it was ok. The look on her face, when she saw the bike on the patio with a big bow on it, was almost as good as the look on my son's face.

When it came time for Son #2 to join the ranks, my oldest came along, and helped with the induction speech. They are both excellent at gifting, by the way, and never felt that they had been lied to--because they were let in on the Secret.

Published in Blog
Friday, 02 December 2016 14:14

Christmas Spirit - Blessing Others

Decorating for the Holidays, hanging strand after strand of lights, garland and popcorn and dozens and dozens of decorative bulbs…that’s what makes it merry and bright, right?! What makes your Christmas special? Does your family do something unique for the holiday that makes it an extra special time of year, something that you couldn’t imagine a Christmas without? I think this time of year is the perfect opportunity to bless others. Even if you are struggling with something yourself, blessing others in small ways helps to take your mind off yourself and the battles you may be fighting. I find a simple text of encouragement or a quick message letting someone know they are valued is all it takes to brighten a day or to give someone the strength to keep moving forward. Maybe you can run an errand for someone who isn’t able to get out or take someone shopping who normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to go. Call a friend and ask them to have coffee with you, ask them how they are and what’s going on with them…make it all about them. In this world, believe me they need to be able to talk about life. The holidays can be a particularly lonely time of year for those who do not have family or whose family may be far away. Share your family with someone who otherwise would be alone. Compliment people on their hair or clothes let them know you noticed that they look particularly nice. Say please and thank you! Tip your waiter, waitress or barista a little extra…everyone struggles to balance finances with the added expense of gifting. If gifting is more than you can handle this year, give the gift of yourself. Offer a free backrub, or a night of babysitting, a day of cleaning or be someone’s cab for a day. Bake something delicious and wrap it beautifully, make a craft or card…something unique and special that is a reflection of who the recipient is. A gift need not be expensive to be appreciated. One last thing before I close this blog…remember to keep this spirit all year because the battles people are fighting or the hardships they are facing don’t end when the holiday season ends. Shouldn’t we be good to one another all the time…of course we should.

This blog borrowed from a fellow blogger.

Published in Blog
Monday, 14 November 2016 17:26

Choose Kindness!

With the election over and most of the barrage of politics behind us for a while, it’s time to get back to treating each other with love, kindness and respect. The question is why did the presidential race bring out the worst in most? Social media was and is, riddled with unkindness and harsh remarks. It’s sad to see friendships split, families separated and relationships strained because of the strong difference of opinions. I say, it's over…and it’s time to remember that “the greatest of these is love” and we need to put that into practice now and forever forward. We are approaching a day that is set aside for being thankful and grateful for the blessings in our lives, shouldn’t we get our hearts and minds heading in the right direction so that the day truly is one of thanks! Thanksgiving will be followed by Christmas, another day set aside to be thankful for the greatest gift of all and to celebrate friends and family in whatever fashion you choose to celebrate the day. Why not start by choosing a “pay it forward” way of thinking in an area of your life where you can put that into practice several days during the holiday season. I can assure you that if you replace anger and distress with kindness and generosity, you will see this season in a whole new light and in turn, you will choose it for the days that follow. Anger, resentment, fear and distress will make you feel negative, tired, worn out and sad…but changing that mindset will turn your life around!

Please don’t let politics dictate your life now or in the future. Change your mind about the way you think, be kind, pay it forward, speak gently and love loudly…you can be the first link in a chain that changes the way others think!

 

Published in Blog