Give to Others First this Christmas

Christmas is coming! So this year instead of asking your children for a list of things and wishes for themselves, ask them what they want to buy someone else.

Yes, a little radical? Not at all! Christmas is about giving not getting, right? So, start at home. Here are some tips:

  1. For every toy your children get, they have to give you one they do not want. It cannot be broken or useless. Something they hung onto because more is better.
  2. Adopt a family. Buy for someone else this year. The economy is hard on everyone, so find a family that needs help this year and buy them presents.
  3. Take the children shopping for someone else. And, for that one day, do not allow them to express their wants. Training is your responsibility as a parent.
  4. Give a family a gift card from the grocery store. Give someone a great Christmas dinner.
  5. Set aside some money. Randomly give people some of it on the street. Do not stop to find out who they are or what they do with it. Just give it away. It teaches you to open your hand more.
  6. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee.
  7. Pay the toll for the car behind you.

These are just a few ideas. Yes, it is a time of giving. So, go ahead, give away. You do not have to be rich to do this. Do what you can with what you have.

Here are my wishes for you:

I wish you satisfaction for peace of mind
- comfort in the knowledge that you are cared for
- peace on the inside no matter what storms rage around you
- contentment for where you are in life
- enjoyment doing what you love to do
- gratification in doing for others
- fulfillment in your life.

Merry Christmas.

The Cahokian by Zoe Saadia

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Book Review:
At the end of The Cahokian, I was left with tears in my eyes at the intensity of the lessons learned by all involved. A tremendous achievement in terms of a historical novel. It was written with care and love. As though the author knew the terrain, loved the people.

Zoe managed to reel me in the very first chapter with sing song writing and delightful metaphors. Instead of Autumn or Fall, we hear of the season of falling leaves. I loved her writing. Loved the love story behind it all….moreI just finished The Cahokian. I was left with tears in my eyes at the intensity of the lessons learned by all involved. A tremendous achievement in terms of a historical novel. It was written with care and love. As though the author knew the terrain, loved the people.

Zoe managed to reel me in the very first chapter with sing song writing and delightful metaphors. Instead of Autumn or Fall, we hear of the season of falling leaves. I loved her writing. Loved the love story behind it all.

In the end I found the life lessons real and applicable in our modern times. We believe ourselves to be cultured, educated and scientific. Yet, when we meet other cultures that we deemed barbaric, we see that they are also people with their own merits and strengths.

I loved this book. A little sad that it ended.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It represents everything I enjoy and share in life.

Sitting around a meal together with people I love or people I bring in to bless with good food and company, is always a rush to me. It is a time for giving, a time for sharing and a time to be appreciative not only for what we have, but for life itself. A welcoming entrance.

No, it is not on the lower scales of holidays, it is on the upper echelon of Special Holiday. Food brings people together. Sitting around a table or with a plate on your lap makes no difference, enjoy the company and thank the hands that prepared and the ones who worked hard in jobs to put food on the table.

My daughter is the hostess this year for our Thanksgiving dinner. No, we are not having turkey. We are having seafood. We are surrounded by ocean in Hawaii. Seafood seemed the most plausible and the most delicious.

Menu:
Crab legs – Garlic Shrimp – Fried Calamari – Mussels
Bakes sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar
Corn – Baked Acorn squash with butter and brown sugar.

A menu fit for kings. Excellent company and a precious family. Overwhelmed with gratitude for my life. I thank God for health and love.

To everyone: Happy Thanksgiving!

Kindness, the two edged sword

Kindness is never rated when you are doing well. Kindness matters when the chips are down and times are hard. In the end when kindness is expressed, it will leave the person receiving it with one of two states: thankful or resentful.

So, it matters little what the reaction is to kindness. Always do the kind and right thing and allow the rest to float in space and time. It is hardship to lay your head down knowing you have insulted or taken advantage of another. In the end, it comes back to you, in blessings or in the same way you have treated another.

Response to mercy and kindness should never be the factor for the act. You never know how a person will respond to you. They may be having a hard time, or life is dealing them a blow, or they are not good receivers. On the whole, it is better to be merciful than vindictive.

If ever you believe you are being wronged, offer an explanation but step back and away when it is not accepted. If you are shunned and ignored, they were never meant to be in your life for long. Never try to be right. It does not matter in the long run even if you are. As long as you have done what is right, sleep and rest in the knowledge and comfort of a clear conscience.

My prayer for you is this:
May you live many days to offer caring
May you rise every morning to give a blessing
May you fill your heart with mercy
May you use your wit for kindness
May your thoughts be filled with peace
May your mind remain at rest
May you lay your head at night in the comfort of a clear conscience.