If you’re looking for a unique gift—one that will have a great deal of meaning for both you and your recipient—I have an idea. It’s called “Journal in a Jar.”
The idea is to assemble in a glass canning jar (or a box or other creative container) everything your recipient needs to write the story of his or her life: journal and pens, or fancy computer paper and a notebook. Possibly the most fun element of this gift is the year’s worth of specific questions that will act as daily idea starters for your recipient’s journal writing.
Questions like: Why was your name chosen for you? What was happening in the world when you were born? What is your personal secret to happiness? You can include as many questions or prompts as you like, however 365 insures a very complete journal that touches on all areas of a person’s life. Continue reading
My husband’s family spends lavishly every Christmas and it always makes me feel pressured to reciprocate. For example, last Christmas, they bought my four-year-old daughter a $300 DVD player. And they gave me a $150 gift certificate to my favorite salon. While their generosity is greatly appreciated, my husband and I can’t afford to break the bank Christmas shopping. Plus, I’m worried they’re sending my daughter the wrong message about the meaning of Christmas. How do I make it a nice Christmas for everyone without looking like a cheapskate? Shannon, Indiana
Could it be you’re putting pressure on yourself to be the Family Christmas Magician? You have my permission to turn in your resignation. You can’t control what other people do. What your daughter learns about the real meaning of Christmas she’ll learn from you and your husband, and not just from what you say. She learns from your attitudes and actions, too. Teach her that the gifts we give express what’s in our hearts. We shouldn’t give to get approval or to get something equal in return. Continue reading
Although my grandson is only three, I’m keeping this first tip handy for when he graduates from high school.
POST-DATED GIFTING. When our grandchildren began graduating from high school and heading off to college, we wanted to give them money each month during their first year of college. So in their high school graduation card we enclosed 10—$100.00 post-dated checks, starting with August of that year and ending the following May. We knew it would come in handy, not only for the grandchildren but for their parents, too. We figured the extra money each month might avoid a call home, asking their parents for a little bit more. Or, it might pay for something that was unexpected.
Our oldest grandson told us many times how he appreciated this. We have been blessed, always knowing how important we are to our grandchildren—because we have let them know how important they are to us. Linda, Nebraska Continue reading
If you are or ever have been plagued with consumer debt, I can nearly guarantee that revolving expenses related to Christmas have contributed greatly to that miserable situation.
The problem? Procrastination. Face it, when it comes to Christmas, the longer you wait, the more you’ll spend.
Everyone procrastinates in some area. Why do we do it?
We feel overwhelmed. The holiday expectations we place on ourselves, plus those that come from our families, the community, and even the church, can be so great that we feel paralyzed. Continue reading