Tag Archives: holidays

What To Do About CHRISTMAS GIFT GIVING

I hardly feel like I can be the official gift giving judge but I do have something to draw from, for this year at least. If you feel like I am leaving something out, you just go ahead and let me know. Unless it’s about punctuation, then you can keep that to yourself. Thanks in advance.

Seeing how this is my first year giving gifts to my wife, the first gift I got her was when we were still dating. There really hasn’t been a gift under the tree for her to open, that’s been from me, in like 10 years. Now before you get angry at me and call me all sorts of names, just know that we did this because we wanted to spend money after Christmas on each other. All that aside, that’s a long time to remember how to gift give all over again. I have had to relearn a number of things: picking up signals for gift giving, being sneaky about gift giving, wrapping said gifts for gift giving, and then there’s the whole buy stuff for my kids gift giving that I haven’t practiced with them ever.

There’s been no shortage of gifts on Christmas day, thanks to my parents and in-laws who are both very thoughtful and full of the Christmas spirit. They are so good at over-doing the gifts, we haven’t really missed out on the joys of the season for the boys. It’s actually a headache sometimes trying to figure out how we are going to cram all the stuff into the car to drive 5 hours from Ohio to Tennessee. I digress.

Now that you have the background, let me tell you that this year was a lot of fun when it comes to… gift giving. I had set aside money for the wife and was also really blessed by some amazing clients that saw fit to hook me up with some Christmas cash (completely unexpected and amazing).

So, I set out to make it look like I had bought the whole store, but for the life of me I don’t know why. I wasn’t trying to make my wife feel guilty, just loved. As I bought things, yes even things that could have, and maybe should have, been put in the same box, I made sure that they were wrapped separately for maximum effect. For some strange reason this has made me really proud, like I have been telling people that “I have killed Christmas, if it wasn’t a competition it is now”. That’s probably not good… I like to compete, even when it’s not called for or there really is no competition. I have nothing to prove, I think.

Aside from getting to fully participate in the gift giving experience it’s really hard to stop once you have started buying things. I can honestly understand how people get in debt doing this. I won’t do that, it’s taken too long to get out of debt to go back now. So let me give the guidelines to healthy gift giving.

1. Actually have the money. This is why we haven’t been fully involved in the gift giving process till this year.

2. Make a list. Check it twice.

3. Practice gift wrapping. Or have your wife wrap her gifts for you.

4. Get the kids working for you. I can have my boys do a “ride along” and find out what mommy is getting for daddy. This is just fun, proceed with caution.

5. Spend time being thoughtful. You don’t have to wow anyone, just read them, 2 coffee mugs and a pound of coffee was the best gift so far for me. (Thanks Ashley)

6. Enjoy it. This whole thing is about the JOY. If you can’t find joy in gift giving or family than you need to do some push-ups. There is way too much to be thankful for.

Happy gift giving, remember the Gift that was the greatest Gift ever given.

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What To Do About FAMILY AND THE HOLIDAYS

So you think you have holiday plans?… Well do you have a wife? Does she have a family? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are in for quite the surprise, unless of course, you are like me and this isn’t your first rodeo. Being married for ten years changes little in this area of family and holidays. As a matter of fact it can allow tensions to build to the point where they become so high that even common sense is no longer practiced.

For those of you who are newly married, single looking to get married, or somewhere in between, you need to be warned. If you like your mother-in-law, and I do, and by like I mean I don’t hate her… If you plan on staying with her instead of your own mother, oh boy. What happens here doesn’t make much sense, unless you are post-menopausal and angry with the world. Your mom will think that you like your mother-in-law more than her. We all know how crazy this is! You may want to stay with your in-laws for a host of reasons like: they are central to friends and activities, they are supplying you with a fully furnished apartment for your stay, and they will let you sleep past 9 am (but not without a guilt trip when you wake up). Then, of course you are going to make the logical decision.

Your mother may not see this as the practical decision, as a matter of fact she will just take it as spiteful and make constant mis-judgements on your character and the character of your wife. It doesn’t matter how wrong she is, or how many times you tell her to move closer to civilization. She won’t do it and she will blame you for your lack of compassion when it comes to her own failures at house hunting.

If this isn’t making any sense to you, you must be single or an only child, or maybe even just a jerk… either way, nobody cares what you think.

If you are looking to settle down with a nice girl, please, for the love of pete, make sure her family is at least 400 miles from yours. I honestly think it would be easier. Yeah maybe not practical for vacation time, taking off two full weeks within 60 days. BUT it will make the drama subside a little… at least I think it would. My mom is probably just looking for something to disapprove of.

If you are wondering what I’m going to do, you are in for a treat. After staying with my mother last time I was in town and realizing she and my dad were content to just sit and watch TV, I decided that I will make a rigorous schedule that will keep us moving and wear all of our family out as only I know how to do. If I can’t make the drama go away I will make them so annoyed they won’t want me to stay. Practical jokes are the gifts that keep on giving.

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What To Do About GIVING GIFTS

You know about giving? Giving is easy, but it can be stressful this time of year. Getting the right gifts, giving gifts to everyone, not knowing who to give to or if you gave enough. All this equals stress, stress you don’t need this year. You need to relax and do what I do, because that is what all my articles are about. Doing things my way!

I don’t give gifts! It’s true, just ask my kids. They haven’t been gifted in 4 years. So they don’t even know what they are missing. It’s been awesome if I do say so myself. They have not been without, because they are all over-gifted by my mom and my wife’s mom. The grandparents pretty much give them all the gifts they need. In fact, when we first had our oldest son they gifted so much that we had gifts for his birthday too!

If you are unsure of this method I want to tell you to give it a try. The worst thing that will happen is they will cry… But they will forget about it in 5-7 years. Sometimes you gotta be frugle, besides that you give them plenty of things. Things like:

-A roof
-A bed
-3 meals a day
-The best years of your life

They are getting gifts everyday, so there are no complaints allowed.

If you need to know what to do about giving gifts to others, like your distant cousins or your mothers brothers step child, if you are not sure, err on the side of “Christmas card”. You cannot go wrong with the card. It shows you care without the chance of failing the gifting process. Nobody likes a failure, well… I guess their mothers still do.

We had to break down and buy the kids gifts this year because they saw it on tv. So we bought them a few and sold the tv. Hey! We have to protect our way of life, don’t hate!

Merry Christmas!

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What To Do About DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, well something like that anyway. I love this time of year, i love the smell, I love the giving, I love the jolliness and I love decorating. Decorating is my forte, especially exterior illumination, I would like to consider myself to be an expert. How does one become an expert? You simply must posses the knowledge to use a ladder, run an extension cord, and finally you must know when enough is enough with the lighting of your home!

I should mention that winding up the cord is a good skill to have as well as the know how when it comes to the de-construction of the Christmas assembly. You may even say that one’s ability to move around on a roof would be a must-have skill as well. I suppose there is more to this than you might think, nonetheless you should be prepared for the goal at hand.

What goal? You ask. The goal of flipping a switch and spreading holiday cheer! It’s a great responsibility, there are few who can handle this with poise and class. How am I able to do it you ask? Well, I wanna know why you keep asking me all these questions?

So let’s make a list and we will check it twice! Of the things you need to complete such a massive under taking.

-Fire extinguisher
-Ladder(s)
-Extension cord(s)
-Christmas lights, preferably working ones
-Electrical tape
-Gutter hooks
-Garland
-A big plastic santa and reindeer
-Holiday cheer
-A timer for your lights
-Hot chocolate

Remember, you want to pick either color lights to go around the house or white lights. DO NOT mix the two and certainly don’t make them flashing. Flashing lights are much like flashing women, they catch your attention for a second then they are really annoying.

Even though you will not see the cord at night make sure it is out of sight, nobody likes a yard that looks like it has bright orange veins. Make sure you assemble the holiday decorations with a smile because it’s all about the holiday cheer! Holiday Cheer People!!

Lastly take down your halloween decorations, seriously. They don’t and will not fit into the Christmas mantra no matter how many skeletons are next to the virgin Mary.

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What To Do About DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS TOO EARLY

What’s with people decorating for Christmas when it’s not even Thanksgiving yet? They are suffering from a serious case of EHDS (Early Holiday Decorating Syndrome). Decorating for Christmas too early is to holidays what fanny packs and mustaches are to middle age men… and some women!

I am a huge fan of Christmas but before Thanksgiving is just way too early to decorate for Christmas! In fact, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I like the lights, the evergreen, and the holly. Yes, I like the holly… it is jolly, jolly holly!

It seems like everyone is always pushing for the next thing instead of enjoying the time right now, you know? I mean really?… can’t we enjoy some gourds and pumpkins? How about some turkey and stuffing?

I think we should create a new rule that dedicates the holiday to a month. So, as a rule, you can decorate for Thanksgiving in November and you can decorate for Christmas in December. Ok. Well, I don’t really like that. That is too legalistic. We need to develop a way to inspire people and move people out of the abundance of their heart to avoid EHDS. Here are some things that will help you know it is too early to decorate for Christmans:

1) the leaves haven’t fallen off the trees yet

2) there are still trick or treaters wandering around the neighborhood

3) you haven’t turned on your heat yet (location dependent)

4) there are pumpkins and cornstalks gracing the front porches of half the homes in your ‘hood

So, as much as you like putting on the Christmas carols and decking the halls with boughs of holly, stop and enjoy some pumpkin pie and give thanks during Thanksgiving.

What do you think is too early to decorate for Christmas?

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