Tag Archives: taxes

7 Ways to be a Better Santa Claus

So there is going to be a lot of gift giving during the Christmas season, right? Some will be doing so out of a sense of obligation, others out of love and connection. There are still others who just get caught up in the holiday spirit and shop till they drop. God bless their hearts.

Most of the time, we make a really lousy Santa Claus. Why do you think there are so many “Ugly Sweater Parties” at Christmas? The secret to being a better Santa? Well this is a blog about staying connected, so yes the answer is being connected. Take the time to know people and be a better Santa Claus. Here are 7 suggestions.

1. Get to know your neighbors better. They may not like fruitcake. Their house is already full of calorie laden gifts. Maybe they have a son in college that they miss very much. Stationery and stamps may be the best gift.

2. Get over the gift card. First of all, you’re paying taxes twice. You get taxed when you purchase the gift card and they get taxed when they buy something with it. If you must get a gift card, at least find out what their interests are and get one they’ll absolutely love!

3. Find the reasons they “don’t” do something. Have an aunt that used to bake all the time, but doesn’t anymore? Assumed she just got bored with it? Ask her way. Maybe it’s her arthritis, and mixing is difficult. Get a standing kitchen bowl mixer for her. You’ll be giving her two gifts in one, because she’ll also be getting back her love of baking.

4. Stop avoiding scrooge! Have someone that just isn’t into the Christmas spirit? Find out why. There could be a painful memory associated with the holiday season and each year they are reminded of a great loss or never ending battle. A gift that pays tribute to a lost loved one or a gift that says “I’m on your side,” could change everything this Christmas.

5. Give yourself. Time is one of the most precious gifts we have to give. Invite a friend or family member to spend time with you in a way that both of you would enjoy – a sports event, a concert, manicure, local community theater – and throw in a meal to make it even more meaningful.

6. Touch the saint’s heart. Is your family’s hippie driving you nuts about all the consumerism and commercialism at Christmas when people are going hungry? Pick a charity, pick a need and take them shopping for items for those in need. Not the shopping type? Visit http://www.adra.org and their really useful gift catalog. You can buy a goat for an impoverished family that will change their way of life, and you can have it done in the name of your friend.

7. Support and Encourage. Don’t know what to get that coworker for Christmas? Go to their kids’ school Christmas program and present a small gift to the child for a job well done. Grandma always works so hard to put on the great big family Christmas dinner, consider a personalized serving platter, “Grandma’s famous Christmas Dinner.” Give gifts that encourage people in what they love!

All these tips have one thing in common – taking the time to connect with people. The best way ever to be a better Santa!

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On Our Own

Karl and I have been working through a large organization for a couple of years now, presenting marriage seminars that are man friendly and fun! We’ve enjoyed the ability to send big stuff to headquarters and we’ve been content (somewhat) to follow the corporate rules. There were a few times where we felt we ought to go off on our own at some point, but it was just a thought in the background.

Everything changed in November when we got a phone call saying the corporate program was completely done away with and now all of us trained “local” presenters were either on our own. Now that thought in the background was right in our faces. Time to get cracking on putting our own program together! It’s a good thing we’d been working on it, piece by piece, for a few months. It will still be some time before our own presentations are completely ready.

In the meantime, we have permission to keep using the material we used before, just without the usual support from headquarters. But the game is all changed. We are having to pay the sales tax. We are having to make sure we are licensed to do business in our state and we are the ones opening a business checking account.

The process of setting up your own business really makes you appreciate being under the umbrella of a large organization. Funny how we appreciate things more after the fact. Everything is different now. But one thing has stayed the same. We are still in ministry to not only save marriages, but make them awesome!!

So, please check out our website, still under construction, and our Facebook page – Unashamed Marriage.

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