Tag Archives: Time

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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Time Out Gets a Bad Rap

I am here to speak up for that often misunderstood gift of Time Out. Someone in the marketing department should have gotten fired for promoting this solely for disciplinary purposes in school. It’s about time we saw the other side of Time Out. Please bear in mind, this is coming from a woman juggling too many things and about to drop them all. Time Out is the only place you can set them all down and not get in trouble for it.

How Time Out should really be marketed: Are you running at capacity? Are your shoulders no longer broad enough for the burdens you are carrying? Did one more thing just get dumped in your lap? You, yes even you, can leave it all behind during Time Out. This special place leaves all the external stimuli behind so you can just be alone and get your thoughts together once again. Some of the world’s greatest leaders highly recommend Time Out. Read this excerpt from that Nazarene Radical – Jesus, “Come apart and rest awhile.” Call now and we’ll even throw in a special Time Out box, with great pictures inside of remote places of serene beauty to help you get the most out of your Time Out experience.

With truth in advertising – this is the way Time Out should be promoted and right now, this busy pastor’s wife, mother of three and very poor juggler is in line to be one of the first to get my very own Time Out!

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Filed under Community, Healthy Lifestyle

What is your definition of intentionality?

Every once in a while a miracle day is dropped from heaven into your laps. Later this morning is one of those days. We had two things on the calendar that conflicted with each other and so we had to postpone one of them. At the last minute, the other meeting we were scheduled for was also cancelled. It was too late to bring back the first meeting, too many folks already made other plans. So the miracle? We have a day with a huge chunk blocked off that is now free. If you’ve been in the scheduling rat race long enough, you know what a miracle it is to have a huge block of time freed up!

My husband quickly said, we’ll spend that time alone together today. Sounds nice, but I know how that goes. He’ll be on his cell phone and computer answering important messages and so forth from church members and people in need – and they have real needs. Then my husband showed me his definition of intentionality. His plan is when that time frame comes (after we drop our oldest son off for a weekend choir trip), he is turning off his cell phone and computer and dedicating the time to me – to us – to our relationship.

That is called intentionality. That is how you stay connected in relationships. That’s how you make them real – by making them a priority. So I will soon join him in turning off cell phones and computers and enjoy a miracle of free time. What is your definition of intentionality? Do your family members know that you are making your relationship with them a priority?

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Timing

Hello, my name is Sharon and I am an old fashioned mother.

By this declaration, I admit that I make a hearty breakfast for my children before sending them off to school. I believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that by seeing my kids get an adequate one, I’m helping them to be positioned for success in their school day. Since the oldest has to be at school at 7:30AM, Breakfast is at 6:30, allowing them plenty of time to eat healthfully and have a few minutes left to do the last minute brushing of teeth and combing of the hair. Trust me, we only have one bathroom so they need all the time they can get!

This morning, I had managed to get a healthy breakfast going in the oven, timer set, and proceeded to enjoy one of my favorite parts of the day: devouring God’s Word. Our house is small and my husband was gifted with a voice that carries well. So it is no surprise that I can sometimes overhear discussions coming from the kitchen. Michael was expressing his wonder and awe at the way things were going that morning. He noticed the timer was at 20 minutes and he also noticed that it was exactly ten minutes after 6:00. “This will be done at exactly 6:30.” Karl chuckled to himself and replied. “Hmmm, you would think it was planned that way.”

Karl and I have both worked in the world of broadcasting, both television and radio. Timing is everything. If a show comes to you that didn’t fit the proscribed length to allow for commercial breaks, we had to make it work. If it was too short, we added fillers. If it was too long, we had to save it for those rare occasions when we needed something of that length. Timing is everything. Michael has yet to learn this concept. We have gotten his attention at times and reminded him of what he was supposed to be doing and he would be absolutely stunned by how much time had passed while he was floating around in his “Nothing Box.”

Karl hit on the solution today. There are children in the world that need to spend some time working in radio or television, simply to learn timing!

The food in the oven being ready to eat at exactly 6:30 didn’t happen by accident. Timing had been involved. The alarm clocks going off at the appointed time to give the kids a chance to make their lunches and get dressed are there for a purpose. Timing is everything!

We even experience timing in relationships. Your niece and her boyfriend (marriage had been on the discussion board at times) break up. That’s not the right time to mention there are other fish in the sea. Wait a few days or even weeks for her to begin going through the stages of grief over losing this relationship. Your neighbor shares the news that he has two months to live because of a vicious cancer. That’s not the time to tell him about the latest study on healthy eating over a lifetime to prevent cancer. Right now it is time to offer comfort and support. Timing is everything.

As the Beatles sang what the wise man wrote in the book of Proverbs, there is a time for everything. How is your timing today? Go throughout this day with this thought in mind: Timing is everything!

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