Christmas Countdown

Christmas Memories in My Heart is a place for me to share all things related to Christmas, which is my favorite time of the year. I plan and prepare for the holidays all year, so that I can enjoy that busy time without having to stress about shopping and all the details of the season.

I am actually able to decorate and then enjoy the spirit of the holidays and celebrate Jesus' birth and the reason for the season.

You can find links to my three favorite holiday sites in my sidebar. They are Organized Christmas, Our Home for the Holidays, and Magical Holiday Home. All three of these special places are like my home away from home. I have cyber friends there who I feel a great bond with and we share a common love of Christmas. We understand each other and support each other in our quest to have magical, wonderful holidays.


Please come back to visit often.
Felecia~printersdevil

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

12 Ways to Remember the True Meaning of Christmas

My friend Pixiestick at Magical Holiday Home posted this list that she found on a Christmas international Yahoo site. The poster there did not credit the source, but it seems to be from Reader's Digest due to the many mentions of that magazine. It is a great list and gives us some wonderful ideas for the coming holidays.

I just did a web search and this list did indeed come from Reader's Digest.

I wanted to share with my blogland friends.


12 Ways to Remember the True Meaning of Christmas


Amid the bustle and the buying, the eats and the treats, take time to rekindle the real spirit of the season.

1. Keep a candle burning.
The constantly burning flame, holding back the darkness, is a potent symbol of life in the heart of winter. On the first Sunday of Advent, some Christians carry home a taper, lit from their church's Advent candle, and keep it burning until Christmas day using a series of candles. Keep your Christmas flame on the table during family meals. You might also like to follow the tradition of lighting three more candles -- one for each week of Advent.

2. Support a worthy cause.
Make a donation in someone's name to an organization you know they'd like to support, such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation or the Christian Children's Fund. Check out the Internet Nonprofit Center Library at http://www.nonprofits. org for a list of the top charitable organizations in the U.S.

3. Write a letter to your past.
Is there someone you wish you'd thanked for a kindness you've remembered all your life? An old friend with whom you've quarreled and would like to be reconciled? Someone you've never been able to tell "I love you"? Now is the ideal time to grab pen and paper and write a note to tell them so.

4. Give a gift that's really needed.
Often we buy people presents just for the sake of buying them something. But there are many things the people on your list would love that aren't store-bought. That's why Jan Gonder, a Reader's Digest reader from Los Angeles, came up with the idea of giving coupons redeemable for some of her time and talents. Last year, she gave coupons for teaching calligraphy and needlepoint, even tutoring for the SAT exams. The idea is to match the service with the person's need. As Gonder explains, "Children might appreciate coupons relieving them of chores, teens with driver's licenses a chance at
the family car, or new brides a promise to help write thank-you notes."

5. Plant a real Christmas tree.
A lovely way to remember this Christmas, this could also make a great last-minute gift for a nature-loving friend. For just $10 and a phone call (or the click of a mouse), you can help American Forests, the nation's oldest nonprofit citizen conservation organization, plant ten trees in a threatened forest ecosystem. Their Global ReLeaf program plants trees across the United States in areas that have been damaged or destroyed by natural (or human-made) disasters. The
program has planted over 13 million trees since 1990 in 45 states, with a goal of planting 20 million trees by the end of the year 2000. If you plant ten or more trees, American Forests will send a personalized certificate to you or the person of your choice. Call American Forests at 800-873-5323, or visit its Website at http://www.americanforest. org.

6. Create a new family holiday.
If it's tradition to spend Christmas Eve with all your husband's relatives and Christmas Day with yours, you may feel you miss out celebrating the holiday at your house with just your immediate family. Lynne Blalock, from Memphis, reports that she and her children never seemed to have any private time to enjoy Christmas together. So she took matters into her own hands and invented a new family holiday. "We created Christmas Adam on December 23rd -- because Adam came before Eve," says Blalock. That's the day when they open presents and have a special meal just for the immediate family.
And though Blalock says her life is less hectic now, "Christmas Adam is still a tradition."

7. Create a Christmas gift book.
This idea comes from Elizabeth Berg, the author of Family Traditions: Celebrations for Holidays and Everyday (Reader's Digest). Buy a beautiful blank journal to record the gifts you and your family receive as well as those you give. This book will come in handy when it's time to write thank-you notes, and in subsequent years, it will help you avoid giving the same gift to a friend or family member twice. It also serves as a lovely record of the thoughtfulness of others -- and yourself.

8. Trim the tree stress-free.
Another great idea from Berg: Give each family member his own part of the tree to decorate. "Using beautiful red ribbon, divide the tree into sections so that everyone gets his own place to work," she suggests. "This will eliminate the familiar 'Hey! I was going to put something there! That was my spot! I quit!'"

9. Eat by tree light.
After the tree is decorated, have a meal around it. Turn off all the lights except for those on the tree, and admire its beauty. This is an especially good idea after a stressful afternoon spent Christmas shopping at the mall. That's one reason why Carolyn A. Clarke, a Reader's Digest reader and mother from Manassas, Va., has made eating around the tree a family tradition. "Young kids enjoy tree lights," she says, "and they seem to have a calming effect on them."

10. Keep Christmas Eve simple.
Instead of slaving to prepare a fantastic spread on Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day, suggest a simple meal, such as pizza, or let guests make their own sandwiches from a selection of fillings. That way, you'll have more time to relax and enjoy each other's company -- which is what Christmas is all about.

11. Set an extra place at Christmas dinner.
Each year, there are many people without families who spend the holiday alone. If you know someone like that, ask him to join you at your table. Cooking for an extra person won't take much more effort, but it will make all the difference to him.

12. Go to church.
Whatever your religious practice throughout the year, Christmas is a time to wake up our spiritual selves. Many find that the familiar carols and readings stir an understanding of God that proves elusive at other times of the year. This Christmas, remember the real reason for the festival -- the birth of Jesus Christ.

7 comments:

Terri and Bob said...

Perfectly true. Thank you for sharing!

fallingforwinter said...

Wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing. I love your new background, its beautiful!

Leann said...

Jesus is the reason for the season:)

Enjoy!
Leann

printersdevil said...

Giveaway list updated to here.

Eileen said...

This is so sweet.
I love the idea about keeping things simple, it's so true that sometimes you get so caught up in the fuss of Christmas that you forget to enjoy your family, the special moments, and the Reason for the season!
I love that you have a whole blog dedicated to this! How wonderful!

I won't have time to participate this weekend by presenting my own tablescape but I surely will love visiting those that have done so.

Thanks so much for your kind comments and your generous invitation. I appreciate it so much! You really do have the Christmas Spirit all year long.
Beautiful!

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Very good tips! I am going to turn off all the lights and eat by tree light for sure this year! You have a very intersting and unique blog.

Extreme News said...

This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. Youve got a design here thats not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as what youre saying. Great job, indeed.Agen Sbobet Sbobet Ibcbet Casino Sbobet Pasar Bola