Wednesday, November 25, 2009

10 Things about Family Holidays

1. Family reigns supreme this time of year. Doesn't matter how you feel about them, it is important to spend time together. If there are some members of the family fighting or they have to choose which household to go to, take them out to dinner the night before the holiday. I recommend Texas Roadhouse. They are pretty much guaranteed to leave happy after eating one of their meals.

2. You will be spending hours cleaning. It's ok, you won't be alone. It's good to have a cleaning time in the fall. It's like spring cleaning, only this time around it's just for the rooms your guests will be in and you will be under extreme pressure to meet your deadline. So what if everything from downstairs gets stuffed in the extra room upstairs or squashed under your sister's bed so no one knows? Your downstairs will be spiffy clean, and that's all that really matters.  

3. You will eat too much. If your a football kind of guy, then you might work it all off later by yelling at the TV, rooting for your favorite team. If you are not into this kind of bonding, then I say talk a walk with your grandmother. It'll be slow going, but later you'll feel really good about it.

4. If there is a food item you really like... Then tell the person who made it with an extrememely solemn face, "I think you need to try again. This isn't perfect." Now before the person starts to break down and cry, you need to break out into a huge grin and say, "But it's so close, I want more! So I mean it, try again! I call the first slice!" In any case, I'd be willing to bet that your favorite food item will at least show up again next year.

5. What to do with the leftovers? Well for this Thanksgiving, I'm throwing a party the day after so hopefully most of the leftovers will get eaten. But generally this doesn't happen. If you hate eating leftovers, or really have a lot after the big day, try to get together with some neighbors or friends to share. Or create your own soup, which you can freeze for months. And if you happen to own an animal, then it can be pretty easy. Just watch what you give them and how much, but in general, dogs and cats can be like vacum cleaners.

6. Black Friday Shopping. Wow, things get crazy. The only thing I know to say about this one is; don't buy something just because it's a good bargin. Know what you want to buy ahead of time, then only go for those items. Otherwise you can waste a lot of your valuble time just wandering around searching for the best deal. And most of the stuff you bring home just ends up being clutter anyway. Trust me, I know. I have endured many marathon Black Friday trips.

7. Traveling back. After Thanksgiving, the absolute WORST day to travel anywhere is Sunday. Traffic starts early in the morning, and it lasts late in the night. Last year I went back to school with my friend Grace, and what normally is a 5 hour trip turned into 8 with bumper to bumper traffic. 

8. Christmas Crazy. It's already started. The Christmas Music. The Christmas Movies. The Christmas Presents. I already know what I'm getting this year. There might be a few small surprises, but this year I asked for three things and two of them are stuff I really need. So many people get caught up in the gift giving mode that they forget to just live in the moment and enjoy being alive.

9. A Brief Presents Guide. This Christmas, so many charities are suffering, I would recommend donating in someone's name as their present. Of course, if someone really needs something, it is pretty obvious to get them that gift. But if they don't need anything, or you are just giving them excessive stuff, send the money on. Last year I bought a pair of ducks from World Vision for a family in Peru from my sister. World Vison sent me a card a week before Christmas that I was able to give to her that said thank you. She loved it! I plan on doing it again this year. Two other gifts that I know will always go over well is pretty much any food item and music (like an itunes gift card)

10. Know what the Holidays are really about. I think this one is the most important. The Holidays are really Holy Days, and if it wasn't for important dates in history, we would never have such great memories. The first Thanksgiving feast was a bright spot for American history, a time where complete strangers got together to help one another. Christmas, as well as Hannakuh, were major events that changed the world. We share gifts on Christmas to celebrate God's amazing gift to us. His son. And I'm not Jewish, but I have celebrated Passover. Take the time this season to grow spiritually, not superfically.

This concludes my Holiday post. There were a lot more things I could post on, but I said ten, and so here are ten. I hope everyone enjoyed it, and God bless!

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