Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends shower us and our kids with gifts, often too many, and too much money spent. All of a sudden, we’re up to our ears in gifts, sometimes unappreciated, and even hard to remember who gave what. In this age of getting and receiving many gifts and lots of stuff during the holidays and all year through, a concept has risen to help set priorities.

The 4 Gift Rule: Something they want. Something they need. Something to wear. Something to read. And “something” translates to one item in each of those categories. It’s the Christmas Gift Challenge – and it’s not too late to implement this concept as you finish your shopping. I love the idea that less is more. Simplicity is such an awesome way to live as we share with others this holiday season.

 Celebrate the Holidays

December is a favorite month for many with all the excitement, celebrations and family time. But it is a month for both joys and disappointments.

– Recognize the joy in your life. Focus on the happy times. Let the good times unfold.

– Set realistic expectations. Prioritize the most important tasks. Delegate jobs to family members

– Get into the spirit of giving. By giving time, compassion or gifts, you please others, which in turn, will please you. Help others in need.

– See the season through a child’s eyes. No one gets more joy than children. Make an effort to look at things positively and experience the excitement.

– Going into debt is not what the holidays are about. The best things in life are not things.

- Include physical activity, whether using the stairs, walking laps in the mall, dancing, working out, sledding, or outdoor sports. You’ll feel better, offset the excessive amounts of food and snacks consumed, and release stress.

– Begin your own family traditions. Make the holidays a celebration for everyone.

Gifts That Don’t Cost a Cent

The gift of friendship. The gift of listening. The gift of affection. The gift of laughter. The gift of a compliment. The gift of a favor. The gift of solitude. The gift of a cheerful disposition. The gift of love.

Living Life

Bonnie Mohr, my favorite rural artist form Wisconsin, shares these thoughts, “Life is not a race, but indeed a journey. Be honest. Work hard. Be choosey. Say ‘thank you’ and ‘great job’ to someone each day. Love your life and what you’ve been given. Search for your purpose and do it as best you can. Laugh often. Appreciate the little things. Take time for yourself. Plan for longevity. Recognize the special people you’ve been blessed to know. Live for today, enjoy the moment.”

Holiday Thoughts

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar every month,” - Harlan Miller

“The best of all gifts around any tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other,” - Burton Hillis

“I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year,” - Charles Dickens

 Simple Inspirations: Wishing you a holiday season filled with simple joys and endless blessings. Happiness is a place between too little and too much. May you celebrate the Christmas spirit every day of the year! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and the best new year in 2019!

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