Years ago the banks offered "Christmas savings accounts". We put $25 per month into the account starting in January of each year. In December we withdrew the money to pay for Christmas presents. Your family could decide to either save money for Christmas or to make Christmas Presents. Some stores have started offering "Lay Away" again allowing you to pay a little each week for your gifts without incurring the finance charges of a credit card.
Banks, Credit Unions and some retailers still offer Christmas accounts. Check to see what the fees and interest rates are. The sooner you start to save the better. Create a budget so that you know the amount you need to save.
Start new family traditions. Do a family secret santa by having each member draw the name of the person they are to buy a Christmas present for. Set an upper price limit. The rest of the presents can be from "Santa".
Each person including adults can sort through their things and give some away so other people can have presents and your children not only make room for new toys but appreciate them more. Every year in St. Croix where I grew up my brother and I choose some of our toys to give to the children at the Queen Louise Orphanage. We had to clean, repair them and make sure they were in working order. Our Private Family Foundation, The Faile Foundation continues to support this organization, now called Lutheran Services. The time it took for me to clean a Barbie doll, fix her hair and choose her clothes really helped me to try to make up the best presents I could. The idea of creating a "present" for another child as opposed to just throwing some broken, old or dirty toys into a garbage bag to give to a thrift shop had a huge impact on me. To this day I take a great deal of time to create meaningful presents for others.
I hope Christmas for your family is about love and sharing this year.
Toni Faile Lyerly
Family: Have fun with your Kids and Grandkids this Holiday
As Grandparents, I can only speak from my perspective. I remember on Thanksgiving when my daughter was a toddler. My mother spent the entire day in the kitchen and when we arrived she screamed; "Get out of the kitchen!" My brother looked at me and said; " We should have just picked up Kentucky Fried Chicken and had a picnic." It took me awhile to learn that the rest of the family does not really care if the decorations are unique or if I spend every moment creating a new masterpiece desert. What they want is just good food, time together and fun. So give them your time and attention this holiday. We are so lucky that our kids are good parents and we love being with our granchildren. But I have learned a few lessons along the way to make us all more comfortable and happy.
TWO WORDS: Flexibility & Relax
1. Ask them to call you with their E.T.A.
2. If they are arriving at night then ask them to eat on the way.
3. Do not try to cook ahead of time unless it is one of their favorite recipies and can be frozen.
4. They know what their kids like to eat.
5. Let them plan meals and go grocery shopping ( you watch the grandchildren).
6. Be flexible. I get up with the grandchildren and we get "oma" time together.
7. Watch for the quiet moments when you can just sit and listen to your adult kids talk.
8. Do not have any expectations about how the holiday will unfold. Go with the flow.
9. Remember this is not about you.
10. Soon they will leave and you will have an empty house once again , without their laughter.
Just remember how lucky you are and enjoy every moment.
Book: The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One Step plan to live and finish rich by david bach
If you save money when you are young, because of compound interest you will be able to save much more. This may sound like a no brainer but we may find many reasons not to do this and regret it later in life.
The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by David Bach
Every Christmas I give the same present to each of our 7 adult children when they were teenagers. The book was about becoming a millionaire.
David Bach simplifies how to save and make money. Whether you work at a low paying job, are rich already or an investment officer, this book has great ideas to help you along financially.
David Bach says: “It all boils down to this: If your financial plan is not automatic, you will fail!” He says that trying to use willpower and stick to a budget just does not work for most people.
My son in law has a great saying when he listens to someone complain, “So how is that working for you?”, he asks. Well, we could apply that question here. If your financial plan (or lack there of) is not working for you, then get this book, read it and put it in to action.
First David Bach tells you the story of the real Automatic millionaire. This man said; “The trick to getting ahead financially is watching the small stuff—little spending habits you have that you’d probably be better off without.” David also tells us that, “How much you earn has almost no bearing on whether or not you can and will build wealth.”
We all know this but probably do not do this. Luckily one of our children after reading this book, started an automatic payment of $25 deducted from her account into a money market account. Then she deposited gift money into it also. Well, it all added up in 7 years to $6,000.00. More importantly she is sold on the benefits of automatic withdrawals and investing even a little money into a saving plan. She started this plan in college.
You might say there is nothing new here or it is just a simple approach to the difficult need to save money. But that is why I like this book. Just like exercise and diet, we all know the merits but just don’t do it. Trying out a simple way to save money and MAKE IT A HABIT, is a worthwhile endeavor.
The last chapter of his book is on Paying tithing. He writes, “If you study the lives of the great leaders, visionaries, and businesspeople of our time, you will find a surprisingly common thread linking many of them: Long before they made their fortunes, they started tithing.” As with the other chapters he puts action steps in this chapter. He lists the website: www.programforgiving.org to help get you started.
Try reading this book and let me know what you think.
Yes or No?
Yes or No: The Guide to Better Decisions by Spencer Johnson M.D.
We open our eyes when we enter this world and begin to wonder what it is all about. From the moment we turn our head for warm milk to fill our bellies, we are making decisions. But no one ever teaches us how to figure out what possibilities there are to choose from and which choice at this point in time is right for us.
Whether you make quick decisions or wait so long that the decision is made for you, this book will change your life. You can read this book today, it is so simple and easy. For example; quote from the book. "To make a better decision I first stop proceeding with a poor decision."
Dr. Spencer Johnson presents an easy to follow system to make better decisions in your life.
He explains how to use your head and your heart when deciding on an action. This system uses only 2 questions; "Yes or No?" This book shares great and easy to remember stories to explain the how and why of decision making. His book is so short and fun to read that even if you have not read a book in years, this one is worth your while.
Read this book and let Dr. Johnson guide you down the path introducing you to memorable people needing to make decisions and then apply the lessons you learn to your own life.
Fast forward from birth to those gnarled up teenage years. Adults expect you to know the answer to every questions about your future. You can't even decide what to eat for breakfast. What better present than a book you can read in a day and start making better decisions? Besides how refreshing to just read a bunch of stories instead of being lectured with a fountain of facts. What a great Secret Santa present this book would make.
Graduation present after college or for those newlyweds learning how to give and take in their new family, this book will smooth the way. Maybe you are stuck in a rut trying to decide what to do if you retire or where to live. Don't let other people make decisions for you because you are tied up so tightly with indecision that you can't find your own path.
Read this book and engage in all life has to offer. Published in 1992. 112 pages
Thank You, Nurses, for all you do.
Thank You to all the nurses who work so hard and often never know the impact they have on our lives. I started thinking of the many nurses that have helped me. I am sorry I do not remember their names.
At 4 years old, I had my tonsils removed and sties burned off of my eyelids. I remember how the nurse's voice comforted me.
When my daughter Alicia was born, my husband sweetly surprised me by hiring a full time nurse for 4 days when I got home from the hospital. She taught me so many things as we would talk. She told me to put wet socks on a baby when they have a fever. Then you rewet the socks as they dry out. We have used this trick in our family ever since.
When my father was dying of lung cancer in it was a 12 hour drive from my home. I was lucky enough to find a retired nurse that would go visit him each day for 3 years. Without her he never would have been able to stay at home. I also would not have been able to spend time at home with my daughters.
Then there is Nurse Jennifer. My mother was in the hospital for many weeks before she died. She became obsessively reclusive, so I had no clue what condition she was in. Thankfully, Jennifer knew she was my mother. The day after Thanksgiving I checked my phone messages to find a message from Jennifer telling me my Mom had died. Can you imagine having to make that call? I will be forever grateful to her.
When I had my open heart surgery at Mayo Clinic, the nurses were so helpful and respectful of my family's desire to help me. Which leads me to my next Thank You.
I owe my family gratitude for the help they gave me after my heart surgery. It is critical that you have an advocate that knows what to do in case of any medical procedure that maintains a consistency of information that can be utilized. I am so grateful that my family devised a system regarding hospital stays to advocate for the patient's highest need. Family members take turns creating a hospital record, writing everything down and asking questions that track all procedures, medications, dietary needs and patient instructions.
My family listened to the doctors and nurses and kept track of my progress throughout my hospital stay. Please check out my pages on Hospital Stays for more information about what to do to best care for a loved one in the Hospital.
So again, Thank You Nurses for the long hours, lack of sleep and hard work that often goes unnoticed. You are appreciated. We need you.
Toni Faile Lyerly
I love Stephen Covey's book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. First published in 1989 and is 432 pages.
The 7 Habits are:
1: Be Proactive
2: Begin With the End in Mind
3. Put First Things First
4. Think Win/Win
5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
7. Sharpen the Saw
We all know now the things we should do to be more productive and reach our goals in life, but like diet and exercise, we may not actually put them into practice. Stephen Covey said "They are more like natural laws. All I did was put them together, to synthesize them for people." Stephen Covey was a great story teller. He was able to take information, distill it down, add an example and teach us why we would want to follow his advice.
Here is just a taste of Stephen Covey's wisdom in the first 3 Habits.
Explaining the First Habit (Be Proactive); Stephen Covey shares this example. "It was not the luck of being at the right moment in history that separated Bill Gates, but his proactive response to being at the right moment."
The second Habit (Begin With the End in Mind) he takes you through the process of making your own Mission Statement. He says; "The most effective way I know to begin with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed."
The Third Habit (Put first things First)
My favorite part of this book is the Time Management Matrix. These four boxes are: Urgent, Important, Urgent and Important, Not Urgent and Not Important. Read how to use this Matrix to be more effective and efficient with your time.
Whether you have used these ideas for so many years that you do not even remember where they came from or you have not read Stephen Covey"s books at all, please read The 7 habits of Highly Effective People and delight in his magical way of making life seem easier. Also check out his new version for teens.
Book: The 7 habits of highly Effective PEOPLE
Please us RECYCLABLE bags
Plastic" This was the advice that was given to Dustin Hoffman in the movie " The Graduate" I took a college course on the movie and even in 1978 this was the scene that stuck in my mind.
(Listed on IMBD)
Mr. McGuire: "'I just want to say one word to you. Just one word''.
Benjamin: ''Yes, sir''.
Mr. McGuire: ''Are you listening?''
Benjamin:'' Yes, I am''.
Mr. McGuire: ''Plastics''.
Benjamin: ''Exactly how do you mean?''
Anyone who knows me also knows not to bring home a plastic shopping bag. I realize you can reuse them but I think it is a good reminder not to use one use plastic items. The water in the US is safe to drink so stop buying bottled water, PLEASE ! Larry and I pick up plastic straws and plastic bottle caps on the otherwise pristine beaches in the BVI.
I know I get overwhelmed by all that ai should do to help lesson my negative impact on our planet. Some of you may not worry about it at all. I just pick a couple of things I can do and hope it helps a little. Please take 3 minutes to watch this video and maybe you will chose not to use a plastic bag at the grocery store next time.
FACTS ON DISPOSABLE BOTTLES
Americans throw away about 82% of the 42.6 billion plastic water bottles purchased every year.
2. It is unknown exactly how much plastic waste is in the oceans, but estimates range close to 100 million tons.
3. Plastic debris kills about 1 million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals every year.
4. As it breaks down into small particles, plastic releases harmful chemicals into the ocean water, creating a kind of toxic plastic soup.
5. There are 5 known gargantuan garbage patches in the oceans, the most well known of which is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Estimates vary, but the patch is thought to be anywhere from the size of Texas to twice the size of the continental US.
6. Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year—about 82% of the bottles created. (EcoWatch)
7. PET plastic water bottles account for over 121 million tons of waste every year. (BottlesUp)
8. It is unknown exactly how much plastic waste is in the oceans, but estimates range close to 100 million tons. (The Telegraph)
9. Single-use plastic bottles, along with disposable plastic bags, are among the most prevalent sources of pollution found on beaches around the world. (Ocean Conservancy)
Thanks for reading-