To celebrate the holiday season, we wanted to share our Christmas wish list with you. To add a fun twist, we expressed our desires within the parameters that money would be no object and that we would include both a selfish gift and an unselfish gift. Here is our 2011 Christmas wish list:
What would you do?
Are you looking for ways to make your Thanksgiving holiday more lively? Do you want to begin new traditions? We have 10 fun ideas to add spice to your Thanksgiving day:
1. Work at a soup kitchen. This is a hands-on opportunity for you to give back to others who are less fortunate, and also a great way to show your children it is important to sacrificially give your time to helping others.
2. Play a family flag football game. This always looks fun in movies! If your family gathering is too small to build two teams, then head outside with the kids to toss a football while Grandma cooks.
3. Get crafty. Go on a leaf collecting hike, and then make cards from a leaf rub. Send these cards to friends and family. Another option is to create and display a gratitude list.
4. Plan a Thanksgiving vacation. If you have not been to Highway 30-A in Florida to communities like Seaside, Blue Mountain, and Rosemary Beach, you should experience that area of the country. If the beach in November is not for you, plan a trip to a place of your liking.
5. Bring three items to the table that represent why you are thankful. This is a way to get to know your family more intimately.
6. Visit sick or elderly neighbors. This only takes a few minutes and brightens-up a lonely person’s life.
7. Men do the cooking and women spend the night at the hunting camp. Doesn’t this sound fabulous?
8. Contribute to the thankful jar. Family members and guests will write down reasons why they are thankful and place their comments in a jar. The list can be read at your dinner.
9. Play indoor games. Choose games that the majority enjoys — cards, Trivial Pursuit, or Catch Phrase are entertaining and popular.
10. Decorate the Christmas tree after the feast.
Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Post a comment and let us know!
To work or not to work, that is the question. This is the ongoing battle for mothers. I was faced with this dilemma six years ago when I was expecting my first child.
In 2005, I was employed as a pharmaceutical sales representative for a Fortune 500 company. I had a satisfying salary, a company car, sufficient benefits, and I won trips across the U.S. and abroad. By most standards it was a great job for a woman in her mid-20s living in North Louisiana.
Then, my husband and I decided that I should stay at home with our soon-to-be first born. After our baby arrived, I shifted from wearing power suits and high heels to wearing elastic-waist pajamas complete with spit-up. I had black circles under my eyes, and I was fortunate if I could work in a shower before 3:00pm. The best way to describe my appearance was haggardly.
I was voluntarily catapulted into a whole new world. I gave up the perks of work – setting business goals and attaining them, being in tune with society, appreciation from my boss, and a paycheck — for the joys of motherhood. I assumed the role of stay-at-home mom where I set different goals (keep baby from crying, shower before 3:00pm), no appreciation from my boss since I no longer had one, loss of some freedom (at mercy of my baby’s nap schedule), and no paycheck. This was an adjustment! However, there were many perks to staying at home: a little someone whom I could kiss all of the time, stretchy clothes, no strict schedule, and overwhelming contentment that I am contributing to something more important than myself.
Fast forward 6 years. My husband and I would frequently discuss my future career (we have private school tuition for two looming in the distance). What was I going to do? I had been out of work for six years and I had two children that need me. We came up with the plan that I would pursue a career in teaching by working on my master’s degree at Louisiana Tech. This job would allow for adequate time with my children and provide a sufficient second income. After beginning school, I received a serendipitous email from my friend, Sarah Bell, about a sales job at her husband’s design firm. Now, I am unexpectedly employed.
Currently, I am in an adjustment period. My schedule is overbooked (I plan on remedying that). Every work day my bed is unmade. I am forced to leave dishes in the sink and half-eaten food on the table in an effort to be on time to work. My wardrobe needs enhancing for the workforce, and my feet are sore after wearing high heels for longer than two hours. The positive side of being employed is goal setting for business, the excitement of meeting with clients, variety to my days, and of course, the much anticipated paycheck.
Will I still be able to be as good of as a mother as I was when I was at home? This remains to be determined. Hopefully, I will be able to do all that is required of me to be an outstanding mom and a productive professional.