On Monday, we talked about the Stock Gift for this holiday season. Today, we want to sum it up briefly with 5 easy steps along with some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Five Steps to Stock Gift Success
- Idea — Pick your stock gift idea (see below for ideas)
- Recipient List — Make a list of everyone who will receive your stock gift. Be sure to add a few extras for spontaneous gift-giving.
- Shopping List — Make a shopping list for supplies. We like to dedicate a large plastic tote to hold all of the supplies, so we can easily take it out and put it away.
- Schedule It — Pick a time each week and make an appointment with your family to work on the Stock Gift. The appointment should be as non-negotiable as any doctor or business appointment. Once it’s on the calendar, everyone in the house should commit to be there.
- Make Memories — Put on festive holiday music. Make some holiday treats to enjoy during Stock Gift making time. And keep a camera handy. These are the days that childhood memories are made of!
Any Google or Pinterest search can net you more ideas than you can imagine, but here a few to get your creative juices flowing.
Click below to see ideas
Thanksgiving is this week, and for most of us, that also means the Christmas Season is officially upon us! The Hagaman and Stahlmann families spend our Thanksgiving day at Busch Gardens, which is totally decked out in full Christmas regalia, and we typically end the night with our first Christmas movie of the year.
We’re not the big Black Friday people, but this is certainly the time of year to start thinking about gift, which means we need to find some extra time and money.
Have you ever met a mom who isn’t busy? We haven’t. Now add the holidays to an already full plate, and wow! Things can get interesting.
But this year, we’ve got an idea that will make you feel like a holiday superhero while saving you money AND giving your family some quality, memory-making time together.
It’s called the Stock Gift, and now is the perfect time to start working on it.
Christmas is just six weeks away! But for many Christians, there’s an internal struggle with this celebration. For some it may just be a few fleeting thoughts that give them pause. But for others, it can be a raging conflict between their desire to honor and glorify God and the Western cultural expressions of Christmas.
Is it okay to participate in all the holiday hoopla? Should we be surrounding the Christmas tree with so many presents? Isn’t that a participation in the gross commercialization of Christmas that has stolen the meaning of this high holy day? Should we even have a tree? It’s just a throwback to an old pagan tradition, right? And what about Santa? A mythological character who makes a list and checks it twice, who is somehow aware whether every kid is naughty or nice — that sounds a whole lot like God Himself. Isn’t Santa somehow blasphemous? Even the very date of this celebration is suspect. No one knows when Jesus was born. Didn’t the church steal December 25th from the pagan rituals of the Winter Solstice?
It’s not that Christians are trying to be argumentative or disparaging. For the most part, even staunch anti-Christmas believers are ultimately motivated by a desire to honor Jesus. They want their worship to be pure, in spirit and in truth. But the real question is this: Do all the traditional Christmas celebration trappings pervert our worship? Or — could it be possible — that they actually enhance it?
Where is Christ in the modern Christmas? That is precisely what Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas intends to answer.
We were so excited when we found out that we were going to be included on a conference call with Kirk Cameron.
I have to confess (Jenni speaking) that I was a HUGE fan back in the 80s when he played Mike Seaver on the TV sitcom Growing Pains. Like most girls my age, I adored his impish character and swooned over his fetching smile, but now, more than 20 years later, I am much more impressed with the man Kirk Cameron has become.
The polar opposite of on-screen ladies’ man Mike Seaver, Kirk Cameron has matured into a devoted husband and father and an outspoken Christian leader, who has devoted much of his adult career to speaking, teaching and making films that spread the gospel message.
He has a new movie coming out on November 14th, and we had the opportunity to hear his take on Christmas, child-rearing, homeschooling and of course, the new movie.
I love the title of this book!
Their Name is Today is an awesome reminder that our kids won’t stop growing to wait for us to get our act together or get through this project or that crisis. They need our love and our focus right here and right now.
In his book Their Name is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World, author Johann Christoph Arnold reminds us that “as long as we have children entrusted to our care, we cannot forget that the demands they make on us must be answered in the present. Their name is today. Whatever children need in the way of guidance, security and love, they need now. Because soon enough it will be time for them to fly on their own, and then there will be no holding them back.”
“No you did NOT just throw your trash on the ground five feet from that garbage can!” I said to myself, walking toward the door of an establishment and watching a teen in front of me. After seeing someone do something so blatantly disrespectful and apathetic, I couldn’t help but wonder why some people just don’t feel that they have a responsibility or need to play a part in keeping an orderly cohesiveness in our world.
When I really began to think about it, one thing came to mind. As a whole, most of us don’t necessarily feel connected to the people around us – at all. I’m not even sure most of us really know our own neighbors.
Community (the way it once existed) is foreign to us these days. Think about it – we don’t hold barn raisings when a couple gets married.We’re lucky if we clear our schedules to make it to the ceremony. Okay, so maybe we’ll hop on a meal train when someone has a baby and cook a lasagna (maybe), but how many of us go clean that new momma’s house and weed her landscaping and do her laundry so she can bond with her newborn or perhaps get some sleep? How many of us really “do life” with other families — eat together regularly, bear each other’s burdens, celebrate the milestones and endure the daily grind?
It makes me feel sad.
You are probably asking, “What challenge NOW?”
Well, with so many time stealers out there in the big bad world, our job as parents is to be purposeful in how we spend our family’s time. And make no mistake, there are a lot of options.
One of the best ways to spend your time (and probably one of the most important things you can do while you still have your little blessings under your wing) is to help them discover their purpose here on our planet. Now, we realize that they have a lifetime to fulfill their calling, and most don’t have it all figured out by the time they’re 18, but you can have a general idea as to what lane they’ll be running in during their stint as a big person. What we DON’T want is for them to waste precious time as an adult trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up (oops, I think that’s our story). Let’s save them from that great tragedy.
So, what are we doing to figure it out this big conundrum? (Wait! Don’t panic. We’re about to give you the answer.)
With all we do, time seems to fly by. It’s hard to believe it, but the holidays are almost here (where did the year go?), and that means trying to fit a massive holiday to do list into our already packed schedules.
But we’ve got a little tip that can make a big difference. Let’s call it “Start Your Day the Night Before.”
If you already do this, stick with us. We might have an idea or two to supercharge your nighttime routine. But if you’re not already doing this, we’re totally excited to share it with you because it is hands down, the very best tip for getting more done. And isn’t that what we’re always after?
Give yourself (and your kids) a gift everyday — the gift of a clean slate! It stinks to have to wake up and still deal with yesterday. You know what we mean — you wake up to a sink full of yesterday’s dishes. Sitting on your dresser are the folded clothes from yesterday’s laundry. The dining room table is mounded with a heap of varied things from many yesterdays past.
No more of that. From now on, start your day the night before.
Start with a blank schedule with spaces for each hour from morning until bedtime. Have your student block off time spent in classes and in extra curricular activities and in other regular commitments. Block out time for chores and homework.
Without actually doing the exercise, you might be tempted to think that there’s nothing left, but in most cases, you’d be wrong.
It’s those white spaces — the left over blocks — that I want to talk about today.
Everything we do requires a choice. We make choices when we wake up, eat food, get dressed, answer the phone — it’s all a choice. Although our choices are not always contemplated or obvious, they are choices nonetheless. And if we don’t choose our tasks and time deliberately, we can unknowingly allow important things to slip through the cracks.
We often hear people say they wish they had more hours in a day. Well, the experts say that for every one minute you spend planning, you will gain ten in execution. WOW! Over time, those minutes add up. You can do the math. So now the question is – Are we going to take the time to plan, and if so, how do we plan?
Start With the End Result in Mind
Time management is about starting with the end result in mind, and then working backward to achieve our goals. That’s really what this is about — setting goals and then figuring out our priorities. If we don’t do this, life just seems to happen to us, and years slip past us without any real significant achievements to speak of.