Detail on the wreath on our front porch.
Detail on the wreath on our front porch.

imageRemember each day that the focus for the week and the routine weekly tasks for each day are listed on Monday’s blog.

Today we move from our bedrooms to the front porch, entry, and dining room. We are moving closer to Thanksgiving. Instead of stowing things as you set the table for Thanksgiving Dinner next month, be working toward having a welcoming place for family and friends over the next several weeks. A little attention this week and throughout November will allow you to have a more relaxed Thanksgiving  and Christmas holiday.  In the same way, purchasing one or two items each week for the holiday season will take less a hit on your budget.

  • Plan your meals and celebrations for the holiday season now.
    • Talk to family and friends about their plans—where, when, who, what
    • Plan your menu and if people are to bring certain foods—coordinate with them nowf.
    • Purchase the ingredients for foods you will prepare, an item or two a week as you shop.
    • Make out your gift lists now and coordinate with family so everyone doesn’t buy everyone else pajamas.
    • Plan some time crafting cards and gifts with friends and family
      • Last year I baked cinnamon rolls for friends and neighbors. They were well received.
      • Gathering with friends to craft items for the holidays—place cards, Christmas cards, table décor and other holiday items—can be lots of fun. Teach others the crafts you enjoy. I like stamping and embossing. More than a couple of years ago, a group of neighborhood friends enjoyed using my stamps to make place cards for their holiday tables.
      • How can you make memories this season? Govern your attitude as you enjoy events together. The primary rule of attitude, words, and actions is love.
      • It is less about making something perfect but giving of yourself. I enjoy lovely cards but cards that come from the hands of friends are treasures forever.
      • Be focused on cleaning and decluttering as you move toward family celebrations. Don’t go into a last minute cleaning frenzy. By the mile, it’s a trial; by the yard, it sure is hard; by the inch, it’s a cinch. A little done consistently is more effective that cleaning, organizing, and decluttering in fits and starts. You family will appreciate this calm approach as opposed to the mad woman they encounter when company is on the horizon.
      • As you move into the holidays, cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Begin to thank the Lord for what you have. Don’t compare the people or resources in your life with what others have but focus on the best. Love makes all things beautiful.

        Arrangement of live and silk flowers on the table on our front porch.
        Arrangement of live and silk flowers on the table on our front porch.

I have the loveliest children and grandchildren. We have been so blessed. They are beautiful, intelligent, and gifted. (I am sure you can say the same of yours.) Even where relationships are broken I am so aware of the ways God has blessed our family. I pray for all our children and grandchildren. I am aware that if I can do nothing else for someone the first and greatest work is prayer.

I was gifted with a plaque that said “Lord, give me strength to endure my blessings.” I laughed and put it up for a while but then realized that the message did not honor the relationships God has blessed me with. I put it away. I am blessed. I pray for blessings and fullness of joy for all our children. I trust God to work in their lives. Any fixing they need, God’s Holy Spirit can handle. I will love, pray, and support to the best of my ability coupled with the grace of God.  Some of that big sister/mom bossiness/meddling may come out occasionally but I think they are all truly wonderful. Again, even in the worst of times. we are blessed. Thank You, Lord.

Hugs,

Mary

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