The Christmas holidays can be a stressful time for many. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of family get togethers, church functions, work parties, and the shopping, wrapping, and everything else this time of year distracts us with. We can very easily lose sight of what’s important – letting God’s light shine through us during this special time of year.
While we can start within our own families, we can also spread love and joy to others around us that aren’t a part of our families, too. The Bible even gives us a command to love one another:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” –John 13: 34-35
Here are some simple ideas for showing the love of Jesus this holiday season.
#1. Invite Friends & Family to Church Activities
You probably have both family and friends who do not attend church regularly or even at all. This time of year is when non-church goers are more open to attending. Even if you’ve invited them recently and they’ve said no, reach out and extend the invitation to attend with you again. Just remember, if they say 'no', don’t get irritated with them and try lecturing them about why they should go. Let it be and just continue praying for them.
#2. Lunch/Brunch/Dinner After Church
Do you know of someone elderly, young family, or someone living alone that is having a hard time? Whether it be job loss, death, financial struggle, or anything else someone could be struggling with, take time to reach out and invite them to a meal out after church.
This is a great way to get to know others you may not normally have the opportunity to get to know. Love on them, not just by paying for their meal but by listening and being present. Ask them about their lives and engage in conversation with them. Don’t prod, let them lead and open up as they feel led. Ask if you can pray over them before parting ways and then do so.
There are so many opportunities to volunteer. Check for local resources such as visiting elderly in a nursing home, visiting sick children in the hospital, helping at a soup kitchen, adopting a family in need and making sure they have gifts under the tree, food on the table and a message about God’s love. These are just a few ideas to get you started thinking.
#4. Give Homemade Treats
As you’re doing your regular baking this holiday season, make some extra goodies. Put them in a decorative tin and take to your neighbors. Drop some off at the local police department or fire station. Giving homemade treats is a fun and easy way to share love with others, especially those that are often forgotten.
#5. Be Helpful
If you’re at a holiday gathering offer to help in the kitchen or see what else the host needs your help with. Not everyone likes help, especially in their kitchen, but just making the offer goes a long way. You can also ask if they need you to bring anything. Once the meal is over, offer to help cleanup or better yet don’t offer just start doing.
#6. Send A Package to Our Troops
Let’s never forget about all the men and women who serve our country to give us the freedom we have to celebrate. Holidays can be a very difficult time for them as they are away from family and friends and sometimes can’t even call home! Put a smile on their faces and show them they’re loved and not forgotten this holiday by sending a care package.
'Motherhood is a choice you make every day; to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ...
though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
Mother's Day.. it comes around regularly, each year. (Hey, am I the only one who struggles to remember whether it's the first or second Sunday, each May?) But, we still confront the same question: 'What can I give Mum that I know she'll appreciate, something that will truly express how much she means to us?'
And sure, slippers or a fragrant, organic soap are wonderful options. But, if you're like me, you want something that will touch her heart. And, well... we're talking about 'mothers' here.. so surely, that means 'family'. So, I'm planning to give my Mum a gift of family.
Here's my idea.. and it's easy!
I'm creating a family collage, a picture of our family that will serve as a daily reminder of our love and a wonderful memory. And then, I'm going to add our family collage to one of the special photo projects available online.
Yes, a printed mug is a great idea. Every time your mother makes herself a cup of coffee, she'll think of you and your family. But that's not your only option.
Simple ways to present a family collage
Online photo project designs like EzPrints, TinyPrints, orMixBooks provide plenty of gift ideas for something truly memorable. Just upload your photo collage, choose how you want it presented, order it and sit back and await delivery.
If your mothers lives farther afield, you can even organise delivery to wherever she lives... easy!
So many choices
Personalised notepads & journals, wall art framed or printed on metal or canvas, wall tapestries, calendars, keepsake boxes, floor mats, clocks, towels, pillows and even blankets - just some of the gifts that can be printed with your family collage
How can you do it?
Using Canva, an online design program, I was able to quickly and easily create a family collage. I've included instructions below but honestly, it's very straight forward. Check out the three beautiful layout designs above I made as my family collage, each created in just minutes.
If you're creating this gift yourself, it means you can include a sweet picture of each member of your family in this special gift.
And once you've designed your collage you can use it in so many ways.
Here's how to create your family collage, ready to use for your special Mother's Day gift.
Watch this simple slideshow below to see how simple it is to create your own collage.
The wonderful thing about Canva, is that you can create something beautiful without having any real design skills of your own. Anyone can do it!
And it's FREE.
I think, once you start using it, you'll find yourself creating even more wonderful photo designs for you and your friends and family- thank you cards or invitations, newsletters, resumes, Facebook posts presentations and more.
I hope you'll enjoy this simple online design tool.. and I hope your mother enjoys your wonderful family gift. ?
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Plus, when you order though my links, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff.
Thank you, in advance, for your support.
When you look back on your childhood, your birthdays are sure to be some of your fondest memories. As a kid, there’s nothing better than your own special day: presents, friends, games and plenty of sweet treats! When you become a parent or grandparent, you get to enjoy the magic of birthdays all over again with the little ones in your life, and naturally, you’ll want to make these days as special as possible for them. So if you’re looking to throw an incredible birthday party, here are some ideas to consider!
Invite Their Friends
Having lots of friends to play with and enjoy the day with them will make the day extra memorable. As well as the children in your family, you could send invites to the children in their class at school or preschool. If it’s the first birthday party you’ve thrown, you might want to consider limiting the number of children to make it a little less stressful. So this is something to work out in the planning stages.
Set a Theme
Themed parties are so much fun. It could be based on the child’s favourite book, superhero, tv show or something else. From there your little guests have the option of dressing up, and you can match the decor and even the food to the theme! There are lots of ideas online for different themes if you’re stuck for ideas, or you could have a chat with the child ahead of time and discuss the things they’re currently loving.
Hire Some Inflatables
There are few things that are more fun to a child than giant inflatables! There are companies online that make hiring a jumping castle easy, you can also get interactive inflatable games, slides and inflatable carnival games! It’s certainly a way to make the party memorable- there will be no hint of boredom with something like this to occupy them.
Hire an Entertainer
Depending on the age of the child it could be a character meet (perfect for tying in with the theme of the party!) a magician, balloon modeling or just someone offering face painting throughout the day. Have a think about what the children would most enjoy based on their age and interests.
Play Party Games
Pass the parcel, musical chairs and pin the tail on the donkey are all favourites we remember from our own childhood. You could dedicate an hour of the party to fun party games, where exciting prizes can be won.
Think About Food
It’s no secret that kids are fussy eaters, so catering for a child’s birthday party can be stressful. Buffet style lunches are an easy option, as you can put out lots of different things and they can choose what they want. Go with firm favourites- sandwiches, chips, sausage rolls, mini pizzas and cupcakes. You could even consider hiring an ice cream machine or a chocolate fountain! You may also want to consider some healthier options too, pots of hummus with cut up veggies and fruit skewers work well. Pinterest has tons of great ideas on how you can display different food items so you can make the buffet table look really impressive.
Here it is once again. It’s that special time of year during which you tear your hair out, watch it turn grey or both.
Yes, it’s your child’s birthday.
I’m not suggesting you don’t love your little one and want them to have a special day, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t up to your eyeballs in stress. Throwing adult parties seems fairly straightforward, but, for some reason, throwing a party for children seems to require a professional events organiser.
Still, there’s no need to throw in the towel just yet. Whether your child wants a party with 3 friends or 30, this should be a piece of cake. I’m sorry for the pun; I’ll take your plight seriously now. If you don’t know how on earth you could make preparations for this special day any easier on yourself, here are some ideas and steps towards creating the perfect kids’ party whilst keeping things simple and cheap.
Incorporate a gift into the party.
This is a sneaky way of hitting two birds with one stone. Buying your child a birthday present that they can use with their friends is a great way of combining the need to give them a big, impressive present with the need to find something to put in your garden (or wherever the party may be) in order to spice things up and avoid the kids becoming cranky or bored.
If there’s one thing more dangerous than hyperactive children, it’s bored children. Keeping them occupied doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, however; you could get the birthday boy or girl an air hockey table, and watch as the competition ensues. Of course, you might have to break up some fights if the kids get a little too competitive...
Do something a little unique.
Kids love to fit in, obviously. We all do. They don’t want their party to suck in comparison to that amazing party their friend had the other month.
If you really want to impress the birthday boy or girl, then perhaps you should go the extra mile. Don’t just give them a party which is identical to the one that their best friend put on; give them something unique, so that they can blow their friends away. Companies such as Monsterball have awesome bouncy castles for hire if you want a place to start.
Again, the perfect party doesn’t have to be an expensive one, but putting your money towards one luxury activity or facility is enough to blow your child and all their friends away.
Plan the menu smartly.
Throwing a party at that sweet spot between lunch and dinner is the key to ensuring everybody is happy. You can put out some great snacks and party-related food without any of the children complaining about being hungry.
You don’t want the added stress or cost of having to feed a dozen or more children full meals. You’d most likely have angry parents with whom you’d have to deal if you didn’t meet the dietary requirements of their children, for that matter.
It’s not worth the hassle, and, like I said, you can make things easier for yourself if you think of clever ways around the main obstacles when throwing a party. Just ensure that everything is timed and planned down to a fine point.
It’s always challenging for grandparents when their grandkids reach teenhood. After all, they can morph into mini adults who you might not see as often as before. And as for present buying, it can turn into a minefield. After all, it’s challenging to know what’s on-trend nowadays. But there are a few things you can go for which will definitely work for your teens. Therefore, here are some ideas of gifts that your teen grandchildren will love!
It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to food with teenagers. After all, they tend to eat their parents out of house and home when they are in their teens! Although they do have an excuse; they are growing lads and girls. Therefore, if you want to ensure you make the right choice with a gift, you should consider going down the food angle. You could make them a hamper full of all their favorite sweets and chocolates. If they have a sweet tooth, they will absolutely love this present. Or you could even bake them some cookies or muffins. Nothing beats your grandparent’s cooking so they will adore this present! And if your teen is a health nut, you could make healthy snacks for them instead. They will love the fact you are paying an interest in their life and will enjoy the gift.
Teens today are more interested in their appearance than ever before. Therefore, if you want to get the right gift for your teen grandchild, you should go down the grooming route. For girls, any form of body lotions or makeup would definitely be a winner. If you are unsure about which brands they use, go for a voucher they can use to buy some new makeup. And as for boys, you should opt for some shaving sets which are a must have once they have hit puberty! You can find out about the best ones on ManlyMatters, and other similar sites. Otherwise, some cologne would go down well with your teen grandchild. As we said before, they will love that it will help them to stand out!
You will find that your teen is always talking about some singer or band that they love. After all, music is a big part of their lives. Therefore, you should go for something music related for a gift that they will love. For one thing, you could always look to see if their favorite performer is on tour soon. You could put some money towards the ticket so that they can go see them live in concert. Or you might even choose to go for some music vouchers so that they can buy some tunes from Apple store. After all, they won’t use a CD if you buy it from the store. Therefore, it’s best to give them a voucher which they can use to download some new tunes!
And although it’s a tricky one, clothes could be a good present idea. Just make sure you check their size and the stores they like to go in before making a purchase. It might be wise to go for a voucher instead so they can choose what they like to buy from their store!
Buying gifts for someone with a strong passion can be either easy or hard. Sometimes, it feels like they already have everything they can ever need. But on other occasions, their passion can give you lots of inspiration to find them the perfect gift. Almost everyone has something that their extremely interested in, but some become more obsessed with certain things than others. If you know someone who can't stop talking about something they love, it opens the door to finding them the perfect gift. Try some of the following types of people if you're looking for a present for a friend or family member.
For the Crafter
Many people love to craft in various ways, and different types of crafting have made a comeback in recent years. People are again enjoying making things for themselves, although it's less out of necessity as it might have been in the past. Both men and women enjoy baking, knitting, sewing, woodworking, and much more. If you know someone who does something crafty, there is always something you can gift them. New supplies will never go amiss, but you can also take a look at useful tools. There's sure to be something that will help them do their craft, whether it's super practical or more decorative.
For the Coffee Lover
Coffee is an obsession for many people but in different ways. For some, it's simply an addiction, and they drink their coffee every day without really thinking about what's in it. But others pay more attention to their coffee, where it comes from and what it tastes like. If there's a coffee lover in your life, many gifts could be suitable for them. For the coffee lover on the go, engraved Yeti cups will keep ice coffees cold and hot coffees hot. Plus, it's personalized. You could consider some new coffee or if you're willing to splash out, a new coffee machine.
For the Fitness Fanatic
Keeping fit is hugely important to many people, and part of their daily lives. If a friend or family member is crazy about fitness, there are lots of appropriate gifts for them. They might be the type to like fitness gadgets, such as FitBits. However, more low-tech fitness fans might appreciate something simpler. A new water bottle, or perhaps a water pouch they can use on the move, could be just as good as a fancy fitness tracker. Experiences are good too, such as classes or perhaps a day out doing something active.
For the Music Obsessive
Do you know someone who is always the first to discover the latest bands? They have their favorite albums in three different formats, including on vinyl, of course. Getting a gift for someone like this can be easy, but it's also very easy to get it wrong. If you're going for music, make sure you definitely know what you're doing. If you're not so certain, go for something related to music instead. It could be anything from a poster to a new pair of headphones.
Obsessions can help you choose the perfect gift, but they can also cause you to get stuck on one subject. If it's not helping you, try another angle.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.