A meteor shower is scheduled for tonight 12 days before Christmas.

Are you ready? 

35 years of hosting Christmas Eve festivities have taught me a few things to make life easier in this hectic home.

In fact it has become a tradition we look forward to all year.

Let me tell you a secret— Christmas does not have to equal chaos.

Unless you like that of course. If you're like me, a clean house, delicious food and good company help make wonderful memories for years to come. 

Here are some quick ideas to help you keep your focus on the important things of the season.

    1    Delegate the work- every year hubby contributes by building the artificial tree.

    2    Our creative designer youngest daughter helps decorate the house.

    3    Over the years family has shared preparing a great meal for the night. With our different busy schedules the best format seems to be an open house. Come when you can leave when you must.

    4    It’s okay to buy a yummy pie or appetizers so you have more time to spend with your guests.

    5    Use crock pots to create dishes that will stay warm.

    6    Cook meals that are easy to prepare with ingredients that are fresh and in season.

    7    Some of the best dishes can be made ahead of time.

    8    Save your time for last minute cleaning in the living area/kitchen for right before guests arrive. That way you won't be going over the same areas again and again.

    9    Ask someone to bring fun games/activities to play.

    10    Have separate areas to serve appetizers, main dishes, coffee and dessert.

    11    Set up a coffee/drink bar on a table for self service.

    12    This year I will be serving breakfast for dinner. This makes preparations ahead a pretty smooth affair.

Keep your holidays simple superstar~ your family will love you for it!


“When can we eeeaaatt?” “What’s for dinner?” “I’m so hungry!” “I don’t like that food…”

When my kids were little, they didn’t always care for the dinner I chose to prepare. Five different individuals with five unique tastes can be an interesting challenge to overcome.

After what seemed to be endless complaining, my solution to the problem came by deciding to teach them that whining would not produce the change they desired.

“Mommy can’t hear whining.” I would tell them. 

Young children often need a repeat of the lesson you try to teach them. 

“We’re not whining!” 

“Oh, but, you are.” I would say as I worked on dinner. “One or two times is a request, repeated times turn it into a whine.”

My point is that complainers never win. Whether it be about dinner, a new toy or their bedtime. Or anything else in life. 

We often set goals and work hard towards them until we reach a setback or obstacle in our plan. 

Circumstances change. Life often doesn’t go as planned. We can either allow the setbacks to be motivators in our lives to continue towards our life goals, seek counsel on making necessary changes or stop us in our tracks.

One surefire way of stopping progress is by getting caught up in the negative and allowing it to control our minds and our mouths. This in turn bleeds into our actions. 

Sometimes just choosing to focus on the positive or positive thinking is not enough. Sometimes we need to take a long look at our routine to see what we’ve allowed to creep into our life to bring on the downward spiral of complaining.

Are we hanging around with negative people? That includes the news, social media and even co-workers. Research has shown that negativity from complaining can actually change the healthy function of our brains.

Are we looking at the current administration and blaming the shape of the current economy, world events, and hate mongering on the political system of the day?

It’s tempting to look at the shape of the world and cast stones at the other person, system, or organization to rationalize our setbacks. But, in reality the only person who can choose the outcome of our lives is ourselves.

Some effective measures to end the destructive cycle of complaining~

  1. Go to God with your heart issues, worries, complaints. If anyone can help you it’s the King of the universe.
  2. Ask him to show you scripture which deals with the problems you are facing. Then look for verses in the bible that deal with that topic.
  3. When your problems become overwhelming go back to these verses and read them, think about them, speak them out loud. 
  4. Make a list of the things you are grateful for and focus on these things. 
  5. Do what is in your power to do. Continue to grow and learn new ways to use your gifts and talents. Then trust God to perform the rest. 
  6. Praise and worship God for being good even when life is not. 
  7. Sing and laugh. A lot! 

When we apply these steps liberally our mark can be remarkable.