Help Your Kids Show Gratitude During the Holidays

gratitude

November has always been a gratitude month for me. Maybe it’s because of Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s because the holiday season is just around the corner. Every year the children in our family do something kind for others. All of us feel enriched when we add a little light to someone’s life.

This year our kids discussed what kind of goodness they’d like to give to someone. They came up with the idea of making awards. (Our little granddaughter had just received a citizenship award at the school so it was on her mind.)

They brainstormed the kind of awards they could give:
• Smiling Award
• Happiness Award
• Helper Award
• Good Friend Award
• Kindness Award
• Hard Worker Award

They thought about giving the awards to:
• Volunteers at the hospital
• Firemen
• Policemen
• Rest home workers
• Librarians
• Produce manager at the grocery store

The sky’s the limit, let the kids choose. The grandkids decided, picking several of the community services we talked about. But the awards they spent the most time on were the ones for a neighbor lady down the street that just turned ninety. They love her. She walks past our house every day, getting her exercise and always stops to talk to the kids. She’s their favorite.

She’s a cute little lady, tiny and spry. Always up for a conversation and a good laugh. She is fun.

The awards your children choose to give will vary according to their experiences. And that’s really alright. The principle of thinking of others, and giving light to the world has been taught and put into practice. The children will remember and make the world a better place as they grow to adulthood.

Sharing light blesses those around us, but it also fills us with brightness.

christyChristy Monson, M.A., (retired) established a successful counseling practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  www.christymonson.com

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Finding the Best Deals for Your Thanksgiving Meal

ThanksgivingMake your Thanksgiving dinner one of the best bargain meals you prepare this year. By shopping the sales and using coupons, you’ll save big while your family and friends rave about your delicious meal. Just follow these tips for saving with Stephanie Nelson, founder of CouponMom.com:

1. Plan Ahead: The key to saving on groceries is taking time to plan your list and shopping strategy and the savings will be worth a little extra planning time. Traditional dishes are the most popular with my family and their ingredients are always the featured sale items at the stores. First, make sure and buy a frozen turkey several days in advance, it will save you about 70%, and will taste just the same. Sit down and list the dishes you plan to make and the ingredients you will need to buy. Inventory your kitchen to see what you already have on hand and make your list accordingly. Be thorough–you don’t want to have to dash to the store on Thanksgiving morning for a forgotten item!

2. Shop Prices From Home: Review the weekly advertising circulars for all nearby grocery stores to see which stores have the best prices for your items. Each store will feature a few of your items as rock-bottom sale items. It may make sense to spread your shopping between two stores so that you can “cherry-pick” the best deals at each store. Or you can ask your stores if they have a price-matching policy. If one does, you can take the ads from all the stores to the price-matching store to get the lowest available price on every item from one store.

3. Be Coupon Crazed: Thanksgiving is a grocery coupon bonanza. The coupon circulars in the newspaper have more coupons than usual in the two Sunday issues prior to Thanksgiving. Coupons for common Thanksgiving ingredients abound, such as stuffing mix, baking ingredients, frozen vegetables, gravy, dinner rolls, turkeys and more. You can also print many good grocery coupons online from sites likeCouponMom.com.
You may be able to find a coupon for every Thanksgiving food item you need to buy!

4. Save by Substituting: You can also save by avoiding expensive ingredients. For example, instead of using $4 of pecans for a sweet potato casserole topping, use a crumble topping with oatmeal, butter and brown sugar (from an apple crisp recipe) that costs pennies to make. It is less expensive to bake a pumpkin pie than an apple pie, and much easier for me. Most years I’ve been able to buy a frozen apple pie on sale with a coupon for less than it would have cost me to make, and my family prefers them to mine!

5. Stock up on Savings: Take advantage of ultra-bargains right after Thanksgiving and stock up for future meals. If you have the freezer space, buy an extra turkey or two. One year I bought a couple dozen cans of pumpkin for 10 cents each after Thanksgiving and made pumpkin bread, muffins and even pumpkin soup all year.

Stephanie Nelson, The Coupon MomStephanie Nelson is the Coupon Mom. With more than 7 million members, Coupon Mom gives members access to thousands of printable coupons for groceries, restaurants and more. As the nation’s top expert in couponing across the country, Stephanie has been on every major national television talk show and taught millions how to save money for the past 14 years. She has been called ‘”the rock star of the recession” by the Washington Post and her book, The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half, is a New York Times best seller.

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Let Your Kids Help With the Thanksgiving Festivities

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, you’re probably super busy getting all the details mapped out for the holiday festivities! The kiddies are probably pretty excited too. We’re sure that they’re pretty interested in what’s happening around the house, so get them involved! Whether it’s décor or dessert, your kiddos can lend you a helping hand! […]

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6 Easy Kid’s Crafts and Games for Thanksgiving

thankful pumpkin

Thanksgiving isn’t exactly a holiday geared to children.  Wedged between Halloween and Christmas, we all struggle to include our children in the family Thanksgiving traditions.  This year, try doing some easy crafts and games that basically involve scissors, glue and construction paper.  Make up a game of “Pin the tail on the Turkey” using construction […]

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Empowering Your Scared Child in the Dark

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“The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle” – Stephen King, Night Shift. Is your child afraid of the dark? Are you? I certainly […]

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5 Tips for Hiring a Babysitter

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With your busy schedule and your children’s endless activities and homework, it might be time to think about hiring some extra help. An afternoon babysitter or part time nanny, could be the solution for you to find a balance in your schedule. But you don’t want just any random person handling your children. Here are […]

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Protect Your Furry Family Members from Winter Chill

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When summer turns to fall and fall to winter, not only do the seasons change, but so do the needs of your beloved pets. As important as it was to guarantee pet safety in the summer heat, it is crucial to note that colder weather also brings health and wellness risks for pets. Dr. Mitsie […]

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How to Deal With Tantrums

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We all know how difficult tantrums can be with all the screaming, the crying, the non-comprehensible words, the falling on the ground, and violent outbursts. It’s especially terrible if the tantrum is thrown in public and is uncontrollable. How should you handle a tantrum? With discipline or talking? Here are a few techniques to handle […]

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Sibling Rivalry: Reducing Tension Between Siblings

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Trust me when I say it is NOT easy going from being an only child to having a younger sibling! There’s so many emotions: confusion, loneliness and most of all, jealousy. It’s just natural that siblings will not always get along, but what do you do when there’s just too much fighting and not enough […]

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2 Thoughts on Why Children Might “Forget”

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Everyone, children and adults alike, forget things sometimes. Ongoing difficulty with remembering specific things, however, can be associated with anxiety or worry, or it can be a veiled form of defiant behavior. Let’s take a look at both types of forgetting. Thought #1: Forgetting That Causes Worry and Anxiety What about the person who leaves […]

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4 Fun Non-Candy Halloween Snacks!

frankenstein pudding

Halloween is almost here, which means candy, candy, and of course, more CANDY! Well instead of just dumping candy out to your children, I have some fun, festive Halloween treats that you can make at home. These are all kid friendly, so grab your kiddos and head to the kitchen to create some yummy snacks! […]

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Top 5 Tips for Adopting the Right Dog

walking the labradoodles

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and Jenna Fernandes, CEO of CareBooker.com, the “Open Table” of family and pet care services, knows how important dogs are in the family. As a parent to her two dogs—a Min Pin named Scooby and Great Dane named Casper— Jenna offers 5 tips for adopting the right […]

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Divorced? 4 Valuable Life Lessons to Master Now

woman in fall

The aftermath of divorce can be a sense of self-discovery or internment in a self-made prison of depression and resentment. It’s all about our acceptance of what is and determination to use the divorce as a pathway to a new and better life. The good news: it’s all up to us. We can create an […]

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5 Easy Ideas for Planning a Classroom Halloween Party

halloween donuts

Halloween lands on Friday this  year and many moms are scrambling to come up with creative, easy ideas for their child’s classroom Halloween party.  Not all schools allow “official” Halloween parties, but many teachers appreciate a cute snack and a little game on this fun holiday. Kids from Kindergarten to 5th graders will love these […]

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How to Save On Halloween Costumes, Candy and Fun

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Halloween is now reported to be the 2nd most expensive holiday of the year! Even though we don’t exchange expensive gifts on Halloween, it is easy to rack up big bills on costumes and candy. The good news is that there are many easy ways to save money on Halloween expenses without compromising on the […]

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The Teal Pumpkin Project for an Allergy-Friendly Halloween

Teal pumpkin

image via Brave Girl’s Club. For 1 in 13 kids in the U.S. who have food allergies, Halloween isn’t the carefree, candy-laden free-for-all that most kids eagerly await. That’s because many traditional treats have the potential to cause an allergic reaction – which can be life-threatening – for children managing allergies to nuts, milk, wheat, […]

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Dogs and Our Health: The Benefits of our Furry Friends

yellow lab

For thousands of years, dogs have been domesticated and bred to have qualities humans deemed suitable–a literal transformation from wild animal to man’s best friend. They are our companions, friends, family, and service dogs. That feeling we get when we see our furry friend jump with joy, give us a kiss (and accidentally hit us […]

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Trick or Treating Safety

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“Trick or Treat!” Your children are counting the days until they can walk around the neighborhood hunting for candy! With the big night approaching, some kids are probably thinking that they’re too cool to walk around with their parents and want to venture out alone with their friends. That is not a problem as long […]

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