Category Archives: Family

Christmas Ornament Memories

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If your house is anything like ours you have a lot of Christmas ornaments.  More ornaments than you have real estate on your tree.  It’s because of this that when decorating each ornament is scrutinized to be deemed “treeworthy” before being placed. In reflecting on our tree this year I realized that all the ornaments that made the cut have a memory attached to them.

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This is an ornament a dear friend and co-worker brought me back from her trip to Hawaii. She lost her battle with cancer several years ago but I think of her often.  Especially at Christmas time when I see this ornament.

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This is an ornament one of my Aunts gave me to commemorate the biggest I ever caught.  It was about a 24″ walleye I got on our annual extended family camping trip that year.

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This apple shaped ornament depicting the New York skyline (Pre 9/11) is a favorite of my wife.  She used to travel to New York frequently for work and picked this up on her last trip there.

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This is a very special ornament.  It belonged to my wife’s Grandparents and spent probably a half decade on their tree before finding it’s way to our house.

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My youngest has quite the Nutcracker ornament collection.  They’re special to her and she’ll always remember her Grandma getting her a different one each year.

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Every year we create new memories by getting each of our girls a new ornament.  It’s a tradition started by my parents.  It’s fun to see what they pick.  This is the ornament my oldest chose this year.

It’s true.  Christmas ornaments equal memories.  So take some time to reflect on your Christmas tree and enjoy the memories.  Are there some special ornaments and memories hanging on your tree?  I’d love to hear about them!  Merry Christmas.

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Christmas Traditions – My Daughter’s View

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My oldest daughter enjoys reading my blog and has noticed how much fun I am having with it so she asked if she could share a post. What a great idea!  So the following is her thoughts on Christmas traditions.  Enjoy!

Do you have any Christmas traditions?  Does your family do anything special?  I have heard a lot of fun Christmas traditions that my friends do.  Many go to the movie theater, eat out, or a maybe it is putting up a tree together. Whatever it is, it makes a holiday special in my opinion.

Our family has a lot of fun ones. We put up a real tree a couple of weeks before Christmas and decorate it all together while listening to Christmas music.

Another one we have is shopping and making shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. I love putting boxes together for children that are less fortunate than me.

I also look forward to fun pajamas that are Christmas themed.  Our family on Christmas day eats breakfast pizza for brunch, and has a Christmas picnic for supper.

I look forward to these things. When we do these things repeatedly year after year you never really think about what Christmas would be without them. You know what I mean?

To my Dad Christmas Eve wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without watching the movie A Christmas Story. So this holiday have fun with your traditions and remember Jesus is the reason for the season.

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Lessons Learned Helping A Charity

The past two days I was  part of a radio-a-thon to raise money for a charity that helps sick children and their families.  It was a rewarding experience that taught me a lot.

First, no matter how bad you think you have it someone has it worse.  The stories I heard about heartache, pain, and difficult decisions were the unfortunate proof.  I wouldn’t want to trade my troubles (real or imagined) for anyone else’s.  They’re mine so I must be the best equipped to deal with them.

The second thing that I realized is that people really can be generous if it’s a cause they can understand and believe in.

We were raising money for 2 things.  To have teddy bears to give to to every sick child entering the hospital.  That’s easy to understand.  A sick kid is going to a scary place for treatments and tests that aren’t fun.  Giving them a teddy bear is a great and caring idea.  It’s something soft and warm they can hold on to.  We heard stories from medical professionals that said in some cases giving a hysterical child a teddy bear works better at calming them down than medicine.  Makes sense to me.

The other thing the money is used for is to fill a compassion fund.  This fund isn’t overseen by a super huge committee.  There aren’t layers of bureaucracy.  It’s accessible to doctors, nurses, and social workers who can use the funds to show compassion to the families of those in the hospital that are in need.  Maybe it’s for a tank of gas because funds are tight, a meal for the parents, or lodging when a child has to go to a hospital that’s farther away.

The stat we heard was having a child in the hospital increases your household expenses by 30 percent.  That much additional expense coupled with the potential loss of one of the parent’s jobs because they’re staying with the child in the hospital and you can see how it could throw the family budget into a tailspin.  It’s because of this that this compassion fund exists.

Helping out by contributing to a fund like this is easy to understand. It’s local.  It’s what we would do for a neighbor.  That’s why I think this fund has been successful and continues to grow.  We need more things like this.  Where we don’t depend on the government but instead on each other. No red tape.  No regulations.  No political affiliations.  Just people helping people.

I’m proud to say we beat last year’s total and raised over $105,000.  At times it was mentally draining but definitely rewarding.  It made me realize how small my problems are and that my daughters needed big hugs when I got home.

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