The world has turned many times since 1907. That was the year Anna Jarvis asked her Philadelphia church to hold services in memory of all mothers on the anniversary of her mother’s death.
It was a time before the marvels of electricity and indoor plumbing. Mothers had a life of hard physical work.
Today, more than 113 years later, the role of mothers is somewhat different. Although we may not think so on laundry day, much of the drudgery of housekeeping is gone. Today moms have homes, kids, and careers.
To our own mothers, we say “Thank you!” and truly mean it. Without them, our lives would be difficult indeed. Their skills and dedication are appreciated.
On Mother’s Day, let us hope all mothers may rear their children in peaceful times. We remember mothers who lost loved ones on the battlefield.
We hope for strength for single mothers.
We honor mothers who are no longer with us and ask God’s blessing for mothers who are terminally ill.
We pray for future mothers that they may have high character and fortitude in this changing world.
And finally, we remember those moms who were the victims of the coronavirus that so damaged our people and country in 2020.
3 ways to decorate your tree
There are many ways you can style your Christmas tree. Here are some suggestions for how you can mix things up this year.
With eye-catching colors
Choose one or two bright colors to give your tree’s decor a cohesive look. Depending on the effect you want to create, you can opt for soft pastels or bold shades like fuchsia and orange. For a more traditional look, stick with red and white. Blue and silver are also a festive combination.
With elements of nature
If you want to style your tree to have an old-world look, select materials that evoke the great outdoors. Pinecones, birds, holly, deer, and feathers, for example, all make lovely ornaments. If you want to try something more daring, consider using slices of dried citrus fruit or paper flowers to add a pop of color.
With a nod to your interests
Choosing a theme based on one of your passions can make for a one-of-a-kind tree. For example, if you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you could hang figurines of the characters from branches and top the tree with your own Sorting Hat. Are you a golf fanatic? Look for ornaments that resemble balls and clubs, and make snowflakes by gluing together white tees.
Remember, your Christmas tree will be the focal point of your home throughout the holidays. Don’t be afraid to make it stand out.
How you can reduce your electricity bills this holiday season
While the temperatures drop and the days shorten, many people are busy decorating trees and their homes with Christmas lights and elaborate decorations. Unfortunately, those bright and beautiful lights can increase your energy bills.
Want to save on your energy bill? If so, then you need to ditch traditional incandescent lights for LED lights, which consume up to 90 percent less energy.
Writing for ChristmasLightsEtc.com, Eric Allen found that for a large exterior display (featuring one 500-foot C9 string, one 200-foot C9 string, 45 light strings, and one wreath), you’d shell out roughly $115 to run the lights 5 hours a day for a month (assuming 11.3 cents per kilowatt-hour). That same setup would cost about $15 with LED lights.
And remember, the above estimates only cover running the lights for 5 hours per day. If you leave your lights on all night, say for ten hours, go ahead and double everything above (so, $230 for incandescent bulbs, $30 for LED). Using timers and apps to manage your lights is smart.
Keep in mind that energy prices vary, so the impact Christmas lights have on your energy bill may also differ substantially. Either way, using older, less efficient lights and keeping them on all day could leave you with sticker shock when the energy bill comes due.
Don’t forget appliances either. An older 50-inch plasma TV may consume three times as much electricity as a newer 50-inch LED panel. The U.S. Energy Department also notes that newer, more efficient heating and cooling units can cut in-home energy consumption by up to 40 percent. The right holiday gifts for yourself and your family may pay for themselves in the long run.
Only 3 weeks before Christmas!
Are you starting to feel the magic of the season? Or perhaps you’re feeling a bit of holiday stress? In either case, staying on top of your to-do list will ensure the weeks ahead unfold smoothly.
• Confirm your guest list and make sure you have enough chairs and tableware.
• Stock up on alcohol for your holiday party as well as drinks for the kids.
• Choose outfits for the family to wear to upcoming events.
• Buy the last of your gifts as well as wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, and name tags.
• Hang stockings on the mantel and put up the rest of your indoor decorations.
And to get you in the holiday spirit…
Remember to pause and enjoy quality time with loved ones. This week, put on some holiday tunes while you flip through old holiday photos or set up a miniature Christmas village.
17 fun holiday-themed activities
Christmas is fast approaching, but perhaps it doesn’t feel like the holidays yet? Here are some ways you can get into the spirit of the season.
1. Admire the decorated homes in your neighborhood
2. Attend a Santa Claus parade
3. Bake cookies and other traditional holiday treats
4. Browse a Christmas market in your area
5. Color holiday-themed pictures
6. Curl up and watch a Christmas movie
7. Do a puzzle that illustrates a winter scene
8. Donate your time to a local food drive
9. Get creative with your gift wrapping
10. Go pick out your Christmas tree
11. Listen to Christmas songs by your favorite artists
12. Look through old holiday photos
13. Participate in a Christmas craft workshop
14. Read Christmas stories with your family
15. Take in a seasonal performance (concert, ballet, play, etc.)
16. Visit a museum that has a holiday-themed exhibit
17. Write and send out your holiday cards
So, which activity will you start with this year?
Gift-wrapping tips and ideas
Once you’ve finished buying all your Christmas presents, it’s time to start wrapping them. Here are some tips and ideas to make your holiday gift-wrapping a success.
Use quality wrap
Gift wrap that’s too thin will not only tear when you handle it but may also be see-through. Choose sturdy paper that’s sufficiently thick but still easy to fold. To decorate the package, use strips of ribbon that can be either curled with scissors or tied into a pretty bow.
Furoshiki are a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that can be used to cover gifts. This gift-wrapping option has environmental benefits because the cloth can be reused. Plus, you can wrap and unwrap the gift as many times as you need to achieve the perfect presentation.
Whatever type of wrap you opt to use, you can visit your local craft store to find the materials you need. However, if you aren’t confident in your gift-wrapping abilities, consider relying on charities in your community that offer gift-wrapping services during the holiday season.
Gift ideas for minimalists
Finding the right Christmas present for a minimalist can be a challenge. Here are a few clutter-free gift ideas that could be a great fit.
A service or activity
Offering to do housework, babysit or cook a meal for the minimalist in your life is a great way to show you care. Alternatively, tickets to a live show or a local event are gifts that won’t take up any space.
A monthly subscription
Consider giving your loved one a subscription to online music or television service or a digital publication that’s in line with their interests. Some companies also offer monthly subscription boxes that contain things like snacks, alcohol, and body care products. Since these products are consumable, they’ll only take up space temporarily.
A practical item
You may want to consider giving the minimalist in your life a gift that’s useful in some way, especially if you know what they need. For example, a backpack, reusable straw, or reusable hygiene products are all suitable options. However, make sure to choose quality products that’ll stand the test of time.
For more ideas, visit the businesses in your area.