Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gift Ideas for the Senior Citizen

Well, certainly not a room full of kids but here are some practical ideas:

Gift certificates at a restaurant, grocery store, gas station

A collection of birthday, get well, sympathy cards and stamps
( It can be hard to stand and search for cards and now there are so many sections that older people may have a hard time with this)

A certificate for yard service, cleaning service, handyman service (make sure they would be comfortable with someone around their house)

Basket of goodies that include cans of tuna, chicken, soups, chili, coffee, tea bags, crackers, fruits

Your time - offer to take them to the store, to church, to see the Christmas lights, to doctor appointments, to visit family
Offer to help clean, wash clothes, rewrite address book to more readable print

Here is a great item that I think most seniors would love:
A lotion applicator to help get creams and lotions on their back. It is a long wand with a pad where you put the lotion and it reaches down the back. $19.95 plus $6.95 shipping and handling at skinfinityproducts.com
(Older people usually need lotions for dry skin or itchy skin)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas cookies

These are my special cookies that all of my family love. I make them for a lot of the holidays and just use a simple cookie cutter and butter icing with sprinkles. The kids love to add the sprinkles when they are around and usually the whole kitchen gets sprinkled.
Sugar Cookies
Cream together:
1/2 cup crisco and 1/2 cup of softened butter or margerine
1 and 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. almond flavoring
2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
4 and 1/2 cups of sifted flour - may take a little less
Combine all ingredients; roll into 2 balls and wrap in wax paper; chill
When ready to cook remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature until it feels soft enough to roll out with a rolling pin ( a smooth glass makes a good rolling pin) Roll to approximately 1/4 inch or less thick. Cut out the cookies. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes
Butter icing
1- 1 pound box of powdered sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter or margerine
4-6 tbsp of milk
2 tsp of almond flavoring
1 tbsp. of vanilla flavoring
Cream butter and sugar; add milk as needed to make icing consistency
Add other ingredients. Spread on cookies and add sprinkles
Artificial coloring is made from coal tar and could be the cause of a variety of health issues.
I usually use white icing and then a small amount of sprinkles.
I recently tried a natural coloring but it did not much for the white icing. It did however make a very soft nice looking sugar when mixed with plain white sugar. That is not used in this picture. I ordered the natural flavoring from seelecttea.com

Friday, December 5, 2008

Snowman Craft

A cute and quick craft for the children on a rainy or snowy day.

1 sheet of 12" x 9" white and 1 sheet of 12" x 9" blue construction paper, colors, markers, glue and tape.

Cut the white paper in half lengthwise. Cut off 2 1/2" from one of the lengthwise strips. This will be the head. The longer one is the body. Roll the stripes and join them behind with tape, overlapping 2-3". Try to keep a rolled look without flattening them. Let the children color the face and body Let them color snow on the ground and snowflakes falling. Attach the snowman to the paper with glue or tape. Draw arms and a shovel if desired. Have fun!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Organize Christmas Plans

It is so easy to get out of control with spending around the holidays. This year there are sales everywhere and it looks like we are getting a deal but think about need before you purchase.
Are we buying more because we think we are getting a deal?

Think about focusing on the birth of Christ over the gift giving.
Keep everything simple. Don't get stressed!

Definitely set a budget and stay very close to it.
As far as your children go, think about what grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc will give them. You can cut back from what you give if they are getting a good bit from others.

If you are craft oriented you can make gifts. You can always make cookies or treats and package them in an attractive way.
I often do that and put them on a festive holiday plate. This year I found some really cute and colorful plates at CVS for $2.99. They had a snowman and Santa style. I will put my special bar cookies on them and give as gifts to neighbors, aunts, etc.

Look for fun, free activities in your community where you can take your family. My area just had "Dicken's Downtown."
It is a small, quaint, old fashion downtown and about 10,000 - 15,000 people crowded in there for Christmas activities. It is
really a fun evening.

By all means find some way to get your children involved in doing something for someone less fortunate. Take a toy to Toys for Tots, choose a angel from the salvation army angel tree or just put $1.00 or so in the kettle. Teach your children that it is important to help others.

Make this a year to keep Christ the center of all your activities.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A 1st Corinthians 13 Christmas

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautiful adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug a child.
Love sets aside decoration to kiss the husband.
Love, is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.
But giving the gift of love will endure.
Merry Christmas.

Author unknown