Friday, December 28, 2012

Twelve Months of Good Deeds Challenge

New Years Eve is less than a week away.  It’s time to start thinking about your New Years resolutions.  I’d like to suggest something and issue a challenge.  This year, I’d like to try to do one good deed per month and challenge you to do the same.  That’s only twelve good deeds.  I like to make manageable goals. 

In the spirit of the challenge, I will be giving suggestions each month based on a pre-determined theme for that month.  The theme of January will be “Isolation” and “Loneliness.”  How can we help those who are isolated or feeling alone?  Posts in January will mostly follow this theme.  Together we can make 2013 a great year.  As always, suggestions are encouraged via email at

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Returns

            Ahh, the day after Christmas.  The only day that rivals Black Friday with the amount of people heading to the malls.  Of course today is the day that the stores get their merchandise back because it just wasn’t what the recipient wanted for Christmas.  With this in mind, I would like to speak about returns in a good light.

            I was watching a news show on television one day this summer and the show did a piece on a gentleman in California who drives around the highways and helps stranded motorists.  Most of them just need some gas or a tire changed.  He hands them a card and refuses to take any gratuity.  The card encourages them to help others as well.  One day, the Good Samaritan found himself stranded.  A motorist pulled up behind him to help out.  When the Good Samaritan thanked the motorist he was surprised to hear the response, “Thank you for helping my wife out when she was stranded.”  Now this is a return you can be proud of.

            So, while you’re standing in line at the returns counter, think of the people who have helped you out in some way.  Can you help them out?  Can you return the good deed? 


Friday, December 14, 2012

Food Fight!!!!!

            Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest places.  Well not a strange place, just the leap made is strange.  Today’s inspiration came while cleaning the house and finding the magazine we get from The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.  The teaser on the front read, “Start a Food Fight…” 

            Immediately thoughts of ducking out of the way of Chicken Ala King or mashed potatoes came to mind.  Of course there’s the peas shot through the milk straws, but I digress.  After amusing myself with a walk down memory lane I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a food drive disguised as a food fight?” 

In this scenario, you would challenge another church, school, family or whatever to a food fight.  Whoever collects the most food to go to the food pantry wins.  It’s a win-win situation.  The less fortunate get to eat.  You get to have a food fight without worrying about ruining your designer jeans or having to dig peas out of your ears and no one would be laughing so hard that milk comes out of their nose.  Well, I guess laughing that hard isn’t a bad thing, just try and stay away from the milk.  I wonder what eggnog out the nose would look like….

            Let’s see some food a flying!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Cookies

            My daughter Faith was born twelve weeks premature, on a snowy day in November.  While Faith was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, my Aunt came to visit.  She produced a plate of Christmas cookies and sheepishly said, “I didn’t think you’d have time to make them this year.”

            It was a wonderful gift.  She was right.  Between visits back and forth to the hospital and my older daughter’s basketball games, Christmas cookies were far down on the list.  I come from a family that bakes cookies from Thanksgiving weekend to Christmas day.  After Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, there was always a plate of cookies waiting for us at home.  A year without Christmas cookies was almost like having no Christmas at all.

            With all of the Christmas cookies that we bake, there are always extras.  I wonder. Who could use some Christmas cheer this year?  Shut-ins?  People who have family in the hospital and cookies are the last things on their mind?  How about the homeless?  Could cookies give them a small taste of home and bring a little Christmas into their lives? 

            Please let me know if you bring your cookies to someone for some holiday cheer.  I’d love to hear the story.  As usual, I can be reached at  Have a Merry Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Christmas Riptide

            The kids’ Christmas lists are endless.  A note sent home in your child’s backpack suggests that you donate to the school district in honor of your favorite teacher as a gift idea.  Your mailbox is full of “gifts” from Charities in the hope that you will return the kind gesture by donating ten, twenty or even fifty dollars to their cause.  Your caller ID is maxed out with phone numbers of Charities.  You decide to escape the phone calls by doing a little Christmas shopping and run into the Salvation Army bell ringers posted at almost every store you enter.  You brush past them only to bump into the collection box for toys to give to the needy.  Grocery shopping is beginning to look good, but there you run into the food pantry boxes.  Every where you turn, someone wants something from you.  How can you say, “no” to the sad faces?  You shield your eyes and you run home as quickly as you can.  Your spouse comes home to find you in the fetal position in the corner, rocking back and forth hoping for the season to be over.  Does this sound familiar?

In this season of giving, everyone seems to expect something.  But we need to be honest.  How real are those expectations?  Yes there are some who expect things.  But, we have to draw the lines. 

I have to tell my five year old that she cannot have everything she sees on the commercials on television.  Curse those advertisement agencies. 

I cannot give to every charity, but I can give what I can afford, to the one that means something to me. 

I can load my pockets up with change when I go to the stores.  That way when I see the bell ringers, I can give some copper and/or silver to my daughter to throw into the bucket.  Every little bit counts. 

During this season, we have to remember that if we try to do too much, we will be struggling to tread water in the wave of charities that ask for our help.  Like a rip current, they pull us out to sea.  But if we remember to swim parallel to shore until we don’t feel that pull anymore, we can survive and make it back where the waves are safer.