November 2007


I found a list of Christmas gift ideas that were nice:

Please check it out!!!


I’m sure many of you know about all the toy recalls from China.  We receive many products, not just toys,  from China and may not be aware just how prevalent these products are in our stores.  From a business prospective I can understand why a business would feel they need to import from China to stay competitive.  As consumers we demand it.  We want, myself included, a low price.  However, as we are learning, this may come at a different price; working conditions, low wages, and a lack of standard that is acceptable. 

About two years ago, my husband lost his job to this dilemma.  My husband is a trained jeweler who now makes teeth.  He makes crowns, bridges, etc.  He works in a dental lab and they were outsourcing to China.  Thankfully he found another job but the thought is always there that more labs may outsource.  As we learned about the lead in the toys it made me start to wonder about how many people have a crown that may have too much lead or possibly worse.  And I don’t even know if the dentists were informed and could make a decision if this was in the best interests of their patients. 

I know that it is near impossible for us to avoid this trend, but I do believe people need to be aware so that we do not accept inferior products based on the bottom-line.  Here are a few things you can do: 

  • Make sure to check where your products are made (ask about things you wouldn’t think about)
  • Listen to local news regarding this issue 
  • Vote on any legislation that may help keep imported products that we expect here in the United States
  • Inform your stores (etc) what you want or expect 

If you are interested in purchasing things made in the USA this holiday season or any other time look at this website.  I found it and thought it was interesting.

 You can also try and buy locally.  Supporting a local merchant is sometimes more expensive but can be worth the extra cost knowing that someone received a proper wage, the product is properly inspected, less transportation to bring the product to you (GREEN), and it helps the local economy. 

Buy local this Christmas.

Please check this out…it is terrific!

  I loved this article from Hearts to Home.  I believe children need to be involved in all of what we do! ..Debbie

Let Children Help with Holidays
by Holly Schurter

Holly Schurter

Whether you are going over the river and through the woods to someone else’s house or hosting the Thanksgiving feast yourself, one of the secrets to a happy holiday is involving your children in getting ready for the celebration.

Kids gain a necessary sense of competency when they are able to offer real help preparing for a family event. They are less likely to disrupt plans they’ve helped arrange and carry out. And helping get ready makes a child feel like a real part of the celebration.

Inviting younger members of the family to help prepare for the feast is a win-win situation for everyone, as long as you remember to:

– Choose tasks that are age-appropriate, (you want this to be something your child can enjoy and complete successfully).

– Offer clear, courteous instruction and encouragement, especially to children trying something new.

– Allow enough time to practice a bit, then to accomplish the task.

– Say “thank you” and “well done” when the task is finished.

If your family plans to travel over the holiday, your child can help you get ready. Ask your child to:

– Help make sure all the clothes you need to pack for her are clean, or ready to be laundered.

– Lay out personal things he will need so you can check to be sure he has everything: toothbrush, hairbrush, pajamas, etc.

– Help prepare a travel bag filled with travel-appropriate books, games and snacks.

– Help get the car ready for a trip: empty trash, vacuum, clean windows.

– Be sure you have things you want to take along: maps, gifts, covered dishes, etc.

If the celebration is in your home, consider what is age-appropriate, then invite your child to help:

– Bake pies, make stuffing or mash potatoes. (If necessary, practice before the big meal.) Copy the recipes you use on a recipe card, note the occasion, and give her a copy to keep.

– Choose and display old family photographs as part of your holiday decorations. (Old family photographs are effective conversation starters.)

– Make place cards and/or simple table decorations.

– Set the table. Show your child how to do this task correctly, then let her finish.

– Assist you with a last-minute pick-up of the house before guests arrive.

– Greet guests as they arrive. Practice how to offer a gracious welcome (including making introductions) before guests arrive, if necessary.

– Hang up hats and coats.

– Visit with guests for a specified period of time. Talk with your child ahead of time about how to have a good conversation. Give her some helpful background about guests and relatives she might not know well.

– Prepare relish plates or pass hors d’oevres.

– Think of things to be thankful for, and ways to express thanksgiving to God during the celebration.

– Act as official photographer for the day. Use a disposable camera for younger children. Be sure to give clear instructions about how to take photographs without offending people, as well as any particular photographs you might want. Once the photographs are developed, let your child help decide how best to share or display them.

– Entertain younger guests. Prepare a “Pin the feathers on the turkey” game, or “how many cranberries in the jar?” and let him be in charge.

– Clear the table and help with clean-up in the kitchen.

– Put chairs and tables away.

– Say a gracious good-bye as guests leave.

As you work with your child, talk with her about the holiday. Ask what she is thankful for, and share what you are thankful for. Talk about the Pilgrims and why they came here. Discuss how the Indians helped the Pilgrims, and what happened next to the Indians. Tell her how President Lincoln proclaimed a Thanksgiving celebration in the midst of the Civil War.

Share your good memories of family Thanksgiving celebrations, and tell him positive stories about your extended family. Pass on the heritage that makes this Thanksgiving celebration meaningful, both as an American and in your own family.

Don’t miss the opportunity to let your kids participate in making the holiday happen. It will be one more thing for which you all can be thankful!

About the Author:
Holly Schurter is the wife of John, the mom of eight, and the grandmother of nine, as well as a Hearts at Home volunteer.

Have you ever heard something and then it finally just hits you?  This thought of less stuff equals less work really just grabbed me just the other day. 


My hubby works many hours and as we think of purchases I got to thinking about how many hours he, or I; with part time jobs, would have to work for that.  It can really change the idea of purchasing things, esp. things you didn’t intend to purchase at the time.  

I know some people do a cash budget system to help see where there money goes.  This can have the same type of effect.  I did try this but was uncomfortable with having cash as I was not use to carrying cash.  I have tried to really think about my purchases in those terms.  “If I were spending cash would I still purchase this?”  So if you see me at the local store and you see a blank stare on my face you’ll know just what I am doing.

As we approach this gift giving season maybe you can try this concept and see if it works for you.  Just ask yourself “Do I want to work the hours that it takes to pay for this?  Is it going to benefit my family?”  Remember to do this in your head or the mall security might be called. 

**Family and friends will remember who you are and what you did not so much what you bought them.**

Have a BLESSED day! 

I found this and thought it was interesting.

Buy Nothing Day

Posted by Jeremy under activism, consumerism, events, shopping | Tags: |

Buy Nothing Day is on November 24th in the UK, just to give you a heads up, 23rd if you live in the US or Canada.

All the details are on their site, but in essence it aims to be a 24 hour moratorium on consumerism:

Saturday November 24h 2007 is Buy Nothing Day. It’s a day where you challenge yourself, your family and friends to switch off from shopping and tune into life. The rules are simple, for 24 hours you will detox from consumerism and live without shopping.”

Join the group on facebook if you like, and look out for any events near you – ideas used in the past include creating a ’shopping free zone’ of beanbags and free stuff, organising swap meets, wearing zombie masks around malls, jamming checkouts, walking very slowly, or throwing tantrums in public places. Up to you whether you get involved in those…

The Real World Martha – I am not sure I agree with the tantrums and jamming checkouts (as the clerks should not be punished for doing their jobs) but I love the free swap meet idea.  I would think this would be a great day to exchange items with others or make gifts with your family.  Since the idea is to “tune into life” it would be a great day to just spend with your family (and no watching commercials).

I am sure everyone is getting ready for a wonderful day in which we celebrate the many blessings we have in our life.  Here is a tip that I have enjoyed:

Have you ever tried to keep your mashed potatoes in the crook pot so they stay warm?  It’s great. Use the low setting and you won’t be in a time crunch!


For more tips and recipies check out-

This is a fantastic blog!

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