Churches are considered the shepherds of the holiday season, leading the celebration with Nativity plays, holiday concerts, and Christmas Eve Mass.
More importantly, churches faithfully take the lead in providing for the less fortunate. Hosting toy drives, clothes drives, and warm Christmas dinners for those in need are just a few examples of a church outreach event that serve the community during the holidays.(more…)
Being a hospital patient is difficult under any circumstances during any time of the year. But, it is especially tough during the holiday season! Instead of gift-shopping, planning favorite holiday recipes, or just spending time with family, patients find themselves discouraged about an upcoming surgery, recovery, or concerning diagnosis.
There’s no better reason to get into the holiday spirit than to lift the morale of those in despair. So, whether you have a loved one hospitalized or you simply have the desire to spread a little Christmas cheer to those who need it most. This blog, 10 of our12 Days of Christmas series can show you 5 ways to bring holiday spirit to a hospital this season.
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
What is one of the first signs that the holiday season is upon us? Holiday decorations!
Most hospitals deck their halls with boughs of holly. Volunteering to help is a simple way to bring a little joy and comfort not only to patients but to their families as well.
Small touches go a long way in bringing a little home to a patient’s hospital room. For example, adding a miniature Christmas tree, a Hanukkah menorah, or a Kwanzaa kinara.
Craft are always a great way to pass the time in a hospital. Activities can be organized for young patients to create personalized Christmas ornaments and help trim the hospital Christmas tree.
For the inventive, creative ideas include creating a Christmas lights display using prescription bottles or making a Christmas tree from medical gloves like several ingenious medical workers did to spread the holiday spirit.
Do You Hear What I Hear
Another classic holiday activity certain to raise the spirits of hospital patients is caroling.
If you want to you can coordinate a full-on caroling session. Music featuring a church choir, a small band, meticulous rehearsals, choreography, and more. You may not have the power of a church choir or the Indianapolis Colts at your disposal. But you could assembling a few willing neighbors, colleagues, hospital workers, or family members. Without a doubt, it will be just as wonderful and powerful.
Choose a set list and print out the song lyrics. You can also host a quick rehearsal before caroling time, and the caroling team is ready to go. Don’t forget to name your caroling team and be sure to bring coffee, tea, cocoa, and cookies.
The least essential requirement? Singing chops. The most essential requirement? Holiday spirit.
Need a little help organizing? Check out Caroling for a Cause to order a caroling kit with proceeds being donated to a charity.
Presents, Presents, Presents
Few things are more gratifying than seeing a sick child gleam after opening an unexpected new toy. Or a fatigued grandfather perk up at the sight of a Scrabble board. A timely Christmas gift could be just what the doctor ordered. It can help fend off the daily battle with boredom, anxiety, and stress.
Whether organized by your business, club, church, or those caroling neighbors, the opportunities to donate gifts to patients during the holidays are plentiful, especially for children.
Not sure what gifts youngsters want? Hospitals have made the process simple, providing gift donation policies, FAQs, andwish-listsbroken down byage, so you don’t have to wonder how or what to donate.
For adults, gifts that help pass the time, like books, magazines, Sudoku, crosswords, playing cards, adult coloring books, and board games are great stocking stuffers to keep them engaged and entertained. For those digitally-inclined, music and movie-streaming gift cards can grant the family access to a digital vault full of Christmas tunes and films to enjoy.
Food, Glorious Food
“This hospital dish is one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had,” said no one, ever.
Hospital food has a reputation for not being very appetizing, but during the holidays when patients are craving mouth-watering turkey, home-made stuffing, and creamy mashed potatoes, hospital cuisine (if it can even be called that) can be downright disheartening.
While it would be a challenge to transport an entire Christmas feast to a hospital, a great way to deliver some good eats, good cheer, and the holiday spirit is to utilize the candy-striper blueprint. Grab a cart load it up with holiday fare, and visit patients room by room.
What’s on the menu? Anything bite-sized and everything home-made. Mini turkey pot pies, turkey meatballs, mashed potato balls with gravy dip, stuffing balls with cranberry dip, rolls, hot chocolate, hot cider, eggnog, cupcakes, Christmas cookies, and whatever the patients’ hearts desire.
What is better than decorating a hospital wing, leading a Christmas caroling team, organizing a gift drive, or bringing delicious holiday food to patients? Doing it all at once, of course.
You can plan an all-day or two-day holiday celebration where patients, family members, and hospital personnel can truly participate in Christmas festivities.
The opportunity to get out of that hospital room and socialize with other patients could improve the morale of patients, both young and elderly. Hospital workers who have to work throughout the holiday are afforded a little celebration of their own and deservedly so.
A great example is the Winter Wonderland program where the Jimmy Fund Clinic transforms into a week-long magical holiday celebration geared toward young patients including winter crafts, cookie decorating, and visits from Santa.
Whether you are able to organize a hospital holiday extravaganza or only have time to bring by a couple of stocking stuffers, you have the ability to make a patient’s day. You may even make their Christmas. But just remember, no fruitcake!
Tomorrow for our 11th blog, we’ll share with you 5 jokes you can tell to break the ice at your church outreach event.
In a 2016 Beyond survey, more than half (55%) of employees said they feel obligated to attend the office holiday party. With a complicated list of Do’s and Don’ts, the occasion can quickly turn into an event you must survive rather than enjoy. Jokes might make the office party more enjoyable. Let’s look at some office holiday party jokes you could tell.
You’ve likely read some of the rules for office parties: do go, but don’t stay too long; do talk, but don’t talk about work. The list goes on.
Then there are the obvious gaffes you’ll want to avoid like wearing risqué outfits, consuming too many tequila shots, subjects that are no-gos, office etiquette, flirting etc. These are tips and rules you’ve probably seen on digital signage screens in your office.
While protecting your professional reputation is a sensible goal, stressing over what to wear, what to say, who to talk to, or how much food to eat will suck all the fun out of what’s supposed to be a good time.
Instead of obsessing over office party etiquette, you need something to help you relax and let your guard down to actually enjoy the party. No, it’s not a drink — remember the rule about too many tequila shots?
What you need are jokes. More specifically office holiday party jokes.
In blog 9 of our12 Days of Christmas series, we have 10 office holiday party jokes that’ll break the ice and get your colleagues in a celebratory mood.
1. The Raise
Sam walks into his boss’s office. “Sir, I’ll be straight with you, I know the economy isn’t great, but I have over three companies after me, and I would like to respectfully ask for a raise.”
After a few minutes of haggling, the boss finally agrees to a 5% raise, and Sam happily gets up to leave.
“By the way”, asks the boss as Sam is getting up, “which three companies are after you?”
“The electric company, water company, and phone company”, Sam replied.
2. The Shredder
A young executive was leaving the office late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand, looking dumbfounded.
“Listen,” said the CEO, “this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my assistant has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work for me?”
“Certainly,” said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
“Excellent, excellent!” said the CEO, as his paper disappeared inside the machine. “I just need one copy…”
3. Order of Operations
The VP of Business Development, the CFO, and the President of a company are on their way to lunch when they stumble upon a beat up, but valuable looking brass container.
The VP picks it up and starts cleaning it with his handkerchief. Suddenly, a genie emerges out of a curtain of purple smoke. The genie is grateful to be set free and offers them each a wish.
The CFO is wide-eyed and ecstatic. She says, “I want to be living on a beautiful beach in Spain with a sailboat and enough money to make me happy for the rest of my life.”
Poof! She disappears.
The VP says, “I want to be happily married to a wealthy supermodel with penthouses in London, Paris, and New York City.”
Presto! He vanishes.
“And how about you?” asks the Genie, looking at the President.
The boss scowls and says, “I want both those idiots back in the office by 2 PM.”
4. Don’t Slack Off at Work
A company, feeling it was time for a shake-up, hires a new CEO. This new boss is determined to rid the company of all slackers. On a tour of the facilities, the CEO notices a guy leaning on a wall. The room is full of workers and he wants to let them know he means business!
The CEO walks up to the guy and asks, “And how much money do you make a week?”
Undaunted, the young fellow looks at him and replies, “I make $300.00 a week. Why?”
The CEO then hands the guy $300 in cash and screams, “Here’s a week’s pay, now GET OUT and don’t come back!”
Feeling pretty good about his first firing, the CEO looks around the room and asks “Does anyone want to tell me what that goof-off did here?”
With a sheepish grin, one of the other workers mutters, “Pizza delivery guy from Domino’s.”
5. Doctor’s Bill
A doctor and a lawyer are talking at a party. Their conversation is constantly interrupted by people describing their ailments and asking the doctor for free medical advice.
After an hour of this, the exasperated doctor asks the lawyer, “What do you do to stop people from asking you for legal advice when you’re out of the office?”
“I give it to them,” replies the lawyer, “and then I send them a bill.”
The doctor is shocked but agrees to give it a try.
The next day, still feeling slightly guilty, the doctor prepares the bills. When he goes to place them in his mailbox, he finds a bill from the lawyer.
The owner of a company tells his employees:
“You worked very hard this year, therefore the company’s profits increased dramatically. As a reward, I‘m giving everyone a check for $5,000.”
Thrilled, the employees gather around and high five one another.
“And if you work with the same zeal next year, I’ll sign those checks!”
7. Who’s Stronger
The strong young man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He made a special case of making fun of one of the older workmen. After several minutes, one older worker had had enough.
“Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is,” he said. “I will bet a week’s wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that outbuilding that you won’t be able to wheel back.”
“You’re on, old man,” the braggart replied. “Let’s see what you got.”
The old man reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, “All right. Get in.”
8. My Dear Watson
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are out on a camping trip. They trudge all day, covering lots of miles, and finally decide, just as dusk is falling, that it’s time to set up camp for a night. They put up their tent, start a fire, cook a simple meal, eat, and both being exhausted from the day’s exertions, decide to go to sleep.
At about 3 in the morning, Holmes shakes Watson awake and says, “Watson, look up at the stars in the sky and tell me what you deduce from them.”
Watson is sleepy, but he has learned that there is always a point to even the most random of Holmes’s questions, so he does as he’s told, and gazes up at the stars.
“Well, Holmes,” he says after a moment, “I can see millions of stars. Millions of them. And I guess if there are millions of stars. Then around many of those stars there must be planets. And if there are planets around those stars. Then some of those planets must be like our planet. And if planets like ours exist around some of those stars. Then on some of those planets there may well be people, looking up at the stars and imagining that we exist as well. That’s what I deduce from looking up at the stars, Holmes.”
And Holmes says, “No, Watson, you fool — someone has stolen the tent.”
9. Text Me a Joke
My boss texted me, “Send me one of your funny jokes, Pete.”
I replied, “I’m working at the moment, Sir, I will send you one later.”
He replied, “That was fantastic, send me another one.”
10. How to Get a Day off From Work
Two factory workers are talking. The woman says, “I can make the boss give me the day off.” The man replies, “And how would you do that?” The woman says, “Just wait and see.”
She then hangs upside-down from the ceiling. The boss comes in and says, “What are you doing?” The woman replies, “I’m a light bulb.” The boss then says, “You’ve been working so much that you’ve gone crazy. I think you need to take the day off.”
The man starts to follow her and the boss says, “Where are you going?” The man says, “I’m going home, too. I can’t work in the dark.”
And there you have it, 10 jokes to lighten the mood at your next office holiday party.
If you’re a frequent flyer, you probably have an established travel routine: pack the night before and leave the house at time X to arrive at the airport at time Y so you have enough time to go through security. The holidays, however, throw a wrench in the routine. Between the weather and increased crowds, a well-laid plan and refined drill can quickly devolve into a holiday airport nightmare.(more…)
Whether you cheerfully volunteered or were volunteered by Grandma, it’s your turn to host the big family holiday feast. That new home you just purchased or the kitchen you just renovated has you in the holiday spirit, so you think you’re more than fine having the family over for one festive night. But let’s be honest we all have annoying relatives that just unpack at our homes for Christmas.
You begin pondering decorations and recipes with your spouse when Grandma calls (and tapping “ignore” is NEVER allowed when you see Grandma’s picture on the cell). Hoping for good tidings from Grandma, you answer and she says “Hold on sweetie, your uncle wants to talk to you.” You immediately understand what is happening. The one “loved” one you hoped to only have to tolerate for that one festive night will be in town for several days and Grandma may or may not have mentioned that you have plenty of room for him to stay. Yes, Grandma has set you up. So how do you get out of hosting and catering to this annoying relative this Christmas?
You can’t say you’ll be out of town or that your whole family has pink eye since you are hosting the family dinner. So, if that meddling in-law, nosey aunt, or obnoxious uncle places first dibs on staying with you for the holidays, blog 6 of our 12 Days of Christmas series can help. Here are 5 ways to get your annoying relatives to stay at the hotel instead of at your place this Christmas.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
So when Uncle Obnoxious informs you (without asking) that he will be staying with you for the holidays, why not inform him that Marmaduke, the family’s pet Great Dane, prefers the left side of the full-size bed they will be sharing. As you explain to your uncle how he will need to walk Marmaduke promptly at 3 am every morning in the blistering cold, you know because of all the bedwetting, the protests will likely ensue.
If he’s not willing to share a space with a 160-pound canine, you can kindly offer him a preferably torn-up, musty, uncomfortable sofa stored in the basement. Better yet, suggest that he may be more comfortable at the local 4-star hotel you are reserving for him as you speak. No Great Dane to room with that annoying relative? A destructive cat, a chatty parakeet, or a python (the bigger the better) will do.
The Enemy of My Enemy
What if you have no pets or discover your obnoxious uncle is an avid pet lover who has no problem sharing a room with your four-legged kid? The next best move is from ‘the enemy of my enemy’ playbook. Maybe Uncle Obnoxious has an ex-wife he despises or a cousin he owes a sleigh-load of money to.
Whoever the nemesis of your nemesis is, casually drop the news that you will also be inviting that person to stay for the holidays. Is staying with you worth the stress of trying to avoid Cousin Loanshark for those 3 or 4 days when he could be relaxing it up in a cozy microfiber bathrobe at a hotel? Probably not.
Now Accepting Reservations
You’re kidding?! Your uncle has paid his $500 debt to Cousin Loanshark and is now planning to travel with him to your home? Uncle Obnoxious is more resolute than ever about lounging on your sectional, instructing you how to properly roast those chestnuts in your lovely new fireplace and this doesn’t bode well for your family. It’s time to get aggressive; it’s time to ask your uncle to submit a reservation request.
Yep, you’re going to be the first person in the history of mankind to charge a family member a daily rate to stay with you for the holidays. You have no choice. Room & board, shuttle service, booking fees, and wi-fi must all be invoiced. When you start to feel bad, just think about the criticism he will dole out, the doors he will not knock on before entering, and the private family business he will joyfully disclose to the world.
It Can’t Hurt to Ask
So Uncle Obnoxious will be offended you asked him to pay and since he just paid back Cousin Loanshark, he wouldn’t have the money anyway. It doesn’t matter because even if you could summon the gumption to attempt to bill him, Grandma is not going to go for it. This plan is out the window.
Perhaps it is time to employ the most straight-forward, uncomplicated strategy and ask Uncle Obnoxious, in the nicest way possible, to stay in a hotel. But let’s be real: if you were going to simply ask, it would have been the first thing you did. Moving on.
Outside of selling your home before the holidays, your only option left may be to come out of the pocket and pay for Uncle Obnoxious to stay in a nice hotel. Yes, this will feel like rewarding Marmaduke with a succulent rib eye for wetting the bed, but the stress you and your family will avoid will be well worth it. Your instinct will be to choose the worst, run-down, flea-bitten, motel in the bad part of town, but remember the objective is to get him to want to stay in a hotel and not at your home.
Pull out that credit card, reserve a hotel suite no one would refuse, and let your uncle know that your Christmas gift to him is an all-expense-paid stay at the best hotel resort in town. If your uncle is not blatantly out to make you miserable, he will accept and your mission to have a drama-free holiday should now be accomplished.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
At this point, if your uncle defiantly declares that he and his children would rather stay at your house, you must concede to the fact that Cousin Loanshark, Uncle Obnoxious, and now his bad little kids ARE all staying at your house. Your annoying relatives have bested you and all of your tactics to get them hankering for a hotel stay have failed this Christmas.
Many would say that since the holiday season is a time for celebration, fellowship, giving, reflection, and family, you should grin and bear it to make the best of an unwanted situation.
A better idea would be to give Uncle Obnoxious the key to the house when he gets into town, grab your suitcase, and head straight for that hotel suite with you and yours. Grandma and Marmaduke need not fret–you’ll be home to host the holiday dinner–but until then, it’s maid service, spa treatments, 500 thread-count sheets, first-rate room service and peace on earth.
Breaking the habit of staying home this Christmas will reward you with a holiday you’ll never forget. Whether your winter getaway is filled with Christmas traditions and nippy air or makes a radical break by taking you to warmer climates, taking off this holiday is one experience you’re guaranteed to cherish. (more…)
Shopping malls have become the hotspot for crazed, desperate, determined and sometimes dreary holiday shoppers trying to check off every item on their Christmas list. To help ease the stress, blog 4 of our 12 Days of Christmas series, lists the top 5 malls for Christmas shopping. These malls provide an unforgettable visual experience that wows customers and makes holiday shopping more enjoyable. (more…)
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