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ICFE eNEWS #17-37 - December 19th 2017

How To Put The "Merry" In Your Merry Christmas

By Jim Garnett, a/k/a Ask Mr.G, a member of the ICFE's Board of Educational Advisors

(This article is being reprinted due to its popular reception when it first appeared. Adapted.)

For many, Christmas time is not a happy time. In fact, it can be one of the most unhappiest times of the year. We may say, "Merry Christmas" to others we greet, but realistically, there is very little "merry" in our "Merry Christmas."

Because Christmas time focuses on family and friends, it can easily draw our attention to our lack of or loss of family and friends. This, in turn, can cause us to focus on what we don't have instead of what we do have.

If this tendency turns your gladness to sadness at Christmas time, can I suggest a simple exercise that may turn this around for you? It is a plan whereby you purposely choose to invest in others, and by doing so, you refocus your interest on them and away from yourself..

This plan is based on a principle shared by the One whose birthday we are celebrating, Jesus. He said, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21). Simply stated, "When you invest in something, your interest will follow." That principle is true whether investing in something or someone. By committing to do for others, our thoughts go to them, not our self.

Here's how it works. The list below contains 40 different "investments" that we can make in the people around us during the upcoming days. Post the list where you will see it each morning and choose which investments you will make that day.

If you will commit yourself to this exercise for one week, I predict you will find this to be one of the most attitude-altering, mood-modifying, thought-transforming things you have done in a long, long time! I dare you to try it!

1. Convey five compliments to five different people in two days.
2. Pay for someone's meal anonymously.
3. Visit a nursing home.
4. Write a thank you note to your paperboy.
5. Donate toys to a local shelter.
6. Drop off homemade treats to the firemen and policemen.
7. Send a care package to a soldier.
8. Thank a veteran for his service or pay for his meal.
9. Invite a college kid home for Christmas.
10. Phone a shut-in to just "catch up."
11. Donate your time at a shelter.
12. Take crayons and coloring books to a hospital children's ward.
13. Let someone ahead of you in line.
14. Leave an extra big tip and write "Merry Christmas" on the receipt.
15. Invite an elderly person over for a meal with your family.
16. Offer to be a driver for someone who cannot drive.
17. Clear snow off your neighbor's walks or drive.
18. In one week give away five $5.00 bills to strangers and say "Merry Christmas."
19. Offer to babysit so parents can have a night out.
20. Give a restaurant card to each of your church staff.
21. Buy your neighbor a bag of his favorite birdseed.
22. Take a bag of groceries to a shut-in.
23. Invite a relative out for coffee.
24. Take a flower to a friend, shut in, or military spouse.
25. Take your sibling's kids for a day so he/she can enjoy a day off.
26. Bring in your neighbor's trash container.
27. Pay for someone's groceries at the store or the people behind you at the drive through.
28. Send a card or an email to someone who has been an inspiration to you and thank them.
29. Offer your seat to someone at the doctor's office.
30. Forgive someone who does not deserve forgiveness.
31. Make your spouse breakfast in bed. (or not)
32. Smile at your server and ask, "So, how's your day going?"
33. Have your kids help you pick up trash at the park.
34. Offer to help an elderly person find their car in the parking lot.
35. Gather a group of friends and their children and go caroling.
36. Empty the dishwasher for your wife or mom.
37. Send a list of "The Top 10 Things I Like About You" to a friend.
38. Send a thank you note to your school custodian.
39. Phone your city administrator and thank him for his work.
40. Ask an elderly friend to tell you about his favorite Christmas memory.

Ask Mr. G
Jim Garnett, The Debt Doctor
AskMrG Consulting, LLC
2216 SW 35th Street
Ankeny, IA 50023

Paul S Richard PhotoICFE eNEWS is available FREE upon request by visiting our Web site and filling out the contact form, and selecting "Yes" for "Add to Mailing List. Please pass this eNEWS on to your peers and interested others and invite them to subscribe for free. Also, visit the ICFE's new Web site: StudentDebtHelp.org

Sent by:

Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and founder of the College for Financial Planning in Denver, CO.) The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending practices, increase savings and use credit more wisely.

The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its financial continuing education courses programs and resources. In addition to eight Certification courses covering identity theft, credit files, credit repair and credit scoring, among others, it also publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE is a partner with the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy and the California Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active with San Diego Saves and Military Saves, both offshoots of America Saves.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

The ICFE helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G library, a free eNews service, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools in the ICFE Book Store.

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