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.
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.
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.
Write a thank you note to your paperboy.
5. Donate toys to a
6. Drop off homemade treats to the firemen and
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
11. Donate your time at a shelter.
crayons and coloring books to a hospital children's ward.
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."
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
26. Bring in your neighbor's trash container.
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.
© Jim Garnett, The Debt Doctor
AskMrG Consulting, LLC
2216 SW 35th Street
Ankeny, IA 50023
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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