Tag: gratitude

Testing teens can teach a thing or two

AS the mother of three teenagers I am learning many lessons about my parenting, and about my faith, through them.

For instance, one of my biggest issues with one of my teens is the lack of common courtesy, including please and thank you.

The lack of those two little words turns our relationship from parent/child to lackey/entitled ingrate. I don’t mind vacuuming floors, ironing clothes, making food or picking kids up from school, but a simple ‘thank you, Mum’ gives me great pleasure and the impetus to keep doing these things day in and day out. It says my child sees me, and acknowledges my small act of service as something I chose to do, not ‘had’ to do. It affirms my dignity.

I don’t need gifts or gushing praise, or even a hug (although they’re a rare gift from a teen) but just two or three words said sincerely is enough.

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What I wish I could give my kids this Christmas

Published December 2018

As I write, it is the beginning of October and time to start thinking about accumulating gifts for various family members for Christmas. The shops are already putting up decorations and the catalogues are flowing in thick and fast.

So many choices, so much stuff, such a lot of gadgets and gizmos. Apparently, according to the US National Retail Federation projections, this year Americans will spend a staggering $600 billion on Christmas, and I’m sure us Aussies are not far behind.

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The best gift I’ve ever received


GIVING and receiving gifts is a major part of Christmas celebrations. How much time is spent deciding what to buy and how much time is spent taking things back to the shops some days later!

I have to admit that I don’t get too involved in the whole process as my wife is so adept in it all.

Giving something of value to another is an expression of love and esteem.

It’s often said that it is the thought that counts and largely it’s true. Genuine joy and delight can be seen on the faces of receivers — and not only children, but their parents as well. Continue reading

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Getting Grateful

Christmas 2021

This Christmas, the second Covid Christmas of the world,  it would be easy to focus on the negative – foreign holidays we can’t go on, overseas family that we can’t see, online gifts that are delayed or unavailable. There may also be the more serious issues of a loved one passed or sick from Covid (or some other illness or accident), a lost job, less money due to reduced hours or lockdowns, or relationships that have failed due to enforced distance or smothering closeness.

American author Max Lucado says, “The good life begins not when circumstances change but when our attitude toward them does.”Continue reading

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Why is it so hard to receive?

Christmas article for 2016

Christmas is the time for presents, of giving and receiving. Children, especially, think that’s actually the definition of Christmas! We may fully expect that our spouses, family and friends give us something at this time of year. But what about other people, unexpectedly?

What if our neighbour, who we hardly know, gives us a lovely Christmas hamper? What if an acquaintance gifts us a really expensive item that they know we need? What if a perfect stranger in the supermarket queue offers us the few dollars that we are short?Continue reading

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