Saturday, December 19, 2015

Last Minute Christmas Giftbuyers Guide

How many of us have been frantically trying to take care of Christmas gift buying at the last minute for whatever reason and really want to do right by your loved ones?  First of all Christmas is about the ultimate gift we all received and that was the opportunity to join the biggest family on earth and that is the family of God. So in that spirit here are a few ideas that you may not have thought of...

Time.  We all have received from time to time a home made gift ticket of one of those you are entitled to from a loved one or friend.  But think about it.  Today time is a precious and in short supply thing for most people.  Think about what you can do to help someone you know with time.  How about making a favorite one dish meal and gifting it to a harried homemaker or an infirm relative as a holiday gift.  Offering to take a family member's car for an oil change, gas up and tire air fill up at your expense.  Offering to babysit for a couple to have a date night. Be a "Merry Maid" and offer to do vacuuming, floor cleaning, ironing, laundry, window washing etc.  Offer to act as an Uber driver for a house bound relative or friend. 

Comfort and treat gifts.  These are gifts you can often find at your local drug store.  Walgreens and CVS have really embraced their inner Santa and these are great places to find these sorts of things.  Walgreens will be open Christmas day.  Fragrances, spa baskets, slippers, robes, soft throws, electric blankets, small heaters, wines, scented candles and decorative scent dispensers, massagers, decadent gift chocolates etc. *Note drug stores are really fabulous for every gift need including great toys, contents for gift baskets like snacks, Candy and Gift cards.  New pairs of sunglasses, readers, lens cleaner.  How about hair bands, fancy hair clips, hairbrushes etc.  Small appliances, Camera's, burner phones, Air time for phones, Gas cards, As Seen on TV items.  The small personal groomers, Vege processors, etc.

Remember when you were a little kid and you made that ashtray or handprint for someone? Well, how about writing an original song, drawing or painting a beautiful picture, writing a personal poem, writing a story or fairytale?

Here's an idea for a new holiday tale for kids with magic. Tell your kids that you have a interesting story to share.  Tell  your kids that money was really short this year and by the time you got to a store you didn't have much money and you begged the store owner for any candy that he could sell you.  He ended up taking pity on you and decided to  just give you some odds and ends of candy that had come out of busted bags of candy and a few sample boxes of candy because he was closing up.  Show them a few Hersey kisses, a miniature Hershey bar, a sample size box of Whitman's, a tiny candy cane, a couple of M and M s and a few gold wrap coins etc.   Then tell them you were walking down the street pretty sad and spotted a portly man with a white beard wearing a white t shirt and red pants walking what he thought was a small horse carrying an empty red sack and a medium size plastic bag.  As he approached closer you realized that it was a reindeer. The reindeer stopped and did his business on a grassy patch near the sidewalk and the man bent down slipping he big plastic bag over his hand and picked up the rather large deposit left by the reindeer.  Well you had to go over and talk to the man. So you did and opening with what a responsible fellow he was for cleaning up after his reindeer. The man smiled and laughed. "Well, it's a given when you have Reindeer.  The jolly man asked him why he looked so sad and he told him his tale and how he hated to disappoint his kids.  The man was very sympathetic and said "I hate to hear of any child being disappointed on Christmas."  He handed his red bag to you and told you when you get home to take the bag and put the candy in the bag and put it in a dark small closet and then have all the children say his name three times and then take the bag out of the closet and open it up.  I asked him what his name was and he said "Kris Kringle."  I said, "Really?"  And he said,"Yes." so here we go kids.  Put the candy in the bag and place in a small closet.  You have stashed of course an identical bag filled with the following identical items  but in the gigantic size.  After saying the name three times  grab the filled bag and close the closet door.  Hold the bag noting how heavy it is and slowly open the bag and peer in the bag looking shocked and  amazed and slowly pull out the gigantic size candies one at a time.  Ah a Christmas Miracle. The little ones are gonna love it and the older ones will love the wonder of your story.  You can find these giant size candies at drugstores, Target and specialty candy stores.

You see, think love, you will be inspired.  There are all kinds of things you can do to put magic in the season.  Think popcorn amania, Air poppers are back in vogue, dig out the old one or pick one up at a thrift shop or drug store and pick up a bulk bag of popcorn kernels. Sprinkle with different flavors out of your cupboard or frig etc.  Dollar store challenge.  Challenge family and friends to spend only a dollar and compete to see who selects the best gift in a secret Santa.  Decorate small table top trees and bring them to folks in hospitals and nursing homes and shut ins. Get those dollar sample sized candies or treats to leave on the desk of those folks you come in contact with at work just to say you're appreciated and don't sign them.  Tons of stuff.

Are you a collector?  Consider gifting some of your stuff to folks that desire or appreciate the stuff.  Things like toys, trinkets, fan boy stuff.  Antique small items.  There's no better feeling.  Instead of giving dollar bills to kids considered silver dollars or dimes, or American currency that is newer but in less common usage like Sacagawea or Susan B Anthony coins  and two dollar bills etc.

Older but back in vogue clothing, bags and costume jewelry.  Thrift stores, your own closet and the like are great sources for these kinds of things.  This is a great place to put together a dress up trunk for young kids for play pretend opportunities.

 How about a making a bracelet with little personal to the person trinkets on it from a craft store. Or a wallet or pair of moccasins.

The Dollar tree is great for fixins for creating a decorative wreath or arrangement.

 AAA members.  Don't forget AAA travel offices have their own gift shop areas with all kinds of great things.  Pick up  a new map and travel guide for your state to give to a traveler in your circle along with a single membership.

Hospitals have great gift shops and often mark things down at the end of the year.  Some even sell clever gift baskets and items for a new baby.

Certain restaurant chains have gift shops like the popular Cracker Barrel.

The grocery store.  I love to pick up a holiday themed reusable bag and fill with store baked goods, crackers, cheeses, summer sausages, imported specialty cookies like Pims , teas and coffee variety packs, dryed soup bags, Hot chocolate mixes, specialty breads, boxes of Little Debbie specialty holiday cakes (they are delicious),Nonni's Biscotti, Nuts, wine, spreadable cheeses, think goodies. They also sell toys, bags of cotton candy, books, knives etc. 

Speaking of knives so many people I know have the dullest beat up collection of knives in their kitchen.  Consider gifting them an electric knife sharpener or a set of new knives or both. An a electric knife and good cutting board with juice groove for those that like to entertain.

Hardware store and Airports are a great place to get that great gift. International airports often feature mini malls. Get your gal pal her own tool set.  Sometimes you find pink sets that no fellow will borrow.  Office Supply stores always have a gift area.  Consider giving large boxes of good quality pens or multipack scissors, mini sewing kits. New year calendars and monthly planners.(Dollar tree has these things of lessor quality for a dollar and everybody needs them). The public library.  Ours has a wonderful used book store and a art gallery with art for sale. Used book stores and thrift stores are great sources for coffee table books, cook books.  Thrift stores for vintage records, fine china, tea cups, art, and vintage Christmas ornaments.

Think logo items.  Like beverages like Coke, Pepsi and couple that with a holiday package of the products.  Folks love that.

Don't overlook pawnshops.

I hope I have helped you get your brain to brainstorm and remember it's not the size of the gift but the size of your heart.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Pro Choice

The far left press as well some of the conservative press are having a field day with the huge number of conservatives who have stepped forward to run for the office of President.  Why?  I thought folks were all about pro choice? 

I am encouraged to see so many willing to get into the fray and swim thru the piranha waters of the Amazonian ivy league media who view conservatives like Weight Watchers at a Sara Lee sponsored buffet.  We all know that over time many will drop out.  But, with this many folks getting the conservative messages out when the legislative and party GOP are all but silent this can be a good thing.

The Donald preaches economic freedom and restoring the Republic. This is a good message. His foot and mouth disease is a good thing too. People will tune in just to see what goofy thing he says next and in turn listen to the general message.  There is no such thing as bad publicity.  And a broken clock is right twice a day.

We have a cornucopia of candidates with even a gifted Doctor in the house.  Governors and legislators, preachers and businessman all with great track records for hard work and common sense solutions.

Whomever rises to the top of electability I think should announce their running mate immediately and appointments of fellow candidates for positions in the cabinet for their specific expertise.  Be up front early and don't play games.

This election is not about "CHANGE" it's about "RESTORATION OF THE REPUBLIC." It's about reducing this plague of government in the people's lives.  It's about ending programs that cost more and more of our meager paychecks with less and less in return and resulting in destruction of the American way of life.

Talking points should be about what this election is about.   It's about doing away with ALL taxes at the state and federal level except a ten percent state and a ten percent federal sales tax on everything except RX, Food and Fuel. In this way if the country prospers so do the public works.  This is the motivation for the beltway boys much like CEOs salaries are linked with profits.  This guarantees everyone pays some taxes based on their ability to purchase.  Without income, property, and capital gains taxes you will finally own your businesses, your land and profits from savings and investing.

It's about restoring the founder's intent for the Federal government's primary duty.  The only thing the federal government should be in charge of is public defense. The American armed forces coupled with an international service that includes a marriage of FBI and CIA combined.

It's about reestablishing states responsibilities instead of having assorted duties thrust upon them by the Federal government.   State governments should only be in charge of is police, fire and parks and recreation centers. Operation of utilities, roads, signage, waste water and drainage, trash pick up and disposal among other government job works should be privatized on bid. Competition drives costs down and makes the people into job creators instead of dependents. 

When a church gets so big it finds it hard to operate they often break into smaller satellite neighborhood churches. This smaller churches are more manageable  and cheaper to run.  Smaller church congregations participate more when they know if something needs done they have to step up to the plate.

It's about getting the governments out of the education business and allowing parents to choose the appropriate private education pathway .  This makes parents participate because it costs them directly.  No parent wants a dependent grown child living at home with no prospects.  Parents will be compelled to participate in education and child rearing at birth thru young adulthood.  No longer will they expect the state to train up their child.  And frankly none of us should. 

I am reminded of stories about incredibly poor parents living in the streets of Mumbai whose main goal is to assist their children in gaining a good education.  Their dream is to have the next generation better than the last.  Their children share this dream and work hard with their parents and teachers.

Public schools as they are currently designed are simply warehouses bound by antiquated protocols that no longer apply and they are too unwieldy to make even minor adjustments.  One size does not fit all.  We need to care about our children enough to educate them in the best way possible and equip them for the world that is left behind.

And finally it's about Freedom.  REAL FREEDOM.  Whenever a people are enslaved to their leaders thru excessive and progressive taxation we are no more free than the serfs working the land of a King. We are managed thru FEAR.  It's time to grow a pair and fight for REAL FREEDOM.  A government job should no longer be the most secure job in the country.

So folks the more the merrier on the podium the first few months of the debate season.  The more voices the better.  Don't fret, a clear choice always filters thru and quite frankly the Democrat alternative is far more scary because all they offer is more of the same failed government policies we have been suffering thru for far too long.  The best conservatives offer is the focused will for Resurrection and Restoration of the Republic.

Friday, May 8, 2015

I Was a Police Office

Sent to me by my veteran friend Joe,



Today, I will not answer the radio call that your boyfriend has come home drunk and is beating you again.
Today, I will not answer the radio call that your 16 year old daughter, who is very responsible, is four hours late coming home from school.
Today, I will not answer the radio call that your store has been robbed or your house has been burglarized.
Today, I will not stop a drunk driver from killing someone. I will not catch a rapist or a murderer or a car thief.
Today, I will not answer the radio call that a man has a gun or tried to abduct a child or that someone has been stabbed or has been in a terrible accident.
Today, I will not save your child that you locked in a car or the child you were too busy to watch who went outside and fell into the swimming pool, but that I revived.
No, today I will not do that.
Today, I was suspended from duty for doing my job, because the media, a lawyer who formally represented terrorists and is the US attorney general and a mayor who ran on an anti-police agenda, who are all advised by a drug dealer, liar and income       tax cheat. AND, all who know nothing about Policing, have vilified my profession.
Because ----
Today, I was killed by a drunk driver while I was helping push a disabled car off the highway.
Today, I was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop to simply tell someone that they had a taillight out.
Today, I was killed in a traffic accident rushing to help a citizen.
Today, I was shot and killed serving a warrant on a known drug dealer.
Today, I was killed by a man when I came by to do a welfare check because his family was too busy.
Today, I was killed trying to stop a bank robbery or a grocery store robbery.
Today I was killed doing my job.                                      
A chaplain and an officer will go to a house and tell a mom and dad or a wife or husband or a child that their son or daughter or husband or wife or father or mother won't be coming home today.
The flags at many police stations were flown at half-mast today but most people won't know why.
There will be a funeral and my fellow officers will come, a twenty-one-gun salute will be given, and taps and bagpipes will be played as I am laid to rest.
My name will be put on a plaque, on a wall, in a building, in a city somewhere.
A folded flag will be placed on a mantel or a bookcase in a home somewhere and a family will mourn.
There will be no cries for justice.
There will be no riots in the streets.
There will be no officers marching, screaming 'no justice, no peace.'
No citizens will scream that something must be done.
No windows will be smashed, no cars burned, no stones thrown, no names called.
Only someone crying themselves to sleep tonight will be the only sign that I was cared about.
I was a police officer