Out and About – Week of December 14th

Last week I offered some suggestions on how to make Christmas shopping more enjoyable. I also gave some tips on how to have a live Christmas tree in your home. Here are some suggestions on how to give those gifts.

Instead of spending lots of money on Christmas presents, consider offering a generous dose of your time. Alternatives to store-bought gifts can include completing an annoying chore for a busy spouse, baking favorite cookies for Mom, or teaching a child to play the piano.
Make a donation to a charity in someone’s name. A card will be sent to that person acknowledging the gift. This is a great gift for an office exchange or for the person who has everything. “Lights of Love” is a perfect example here in Three Rivers.
Have some emergency gifts on hand to prevent those embarrassing times when a gift is given and you have none in return. Buy a few generic gifts, such as a tin of cookies, a box of stationery, or some nice candle-holders. You might wrap them and reach into your ready-wrapped secret stash to give away.
Over the years, many Christmas rituals have been cast aside and forgotten. This is too bad, because there are many rituals that make Christmas a time of true happiness. Here are just a few:

Each year, include a charitable act as part of your holiday ritual. Giving a tree to a hospital children’s ward or collecting food supplies for needy families. Encourage your children to join you and participate. Shoveling a neighbor’s sidewalk or driveway can mean a lot to someone who has difficulty getting out.
Start a yearly tradition with friends and family by celebrating Christmas with a tree-decorating party, a caroling outing, a sledding party, or even a recipe exchange party in place of giving presents.
I am not a beer connoisseur. I enjoy a cold brew during the hotter months of the year and one or two is usually my limit. I’ve never cared much for the taste, but if it’s hot and I’m thirsty a cold beer tastes pretty good. Someone mentioned that they enjoy a “Dry Beer” more than any other type. I’d never heard of this, so I thought I’d check it out. Dry beers are similar to dry wines, in that they are not sweet in taste. Dry beer also leaves little aftertaste. The “dry brew” method of brewing is a longer, natural process, in which more of the malt and grains are converted to fermentable sugars. The sugars interact with yeast and the subsequent fermentation process produces a beer with the unique dry taste.

In Japan, where the first dry beer was brewed by Asahi, most beers contain about ten percent more alcohol than regular beers. American dry beers have no increased alcohol content.

If you still have not mailed your Christmas parcels, the chances of your gifts arriving on time is getting slimmer every day you procrastinate. Please be considerate and don’t wait until the last minute to make your trip to the post office. If the presents don’t arrive in time, it will not be Santa’s fault.

“There is a time to let things happen and a time to make things happen.” ~ Hugh Prather

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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