Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Mammon or more...?

It's so easy to fall into the shopping trap and forget what we're actually celebrating.

I've had a pretty balanced week so far - starting with answering the phone at the Daily Telegraph Charity Appeal. Lots of people disappointed that they couldn't see my face in the paper and so didn't know who they were talking to, but it was wonderful to feel of help and connected to those phoning - being so generous with their money - to the charity and to those others donating their time to fund-raise.

Today at my club we discussed spirituality. A couple of others there who, like me, weren't really sure they were spiritual. One a skeptical scientist, the other an 'I never thought about it' and me, who thinks about it the whole time without really being able to make up my mind.

By the end of the workshop we all saw the spirituality in ourselves and in our lives and how we could build more in. In my life it was gardening that made me feel the most connected. For others it was walking around London, watching the birds on the river, playing music and stroking the cat. Wonderful that all those roads led to Rome.

Happy Christmas.
Nina, Westminster Life Club

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Its the gift that counts

Well I imagine by now that you are well into thinking about what to buy people for Christmas. It seems so difficult to get it right. What do you get for the man who has everything or the woman who says, ‘just surprise me’? What about grandparents and in-laws, your colleague at work, your best friend or your boss. Sometimes no amount of window-shopping, Internet surfing, or crystal ball gazing can supply you with the answer.

How about this year giving them something they really want? Take some time to really think about your family and friends, their lives, their interests, their needs and wants. What could you do that would really make a difference? Maybe your colleague loves a morning cup of tea, your Mother in law hates the ironing, your Mum is stressed by housework and your Dad loves the Sunday papers. How about making them all their own personalised gift vouchers.

Be as creative as you can, show that you have given them thought and attention in your gift. A photo of you in a Christmas hat next to the kettle, placed in an envelope, with 12 teacup shaped ‘I promise to make you a brew’ vouchers, could be just the treat for your colleague. How about doing your Mum in laws ironing and leaving a sprig of Holly on the top next time you visit, A Christmas themed ‘No Entry Mum ‘ sign, for the kitchen door, with a weekly rota for the washing up/cooking/cleaning will be a present she’ll still be thanking you for at Easter. And how about being your Dads personal paperboy and agreeing to go get his paper on a Sunday. You could cut out letters from the newspaper and add a bit of glitter for a themed ‘I promise’ voucher.

Personally I’m hoping to find ‘You’ll never see the sink full of washing up again’ and ‘No really I don’t want to watch the football, why don’t you turn the TV over’ vouchers in my Christmas stocking. How about you?
Leamington Lifeclub

Sunday, 2 December 2007


I, like Nina, worry a lot over Christmas. It all seems so stressful and I worry how I will fit everything in when I'm already feeling stretched to the limit. This year I have decided to focus on the positives stress can bring? Well I figure I'm never going to avoid the stress so I may as well embrace it. Some stress in our lives is totally natural and its this that brings a sense of excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation into all our lives. This kind of stress is a very necessary part of leading a full and happy life. It gets the adrenaline flowing, quickens the mind, energises the body and helps us get on with life in a much more positive way.

So I am entering into the positive Christmas spirit not my usual Humbug Holiday.

So lets get positive about Christmas. Do everything you can to avoid the negative effects of stress and worry – plan well, rest well and eat well, but celebrate the positives too.

This Christmas, shopping, as much as I can, will be done on the internet, especially the supermarket!! Then when I go to the shops, I can just do the shopping I enjoy, soak up the atmosphere of lights and decorations and stop off for a hot chocolate, a cinnamon coffee or a slice of cake (those who know me well have already realised it will probably be all three!) and drink in the Christmas cheer.

I will have Christmas music playing as we decorate the tree. And yes dear Kelly Family I will be singing ‘Wombling Merry Christmas’ again this year.

I'm sure there are a few Christmas traditions I’ve forgotten about and a few new ones I could start. Let this year be the year I take the children ice-skating, I start a secret Santa with my neighbours, break out the Karaoke and resurrect Grannys mulled wine recipe.

I will think, enjoy and let all the worries and stress float by. This is the year of the Magic, Memorable, Merry Christmas.

No worries

Leamington Lifeclub

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Can I worry...? Is the Pope Catholic...?

I can worry about everything and anything from whether my kids love me (big stuff) to what we're going to have for tea tonight (small stuff) to whether my children have done their homework (not my stuff).

I don't think I'm alone either. We all seem to worry much too much about nothing. Christmas is a major month of worry. Who needs cards (does anyone?), who needs presents (they've all got enough already), who needs my time (have I got any to give?).

This week we're going to be tackling all our problems head on and deciding if there's any point in worrying about any of them. I can't wait.

Let's think ... what do I want for Christmas? And (even bigger worry) will anyone ask me?

Westminster Club