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Holiday Hints by Jim Stovall

During the holiday season, we all eagerly or reluctantly try to get into the holiday spirit. This, too often, involves eating, drinking, and spending too much as we overcommit all of our time, energy, and resources. The holidays can be a magical time if we will remember what it's all about, why we're celebrating, and regain a bit of perspective. To this end, I would like to offer a few holiday hints. 

  1. Remember the reason for the season. Our family celebrates the holiday on Christmas Eve with a wonderful meal and gift exchange. Before the food is served, my father reads the traditional Christmas story from the New Testament. Although I've heard him read this countless times, I always look forward to it as it sets the tone for our celebration. Find a similar tradition for your family, and you will get the holidays off on the right foot. 

  2. Do not over-schedule your time. There are more parties, concerts, and activities than any sane person can possible survive with any degree of sanity. Pick the ones that make sense for you and your family, and politely decline the other invitations. Next year, you may be able to enjoy some of the events you missed this year. It's far better to enjoy one celebration in the true spirit of the season than endure a countless number of commitments. 

  3. Do not overspend. If you will think of your most favorite and enduring holiday memories, few of them involve spending a lot of money or having a lot of money spent on a gift for you. The lasting and meaningful holiday experiences involve time, love, and tradition, not maxed-out credit cards. Overspending is a sure way to miss the reason for the season while getting your new year off to a dismal start when the credit card bills come rolling in. 

  4. Avoid eating and drinking too much. Many jobs have been lost and careers short-circuited by overindulging during the office holiday party. And those extra desserts you're consuming now will invariably become the catalyst for another annual series of new year's weight-loss resolutions. 

  5. Do something for someone else. As in most things, if you're going to get all you can out of the holidays, you must remember it's not about you. The best greetings, gifts, and acts of kindness are often the unexpected and anonymous ones. There are many families that could have a wonderful celebration with your excess food, decorations, and gifts. 

I hope you and your family experience the best of the holiday season, and the coming year brings you peace, joy, and success. As you go through your day today, plan your holiday and celebrate.

Today's the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at; on Twitter at; or on Facebook at

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