Thought Box


"CIRCLE OF SISTERS", compiled by JoLyn Brown, is a collection of short stories about Relief Society and Visiting Teaching that was published by Walnut Springs. Four of the book's 50 stories were written by me! Available NOW for purchase at Deseret Book and on Amazon. I am one of the featured authors on JoLyn's blog. Click HERE to see. Click HERE to read a review by Sandra Nazar at the Deseret News.

Enjoy Today ... Before It Slips Away) WON in the SHORT STORY CATEGORY for
Turning the Pages 2012 Book Of The Year Award! (STILL so cool!) Thanks to all of you who voted for me!! * To Read Reviews about this book, click on the MY BOOKS tab above. Makes a great gift!


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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Make Time For The Magic

When we focus on what matters most and take the time to feel
the love and joy the holidays bring, the magic becomes real.
~ Stacy J. Coles

Well, Halloween is over. Let the Christmas season begin! ... Oh yeah, we still have Thanksgiving to prepare for. It's hard to remember when every store is decked out in Christmas garland and silver-and-gold-metallic ornaments.

Now, don't get me wrong ... I LOVE the Christmas season. I am one of those who could listen to Christmas music and watch my beloved copy of "It's A Wonderful Life" 365 days a year (if only I had the time!). But, the commercializing of this sacred holiday can make even the most organized person feel too rushed and preoccupied to feel the magic that should surround us this time of year.

Every day we find ourselves overwhelmed with work, school, kids, practices, games, recitals, meals, laundry ... as good as it all is, the "busy" in life can take its toll on our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Add on to that the great expectations and hefty price tags of the holidays, and it often becomes too much for many. It's heartbreaking when I hear people say that they hate this time of year and can't wait until it's over. When you break it down and get to the nitty-gritty of "why", you find that people don't really hate Christmas, just the stress, financial burden, and anxiety that goes along with it.

So, let's take a step back this holiday season (yes, that includes Thanksgiving!) and think about why we celebrate in the first place. We need to have a gratitude attitude and remember the reason for the season. We need to take time to enjoy our family members and make memories that we will cherish forever.

So, how can we feel the magic of the season and not get so overwhelmed with the commercial aspect that we want to shout "Bah Humbug" instead of "Happy Holidays"?

During the month of November:
  • Encourage each family member to write down ~ daily or weekly ~ what they are thankful for. 
  • Keep these "thankfuls" in a container. 
  • Pull them out on Thanksgiving Day. 
  • Put your "thankfuls" on a tabletop tree as ornaments ~ a great Thanksgiving centerpiece.
  • Put your "thankfuls" in a journal/scrapbook so you will always remember how blessed you are.
  • Pay it forward. Once you realize how much you've been blessed with, do something ~ as a family ~ to give back. It could be making/taking a meal to a family in need, collecting your old coats and gloves and taking them to a homeless shelter, or taking a plate of goodies to your local police and/or fire department.
During the month of December:
  • Sit down as a family and read the scripture account of the birth of Jesus Christ. 
  • Relieve some financial stress by setting a budget and sticking to it.
  • Give homemade gifts.
  • Do a service project as a family.
  • Write letters/Christmas cards to missionaries, family members, and/or hospital patients.
  • Bake yummy treats as a family.
  • Build a snowman.
  • Go see lights.
  • Go sledding.
Making time for family and focusing on the true spirit of the holidays will keep our hearts and minds open for the magic that we all want and deserve to feel this time of year.
Make Time For The Magic


  1. Thanks for the reminder to focus a bit more on blessings and family.

  2. A great to-do list! Those are the things you look back and say, "I'm glad we did that." And don't stress if you don't get to everything. Nice post.