Handling Family for the Holidays

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Holidays are supposed to be a great time of joy, fellowship, bonding and thankfulness. However, if allowed, holidays can be marred by mess, stress, and long-term fall outs.  When planning your holiday functions there are some things that should be considered early on, talked about, adjusted and adopted to help handle family for the holidays.

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Ÿ  Decide who’s hosting-Decide early on who is hosting as to not cause tension toward the approach of the date. Fourth of July comes every year on the Fourth of July. We all know that. Plan for it. Hosts should be rotated and should not fall on the same person or family to often.

Ÿ  Decide who’s bringing what-Go ahead and divide the menu with items everyone can contribute to regardless of cooking finesse or cash flow.

Ÿ  Avoid family gossip-Don’t sit around the table or spend time on the phone talking about your loved ones. It should never be done, but holidays are especially not the time to talk about: who can’t cook, who ate too much but didn’t help clean up, who’s children are “active”, who’s marriage is falling apart, who Mama likes best, who Big Daddy left the inheritance to, who can’t do the Electric Slide, etc.

Ÿ  Share the grown children-One task during the holidays is making sure everyone gets the time and attention needed. Parents of grown children who are also parents should be sensitive to children’s obligations of spending time with both sets of families. Children of parents should be sensitive to making sure that both sets of families enjoy time with your children and you.

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     Share the little ones-Another daunting task is children of divorce or single parent homes. Discuss with all parties involved whatever is needed to make sure the little ones have ample, meaningful time with both parents during the holiday season if that is a feasible option.

Ÿ  Form your own traditions-One tragedy of some Christian or African-American families is the loss of holiday experiences at the loss of a loved one. Loss is the time when you need each other most. Take the time to strategically plan how to create new traditions and carry on the old ones so the legacy of your lost loved ones lives on.

Ÿ  Handle those that don’t get along-Don’t let holiday squabbles ruin holiday memories. Find creative ways to keep the peace.

Ÿ  Handle different lifestyles-Holidays are the time when all kinds of family members show up. I know my family isn’t the only one with an hodgepodge of people. Don’t let that stop the celebration from going on. Find ways to make everyone comfortable and feeling loved.

    Don’t give up on getting together-With any group of people things are bound to happen. Don’t let one, or two (or five) challenges stop the family from getting together especially during the holidays.

-Angela Moore

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A Family That Plays Together

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An old adage says a family that prays together stays together. That’s true. I believe also that a family that plays together stays together and a family that survives together thrives together. As we go about our daily lives, one thing we have to make sure of is that we don’t stray from the things that brought us, and are used to keep us together. We must make and maintain those simple traditions and routines that make us unique, like family functions at grandma‘s house, game night, summer vacations, talks around the dinner table, holiday gatherings and more.

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Below are a few quick, easy and inexpensive ways to keep the fun in your family forever. And if your family is anything like mine you need all the fun you can contain to help you maintain through sickness, drama, new babies, new spouses, exiting spouses, death, job loss, life changes and everything in between. 

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  • Mini-vacation – Be specifically spontaneous. Save up and plan early to book an overnight room at a hotel or bed and breakfast, or a quick road trip. Turn off all cell phones, video games, radios and TV and enjoy your family. Play board games, tell funny stories, take pictures, jump up and down on the bed or enjoy a meal out of the town.
  • Scavenger Hunt – Plan a scavenger hunt for your family with clues relating to your lives together. Once the hunt is done, reflect on the meaning of the different points along the way. And eat some food as you reflect!
  • Potluck Dinner – Food is the perfect way to bring your family together. Offer to host a small party, agreeing to make the main entrée. Let others choose from menu items like side dishes, salads, breads or desserts. This is a great way to bring extended family together even if it’s not the holiday season.
  • Dinner On the Go – If you and your family live close together, then a “dinner on the go” can be lots of fun. Go from house to house for each phase of the dinner. Start with appetizers at one house. At another family home enjoy the salad. Eat the main course at another family member’s house, and so on.

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  • Video party – Pick up a great movie and invite family over. Serve food and have fun.
  • Sports Celebration– Spend a night out supporting your local sports teams or host an in-home sports night watching your favorite teams.
  • Backyard Water Fun–Go old school. Grab a hose or sprinkler. Turn it on. Unleash the children in the family and letting the H20 – begin.
  • A Do Nothing Day– Take a day with your favorite peeps and do absolutely nothing but whatever makes you happy together.

Whatever you do, keep a focus on making sure family fun is a part of your legacy. You’ll be glad you did!

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-Angela Moore

I’m Re-Building My Blessings List

I love the thought of a bucket list. I think there’s nothing more rewarding than comprising lists of things that I want to do, see, experience and gain on God’s great earth before I leave it. However, I don’t plan on leaving here anytime soon, so I think I’ll change the name from a “bucket list” to my “blessings list”.

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I certainly have come to realize that life is too short to squander and too long not to be lived. That makes building my “blessings list” even more important. Different than how it possibly would have been in my 30’s and definitely different from it would have been in my 20’s, I’m starting to pay closer attention to who and what should go on my “blessings list”. My list has grown from, and grown into more than things about big houses, fancy cars, some money and a man. My list has morphed into something so much more meaningful knowing that I’m backed with a little wisdom that only age can give, a little knowledge that only Godly growth can give, a lot of experience watered by tears and hard work, and a bit of common sense from the School of Life and compliments of my Daddy and Mama.

I don’t just want to get and go, I want to give! Now don’t get me wrong, I do have some “must do” things on there like several exciting trips, freedom from debt, meeting a few famous people (and becoming one), having a talk show and best-selling books, having a wonderfully fulfilling new career with professional, personal and financial benefits out the wazoo, a dream wedding and an even more dreamy (and lasting) marriage, a new neighborhood filled with people who become life-long friends, and the likes.

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As good as what I want for myself is, what I want for others matters and must come to. I want to start a movement/cause/organization to help divorced men/women and their children. I want to do more work in the urban schools. I want to consistently be positioned to help young girls and grown women with self-esteem. I want to give money to buy water pumps in Africa. I want to walk around with loads of gift cards ready to give out to people in need. I want to become like the people who go into Wal-Mart and secretly pay off a Christmas lay-away debt every year. I want to do something MEGA for my parents and the family and friends who have been there for me. I want. I want. I want.

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The older I get the more mature my “blessings list” gets. I like how it’s shaping up and can’t wait to actually see it for myself! So I’m moving ahead with putting my dreams on paper praying that they go from my heart and flow out of God’s hands. What about you? What’s on your list?

@AngelaMMoore316

Can a Sister Get a Chance to Change Please?

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Ladies,

Why is it some of us will allow a man to come into our lives, leave our lives, dibble and dabble back into our lives, leave again and boomerang back in but for some reason find it difficult to allow the same opportunity for lessons learned, maturity, redemption and plain ol’ growing up for our fellow women? I frequently ponder why what we accept of men, and what we expect from women is often drastically, and sadly so different.

Not accepting that people, especially our sisters, can and often do change not only does a disservice to the person we’re keeping trapped in a time capsule, but it also does a disservice to us. We may be missing out on a testimony and an opportunity to see what God, time and healing can do. We also are possibly missing out on the obvious fact that at some point in our own lives we had to grow from where we were to get to where we are. By NO means am I saying to take off our spiritual glasses and walk blindly with every woman in which we come in contact. (Some people, men and women, simply are not purposed to have a presence in our lives and God will clearly tell us that.) What I’m suggesting is that we tweak our “I see you” prescriptions just a little bit more and really see people through the eyes of God to make sure we’re not missing the ones who have actually…wait for it…wait for it…been changed.

To me, women are like flowers. Just because a seed had not bloomed the last time we saw it months or years ago doesn’t mean it hasn’t beautifully sprouted since. Women are like hair. Not all hair,even on the same head grows at the same rate.  But that doesn’t mean we cut off the strands that can’t keep up. If anything we work harder to care for them until they catch up.

Just like fashion, the weather, hairstyles, gas prices, time, and the menu at Seasons 52 women can change. It’s up to us to give them a chance.

-Angela Moore

Oh My Moly, I Made It to the Club!

Two mysterious “pimples” on my face lasted much longer than the average 41-year-old break out I’m accustomed to. I applied all my usual “get off of my face” creams. I washed twice daily. I used lots of moisturizer. I said a little prayer as I thought I was going to have a photo shoot just a couple of days after they appeared. I consulted other people about them, asking how bad they looked. And still, nothing made them go away.

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One day, the “pimples” started changing colors, from an exact replica of my natural skin tone to a darker, more pronounced brown. I knew that color brown like the back of my hand, or the back of my mother’s hand to be exact. I’d seen it all my life in the faces and on the hands, backs, legs, arms and everywhere else of my mother, sister, cousins, aunts and grandmothers. They were moles. Oh my moly, I made it to the club!

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I’ve had the occasional mole on my body since birth, a couple of which have had to be removed with no indication of horrible things to come thankfully. I absolutely understand the seriousness of what some moles represent. None should be taken lightly, but moles have been a staple to many a woman walking this earth with Walker blood (at least in my part of the Walker family). Thankfully,  there have been no physical harm from the moles that have been a staple on the bodies and in the faces of the females in my family for as long as I can remember. To me, they’ve grown to become a rite of passage almost, signifying  wisdom, endurance and grace under pressure. Like the moles that plague us, those characteristics simply won’t go away.

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Now, I’m fully aware that everyone with moles hasn’t experienced what the women in my family have dealt with, but everyone in my family with moles (and all of those without if you must know) have triumphed through some “thangs” as the little girls in my neighborhood used to say while I grew up in the western section of Birmingham, Alabama.

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For a reminder of the blood from which I’m bore and the strong, amazing, courageous, tenacious women that are a part of that bloodline I am grateful. As I pick at the new guest stars on my face, as I look around a family function with cheekbones elevated and moles pronounced, or as I hear my niece point out the assortment of moles on the face of my mother and sister I know each time I see it them I am reminded of the fact that I’m still here,we’re still here and are a part of an elite legacy of women who endure. I’m reminded of the notion that, in this club, membership (and moles if you will) definitely has its privileges!

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-Angela Moore

The Truth About Gossip

Backchat, the business, chitchat, chatter, gabfest, table talk, small talk, spilling the beans, tete-a-tete, or the tea…

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No matter how you name it GOSSIP BURNS.  I can safely say, that often gossip doesn’t start out with evil intent toward the target. Often gossip comes from a place of hurt, disappointment, self-loathing or fear within the person delivering the damaging news, and is a reflection of him or her rather than them or they.

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The thing about gossip though, like a cold Coca-Cola on a hot, August day, is that once you get a taste of it you just can’t stop and the more of it you have the more of it you want. Gossip can be dangerous.

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We all do it, or have done it. We’ve shared celebrity news, passed along some juicy tidbit about a friend, spread some damaging information about our enemies, delighted in sharing the trials a family member was going through, whispered in a corner or stolen moment about the adversity of others, written about the affairs of others on social media, or gone the route of prying instead of praying about an unfortunate situation that might have come into our sphere (or ear).

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Gossip has this innate boomerang ability to isolate the person that’s known as the chatterbox. It can figuratively knock the chatterbox out of the box…so to speak, as it relates to their relationships with others. People simply don’t like dealing with the drama that often goes along with gossip. Strangely enough, people often talk about the gossip in a sense of not trusting him or her or not liking to be in his or her company for fear of interrupting the flow of positive with junk. Anyone with good, wholesome sense knows that if a person talks to you about a person they will talk to a person about you.

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The truth about gossip is that gossip doesn’t only hurt the persons being discussed. It absolutely does hurt the target of the talk. But it also GREATLY hurts the gossiper, more than they know…and those wasted words are simply not worth it!!!

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-Angela Moore

I Salute You Daddy!

There’s no better time than Father’s Day to salute my father, Sylvester Scott, all the other amazing fathers and those that are without their fathers this special day.

Life Gets Better

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Growing up, I had the wacky notion that everyone had a father like I did. It really wasn’t until college that I realized that not only was that not true, but just how much of a sacrifice it was for my father to be who he was for my mom, siblings and me, when he never had who he had become.

The youngest boy of ten children from a single mother, having worked since age seven when he started picking cotton, navigating his way through the ups and downs of life, love, family matters, losing his hearing, mentoring boys and men, retiring from a 30+ year career, offering financial support and helping take care of relatives in is latter years and every thing else in between, my daddy did it all without the presence of his own biological father to guide him.

To this day I share an often turbulent mix of overwhelming love, awe and sadness for him, as…

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