• Linda Thomson

Consider it Done: Christmas!



1-2-3 Of My Favorite Christmas Tips

  1. “If I’m going to attend several parties I try to sign up for the same dish to bring to each one. It’s easier to bring your famous “artichoke dip” to four different parties than to come up with four different dishes.” (Kathi Lipp)

  2. “If you’re pressed for time, clean the bathrooms really well and be sure to shine the faucets. If the bathroom faucets sparkle it seems like the whole house is sparkling.” (Peg Bracken)

  3. “Turn cards into contact photos on your phone. Before you toss personalized holiday cards, take pictures of them. Use these to update everyone’s contact info on your phone so you’ll have their most recent family photos.” (Good Housekeeping)


Simplify Gift Giving

Do you want to simplify drawing names for a gift exchange this year? We have used DrawNames.com and love it! What has impressed us so much about this free website is that it doesn’t just draw names; there are several additional features that make the process really easy and fun. It is very simple and user-friendly.

  1. You create your group by entering each person’s name and e-mail address. Everyone in the group receives an e-mail inviting them to the gift exchange.

  2. Once all parties have signed up, the website automatically draws names and each participant receives an e-mail telling them who they will be buying for. This is a nice way to keep it completely anonymous. Not even the organizer of the group will know who got whose name.

  3. Each person has the ability to enter a wishlist so that the gifter has an idea of what that person would like. The wishlist also has the functionality to include links directly to certain items on the internet.

  4. If you have questions for the person you are buying for, you can send them an anonymous message through Drawnames to get more information. There is also a group message board for group-wide communications.


Some extra features that are really nice are that you can set exclusions, so that certain people can’t draw other people. This is useful so that a husband and wife don’t pick each other, for example, since they may already be buying one another gifts separately. Drawnames will also keep track so that people don’t pick the same person two years in a row, if you repeat a gift exchange with the same group. You can set a monetary range or limit so that everyone is purchasing gifts that are roughly the same value. What could be simpler?


Bound to Please: Book Recommendation

Now with our kids grown, married and some living far away we like to draw names (see above). But my husband and I still love to fill up Christmas stockings for them and their spouses, it is a fun tradition for us! This year we're including these books, They are the perfect thing for that person that has everything or is hard to shop for.


Person of Interest - Why Jesus Still Matters In A World That Rejects the Bible is going in our guys stockings! “Detective and bestselling author J. Warner Wallace investigates Jesus, the most significant person in history, using an innovative and unique approach he employs in solving real missing persons cold cases where eye witnesses are no longer alive. Wallace carefully sifts through the evidence and you'll understand like never before how Jesus changed the world." (See below to hear J. Warner Wallace's interview about his book on Greg Laurie's A New Beginning.) Order early!



The Wisdom House, Because You Don't Always Have To Learn The Hard Way by Rob Parsons is going in our girls stockings! Rob Parsons shares, “In my study are two chairs. One of them is mine. And the other? Oh, that one has been occupied by so many different people over the years… Those two old armchairs are waiting. Come and listen in.” (He can be heard in this recent broadcast on Focus On The Family titled Sharing Wisdom With The Next Generation parts 1 and 2 - listen below. He is addressing his grandchildren but they are stories for all of us!) Order early!


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