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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Monday, November 30, 2015

31 Days to Do for Others, For Your Family, For Yourself & First Giveaway

Happy December! There are 31 days in this month; 13 days to do for others, 13 days to do for family and 5 for yourself.

Some of these will overlap...others, family and self and that's all right. If you don't do them all, that's all right, just try your best. If you choose to not doing any of them, it's your choice and that's all right. No condemnation here, no judging; I'm just trying to help you have a pleasant Christ centered Christmas or, if you're not of the Christian faith, a pleasant season. Some of these things cost money, others are free so lack of money is no excuse for not sharing love this season.

For Others:

*Donate a bag of cat or dog food to the local or county shelter.

*Buy food coupons to hand out to folks standing on street corners asking for help.

*A package of 3 wool socks may be purchased from Sam's, probably Costco and other places, for about $15, including taxes. Buy one package, give 1 pair to each Salvation Army bell ringer you see. It's going to get cold between now and December 24th.

*Contrary to what's been going around on facebook, don't send cards to Walter Reed Hospital. If you'd like to get involved with helping military personnel, please visit your local Veteran Amin. hospital here.

*Buy a fleece throw (Dollar Store, Family Dollar, etc.) and take to a nursing home. Ask staff who receives no visitors, cards, etc. and leave a card and the throw for them.

*Ask forgiveness of someone you've wronged.

*Give a magazine subscription to someone who doesn't get out much; it will delight 12+ times in the coming year.

*Send a card to an elderly person, enclose stamps.

*Shovel a neighbor's sidewalk or clean off their car of frost or snow...before they wake.

*Fill a book bag, back pack or purse with items for either a female or male (toothpaste, toothbrush, feminine products, brush, new underclothes, sweater, socks, hat, bag of mints or candy, etc.) and take to shelter or give to someone on street.

*Let someone in front of you in line or buy the person behind you a coffee.

*Write a thank you to someone who has done a good job or been kind to you. If it's a store employee, get their name and give the card to the MOD (manager on duty).

Your family:

*One night, turn off all media, sit around the Christmas tree and tell each other why you love being in your family.

*Bake cookies, it's all right if it's from a mix, keep some for your family, share some with a neighbor.

*On Christmas Eve, read Luke 2 or A Christmas Carol while gathered around the Christmas tree.

*Watch an uplifting DVD with your family then share the DVD with another family.

*Count your blessings, write them on a piece of paper, at Christmas morning breakfast, read them aloud.

*Take your unwanted, clean, warm clothes to a shelter.

*If possible, call or visit your parents.

*Buy a white tablecloth and with an indelible pen, have each person write their favorite Christmas memory, sign and date it. It's the start of a new tradition.

*Don't go into debt for Christmas.

*With your family, put together a food box and give to a family in need. This can be done through your church, a shelter, etc. Don't forget names on the Angel Tree.

*Don't allow other people's expectations to determine your quality of Christmas.

*Re-think your gift list. Just because you've always bought a gift, or gifts, for someone, doesn't mean you have to continue. Consider exchanging only gifts that can be tucked into a stocking.

*You don't have to go anywhere for Christmas; ask other family if they want to come to your house or simply stay home and celebrate with your immediate circle. It's your Christmas too.

Turkeys that got away last week.


*Get enough sleep each and every night.

*Eat healthfully; limit junk food.

*Every day, spend quiet time to center yourself. Meditate, pray, read the Bible or uplifting, positive devotions.

*Don't forget to practice deep breathing, all month long.

*If you need help, ask for it.

Even Superman takes a break every now and again.

I've got a number of things to giveaway this month. The first is J. Stephen Lang's The Christian History Devotional: 365 Readings & Prayers to Deepen & Inspire Your Faith. It's one of my favorite devotionals and puts me in touch with Christians gone before...that great cloud of witnesses, some known, others unknown but all fascinating. If you want to enter, please tell me what you're doing this December for others, for your family and for yourself and leave a way for me to contact you. Make sure your comments are 'reply to' or leave your e-address.

A name will be chosen by on Thursday, 5:00 p.m. and person will be notified by e-mail. If I don't receive a response, another name will be chosen and the person notified.

Blog2Print has a 30% discount; just use promocode STARTSHOPPING but the discount is only good for today.

Finally, Jenny Woolf has a delightful video of 12 year old Julie Andrews singing an aria. I had no idea she had such a voice, especially at such a tender age.

Blessings ~ December ~ Christmas ~ 


  1. Wonderful ideas for keeping the Christmas spirit! There are so many ways to give that don't take much time or money. I will be borrowing a few of these! Thank you for sharing - I hope you have a blessed day. xo Karen

  2. There are some lovely ideas. I am trying to spend more time with people who need company - for whatever reason - and I particularly also like the idea of donating a fleece throw for someone in a nursing home. And thank you so much for linking to my blog.

  3. This is a fabulous idea! I cannot wait to do this! Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. Thanks, friend! I love the warm socks for the bell ringers idea AND the fleece blanket for a nursing home resident.
    You're the best, SB!

  5. I especially like helping a family in need.. They are not really hard to find!

  6. Buy small umbrellas and keep them in your car. When it's raining give them to anyone walking in the rain without an umbrella.

    I never endanger traffic, but I stop to give away umbrellas if I can.

    There was much need for this at my previous home. Not so much rural.

    Love your list. XOT

  7. What wonderful ideas, we do what we can to help others and brighten someone's day! Thanks Sandra for listing easy and thoughtful things to do for people! Hugs from me! Linda


    Are all Christians priests? Is it possible for all believers in Christ to approach God the father with only Jesus Christ as a mediator? Yes. Jesus is our high priest. There is the priesthood of all believers. There is Jesus the high priest. There is no mention of the office of priest in the New Testament church, that is a man-made tradition. There is no office of "priest" that is the authority in the local church or the mediator between man and God.


    1 Peter 2:5-9 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ..........9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

    All Christians are part of the priesthood.

    Revelation 1:5-6 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood---6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father--- to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

    All who have been washed by the blood of Jesus have been made priests to God the Father by Jesus. THERE IS NOT AN OFFICE OF PRIEST; all Christians are priests.


    Hebrews 4:14-15 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

    Jesus is our one and only high priest. He is the only priest we need.


    1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator also between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.

    Jesus is the only mediator between God and men. The Virgin Mary is not a mediator. There are not man-made priests that are mediators between God and men.



  9. A thoughtful and doable list...something for everyone no matter your circumstances. Tis the Season for sure...and like the magazine subscription, could be done 12 months out of the year. Thanks for visiting this month. Enjoy your comments so much.

  10. What a fantastic post! Thank you for the inspirations. If we would all do just a little something, the world would be a much better place.

  11. Those are ALL just great ideas! I find it the hardest to take time for myself but do love doing for and giving to others. This is really a great post! xo Diana

  12. Wonderful ideas, and very inspiring.
    A dear friend who has now gone on, used to say, "don't let your right hand know what you left is doing", she said it numerous times, because that is what it takes to sink into me most of the time.
    The things I do, I do my best not to tell, except for my spouse, I try my best to be open with him.
    I'll work on more, and think of you when I do it. thanks.

  13. This is a most wonderful Thistle-collection with such great inspirations! Thank you, Sandra!!!

  14. for example THIS is so charming:

    *Shovel a neighbor's sidewalk or clean off their car of frost or snow...before they wake.

  15. Wonderful post, thoughtfulness, for family, for others, for ones self . . .
    Loved the superman pic and reminder . . .
    I think I will go outdoors this morning, cut some boxwood for a friend . . .
    Love the warm socks idea . . .
    Sometimes providing childcare for another for a few hours is a wonderful treat . . .
    Blessings and Happy Advent days Sandra . . .

  16. beautiful post-thank you-do you mind if I share it?

  17. Sandra:

    This is one of the best ideas I have seen...but then you always have great ideas. Dustin and I had already picked an Angel off the tree at Four Way Pharmacy, He is a three year old boy and guess what he likes cars and trucks...imagine that. Dustin spent our shopping day Saturday doing for others, the red kettle and Kingwood Orphanage. We turn our Angel in tomorrow. The owners of Four Way Pharmacy have been posting on facebook to get their Angels adopted out. Great people.
    So I thank you for the reminder for others in need for Christmas and all the thoughtful ideas to make it a brighter World. Love and Prayers to all.


  18. I love this post, Sandra! Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful ways to share and enjoy this sacred season. xoxo ♥

  19. A very thoughtful idea and list of suggestions. I like that you have included suggestions for family and self too, it is easy to rush around doing for others and neglect family and self and they are important too. Not that others aren't important, you understand. I especially need to remember not to let others set my expectations. xx

  20. Oh my goodness-- this is the best list I've ever seen. I love that it is so truly basic and practical. We can all do so many of these wonderful ideas.. I'm donating, sharing, giving as best I can. I'm so blessed...

    Please don't enter me in your contest-- our friendship is already a gift that I treasure. Thank you for sharing this incredible list...

    Love, love

  21. This is a wonderful post. I try to help others whenever I see the opportunity. Sometimes the Lord puts thoughts strongly on my heart long before I ever see the opportunity. I guess He's preparing me for it. I'm making hats to donate to homeless shelter.

    God bless you.

  22. That's an inspirational list irrespective of one's faith. Some wonderful ideas there! And thank you so much for visiting my blog!

  23. I loved your suggestions. Everyone can find at least 1 thing to do in that list! Even me! We often get so seduced into making our homes look like a magazine that we forget the point of Christmas. Not that there is a chance of that happening here. :D
    Merry Christmas!

  24. EXCELLENT, all caps intended. As I read the list, I found myself saying, yes, yes, yes. Now to print it out. Thank on to Sabbath keeping.

  25. A good list of ideas! Thanks! :)

  26. Warning about a big scam IRS.
    The police said it has had 60 call's today.
    Be well, Love yvonne

  27. Beatrice, thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm and glad you enjoyed the list. It is doable, isn't it?

    Jenny, thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm and I'm happy to link back to your lovely blog.

    Elizabeth, you're welcome, so glad you think there are some worthwhile ideas.
    Merry Christmas!

    Thanks, Karen, glad you think the ideas are worthwhile.

    Chickie, easier than we want to think, right? It's so sad.

    Tara, great idea especially for me as I never carry an umbrella. It doesn't bother me getting wet but for some people it can be a sore trial.

    Hi Linda, I like easy, makes my life better when I can spread love without a lot of to-do.
    Hugs from me as well. XOS

    Steve, your enthusiasm is appreciated but please keep your posts a lot smaller. I'm a Christian yet consider your lengthy post quite rude. Please refrain from positing so much in the future.

    Sue, thank you for visiting; I'm glad you enjoyed the list.

    You're right Leigh...just a little something but if we all pitch in, it makes a huge difference.

    Diana, and that's why I put taking care of yourself in the list...women are famous for taking care of others and then going to bed late. -grin-

    Thanks, Annie. I've always liked, not loved, that Bible verse. Generally liked because I'm a greedy Gus and want others to think I'm wonderful because I've done thus and so...ouch. Honesty is painful.
    I was always open with Dave; now that he's gone, there's no one to tell. No one with skin on anyway.

    Dori - I liked that one too except I don't have neighbors so have to do some of the other things.

    Yes to the childcare...kept my friend's grandson last week. They were desperate to ask me -grin-.

    Mary, thanks for visiting and glad you've got the Christmas spirit!

    Hi Martha - thank you and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Amy, I find it's so easy to put our selves last which isn't good for us or our family. When we don't take care of our selves we tend to get cranky and out of sorts. I learned, the hard way, to take care of the care giver first.

    Vicki, thank you so much! There are a lot of ways to give, share, donate...good for you for doing what you can where you can when you can! XOS

    LesleyAnn, thank you and glad you're making hats for the shelter...they're sure to be welcome and needed!

    Thanks, Mike, for both your comment and for visiting Thistle Cove Farm. Happy Christmas!

    Hi Debbie, I thought so too. I don't decorate that much, too busy keeping us all together. I do enjoy looking at other decorations though and nope, can't forget...don't want to forget...the true meaning of Christmas.

    Thanks, Karen!

    Lisa, thank you and glad you enjoyed the list.

    Thanks Yvonne; always glad to be's a big scary world.

  28. Love, love, love this idea! Such a wonderful time of the year to be a blessing to others. Thanks for the inspiration! Happy Friday and weekend!

    1. You're welcome Vicky; glad to be of help even though I'm just figuring out (a) I can reply to each comment and (b) I am yonks late replying. Merry Christmas...still!

  29. you're welcome, Vicky; thanks for visiting.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  30. There are so many good ideas here Sandra ! Just implementing one of them can be a blessing not only to others, but to the giver , reminding us to think of others. Thank-you.

    1. Kathy, glad you enjoyed this post and hope you forgive lateness of response. Seems almost daily my life gets in the way of my Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  31. A great list :) Happy December!

    1. thanks, Sandra and Merry Christmas to you and yours...or happy holidays if you're not a Christmas person. I hope you're warm and safe.

  32. That is a great list you posted. Thank you.

    1. Debby, thank you so much. Merry Christmas to you and yours, 2017...yes, I am *that* late in responding!

  33. Excellent list. Canned foods were on sale today so I picked up ten extra cans at the grocery store to drop by the food bank next week.

    1. Thanks Lisa and Merry Christmas to you and yours.


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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