Wednesday, November 10, 1999
From the Alliance for Children's Enrichment in Newnan:
November is the start of the season of hustle and bustle. In a Norman Rockwell painting, it is family and friends coming together, giving and sharing. It is happiness and lovingkindness.
For many people, the season becomes traffic congestion, long lines, overspending, rudeness, lack of patience, overextended schedules and many hours in shopping malls. Nationally, This is the season when depression is at its peak. Suicide rates climb and more child abuse occurs.
In our already busy world, with all the extra activities this season brings, there is even less time to give to the children. Before the final rush begins, let us take the week before Thanksgiving, Nov. 14-20, and celebrate the fifth annual `Week of the Family.' This year, let us truly start the season off with `Peace on earth, good will to all people.' Each day will focus on a specific challenge. They are outlined below:
Sunday, Nov. 14 - Prayer and Worship
Let us start the week by asking our Creator to open our minds and hearts to acceptance and appreciation of our differences, first with family members and those of our extended families, then within our workplace and our community.
Monday, Nov. 15 - Fireside Family Relationship Building
In the warmth and comfort of your home, open a discussion with your family about your values and what you truly believe in. Listen to them when they tell you what they believe in. At work or in your community, make a point of really talking to a co-worker or community member that you do not know well.
Tuesday, Nov. 16 - Show Affection for Each Other
Put a note on your refrigerator or in your child's book bag or lunch box to tell them you love them. Take a moment when each member of your household wakes up, reach out and hug them. At work, send a note to a co-worker or your boss telling them how much you appreciate them.
Wednesday, Nov. 17 - Read a Book About Someone Different From You and Look for Things You Have in Common
Visit your local library. Have your child bring home a book from school about someone from another culture. Read the book together and concentrate on the things you have in common. At work or in your community, talk to a co-worker from a different culture about their family background and traditions. Look for common ground.
Thursday, Nov. 18 - Cook a Dinner Together from a Different Culture
Try cooking a simple dinner from another culture. Involve the children in this fun night by allowing them to decorate the table or dress for the occasion. If you feel brave, invite someone to dinner. At work, talk about trying different things; talk of a success you had when you stepped outside your comfort zone.
Friday, Nov. 19 - Family Fun Night
You don't have to spend money to have fun. Pull out the board games, play Twister, pop corn, make hot chocolate. Most importantly, laugh together. Talk to a co-worker or community member who is different from you about what your family does together for fun and ask them what they do together for fun. If it is different from what your family does, try it, if possible.
Saturday, Nov. 20 - Community Service: Do Something for Someone Else as a Family
There are several nursing homes in this area. The holiday season sometimes is a sad time for many of those residents who do not have close family. Visit one. Volunteer to rake leaves from the yard of a neighbor who is unable to do it. Work with a youth group from a different culture. Then talk with your family about the experience.
This entire week's focus is on building family and community. This agenda is designed to go beyond tolerance to acceptance and appreciation of all of God's people, beginning with our own families.
Bible verse for the week...
Then the King will answer, `I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me.' Matthew 25:40 (NCV)