Four Steps to Get Adult Children to Move Out!

All kinds of circumstances cause adult children to live under their parents roofs, but there comes a time to help them break out on their own.  Should you give them the boot?

According to a recent article at CBS MoneyWatch, young adults living with their parents is at a 75 year high!  Student loan debt and lack of employment are considered the primary reasons.  But, those factors are out of your control.  So, what can you do?

Should You Boot Your Adult Children Out the Door?

If you are still boarding your adult children, you have not yet completed one of your important tasks as a parent.  Maybe the steps below will work as well for you as they have for me. Continue reading “Four Steps to Get Adult Children to Move Out!”

Dancing, Dreaming and Shooting for the Stars!

It was “bloody two o’clock in the morning!” when Mom’s shouting alerted me from my reverie.  I was dancing the night away with Fred Astaire in our overgrown closet of a living room in the old duplex on Franklin Street – at least I was in my mind.  My imagination carried me away as I watched the great dance star on the old black and white movie on TV.

Continue reading “Dancing, Dreaming and Shooting for the Stars!”

Five Keys to Unlock the Life of Your Dreams!

Many of us have hopes and dreams that we make part of our New Years resolutions.  Now, have you also set yourself up for success or failure in reaching your goals?  Often, we have dreams that we are passionate about but we abandon them, squelch them, or put them off to some distant tomorrow. Why is that and what can you do about unlocking the keys to make your dreams or goals happen? Continue reading “Five Keys to Unlock the Life of Your Dreams!”

Wrecking Havoc With The Magic of Christmas

There are a line of employees waiting to get into my Wilmington, DE publishing office with the latest problems, questions, or suggestions just before Christmas.  Jeff, a recent hire fresh out of Temple University is bursting with something to say.  “Hold that thought” I say, as I pick up the phone ringing by my desk.

It is the Director of KinderCare on the phone – “You have to do something, Margaret! Your son is telling all the children that Santa Claus is a fake!  He is claiming there is a different Santa at the Mall from the one on Main Street.” Continue reading “Wrecking Havoc With The Magic of Christmas”

A Scottish Festive Holiday Grace

My Scottish parents taught us to lift our glasses as grace was recited at any important family gathering.  Be it a holiday or a family gathering, everyone joined together at the supper table ready to eat.  The Scottish prayer was recited by my Dad in a manner that was more of a toast than a standard blessing on a meal. He commanded everyone’s attention, waited for silence, then raised his glass and reverently spoke in his thick Glaswegian brogue:

“Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thanket.”

Growing up in Pennsylvania, we recited this Scottish grace year after year, chiming in as we learned the words.  It was my understanding that the Continue reading “A Scottish Festive Holiday Grace”

Choices to Ponder this Holiday Season

Little choices and big choices surround the traditions and the little rituals that most family enjoys.  Everybody wants to be in the Christmas Spirit, but what if you are not feeling so jolly?  Many of us are pinched for money, or pinched for time.  Is the Scrooge in you coming to the surface?

We don’t want to disappoint anyone, especially ourselves.  Maybe you need to choose what to give the kids for Christmas, and how much to spend.  There is the choice of whether to have the holidays at home, and who to invite.  Should we have everyone at Christmas or on Christmas Eve?  What did we do last year?  How do we balance the time with in-laws and outlaws, and which Christmas parties do we fit in to a crowded holiday calendar?  Are we going to evening candlelight services or waiting for morning services?  Choices and decisions can be fun but they can create stress.  I ponder every year

“what is that very special thing that I can do to reassure the important people in my life that I really care?”

So many choices!  Every year about this time, I make a resolution that I am going to downplay the gift giving.  But, it seems every year I fail.  I do not shop on Black Friday, mostly because I detest crowds.  But, for some of my friends, it is a time they look forward to fondly each year and they create great memories.

It seems that no matter my good intentions, at Christmas the tree is overflowing with gifts, and everyone has overdone it.  Now we will have bills that will pinch the budget for the next several months. I pledge that I am going to make a budget this year and stick to it!  I wonder

“Why do we make the choices that we do?” 

Maybe, it is because fond memories encourage us to try topping whatever we did before.  We want to do something bigger and better.  Mostly I think we want to show how much we care.  But the wrapped up gifts are rarely what I remember most after the holidays are over.  Foremost, I remember the time spent with those important family and close friends.

My Dad was creative and frugal.  He had to be with four kids and little income.  He would get someone to drive him over to Rosemont College and pick out the best tree discarded by college students who were gone for the holiday break.  Laughing and decorating a scrawny fresh-cut tree – wow! The aroma of pine filled our tiny living room. But, it took the patience of Job to find and fix the one light in the series that threw out all the tree lights.

Six people in a crowded dining room can be a little tricky too when you are wrapping presents.  My sister, Mary and I had the privilege to wrap what Mom had squirreled away for the boys.  Dad would provide festive music with his violin, playing Christmas carols such as O Holy Night, followed by some Celtic music such as Danny Boy.   And fasting before Christmas Mass made sharing a traditional turkey dinner taste all the better.

I enjoy reading letters of love that fill my heart and this became a family tradition over time.   Mom made a tradition of placing a special long distance telephone call to our cousins, the Shepstone’s in California on New Year’s Eve.  We kids gathered round the phone as Dad was paying for every minute of this precious time.   Relationships are very important, gifts are nice, and memories are priceless.

The warm memories that come back to us of those who are not here with us this year, can add more stress to the season and leave us teetering on depression.  But, we have choices to make here too.  We can choose to dwell in the darkness and the sense of loss of what has gone before.  Or we can choose to be grateful, to be thankful that we had the time and shared the warmth of their love.  We can say “Thank you, God.”  And have hope that we will see them again, if not here, in the hereafter.  We can focus on the people who are here now in our lives today.

So, perhaps it is fitting that Thanksgiving launches off the holiday season.  When I make the choice to be grateful to God for what He has given me and go into the holidays with a thankful heart, I feel less like Scrooge.   Instead, I feel closer to the love and peace of new life — the life of the Christ Child.  I choose to move away from darkness into the light of His love.  May His birth light up your life. And may the choices you make this holiday season give you joy.


Technology and the Generation Gap

I love technology until I hate it – when it doesn’t do what I want.  Wish I could just talk at it and it would magically fix whatever is wrong with it, or with me.  Siri never seems to give me the answer I need! Can you relate to the frustration?  Wondering what Siri is?  Seems like the world is changing faster than I can keep up.

But, there is hope.  Some of my fellow bloggers experience the same frustration.  If I can’t figure it out, maybe I can jump on the train of the next new technology thing that comes out. Continue reading “Technology and the Generation Gap”