Articles and Resources - Holiday Season

Poinsettias & Egg Rolls

Marissa was the hardest working and friendliest custodian.  She had a big smile and gave carefully crafted comments to everyone in the Engineering office, as she dusted their desks, vacuumed their floors and took out their litter.  One day, the staff wanted to recognize Marissa and decided to show their appreciation during the holiday session. They took up a collection and purchased some gifts.

When the poinsettia and restaurant card gifts were presented to Marissa, she was totally overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the staff.  In tears, she said that she could not afford to eat out on her meagre salary and that no other custodians were ever recognized for their work on the 4th floor (and probably the rest of the entire 6,000 people complex.)  She could not believe what had happened!

On the next day, the employees of the Engineering office were pleasantly surprised by the delicious aroma of Chinese food.  Marissa has spent several hours in her tiny kitchen and made over 100 eggs rolls, accompanied by a delicious feast of Asian food as a thank you.

Now, doesn't this warm up your heart?

The holiday season is not just about gifts, it is about the display of true generosity of spirit, celebration, understanding and peace. 

Happy Holidays and all the best for 2017!


A Bit of Inspiration During the Holiday Season

Today I went to a celebration of life service for a 99 year old women. I did not know her, but for some unknown reason, I was drawn to the event. They say that a person is best remembered not for who they knew, but who they inspired. I knew her Grandson, whose life was totally changed, due to her inspiration (in a good kind of way).
Alice Carpenter grew up in a 16 x 24 feet house. (That is the size of my deck.) There were 7 other children living in the home. No running water, no electricity, no furnace for the cold winter nights, just lots of love.
Alice married and became a hard working homemaker. She was an accomplished seamstress, gardener and painter. She cycled into her 80’s and bowled into her 90’s.
She lived until she was 99 years old and has a t-shirt with #99 to prove it. She was affectionately known as Grandman Caribou in the family – not sure how she got that name. But the thing that stood out for me was her devotion to her faith and strong family values.
I heard that she inspired many people, but the one in particular was her Grandson Kevin. It is no wonder that Kevin is now a parish priest in a thriving part of south Winnipeg.

The holiday season is a difficult time to deal with the loss of a loved one. But it is also a good reminder of what is most important to us. As the family stated, during this festive season, spend time with family and friends, as Grandma would have wanted. Talk, listen, and learn from others around you. Connect and reconnect with people that you have not seen for awhile. I have never met this woman, but somehow she has inspired me. Perhaps she will inspire you too.



9 Tips to Prepare for the Holiday Season

Develop Your Management Skills and Prepare For The Holiday Season

Mary was looking forward to the holiday break. But as the days slipped by, it seemed like she was losing ground. The e-mails kept on coming, the meetings never stopped and staff kept on dropping into her cubicle.

With each day, she was getting more stressed and wondered if she actually could take a week off from the office. In addition to work, she had a long list of social activities and holiday shopping. No wonder why she was feeling more tired in the mornings and had bags under her eyes!

In order to prepare for a peaceful and relaxing Holiday Vacation, these are 9 tips to help manage the demands of your personal and professional life.

  1. Make 2 lists of tasks that MUST be completed between today and the start of your holiday break. Make one for the home/social activities and a second one for business.
  2. Prioritize the tasks in order of importance.  Do the items on the low level of importance really need to be done?
  3. Review the list. Can any of the items be delegated (upwards or downwards), delayed or shared? If so, start the "sharing" process.
  4. Estimate the amount of time your most important tasks will take - now book a meeting with yourself. Block the time and schedule it into your day. (Sorry, no double booking!)
  5. Get all the resources and information you need, before you start your biggest projects, so you don't have to look for it when you are actually ready.
  6. Work on the first item on each list - both at work and at home. Toil on it until it is fully completed. Don't be tempted by distractions! It is amazing how many distractions come our way which eat up valuable time.
  7. Pat yourself on the back for doing the most important priority. There is a great deal of satisfaction involved, when you can check it off as ... DONE! Place the next item in your immediate mindset and give it your undivided attention.
  8. Start new projects when you return from vacation. Give your unconscious mind some time to think about creative solutions to the projects during your time away from your post.
  9. Make note of any outstanding issues before you leave. It will put your mind at ease and help you get organized upon your return.

So there you have it folks, 9 ways to take a break and prepare for the Happy Holidays.


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