Sometimes, we know the PERFECT gift to give someone. It's such a fun feeling! But other times, well--we struggle. Especially with our kids!
We try to make sure everyone gets the same amount of gifts, but when we can't think of what to give little Johnny for his last gift, sometimes we just get any old thing. And to be perfectly honest, sometimes it's just junk! Or else it is something that will never really get used. But we justify getting it, so that Johnny feels just as loved as everyone else.
As parents, we are all in this together! To help all of us, I asked as many people as I could what their best "home run" presents were that were sure to be used...and not only used, but delighted over. Here is the "guaranteed" list I got from readers and friends:
I LOVE Thanksgiving.
To me, it is more than the commemoration of a meal that the Pilgrims and Native Americans shared together. It is an overarching principle that reminds us of everything that God has blessed us with. It is where universal brotherhood mingles with religion and patriotism.
In this article, I'm sharing 18 ideas I've gathered from my resources, as well as friends and readers to help make Thanksgiving more meaningful. Some ideas are fun, and some are more heavy. Hopefully, there will be something here that resonates with you.
Pornography is an open secret that no one likes to talk about. But it is everywhere and affects anyone who has access to a device that can connect to the internet. It can happen at any age, and be anywhere. As I was talking to my friend Jewel about this post, she told me that her first grader was exposed to pornography for the first time at school. On a school computer. That one of his classmates had hacked.
That makes me sick and mad all at the same time.
Sometimes we wonder, but don't have the heart to ask:
Have my young children been exposed to it?
Is my teenager watching it?
Is my spouse watching it?
Hard core or soft core, I am a firm believer that no type pornography has a legitimate place in society. It's often fake, always objectifying, and takes attention away from real relationships, not to mention it also feeds the human trafficking and sex trades. A lot of other people and organizations feel this way, too. One of these, Fight the New Drug is a non-profit that is dedicated to sharing the science of how pornography works in our brains, relationships, and how it affects the world.
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Values: justice, mercy, love, duty, forgiveness, sacrifice
Age group: 10+
Justice, mercy, compassion, love for your fellow man, duty, loyalty, unselfishness. . . This work of Victor Hugo is unparalleled. Though fiction, it has so much truth packed into it.
This story is a favorite of our family. We love selected songs from the Broadway musical, we love the book (which you can get FREE on Kindle!). But when it comes to movies. . . things get a bit more tricky. I want to share this wonderful story with my children BEFORE they are old enough to read the five inch thick book sitting on our bookshelf- but I don't feel that many of the movie adaptations are appropriate for them.
Fantine's situation is terrible, no doubt. And we should understand it. But why are sex acts often shown as part of the movie? Why do some focus on making the Thenardier's as low and as crass as they can possibly be? To me, these things are a distraction and prevent me from sharing this story with my children. There is SO MUCH MORE to this story than those things. These characters and their situations were not meant to be the main focus- Jean Valjean and his journey from convict to saint, is.
That is why I love this movie version of Les Miserables. Starring Richard Jordan and Anthony Perkins, it is not only a family favorite, but also family appropriate. (There is a little bit of minor swearing, and Fantine does mention selling her body once, but that is the extent of it.) Best of all, I can teach my kids all of the wonderful lessons this story contains.
My children love this movie just as much as I do. Though it is a bit dated (hmm, is that why it's family friendly?), that doesn't really matter to them. The Bishop is so, so sweet. Richard Jordan plays Jean Valjean to perfection, and Anthony Perkins shows just how terrible justice is without mercy or understanding.
The only thing I would change about this movie would be to include some of my favorite Broadway "Les Mis" songs in it. But I guess you can't have everything!
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