Informed Families Blog
Why Do We Turn Everything Into a Reason to Drink?
Social gatherings, bars and dining in restaurants are off limits for Cinco de Mayo this year, but many of us still plan to celebrate in some fashion - probably with a Mexican beer or margarita in hand. Have you ever stopped to think about why we turn everything into an opportunity to drink alcohol? Cinco de Mayo generates beer sales on par with the Super Bowl.
How did Cinco de Mayo (which commemorates the Mexican Army's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862) turn into a bigger celebration day in the United States than Mexico? It’s all about selling you something of course. Cinco de Mayo really took off when beer companies started sponsoring Cinco de Mayo celebrations to promote and sell beer. Is this really that different from the advertising tactics employed by Big Tobacco?
Have We All Lost Our Minds?
It certainly seems like it from the news!
School Safety is the topic du jour for good reason: the loss of 17 innocent lives. We don’t educate our children for 16 years just to have them senselessly gunned down on school property and this is the 25th fatal, active school shooting at an elementary or high school since Columbine.
Have we learned anything? I don’t think so when I listen to the news. The script is the same with people suggesting half-baked answers (it is like whack-a-mole) rather than holistic answer which recognize the complexities underlying the problem. Is this because we allow media to set the agenda with blaring headlines, tight deadlines and sound bites? Problems can’t be solved on TV before the close of the show; it requires hard work, time and HONESTY about who we are as a people. What are our beliefs and values? Our true beliefs and values define our Behaviors.
Accountability In 2018
Currently in America, agreement is neither common nor in vogue. Finally, I found the current in vogue agreement… IT AIN’T MY FAULT by The Brothers Osbourne.
Whether you are a fan or Country Music or not, country music tells everyday facts. In their 2017 hit, “It Ain’t My Fault,” The Brothers Osborne tell the common theme prevalent in American Society: the story of a person who is unwilling to accept responsibility for his actions AND THEY HAVE GREAT CLARITY ON WHY IT AIN’T THEIR FAULT.
Here’s an excerpt:
This month, I'm bringing back an oldie but goodie that people seem to really love. It's a great reminder of what's really important this holiday season.
People Are Gifts Sent To Me Wrapped
People Are Gifts Sent To Me Wrapped!
Some are wrapped beautifully;
They are attractive when I first see them.
Some come in very ordinary wrapping paper.
Others have been mishandled in the mail.
Once in a while there is a “Special Delivery.”
Some persons are gifts which come very loosely wrapped;
Others very tightly.
But the wrapping is not the gift!
It is easy to make that mistake…
It is amusing when babies do it.
The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kids Is Not A Hatchimal
Every year, the toy craze du jour sends parents frantically using their FBI skills to track down the “perfect” gift for their child. The coveted gift is likely no longer in stores and can only be purchased on ebay for three times its original price. These parents dedicate a great deal of time trying to give kids want they want. “Oh, won’t they be so happy,” the parents say. “My child is so special to me and I just want to make him/her happy.”
This year’s top toy, the Hatchimal, is very impressive! It’s a plush robot inside of an egg that hatches when you take care of it and once hatched, responds to commands. Boy have we come a long way from the cabbage patch doll!
Those of us who haven’t found lasting happiness through material goods can agree that having the coolest toy doesn’t always make us happy. Meaningful relationships can be the gifts that truly keep on giving. It may not seem like it, but your kids will likely agree.
The end of the year is a festive time for families. School is closed. Holidays are celebrated. Presents are exchanged. Parties are thrown.
Unfortunately, at those parties—especially unsupervised New Year’s Eve parties—teens may be tempted to drink or use drugs. And though kids hunkered down at one party might be preferable to kids driving from house to house on New Year’s Eve, any time that teens have access to alcohol, there will be risk. Establishing and enforcing family rules in regards to drinking is important year-round but takes on added urgency in December. Here is some advice for setting those rules and keeping your kids safe for the rest of 2016 and beyond:
What Is Silent Disco?
Turns out this is an age-related question! If you are in college or into the club scene, Silent Disco is normal; if you are older, you are likely scratching your head and saying, “WHAT’S Silent Disco?”
The answer includes all the old images: mirror ball, strobe lights and loud music, but the loud music is now contained within your own headset. I first experienced this new phenomenon while visiting my grandson for a family weekend in Boulder, Colorado. When we asked if the music was the same song (oops, I mean "play list") on everyone’s headset, we were greeted with a look that said, “What a quaint idea, why would we want to do that?”
So folks, you’ve heard and read about the breakdown of society in “Bowling Alone.” We are now taking societal breakdown to another level: DANCING ALONE WHILE IN A GROUP. No need for eye contact, or coordination of movements… just do your own thing and believe you’re interacting with others. Dance has traditionally been about communication and closeness; in silent disco, dance is all about YOU.
Giving Thanks & Giving Gifts Are Similar
Thanksgiving signifies a time of gratitude for all things. As we gather with our families for delicious dinners prepared with the best trimmings, we reflect deeply on what truly means the most to us and express gratitude for those things.
Giving thanks and giving gifts are similar...and they may be one and the same. They are the flow of love and gratitude. If you are not sharing love and gratitude, it is easy to become stagnant and stressed, which is not healthy.
This is the season when merchants really push us to say thanks and give gifts their way. I encourage you to consider a different way to say thank you and to give gifts — sit down and write someone a note and share your appreciation for what they have done in your life. It is not just a gift to the person receiving your note but it will be a gift to you because it will make you healthier and happier. Why? Because giving and receiving are part of the same spiritual energy. When and what you give will be returned to you many fold.
IS THE PACE & STRUCTURE OF LIFE MAKING US CRAZY?
It’s December again and we are rushing around in a frenzy. We have gifts to purchase and wrap, parties to attend or to host, trips to plan, lines everywhere in airports, stores, on hold on the phone, traffic to fight, work to finish… on and on and on. WE ARE STRESSED BUT WE ARE CREATING OUR OWN STRESS!!!!
With all the things we are trying to achieve in our personal, family and professional lives simultaneously, we are succumbing to our unnoticeable addiction to technology. Have a free moment? Check your phone. Stopped at a light? Check your inbox. Waiting in line? Visit Facebook.
Does this describe you? If not, I commend you and encourage you to keep up the good work. For those of us who I’ve just described, I have a great solution that doesn’t cost money or require much time. Stop holding your breath, relax, release and breathe.
Give yourself the gift of disconnecting from all the technology and the “doing” and take some time each day to just sit and breathe. Invest your energy in appreciating the people around you and all the wonderful blessings you have in your life. Spend technology-free time with your children – play a board game, visit a park, take a walk, work on a puzzle, make cookies or just sit and talk. Everything else will be waiting for you when you return to your hectic life.
From all of us at Informed Families to you and your families, I wish you very happy, healthy, meaningful and stress-free holidays. We appreciate you and your unwavering support for helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free. Remember, Love Yourself!