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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Family Traditions for the Christmas Holiday Season

Christmas Pajamas Tradition

Family Traditions for the Christmas Holiday Season by Author Patti Greene

It is amazing what you find when you start cleaning out files (I am speaking of file folders – the old manila ones that we used to use religiously). I pulled out these files from the garage that I haven't looked at for 20+ years. One of the items I found was a list of family Christmas traditions that I typed up (with a real typewriter) in December, 1989 for our Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church, Humble, TX.

So, knowing that Christmas is around the corner, I am going to share these with you now in hopes that maybe, just maybe, you will find one or two Christmas traditions to start in your family.

1. Read Christmas books and bedtime stories around the tree. It is best if you cuddle up in a blanket too.

2. Give each child a Christmas ornament annually, so that when they leave home, they will have their own childhood ornaments to take with them as they start their family.

3. Have a birthday party for Jesus. Let your children invite some friends over for a Jesus birthday party. Serve cake and ice-cream, sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, blow out candle, etc. Give out Christian party treats. Each child could bring a Christmas book to exchange.

4. Tie Christmas bows on your pets.

5. Show videos of past Christmases.

6. If you put Christmas apples (or fruit) on the tree, talk about the fall of Adam.

7. Go Christmas caroling with the family. But, be safe!

8. Have a Christmas photo taken each year of the entire family together. Over the years, you can see how much you all have matured/aged. LOL.

9.Old-Fashioned -  Make separate photo albums for your Christmas photos. Date each yearly section of photos. Then during the Christmas season, leave the albums out so all the family members can look and recall previous Christmases.
   New-Fashioned - Save Christmas photos on separate flash drives and have them scroll on a photo picture frame during the Christmas season.

10. On Christmas Eve, give everyone a new pair of pajamas to wear that evening. That way, everyone has a nice new pair of pajamas on for the pictures on Christmas morning. You can vary the themes each year. One year we had all camo pajamas; another all college-wear.

Disney PJ Year!

11. Drive around and look at the lights in your neighborhood. Take a widow or elderly neighbor or church member with you.

12. Use an Advent wreath or an Advent calendar.

13. Save your previous year Christmas cards for art projects.

14. Purchase a plastic manger, including all the Biblical characters, so that even the youngest member of the family can play with it. Keep it accessible throughout the holiday season.

15. Read Luke 2:1-20 (The Christmas Story) on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. If you have an old family Bible, it is a great time to use it.

16. Bring a meal and/or gifts to a needy family.

17. Give favor coupons as gifts wrapped in Christmas boxes. Ex. Good for one free babysitting night.

18. Decide on one family to have over for dinner and/or desserts.

19. Start a Christmas diary. Write down a description of your holiday season each year. Be sure to note all the cute or unusual comments the children make.

20. Light candles for your Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner.

21. Have a Christmas bulb hunt - similar to an Easter egg hunt. Then, let each child hang the bulbs they find on the tree.

22. Have a cookie exchange party. Each person who is invited brings 4 dozen “homemade” cookies. Then, after some fellowship time, each person takes home 4 dozen different cookies from all the varieties brought. The host makes more cookies so cookies can be eaten at the party.

23.  Make a birthday cake for Jesus. Allow each member of the family to participate in decorating it.

24. Wrap each child or grandchild's gift with a different designed paper. Tell them what their wrapping paper looks like. They will enjoy the anticipation seeing the various gifts awaiting them.

25. Merry Christmas.

c2013 Patti Greene

Okay, I didn't want to make this blog a self-promotion, but just in case you are interested in either giving someone or getting a new devotional for yourself for 2014, here is a pic of my new book. Available at,, or Barnes and Noble online. Locally in Houston, it is available at Katy Budget Books.
Merry Christmas Everyone, 2013!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Windows 8 and The Bible

I have just spent the last two hours of my valuable life seeking help for my newest problem: That problem is Windows 8. So, how do I handle the frustration and anxiety I am feeling right now? The only way I know how is to be creative by putting my thoughts into words through this post. However, that may be a monumental task as it has taken me four minutes already just to type what I have already typed due to the cursor changing on me, the keyboard keys are not typing, and for some unknown reason things appear that I don’t want to appear. I am so frustrated by even typing this paragraph. Does anyone know why in the middle of typing I can’t type and have to hit the lower left bar to be able to type again? And why when typing does it sometimes not work when I hit the space bar to makeaspace (oops) as it did right here.

Yes, I understand that some of this might be user error because I sit in a chair with my laptop on my lap and type. But, SO DO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD. Do you hear me Microsoft? The “soft” of what I just typed ended up in first paragraph. I just repositioned it.

I am learning the new basic navigation. But, what was wrong with the old one? If I wanted pictures, I would have bought a Mac. And, I hate going into corners for everything. It is so annoying guys! I really don’t want to learn how to group apps with pics, I just want to put my apps in plain ‘ol alphabetically order. I want to just scroll through my app titles in alphabetical order and with ABC letters. Okay, that might be because I am a former librarian, but please…I hate pictures being forced n – oops, the o didn’t type – being forced on me.


But, I don’t hate pictures. I have over 10,000+/-  of them. But, I can’t figure out how to click on a picture, and open it into Photoshop.* I know, all you pro Window 8 people are thinking what an idiot, but if you know – oops, a screen just popped up saying, “Close programs to prevent loss.” To finish my previous sentence…if you know how to do it, please let me know. And to the “Close programs….” comment, I would be happy to, but, I will have to go to the help screen to figure out how to do that. Oh shoot, I don’t know where the help button is, but I bet if I go through my 65 page print out, I may be able to read something about it.

And here is an interesting thing about my informative print out…I went through it, made a few changes on Windows 8, only to get to the end of the instructions and read, “If you can’t figure something out, updates are available.” Come on folks, updates when I can’t even figure out the simple things, and shouldn't the updates be mentioned first?  And why did the right side bar just come out and show its face?

Now, I will say that I did learn some things in my two hour self-training. I learned that…

-        Windows X is my new best friend.

-        I can click the space bar tolog (oops) to log in.

-        I can click the home and end keys to see from one end of the tile apps to the end of the tile apps. (I am sure a teenager on drugs would love this feature…back and forth, back and forth, back and forth – in color no less.) See the picture above. 

-        The minus sign at the lower left makes the screen zoom in and out, but why does it zoom in and out when I least expect it?

-        Windows Q shows all the apps.

-        Windows I will power off the computer.

-        Windows E opens Explorer.

-        Windows C shows the right side bar.

-        Windows F shows the Search screen.

-        Windows D launches the desktop.

Obviously, you can tell I am not really a shortcut person. But, I will be now. I have survived most of my computer life without shortcuts, but I can learn. 

I do apologize to Microsoft for any misjudging of their product…I realize that my new HP might be part of the problem, but the bottom-line is I am still frustrated and anxious!!!

Yes, I did learn a few things today, and I do realize I have to take more hours out of my valuable future Saturday afternoons to do that, but why is it so difficult?

I cringe when I think about my 85 and 87 year old parents. They want a new computer. They need a new computer, but how in the world can I train THEM on Windows 8? Hmmm….Ah, great idea. I will leave that to my brother. Nothing like revenge!

But, then that leaves me to something else…

The Bible says not to be frustrated, anxious, or revengeful! If I would have stuck with Windows 7, I wouldn’t be facing these trials – Windows 8 trials.

So the second bottom-line is that I am going to memorize these verses before my next Windows 8 self-training, so maybe it isn’t so bad after all. But, God sure has a funny way to get me to memorize scripture, doesn’t He? So, be prepared for Bible training when you purchase Windows 8! It comes with the territory.


Verses to Memorize BEFORE learning Windows 8:

Frustrated with this trial: “Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2

Anxiety: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
-a different version! NLT

Revenge: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge…” Leviticus 19:18

* By working on this blog, I learned how to put my pics in Photoshop. Actually, it was the same as before, but I was all confused!!!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bible Tidbits

Hi Folks,

Okay, I just can't help it! It is just me being me, but when I read the Bible I like to look for odd things - some may call them fun facts or plain 'ol Bible trivia. I am not necessarily looking for odd things, but they just glare out at me - those neat little tidbits that usually make me chuckle or make me say to myself, "You've got to be kidding!"

So, I thought I would share some of my most recent finds with you. You will need to get out your Bible though, because YOU will need to look up the answers unless you are a Bible scholar and whiz right though the test! And, I know you will be so enlightened that you will want to highlight them in your Bible for further reference. LOL.

1. Name the four items every guest room should have? Read 2 Kings 4:8-9.


2. Why should you never make fun of a bald man? What happened? Read 2 Kings 2:23-24.

3. What things make a woman beautiful? Read Isaiah 3:18-23.

4. Who in the Bible built both a pool and a tunnel. Read 2 Kings 20-20-21.

5. What caused Daniel's face to turn pale? Read Daniel 7:28.

6. What was far whiter than any earthly bleach? Read Mark 9:3.

Feel free to use these in any Bible Trivia games you might play at home or in a class!

Patti Greene
Author, Awaken Me: A Devotional Prayer Journal, c2013.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

60 Father’s Day Gifts

60 Father’s Day Gifts for Seniors
Honor your Father…
Patti Greene

The Bible is specific about how we should honor our parents. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother --- which is the first commandment with a promise --- so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Even the Old Testament rings with Godly truth about respecting the aged. Leviticus 19:32 states, “Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.” While the Bible proclaims that it is not only the old who are wise (Job 32:9), it specifically asks the question in Job 12:12, “Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” Yes, in most cases, especially when a parent is God-fearing and loves the Lord, wisdom abounds. One day a year, a day is given for us to honor each parent – Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We give cards, calls, and gifts to our parents on those days, but as our parents age, it seems harder and harder to know what we should give them. While time is always a great gift, you will find some ideas designed to give you some ideas for this upcoming Father’s Day.

My DAD thought the plastic jar opener above was the best gift ever!

It is hard in today's world to define the words used to represent our ageing society. Should we call people seniors, senior citizens, or the elderly? The reason it is hard to define is because these terms mean different things in different societies. In some societies, "old age" is considered those who have retired; in other societies they represent grandparents; and in others it represents those unable to care for themselves.

No matter what definition you might choose to use, all "seniors" enjoy gifts from their loved ones. But, depending on their individual stage in life or age, gifts may vary.

So, in no particular order other than alphabetically, you might be able to find a gift idea for your 50 year old AARP aged friend or your assisted-living family members.
1. A reader – Nook or Kindle
2. Adult Bib*
3. Arm rest organizer
4. Audio Bible
5. Bed rail
6. Bird feeder
7. Blanket for their bed
8. Board games
9. Books about hobbies
10. Calendar with birthdays and special family occasions listed
11. Cell phone
12. Cologne/After shave
13. Computer
14. Computer printer
15. Conventional photo album
16. Correspondence box including special occasion cards; stamped of course!
17. Crossword Puzzle Book
18. Deck of cards
19. Dice
20. Digital frame, preloaded
21. Dominoes
22. Eye glass holder
23. Folding cane
24. Foot bath
25. Golf putter set
26. Hair cut/dye appointment
27. Home alarm system
28. iPAD
29. Keepsake box
30. Lap blankets
31. Lap desk
32. Large numerical telephone
33. Large Print Bible 34. Lighted cane
35. Long length brush
36. Lotions
37. Magnifying glass
38. Medical alert jewelry
39. Medical books
40. Music (check what kind of player they have)
41. Pen and pencil cushion
42. Photo book
43. Pill box or containers for pill bottle storage
44. Playing cards, large print
45. Reacher with rotating claw
46. Recliner
47. Restaurant gift cards
48. Robe
49. Rubber jar opener
50. Scarves and gloves
51. Slippers
52. Sport seat
53. Subscription to favorite newspaper or magazine
54. Tabletop card holder
55. Walker
56. Walker bag
57. Walker basket
58. Wallet, for walker, wheelchair, or pocket
59. Wheelchair
60. Wheelchair cup holder

And, if you think you found the perfect gift for your dad, reply and let us know what you found!!! Our readers will love to know.

*Adult Bibs can be purchased at

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Awaken Me: A Devotional Prayer Journal

Awaken Me: A Devotional Prayer Journal
Patti Londa Greene

 Welcome to my NEW BLOG PAGE! I am so glad you visited!
Please check back often to see what is new and exciting.
My plan is to make this blog an interesting and informative blog on a
variety of issues of interest to people from all walks of life and cultures.

I recently had a very special book published Awaken Me: A Devotional Prayer Journal. The reason this book is so special to me is because the Lord has been preparing me for 40+ years to write this book. I was inspired to write this devotional prayer journal after realizing that maybe, just maybe, my experience of keeping track of my prayers, might be just what others might need.

Most of my prayer journaling took place in very plain and simple notebooks or binders. I changed my approach in journaling over the years until I found what worked for me, but I still change it up yearly as I feel like it.

 Awaken Me is a product of my conviction that prayer and Bible Study go hand in hand. So, I wrote this book to help others start or continue their walk with the Lord through their praying, prayer journaling, and Bible Study.

Psalm 118:8 states, “It is better to take refuge in the
Lord than to trust in man.”
Because of this verse, I am convinced believers must be armed daily in prayer and the Word of God. God is the one who understands all our dreams, concerns, hurts, and disappointments. So why shouldn’t we create a deeper intimacy and relationship with the Lord through personal prayer and Bible study to gain His perspective on our lives and the lives of others?

Life has its ups and downs. God knows that. But He sent His son, Jesus, to die for our sins, freeing us to love and have a deep intimacy with Him. In this prayer journal, you can be completely honest with the Lord and see how He can enlighten and transform you through His Word so you can feel confident you are living God’s plan for your life.

For the forty years I have kept journals of my prayer requests, I can confirm how faithful God has been in choosing to answer my requests. I have been amazed, entertained, transformed, terrified, enthused, and completely fulfilled in seeing what He has chosen to do in my life. Taking what I have gleaned in those forty years of prayer journaling, I have produced this 365-day prayer journal in the hope you will grow deeper in your love for the Lord and be able to discern His will in whatever twists and turns you face in your life.

While reading through the Bible recently in search of God’s will on a matter, I was enthralled by some of the beautiful and intriguing word medleys in the Bible. I highlighted these words and phrases, and the result is this workbook formatted devotional prayer journal.

Whether you choose to read just one Bible verse during your quiet time or read the entire suggested chapter, you will gain an organized, systematic, and chronological study of both the Old and New Testaments, starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation.

Awaken Me: A Devotional Prayer Journal by Patti Londa Greene can be purchased at,,, and many bookstores.