Dr. Eddie Seagle

Dr. Eddie Seagle.

“’Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, and understanding.” – Alice Walker

“Reflect upon your present blessings. Of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

It's Thanksgiving time and Christmas will soon follow. As you count your blessings and extend a helping hand to those in need, be more loving and kind to others. A smile is something that you can never give away, because each time you give it, it is returned right back to you.

Here are some seasonal tips that will help you make great your holiday choices. Select real trees rather than artificial ones to decorate your home for Christmas. Both have positives and negatives under the banner of environmental awareness and good stewardship.

Real trees do contribute to helping produce the oxygen we breathe while artificial trees impact the environment through resource depletion which is much more than using real trees. If you’re choosing a real tree, buy local.

Approximately 60 million rolls of gift wrap paper are used at this time each year with much of it from non-recycled sources. Consider being more artistic and environmental-friendly by using reusable cloth bags and recycled paper.

Gift bags that can be reused time and again are a good choice too. What do you use to wrap your holiday gifts?

Use LED lights throughout your home, both in decorations and function. If you’re still using that classic string of lights from “way back when,” you need to update and upgrade. The newer LED lights use much less power (up to 90% more energy efficient) while offering both function and aesthetics.

Many of the toys, gadgets and devices found under the tree on Christmas morning may require many batteries which are filled with toxic chemicals and ultimately end up in landfills. Rather than buying multiple huge packs of standard alkaline batteries, consider buying rechargeable batteries, especially the ones that can be recharged in a USB port.

Enter into an agreement with friends and family to ban unnecessary Christmas presents. Gift them your time and conversation instead. Use that funding and more to buy food and clothing for the homeless and needy. Choose a charity to help support.

Don’t borrow money to buy for Christmas. However, if you must, then get a zero percent credit card that offers a small credit line. Plan to repay immediately after the holidays. Many grocery stores offer gas cards at a bargain (20% discount, ie. $50 for $40). And yes, there are strings attached, meaning you have to buy a certain amount of groceries to be eligible to buy the cards.

Do your homework and check out vendors before buying on-line (read customer reviews). What is more important to you, shopping locally or searching the web for real deals? Minimize impulse buying. When buying gifts, be sure the retailer provides you a gift receipt which will allow the recipient to make exchanges, get refunds, etc., when an item doesn’t fit or accommodate them.

Don’t buy anything that is not needed. This will help you better manage your holiday budget.

Consider after-the-holiday sales. Many seasonal items (giftwrap, Christmas cards, decorations, etc.) are marked down after Christmas, sometimes up to 90% off. Also, you should consider a gift card as your Christmas gift to friends and family so they can find a bargain in clothes, electronics, etc., after the holiday has passed.

Don’t overbuy your food items at the grocery store since many bargains will be BOGO (buy one get one free) – only buy what you need during a specific window of time.

To help in energy savings during the Christmas season use candles, LED Christmas lights and permanent fixtures, as well as placing time limits on the burning of all lights. Don’t burn your Christmas lights 24/7 – choose specific times during the day or night that will give you and your guests greatest enjoyment.

Turn them off when you retire for the evening. With permanent fixtures, don’t burn every light in the house simultaneously. When you leave a room, turn those lights out, as well as electronic equipment. Unplug phone chargers when not in use.

If you have a fireplace, use it and save on heating costs. Use flannel sheets and heavier blankets on your beds and let your body generate heat under the covers to keep you warm so you can have another opportunity to turn down the thermostat at night.

In your holiday cooking, selectively use the microwave and toaster ovens for smaller tasks and use your main oven for larger cooking tasks. While cooking on the stove, keep the lids on your pots so your food will cook in less time.

Remember to read the Book of Luke (24 chapters) in the Bible beginning on Dec. 1 and reading a chapter a night through Dec. 24. All this to better learn and understand Who and why we celebrate Christmas. CHRISTmas is about Jesus and His love and in these chapters you will read an entire account of Jesus’ life.

Love others and help the homeless every chance you get. As you receive His blessings, always pay them forward. Pay for a stranger’s meal as the opportunity arises.

And I dedicate this article in memoriam to our awesome malteses, Dr. Marcus Lee Beowulf Seagle (2004-2019) and Graci Lee “Baby” Seagle (2006-2021). We love you Little Buddy and Little Baby! Both of you will always have a place in our hearts. We give many thanks for the season you shared with us. We will see you again in Glory! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.” – Acts 16:30-31

“Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17. “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” – Romans 14:19

Dr. Eddie Seagle is a sustainability verifier, Golf Environment Organization (Scotland), agronomist and horticulturalist, CSI: Seagle (Consulting Services International) LLC, professor emeritus and honorary alumnus (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College), distinguished professor for teaching and learning (University System of Georgia) and short-term missionary (Heritage Church, Moultrie). Direct inquiries to csi_seagle @yahoo.com.

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