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Winter 2007

Dear Friends

My brother Chris has always been extremely money conscious. As a kid he would ''bank'' his allowance the moment he got it, while I would gleefully run off to the corner store to see what yummy candy I could treat myself to. He saved and saved all his money for years. When he and his wife first got married, she bought a package of cheese that Chris felt was way too expensive. Yep, he made her return it to the store for a cheaper package -- cheese! Our family joke was that he was so tight he could rub two nickels together and squeeze out a dime. You get the picture.... We could never understand how his sweet, beautiful wife tolerated his miserly ways.

Debbie's sister had had a child when she was very young and really wasn't in a position to raise this baby, so Debbie's mother did it alone, on a shoestring budget. When Krystal was ten years old, Debbie decided that enough was enough. She asked Chris if they could take Krystal into their family and raise her as their own. By now, Chris and Debbie already had two young children and were living on a single income. I just knew that there was no possibility that Chris was going to agree to add to his financial burden.

To all of our surprise, he did. Krystal came to live with my brother's family and instantly became ''his'' daughter. Chris treated Krystal no differently from the way he treated his own children. In an ironic twist, Krystal was older than the other kids so Chris had to shell out money for her big ticket items -- high school clothes, a car, college, and, eventually, her wedding -- before his own children came due. And he did it.

I am so proud of my little brother. He opened his heart to accept, raise, and love someone else's child as much as he loves his own children. Now we all know why Debbie tolerated his penny pinching. She saw the generous heart beating inside his outward miserliness and knew that that was what mattered most.

This holiday season, may we all find that love and acceptance inside of ourselves and give selflessly, love a little more, and most of all, appreciate what is really important -- our families.




Other Issues:
From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

Holiday 2008

Fall 2008

Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

Spring 2008

Early Spring 2008

Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

Midsummer 2007

Early Summer 2007

Late Spring 2007

Spring 2007

Early Spring 2007

Winter 2006

Holiday 2006

Fall 2006

Late Summer 2006

Midsummer 2006

Early Summer 2006

Late Spring 2006

Spring 2006

Early Spring 2006




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