Why You Should Include Cooking Oil on a Regular Basis

There are so many types of cooking oils that can benefit your daily life and it’s important to stay as healthy as possible. In general there are always do’s and don’ts when it comes to any kind of food item. Therefore, the consumption of cooking oil on a daily basis could be quite beneficial to your dietary requirements when taken in moderation.

Vegetable oils are rich in Vitamin E. A person needs this particular nutrient to assist with cardiovascular or heart conditions. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it will completely heal the heart but rather to prevent dangerous muscle spasms. However, it is important to consult with a doctor for advice.

It is important to consume vegetable oil as it aids with the various toxins and sunlight that causes damage to our bodies. Luckily the cooking oil can help prevent most cancers in the body. It is known that cancer is difficult to get rid of but with the right diet you can help your body to stay healthy.

Cooking oils usually contain a lower amount of unsaturated fats. With that in mind it is very important to know this information especially if you have a cholesterol problem. Cholesterol problems are the main reason why a person is likely to have a heart condition. It is possible to get your cholesterol on track again with the consumption of the correct types of food, namely foods that are low in unsaturated fats.

Sunflower oil is quite popular and contains a healthy amount of proteins. The proteins in this cooking oil, however, are not enough to cut meat and vegetables out of your diet. Remember that you need protein to repair muscle and tissue as well as to have energy for the day ahead.

When you add some cooking oil to your diet you are helping your body with the digestion process. Although not a large amount of Vitamin B-12 is found in this ingredient, it still plays an important role. If this vitamin or iron is not consumed a person has a high chance of becoming anaemic. Vitamin B-12 helps with the regeneration of red blood cells therefore you could become more prone to bruising.

It is important to take the correct foods on a daily basis and luckily sunflower oil assists your body with staying healthy. You can use it in most recipes because it is the most versatile ingredient that you could find.

Always make sure that you know what your body needs before changing your dietary requirements.

The Best Home Exercising Equipment

Having the right home exercising equipment, or exercise equipment that suits you, allows you to customize your workout to fit your individual tastes, which can help make your workouts more fun and inspiring.

There are tons of exercise equipment on the market, which can be overwhelming to the average home exerciser; however, the following home exercising equipment rated highest for affordability and performance based on customer reviews.

A Punching Bag

If you’ve ever dreamed of training like your favorite athlete or supermodel, then a punching bag is a great piece of equipment to have. A heavy bag, made of quality materials, will allow you to work up a sweat, while getting a total body workout. In addition to providing a great workout, it’s also a great way to relieve stress.

An Elliptical Machine

Though there are many debates over which is more beneficial, a treadmill or the elliptical machine, the elliptical is a must-have option for those seeking a low-impact cardio workout that is gentle on the joints. The easy gliding motion of the elliptical, allows those with back or joint pain to engage in an effective workout without jarring the joints. In addition, it enables you to multitask during your workout, meaning you can read a book or enjoy your favorite show while burning calories. Though some elliptical models can be pricey, many reviewers boast that it’s worth it, so shop around for the best price. If a traditional elliptical machine is out of your price range, simply opt for a compact motion elliptical trainer, which still enables you to engage in a low-impact cardio workout, while really working your core. There are also budget-friendly versions of the treadmill, which are usually smaller and narrower, but still allow for a great cardio workout.

An Air Bike

An air bike is a great alternative for those who prefer biking to walking, gliding, or running. Air bikes differ from traditional stationary bikes in that they allow you to set your own resistance. The gentler you pedal, the less the fan will create resistance and vice versa, which allows you to set your workout according to your individual needs. In addition, air bikes are equipped with movable handles that enable you to pull and push with your arms, which allows for a total body workout.

A Set of Dumbbells

Dumbbells are one of the simplest pieces of equipment, but they also provide the most effective results. Dumbbells can be used for a variety of exercises including curls, squats, lunges, and sit-ups, for full body toning.

When incorporating dumbbells into your home gym, be sure to purchase your weights in sets, or various measurements, which will allow you to exercise a wide range of muscles. Or, if you’d like, invest in a set of adjustable weights, which allow you to adjust the weight simply by turning the dial. You could also opt for a set of kettle balls or weighted medicine balls to do the trick.

Exercise/Stability Ball

Exercise/stability balls, or the ‘big balls’ you see at the gym, can be used to improve balance and core strength. A stronger core helps promote better posture and protects the back. In addition, the exercise ball can also be used to rehabilitate knee, hip, and back injuries, for a stronger, healthier body.

An Exercise Mat

A comfortable, high-quality mat provides the perfect surface for performing ab work, push ups, yoga, and pre and post workout stretches at home. Just be sure it provides enough cushion, at least 5/8 “thick, to safeguard against the strain and soreness that results from working on hard floors.

A Foam Roller

Chances are, if you’ve begun a new workout, or you’ve been hitting your workouts even harder than usual, you’ve awakened to the dreaded “zombie” soreness, which usually accompanies hard work. A foam roller can be used to roll out knots and stiff muscles, which can help relieve the pain.

Consider a Home Personal Training Program

Incorporating a home personal trainer into your regular workouts can boost your motivation, help with your weight loss goals, and increase your workout efficiency, for maximum results. According to multiple reviews, those who used a personal trainer at home during their home workouts reported increased motivation, improved workouts, increased fitness knowledge, and faster results.

Public Speaking – 5 Misconceptions You Need To Know

A lot of people would rather drink poison than stand up in front of a crowd and give a speech. Did you know that public speaking is the top fear in America just behind death? Just the thought of it makes some people sick to their stomachs and break out in a cold sweat. But there will come a time when you can’t avoid public speaking being a professional. There is a lot of advice out there on how to become a public speaker and what public speaking skills you might need. Unfortunately listening to other people’s advice on how to conquer your fears and engage your audience might make the situation worse. Here are 5 misconceptions about speaking in front of an audience.

Misconception #1 Introvert People Can’t Be A Great Speaker.

Introverts make wonderful speakers. They have their own strengths and unique qualities. Some famous introverts are Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, and Warren Buffet just to name a few. People think that when you are an introvert that you are shy and because of that you will not make a great speaker. That is not always the truth. It’s about having inner power. Having great public speaker skills means that you need to be prepared at all times. That goes for an introvert and an extrovert.

Misconception #2 People Will Be Able To Tell That You Are Nervous.

I understand that nervous feeling you get when you are the center of attention and all eyes are on you. You’re worried about messing up your speech or worse yet forgetting it. You can hear your heart about to beat out of your chest and your breathing might be short and shallow. But nobody knows that but you. The audience does not know that you are nervous. Everybody gets nervous when they are about to give a speech. Use that nervousness to fuel yourself forward to be a better dynamic speaker. Most of what you are feeling is invisible to the audience.

Misconception #3 It Takes Years To Become a Public Speaker

Like any other skill anyone can learn how to be a public speaker. It takes practice in order for you to feel confident about yourself and to get better with speaking in front of a group. Consider going to Toastmasters to learn public speaking skills. Toastmasters have been around since 1924. It is a great place to go to hone your speaking skills and get the practice and confidence you need. The only thing is you only get to speak 3 times in a 12 week class. If you want to gain experience more quickly than consider giving speeches at your office, or Chamber of Commerce to get more practice.

Misconception #4 Start Your Speech With A Joke

Face it everyone is not a comedian. Humor has its place but if you’re not a natural at telling jokes then it’s a possibility that it might backfire on you. What if everyone doesn’t get your joke? What if the joke you told end up being offensive to some people? The bottom line is, don’t do it. You don’t have to be funny to be effective.

Misconception #5 Standing In One Place

You don’t want to come off as you are hiding behind a lectern if there is one on the stage. It’s okay to stand behind the lectern but you need to come out of there and engage with the audience. By moving around on the stage, you’ll be able to interact with the audience more and get them involved. Watch some of the top speakers that you admire and see what they do. Notice how they move around the stage and are interacting with the audience. You want to be able to do the same while you are speaking.

4 Myths Of Having A Book As Your Brand

How often do you hear those gurus and speakers say you must have a brand and in enhancing that brand, you must have a book? Right? OK, so you’ve produced your book, after grafting with making the time to write and other life-gets-in-the-way challenges, until, finally, it’s written and published.

Then what?

Well here are the myths you need to know about having a book as a brand:

MYTH 1: Once you have the book your sales will skyrocket!

That’s complete and utter rubbish! Yes, I said it… RUBBISH!

Having the book is one thing but nothing will occur unless you make it happen. It’s not as if the entire world is expecting your book to be the ONE (like Nero in the Matrix!), that’s not the case and is far from it. In saying that, writing the book is an achievement in itself since that takes dedication, discipline, time management, commitment and so on. So there’s and appreciation in how hard creating a book can be. Then, having the complete and final manuscript edited, proofread and cover designed, brings a fulfilment only finished book can give.

Well, whether you like it or not this is where the hard work truly begins because uploading onto Amazon or Lulu or wherever else and waiting for something to happen is totally and truly unrealistic. Nothing will happen if you don’t make it happen and that’s going through either a traditional publishing or the self-publishing route.

This means you must think creatively and outside of the proverbial box, in order to get your book out and as such enhancing your brand.

MYTH 2: Everybody will know who you are, right?

No they won’t! You have a book, so what? There are another million people who have their own book, what makes yours so different?

It’s untrue that you’ll be immediately recognised when walking down the street since you were a no name before having a book and will be a no name after having one. Trust me but this is where you begin to work harder than before. That’s right. You’ll have to work. And very hard too!

You’ll need to put your back to the wheel and sweat as you watch your efforts explode in opportunities, sales and exposure. Today that’s not as difficult as it seems, since the greatest tool at the tip of our hands is social media. Now, we can connect with one another, from various parts of the world, in a matter of seconds; someone who you don’t know, never met or will ever meet, can now be in awe of your brand. Empowered by these various social media platforms, individuals, entrepreneurs, speakers, authors (established or new) can access audiences across the entire globe, now how cool is that?

MYTH 3: You’re not the ‘Expert’!

I’m going to be very controversial here. You’re not the expert in your area of work nor the master of processes or procedures. Instead you’re the expert of what you know. That’s right – WHAT YOU KNOW!

This encapsulates the above and yet defining that knowledge is more than the formal qualifications you’ve received from secondary school or university or what you trained for in your role. It’s about and in addition to your own life experiences, interpersonal interactions inside and outside of work. It’s about how you felt going through particular experiences. It’s about your ability in helping another learn about how your entire life experiences can help them. Basically, it’s about bringing the reader to that place of transformation, altering their mindset from what is, to what can be.

MYTH 4: You don’t need a brand

Like Myth 3 that’s also true. You really don’t need a brand, you need a BRAND. You need something that sets you apart from the ‘normal’ crowd (work colleagues, industry or particular niche). Something that shows how special you are, that enables the transformation in the reader. As the cliché goes, the words must fly off the page hitting the reader where it doesn’t hurt but uplifts, enlightens and provides a new way of thinking and in being.

Myth 4 is the most untrue of all myths since it’s the truth and thought of many people who wish to have a brand but still fail to recognise how important it is to have one… if that makes sense!

In conclusion and in the first place, it’s basically understanding why having a brand is important and why a transformational book, comprehensive social media strategy and accompanying products expands your exposure thus ensuring a successful brand.

Restaurants: Coping With the High Demand In Summer

The summer holidays are here and we’re all taking time out of whatever we do for a living and are spending much of that time eating out. That means that restaurants will get busy due to the high demand. No time out for the restaurant industry during the summer season. How do you ensure that your restaurant is able to cope with the many customers that are coming its way?

· First of all, prepare your staff. Inform your chef and waiters of what is expected of them. Explain to them what is acceptable behaviour towards customers, show them where all the catering equipment is so that they can assist when they need to, explain the importance of promptness and communication, and inform your staff of the season’s specials so that they can promote it.

· Add a few summer dishes to your menu to spice it up. Decide on a few interesting summer dishes that are exclusive for the summer season. Make them colourful and eye catching to entice customers.

· Keep your restaurant in tip-top shape. Ensure that you have processes and procedures in place to keep your restaurant clean every day. Keep all the cleaning equipment in one section so that everyone knows where to get it. If anything is damaged, ensure that your staff know that it needs to be reported and replace it as soon as possible.

· Keep a stock list and check list of all food items. You need to keep track of all the food items entering and leaving your kitchen. Keep track of the dates it arrived and ensure you check how long it has been in stock. Never serve expired food to your customers. This could be detrimental to your restaurant’s reputation.

· Keep your restaurant cool. Summer days can be very hot and that means that people are trying to escape their homes for the hope of a cooler atmosphere. Ensure that you have air conditioning in place to keep your customers cool while they dine.

· Find catering equipment that makes your kitchen run more efficiently. If you are going to get more customers during the summer, then you need to have catering equipment that speeds up your kitchen’s processes. Food Processors, Ice Machines, Juice Dispensers, and Commercial Dishwashers are great time savers.

Summer is a busy period for restaurants and it is essential that your restaurant is able to handle the demand. If you can succeed at good customer service and great tasting meals this summer, it will ensure returning customers all year long.

8 Essential Travel Tips For Safety

Travelling can be exciting and frightening at the same time. When you are travelling to some destination for the first time, follow these ten essential travel safety tips to make sure that you have the safe and happy journey.

Select Your Ground Transportation Sensibly

When you are travelling in a rickshaw, taxi or bus check with the companies that the mode of transportation is safe, try to avoid travelling in less reliable transportation like a rickshaw. When you are driving yourself, check that the car which you have rent is functioning properly always wear your seatbelt while driving.

Check With The Government Department

You know you can gather all the safety information about any country from the state department. You can visit their website and get accurate details about any country where you are visiting. You can find all kinds of information from types of crime, vaccinations, travel warning. You can register with them so in case if there is any natural disaster or civil unrest you can come back home immediately.

Review The Hotel Escape Route

Let’s be truthful when we check in our hotel room; we are more interested in seeing the facilities and the view from our room, rather than reading the security map placed behind the door. But before you get settled we recommend that you read the emergency escape routes, because in case if there is an emergency then you will be glad to know where to head out from.

Leave An Emergency Contact

Going on a relaxing vacation alone seems to be fun, but that doesn’t mean that you disappear for the world. Leave your contact number, where you are travelling to which hotel you are staying at and when will you be back with a trusted friend or family member; try to contact him or her once every day. That way if something unusual happens with you they will know.

Scan Your Important Documents

Before you head for your travel destination, it is best that you scan your passport, identification card and driving license card you can save it on your smartphone or email it to yourself. This way if you are out and you need to show the passport which is at the hotel then you can show the scanned one.

Confirm Visitors With Hotel Reception

You are in your hotel room, and there is a knock at the door, somebody from the housekeeping is there to clean your room. Before you allow the person in, call the reception and ask them if they have sent anyone from the housekeeping, you never know a thief can enter your room pretending to be from maintenance dept.

Don’t Show Off Your Cash

Keep your valuables like jewellery and cash in your hotel safe or in your purse, while paying off your bills don’t leave huge tips or show off your money. Although when you are travelling there is a strong urge to take pictures with your smartphone, try not to take it out often as there are many thieves around who love to steal cell phones from people.

Keep A Backup Car Gear

When you are driving your car or rent one for a road trip, then make sure that you have packed an emergency car kit. This emergency kit should include flashlights, battery, first aid kit, blankets, bottled water and canned food, the backup battery for phone, a tire gauge and snow shovel.

Fanning the Flames

I’m driving into work. As the traffic slows approaching a junction, a car pulls suddenly into my lane in front of me, requiring me to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting it. I blast the car horn. The young driver and his friend make rude signs with their hands and screech away laughing.

Halfway through the work day I am still running this scenario through my mind and thinking of all the ways in which I might have liked to respond. Might still like to respond if given the opportunity.

The incident itself was undoubtedly unpleasant and difficult for me. Despite having done nothing wrong I was put in danger by the insensitive driving style of another driver, only to suffer what felt like a further injustice when they reacted as they did. I could not have done much to change my automatic reactions at the time of fear, anger and a sense of injustice. Yet the incident happened once. In the hours that followed, I have recreated this same incident in my mind many more times, each time reconnecting with the original feelings. If, by lunchtime I am feeling tense, angry, frustrated and violated, who can I hold responsible for this? The young driver with the insensitive driving style? Or my own mind, which has replayed this difficult situation again and again, in glorious technicolour and with added commentary all through the morning?

It’s interesting to note that one feature of the human mind is that it does not always make a distinction between what is happening in real time and memories that we are replaying. A memory can trigger the same emotions and responses as if we were actually going through that same situation again. So as I run through this situation in my mind over and over, I am subjecting myself to the same anger, fear and sense of unfairness that were triggered by the events at the beginning of the day. Does this do me any good? No, it doesn’t.

It is easy to become caught in patterns like this. The feelings that are generated are highly threatening, and demand a response. Unless we actively choose otherwise, our minds will turn to automatic pilot running and re-running the memory in problem-solving mode until we find an acceptable solution. Except of course in this, as in many situations, we are not going to find an acceptable solution. Which means that the urge to re-run the events in our mind is not going to be naturally switched off any time soon. Which means that the feelings of fear, anger and having been treated unfairly will remain pretty strong and probably influence our other interactions during the day.

Even if I recognise that my thoughts are not helping me, it can be tricky to stop.

One thing that won’t help is to give myself a hard time and tell myself to stop thinking like this. Fighting against how we think or feel is almost always counterproductive.

So how can I stop it? How can I help myself to cope when things like this happen? It’s not easy, but mindfulness training does give us some helpful possibilities.

I might tell myself that there is something more important I want to focus on right now. Then, whenever I notice that my mind has started to drift away from what I now want to focus on, I can simply gently guide my attention back to where I want it to be.

I might recognise that it is hard for me to feel the way that I do. Since when things are hard we all need to be able to connect with kindness to help us through, I might try to be kind to myself in some small way, maybe with calming self-talk, some relaxed breathing or a small treat.

I might take a little time to focus in on the body and gently pay attention to the physical feelings that come with the sense of anger and frustration. By dropping the storyline and focusing in on my tight chest and clenched jaw I can more helpfully direct my attention towards looking after myself in the moment rather than pulling myself with thinking back into the past.

With practice I notice sooner when I am being pulled into unhelpful patterns of responding in my mind after difficult experiences. I am beginning to sometimes make wiser choices which can help me to move forward in my life. And even when I haven’t made these wise choices for some time, I am learning to bring kindness to the experience and just do the best I can.

Message From the Universe: Wanting More Out of Life

“It doesn’t get any more beautiful, any more magical, any richer, or any easier than things are right now. Until, of course, you start expecting it to get more beautiful, magical, richer, and easier.

At which point, I hope you have a really good broker.

Who loves you,

The Universe”

There is never anything wrong in wanting more out of life. You work hard for the things you have but you can also seek a better life than what you have now. Never forget to be grateful for the things you already have though. Thank God and the angels for having health, because that is what’s most important. If you have health, everything else in life will be easier. You can be the richest person on Earth but bed ridden, how can you call that wealth? We might all have that strong desire to provide for our families, to give them everything they need, but the reality is how much can they actually receive? Can anyone drive two cars at the same time? Can anyone eat more than what the body can handle? How much more space do you need in a house besides filling that space with junk? I can guarantee you that someone living in a 50 000 sqft house has probably never visited some areas of the house and probably never will. Besides the cost to heat or cool the house, you will never enjoy that much space. The interesting part is that eventually, you will want to eventually get rid of that mansion to acquire something more manageable, and SMALLER. This is what most wealthy people do. Bigger the home, bigger the headaches. Life is meant to be lived having great dreams and goals, but also living it stress and headache free.

My dreams are limitless and I can admit that I seek to obtain that large mansion and live in it for a few years to eventually get rid of it and get something smaller. The idea here is to know that you are capable of doing so, that you have reached the dreams and goals you have given yourself throughout the years, that you know what you are able to accomplish throughout your lifetime. Life is testing every one of us, every single day of our lives, and depending on how you deal with the challenges thrown at you, chance can either be on your sides or against you. By working more on yourself, you will be able to change your mindset when it comes to dealing with obstacles and come out a winner. Effort is required on your part but once you get the hang of it, you won’t let the petty things bother you and will focus more on helping others that can’t help themselves. When doing that, the whole world around you will change for the better. One word of caution. Always listen to your inner voice when it comes to helping others. Lots of vultures out there looking for easy prey to munch on. Do not give help to those who will deliberately take advantage of you.

How A Local Company Delivers A High Quality Screen Solution To Customers

Many people are searching for a solution to providing privacy and practicality in their outdoor space. Thankfully there is a local company which offers just the product for their needs. A screen for privacy is not only an attractive and durable feature in a yard or garden but it provides much needed shelter and protection.

The manufacturer has been around since 1978 and provides a wide range of products for those seeking long term methods of creating an oasis and shelter in a yard or garden. This family owned company provides help with sheltering swimming pools, creating privacy from roads or neighbors and helping to keep pets and children enclosed through safe measures.

Those who have activity areas in the outdoor space such as pools and decks will find this product especially useful. It provides a means of screening to provide plenty of privacy while allowing sunlight through. The slatted design is an ideal solution for a lightweight but sturdy screen which allows sunlight in while blocking the view from the outside.

You can choose from two types of products, depending on how much of a visual screening effect you want to create. The lighter slim line version is aimed at creating a silhouette effect while the block out design creates a more solid look. An added feature is the louvre system which allows you to adjust slats to manipulate air flow.

The item is available in an attractive neutral color but for those who want a brighter effect it is also possible to paint it. Another idea is to soften the overall look by placing potted plants on the deck in front of the screen. For a shelter around your pool or deck this product is ideal.

The firm is available to provide a service which incorporates design, manufacturing and installation, making the process simple and streamlined. It is even possible to receive a quote through the helpful website. It allows you to enter your dimensions and the product you are interested in to receive an estimate of costs.

In addition, the website has a great selection of photos of installations to give you a sense of what to expect. This is a chance to assess which product will best suit your needs. However, if in doubt, making a call to the company is a quick and easy way to get more information.

Whether you want to create a different look around your home for your use or are preparing to put your house on the market, then this product can help. A custom made screen not only makes the space look more attractive it can provide the much needed privacy to make your home feel like an oasis. Thankfully these professionals are happy to help by creating a design to suit your needs. For further tips and help on this topic, you can find many relevant articles and guides in magazines geared towards home owners. Many include photo essays on garden makeovers which can be a great way to get ideas and inspiration. As well, there are many gardening blogs which include tips on using a privacy screen.

The Merrification of Christmas

One word defines Christmas. It is the word “merry.” I never tire of wishing people a Merry Christmas. Although, for some, it may not be politically correct, but for the rest of us who have at least two gray cells working, it is wonderful.

I was relaxing one afternoon this past week when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage approached me with a request. It is very difficult for me to deny her request, even though it goes against my current energy status.

“Would you,” she said so very sweetly, “go to the mall and pick up a gift that I had ordered?”

Being married to GMP for more years than I can remember, is very difficult for me to say no. Actually, even when I do say no, someone on the other end of the conversation is not listening.

I should be rather grateful, because of all of the husbands she has, I am the only one she asks to do favors. Through the years, I have gathered that I must be her favorite husband. So, in a really grateful frame of mind, not to mention merry, I headed for the mall to get her purchase.

I am not sure if there is another place in the whole world that I hate worse than going to a shopping mall. If there is, I haven’t got there yet. Every time I walk into a shopping mall, I get nervous because everybody is looking at me, especially at my wallet. Even my wallet shivers when we walk through the opening door.

Just getting inside the shopping mall is a drain on my “merry” attitude. I figured before I really get started I should grab a cup of coffee and go sit down in a lounge chair.

There was a coffee shop in the mall and I got a $0.79 cup of coffee for $7.90. I guess where you put the decimal is really important. Personally, I would have enjoyed a $0.79 cup of coffee more.

I got my coffee, sat down in one of the lounge chairs, took a deep breath, a nice gentle sip of hot coffee and started to relax. Christmas music was being played in the background, which contributed to my relaxing attitude.

The mall was rather crowded, people were hurrying here and there, in the background Merry Christmas music was being played and I thought I would just take the time and enjoy the moment.

After I got through about half of my coffee, I happened to look around carefully watching the people coming and going. There was such a rat race going on that I could hardly believe it. I looked around trying to find some Merry Christmas faces. Unfortunately, there was not any in the direction I was looking.

“I hope they don’t run out of this before I get there,” I heard someone complaining.

“I hope I have enough money to cover this,” someone else complained.

“I hope I can get it in time to get to the party tonight,” complained another person.

I listen to all of this and was simply amazed. Where in the world was this merry spirit that Christmas is most noted for? Everybody was hoping for something, but their hope did not seem too realistic from my point of view.

At the merriest time of the year sitting in a place where people were buying Christmas presents, it was very disconcerting to realize there were not that many merry people in the mall. Everyone seemed to be under some kind of pressure and aggravation.

A thought began to jingle in my mind. What would it take for some people to really experience a Merry Christmas? What would make them merry?

Taking another sip of this expensive “Merry Christmas” coffee, I began to think about life in general. Am I really living a merry life? Or, am I all caught up with the holiday season?

Just because someone says, “Merry Christmas” does not mean in fact that they are experiencing anything quite near to merry.

Watching people scramble here and there in the shopping mall, I realized that merry had nothing to do with Christmas. For so many people, Christmas is a time when you are so busy trying to get things to make other people “merry” that the whole spirit escapes.

What we really need during this particular holiday season is what I call, The Merrification of Christmas. Christmas is what it is, but there is the possibility of really having a Merry Christmas if you understand what the attitude of merry is all about.

It is not about gifts, or parties, or traveling. It is something more substantial than that. In order for me to Merrificate my life, I need something more than just the holiday spirit.

Weaving through the crowd at the mall, I picked up the item my wife sent me to pick up and headed for the parking lot. As I was going, I realized why I really did not like the mall, especially during the holiday season. Too many people are struggling with anxiety and frustration in trying to keep up with the Christmas Joneses.

I thought of what Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

The key ingredient of “Merry” is rest and only Jesus can give the rest that creates a merry spirit.