Author: Carey Nieuwhof

An Imperfect Christmas

It’s no secret that Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year. And the tension is that by this point, Christmas Eve, all the ‘how to avoid stress’ tips from the I’ve-got-everything-together-why-don’t-you people seem too little too late: Start your shopping early. (Some of you are reading this on your phone at the mall. There are three more shopping hours till Christmas, right?) Eat in moderation. (But you’ve already been to six Christmas parties, and Christmas has barely begun.) Spend less. (You tried. Really tried.) Don’t say ‘yes’ to every family gathering. (But how could...

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Christmas and the G Word

Hi. My name is Carey, and I’m greedy. (This is the point where you all say, “Hi Carey.”) Gosh, I hate to say it. I mean no one goes around and says they’re greedy, right? We might think other people are greedy (it’s just so easy to spot the sins of others, even from a distance), but it’s so difficult to see in ourselves. But read this definition of greedy and tell me if at least a piece of it doesn’t own you—or your kids. Greed is an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs...

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Low Expectations: A Key to Christmas Happiness

Expectations rarely run higher than they do at Christmas. From what to give to what to serve to the pressure to host well, expectations hover just beyond reach of achievability for most of us. A few years ago I was listening to a speaker who was talking about something I can’t remember anymore, but I do remember this.  As a complete aside, he stopped his main talk and said to the audience: “You know what the secret to happiness is, right?”  — Pause.  —  “Low expectations.” The secret to happiness is low expectations. Click To Tweet It’s all I remember about...

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Why Your Kids Need Five Other Adults in Their Lives

I have something like 1,300 contacts in my phone. No doubt, 1,300 is a crazy number. You might have double that, or half that. It’s just the world we live in. But even if you only had 100, you wouldn’t really know each of them well. Not deeply. Not personally. You couldn’t. Our relational span just isn’t that big. But there’s also a “favorites list” on my phone, as there probably is one on yours. On that list are the people who are one touch-of-the-screen away from a call or a text. My favorites list is much shorter. In fact, there...

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How to Talk to Your Kids About Tragedy

The news is heartbreaking enough to take in as a parent. Terrorist attacks. Mass killings. Planes blowing up. Beheadings. I know…please just stop right there. Add to that the political chaos that seems to dominate the headlines, climate change, job losses and more. It’s just too much to take some days, even for us adults. So as a parent, how do you even begin to engage these topics with your kids? Well, for starters, you can try to shield them, and that will work for a while. But shielding a child from life won’t actually prepare a child for...

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