The Importance of Extended Family Relations

Family is one of the most important relationships a person can have in their life. Whether it’s nuclear or extended family relations, it is equally important to maintain and establish strong connections with them. As family day approaches, take this perfect opportunity to bond and spend quality time with your loved ones.

 
Extended family consists of people who are closely related. They may be living together or in the same vicinity. There’s an old saying: “It takes a village to raise a child.” In cases like these, it is especially true because extended relatives have a significant impact on healthy development in nurturing a child. They encourage a sense of belonging and a strong support system for parents to reinforce various aspects of discipline.

 
Growing up, children typically bond with their immediate family members first, such as parents and siblings. Your extended circle can also provide emotional and physical support if needed. Grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins actively play significant roles in an infant’s life. It shows that the kid is loved even beyond their own immediate family. It will allow them to learn 3 specific core values: loyalty, responsibility and independency. There are many advantages sustaining this family dynamic. Extended family relations affect the outcome of a child’s behaviour and character. It transmits the principles and practices of modern society in a very saturated way. Therefore, it gives kids much more experience and exposure on different interest and ideas that are important lessons which parents may not be able to teach (e.g. collective learning of cooperative work, stability, cultural identity and sense of community).

 
Of course, to every advantage, there would be drawbacks. Arguments and conflicts are almost inevitable within extended families. Most disagreements may stem from when there is no mutual understanding among members. There are times when caring for a young one can lead to conflict. Grandparents may overstep their boundaries and make parents feel inadequate. But all is not lost, there are so many ways to restore peace between members. The formula is pretty simple once everyone is willing to be cooperative and understand that each has different opinions in doing certain things. This acknowledgement will defuse any issues that may arise. It all comes back to mutual respect for one another.

 
Today, families are easily spread across the country or moved to different parts of the world. But since the invention of modern technologies, we can cross those geographical barriers to connect with loved ones in just a matter of minutes. The resources are at our disposal, and we can take advantage of this to keep in touch with the people we adore most. Understanding this fundamental concept will help you realize the value of having family to provide wisdom.

Happy Family Day!

 

L. Paul | DBPC Blog

Tips for Workplace Holiday Safety

Christmas is coming! Usually, offices and shops start to decorate their work spaces to get into the holiday spirit. Beautiful Christmas trees, pretty lights and shiny ornaments – these are all aesthetically pleasing for onlookers but can prove to be a hazard for all. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported over 15,000 Christmas decorations-related injuries in November and December of 2012 alone. Unfortunately, that was the fourth consecutive year that the injury statistics have risen. So before you decorate your office, make sure you follow these tips:

  1. Fire-proof your tree

If your workplace decided on an artificial tree, purchase one that is non-flammable/flame resistant. A real tree would be a major concern because it can dry up and become a fire hazard. Dry trees are more flammable than well-maintained ones. With this in mind, it goes without saying that your tree should never run out of water. Keep at least four litres of water under the tree every two days. Keep watch of the water level and refill when necessary. Additionally, you want to keep the tree away from overcrowded power outlets, heaters, fireplaces and spaces where people might knock it over.

  1. Avoid certain ornaments

About 11% of holiday injuries are cuts and gashes obtained from dangerous ornaments. Remember how the two thieves in the movie Home Alone comically fell on the floor after slipping on booby traps that the boy set up? As funny as it may sound, incidents like these are a reality. Ornaments that drop from Christmas trees are accidentally stepped on, causing injuries to the victim. Try avoiding fragile or heavy ornaments such as glass spheres. The last thing you want is to have a colleague or customer hurt themselves on a Christmas decoration. Better to be safe than sorry.

  1. Watch your ladder

At 34%, falling is the one of the highest cause of injury during Christmas. Yes, it is recommended that one should use the ladder while decorating; however, take precautions before climbing it. Personally, I would suggest decorators use a stepladder when decorating indoors. Even so, make sure the spreaders are fully open and tested for stability. Climb down and move the ladder when needed; do not attempt to stretch and reach too far.

  1. Keep burning candles in sight

While it is no doubt that candles are obvious fire hazards, there are several ways to prevent it. First, you would want to keep them away from the tree, curtains, blinds and drapes. Candles that are lit should be supervised; never leave the candle burning in a room alone. You would also want the candle to stand on a stable and heat-resistant surface. Avoid placing lit candles among other objects such as paper, tissue boxes or stationaries. Candle-related incidents have caused 70 deaths, 680 injuries and $308 million in property damage between 2009 and 2011.

As much as we enjoy seeing Christmas decorations being set up in workplaces, it is also important to take action in reducing the number of possible accidents. Let this holiday season be full of good memories. Remember: something as simple as vigilance can make all the difference.

J. Tjoandi | DBPC Blog

Teaching Your Kids the Real Meaning of Christmas

The Christmas season is one of the most joyous times of the year. As we enjoy decorations, presents, and delicious food, we must remember to embrace the meaningful aspects of the holiday. In order to maintain the authenticity behind the holiday season, teach your children its origins, to practice diversity and to appreciate what the holiday season provides us.

Origins
Many children believe Christmas exists because of Santa Claus, and wait for him to leave gifts under their tree. “Christmas” comes from the word “Cristes Maesse,” a sacrament where the Catholic & Christian Religions celebrate the birth of a holy child. Catholics and Christians call this child the Messiah — as they believe the child is the saviour of their religion. As a result, the Roman Catholic Church anointed December 25 as a day to celebrate this birth. Children tend to shy away from this story because of narratives such as, “Santa Clause”, “Rudolph”, and “Frosty the Snowman.”  Remind children how the holiday was developed. Christmas is an amazing time to be excited about such tales, but more importantly, to appreciate a religious holiday.

Diversity
Different types of religions and cultures celebrate Christmas in their own special way. Teach your children about your cultural/religious background, as well as educating them in different practices. This will teach your children to further pursue their families Christmas practices, and to respect the practices others. It is important for children see unity within various forms of Christmas celebrations.  For instance, Christianity is a branch of the Jewish religion. The two religions have many common platforms but, Christians celebrate December 25th, while Jews celebrate Hanukah. Exposing your children to similar examples as stated above will assist in fostering a positive — yet authentic Christmas environment among your children and their peers.

What Christmas Brings Us
We receive more than just presents on Christmas Day. Teach children to cherish the time family members and loved ones have off work/school, how people who are far away come home to be with family, and the infectious joy people seem to display more often this time of year. Children are often kept distracted by afterschool activities and playing with their friends. They do not realize they should make the most of Christmas by spending time with loved ones who are home for the holidays. Teach them that this opportunity only comes around once a year. It will also make these loved ones much happier. People are also quite “jolly” this time of the year. Allow children to realize this attribute and teach them to explore sentimental ways to spread this joy. This can be done through guiding them to give presents rather than to receive, or to perform small acts of charity towards others. Christmas brings us more than just materialistic items, we are given numerous sentimental gifts which are priceless.


What Christmas is About
Christmas is based on a religious event, appreciating other forms of holiday practices, and enjoying the blessings brought upon us during this time. The more children practice and understand this, the more they will grow a humbled connection towards Christmas. This is also an important trait to develop as they mature.


Lizel | DBPC Blog

 

Holiday Party Ideas

For most companies Christmas party is a yearly tradition. It is a merry way of showing appreciation to your employees/co-workers. This can be quite a feat since workers are looking forward to having some time off especially during the holidays. This is some sort of a break and stress reliever after a year –long time with meeting deadlines and targets at work. Consequently, initiating a fun and memorable staff party is an event your teammates will definitely look forward to. You can adopt the following holiday party ideas that’ll guarantee fun and excitement:

Make it a family affair
If you change your guest list and switch it up from just inviting staff, include their families to your company Christmas party, it creates a fun affair. Extend party invitations to spouses, children or loved ones. This will be a perfect time to overindulge, let go, and mingle with co-workers and their family members, making it an extraordinary occasion.

Activities
Think of activities that’ll engage your employees. Initiate different games to make the celebration more interesting such as, Christmas Decorating Contest or comical awards that are achievement based. This will have an enjoyable impact, which will create an entertaining presentation for everybody to enjoy.

White Elephant Gift Exchange
Are you familiar with the “white elephant” gift exchange? This is completely different from the ordinary gift exchange that most companies tend to do which is called “Secret Santa”. The idea is for everyone to bring something that could be totally useless, from their basement or attics. This can be played in numerous methods, one way is by drawing numbers to see who goes first. While the gifts are still wrapped, have your guest pick a present and then let the opening begin. The goal is to choose wacky, funny or entertaining gifts. If you’re really uncertain, just pay a visit to your local thrift store.

Theme your office Christmas party
Tired of the cringe-worthy banners and mini-trees that you used every year, why not do something a bit different this season? To have a successful and spectacular themed party, you need to tap into your creative and imaginative side. Pick a theme that you and your colleagues will agree upon. There are tons of appropriate themes that are amusing and exhilarating. You can consider the following:

  • Winter Wonderland
  • Christmas Movie Marathon Party
  • Venetian Masquerade Ball
  • Beach Party

Once you and your employees/co-workers decide on a signature party, discuss what you want before performing the necessary preparations. Plan at least 2-3 months in advance to create a fun and exciting party that’ll not only entertain your co-workers this holiday season, but something that they’ll remember.

The point of having a successful Christmas party is to merge just the right amounts of pleasure and comfort. With these ideas, you can host a party your staff will look forward to attending rather than coming up with excuses to avoid the familiar.

 

Leslie | DBPC Blog

Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

Christmas has its origins in early 336 AD according to the Roman calendar. Mary and Joseph were blessed with a son, Jesus Christ – the son of God. Today, Christmas is one of the most universally celebrated holidays. This time of year, everyone gets into the spirit of gift giving and spending quality time with family, friends and loved ones. There are many ways of enjoying this holiday cheer. Whether it’s leaving some treats out for Santa or simply decorating the tree. People find many ways to celebrate. Some like to wake up early in the morning and go to church, light candles, sing Christmas songs and read stories.

Christmas is full of varied family traditions. Here are some ways to celebrate the holidays and enjoy or learn more about the holiday tradition.

Decorate the Christmas tree & House
This is a fun occasion for the family to go hunting for the perfect tree and then decorate it with lights and ornaments including cartoon characters, toys and coloured balls. Take the opportunity to brighten your house with luminous lights and hang Christmas pictures and mistletoe in doorways. One can also dangle Christmas bells on doors and set Christmas statuettes of Santa or Rudolph on tables. Families can also brighten up a computer desktop with Christmas Wallpapers and provide Christmas puzzles at home for kids. Traditions can vary based on region, for example, in southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes to celebrate Christmas. Christians in China use paper lanterns to decorate their Christmas trees and houses.

Christmas Caroling
Go caroling with your friends, family or in a group of others instead of going alone. Rehearse together and gather more people make the songs more powerful. Some can also add instrumentals to boost the performance. You can go together door to door and sing for neighbors. Caroling is also encouraged in churches in some areas.

Gifts Giving & Family Gatherings
Invite friends and family for a dinner or arrange a potluck and keep some traditional food like mince pies, chestnuts, plum pudding, roast goose, mulled wine or from scratch eggnog. Customize Christmas cards and calendars and send to your friends and family. When giving presents to family and friends, be creative and leave them in different places! Try putting them in shoes, boots, stockings or go for a more traditional place under the Christmas tree. Presents are opened on different days around the world as well. In Holland, Kids open it on St. Nicholas’ Eve on December 5. In Belgium, Germany Czech Republic and some other European countries open on 6th December. Children in the UK, USA, Canada and many other countries open their presents in the morning with their family together on Christmas Day – December 25th. The latest presents are opened on January 6th which is known as Epiphany celebrated in Spain and Mexico. One popular way of giving presents in groups such as clubs, school classes and workplaces is to have a ‘Secret Santa’. This is where you pull the name of a random peer or co-worker out of a container and then buy a present for them. When the presents are given out (often at a Christmas party) each person is given their present but they will have no idea which person in the group bought it for them!

Share Candy Canes
Distributing Candy canes to friends and family is a popular Christmas tradition. It is the most popular of all the usual Christmas treats. There are several stories behind the origin of the Candy Cane’s shape. One explanation is that it represents the J in Jesus’ name. The other explanation is that it looks like a shepherd’s crook to keep the sheep from wandering away from the flock. The Bible says that, “The Lord is my shepherd” in keeping us safe. The candy cane’s white color is also a symbol of purity, and the three red stripes represent the blood of Christ. Thus, simply eating a Candy Cane can help remind us about the true meaning of Christmas.

Santa Claus
Some people like to attend the Santa Parade to show their festive spirit and take in some holiday cheer! Others might choose to take their children to see Santa Claus – the merry old man in the red suit that we all know and love – in department stores, shopping malls or even parties. Kids get to tell Santa their wish list, and parents can use the experience to create some positive, long-lasting family memories.

May your Christmas be full of fun, cheer and wonder! Merry Christmas!

 

U. Lakhia | DBPC Blog

Spending for the Holidays / Making a Budget

The season to be jolly can very easily turn in to the season to be sorry for many of us, especially if you spend unwisely without budgeting your Christmas shopping. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that can help reduce stress and spending for the holidays – the most wonderful time of the year.

  1. Create a Budget
    If you haven’t already, do yourself a huge favor and create a budget for your Christmas shopping before you hit the mall or online stores. The simplest method of budgeting is to compile a list of all the people that you need to buy presents for and decide how much you are willing to spend on each person. Creating a budget will help you maintain better control over your cash or credit and will ensure that you do not fall victim to the temptation of impulse purchases, keeping you debt-free. Who likes owing money anyway? Especially right after the New Year kicks off?
  2. Shop Earlier & Save Online
    No matter how much time we think we have, Christmas can sneak up on us. Consumers often find that their spending increases when shopping for gifts a week before Christmas. In order to keep your costs aligned with your budget, it is smart to keep an eye out for online deals and price drops early on and buy all your presents in advance to avoid disappointment. Last minute shopping often results in consumers spending way more than they initially planned to. This is because the gifts they wanted to purchase are sold out by then, leaving consumers with no other option but to buy the more expensive product. It is a lot less stressful to shop a couple weeks or at least a month prior to Christmas. Not only does this allow you to avoid crazy shopping environments, long line ups, and premium prices, but shopping earlier also guarantees that all the gifts you want are in stock. Most importantly, getting your Christmas shopping out of the way creates an opportunity for you to spend more quality time with your family and loved ones, which is what the holidays are all about!
  3. Use Cash or Debit
    There are definitely some benefits that shopping with credit offers, such as convenience and consumer protection. At the same time, however, there are several risks involved with swiping your credit card to make purchases over the holidays. It is very easy to get caught up in the Christmas frenzy and spend beyond your means by abusing your credit card; however, if you are not disciplined about how you use your credit card, you may end up in severe financial trouble and accumulate debt that could take a while to pay off or even hurt your credit score. Instead, using cash or debit when shopping for presents will allow you to limit your spending, because you will only use the money you have access to at the time.
  4. Secret Santa
    Decide whether you need to get every one of your family members, friends, or work colleagues a gift. In order to cut Christmas shopping costs and still make sure that everyone receives a present, suggest a Secret Santa gift exchange. This way everyone in your family and among your friends or co-workers is assigned only one person to purchase a gift for with a spending limit that they must stick to.

 

Salman Allidina | DBPC Blog