A Complimentary Magazine for Strathmore, Langdon, Chestermere & Area.
Neighbour Magazine DECEMBER 2019 ISSUE 146
Business Excellence Awards 2019
No Bake Cookies, Nuts N’ Bolts, Toffee & More
Your LOCAL Christmas Gift Guide
Call the Cristmas Party Line Today!
This Christmas don’t miss the holiday train Book your staff party today
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How to Have the “Perfect” Christmas This year will be different. I vow I won’t get stressed out over presents, parties, cards, Christmas plays, putting up the tree and decorating, and all the many other tasks of the season. I will remember the true meaning of Christmas. Do you find that all the Christmas chores steal your joy? How can we recapture the joy and the simplicity of the first Christmas? The following are some suggestions for making this the “Perfect” Christmas. 1. Decide how you want your family to experience the true meaning of Christmas. Ex. Will you help another family with presents? Our family now has a tradition of doing Christmas boxes for the Food Bank. Our children love picking out items for the box and giving it to a needy child. 2. Prioritize what is most important to you. Maybe you can’t do it all. You may choose not to send Christmas cards, but do a New Years note.
3. Decide what parties you can and cannot attend. Sometimes as a family, we may rarely be home in December. So much for family time. 4. If you have young children, remember how important, normal routine and sleep schedule are for younger children and you. Taking a cranky toddler shopping is not a good experience for anyone. 5. Decide what traditions you want for your own nuclear family. Sometimes we are so busy going to extended families’ homes we don’t get to start our own family traditions. Try to have a leisurely Christmas morning with children enjoying their toys before rushing off to anywhere. 6. Set a limit on Christmas spending and stick to it. Don’t celebrate Christmas by being in debt in January. 7. Make an advent calendar with your children to help them count down the days until the big day. 8. Be kind to yourself. You may not be able to do everything like your Mom did. Perhaps you can make slice-and-bake cookies with your children instead of homemade cookie dough. Your children will remember the fun of decorating cookies, not who made the cookie dough. 9. Remember that you are not superwoman and you can’t do it all. Sit down with your significant other and decide who can do what on your list. Children can help put stamps on Christmas cards. Be kind to yourself. I don’t know if you or I will have the “Perfect” Christmas, but we can make a conscious effort to focus on ourselves. We need to show and teach our children that Christmas is not about Santa and receiving gifts.
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THE MIRACLE A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the ﬂoor and counted it carefully. Three times. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to the Drug Store. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy speaking to a man in a suit at this moment. The little girl twisted her feet to make a scuﬃng noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally, she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it! 'And what do you want?' the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. ‘I'm talking to my brother from Toronto, whom I haven't seen in ages,' he said without waiting for a reply to his question. 'Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,' the little girl answered back in the same annoyed tone. 'He's really, really sick . . . and I want to buy a miracle.' 'I beg your pardon?' replied the pharmacist. 'His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?' 'We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you,' the pharmacist said, softening a little. 'Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.' The pharmacist's brother was a well-dressed man. He stooped
down and asked the little girl, ‘What kind of a miracle does your brother need?' 'I don't know,' The little girl replied with her eyes welling up. ‘I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money.' 'How much do you have?' asked the man from Toronto. 'One dollar and eleven cents,' The little girl answered, barely audible. 'And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.' 'Well, what a coincidence,' smiled the man. 'A dollar and eleven cents . . . the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.' He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said, 'Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the miracle you need.' That well-dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place. 'That surgery,' her Mom whispered, 'Was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?' The little girl smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost . . . one dollar and eleven cents . . . plus the faith of a little child. In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need.
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MERRY NO-BAKE CHRISTMAS COOKIES Making Christmas Cookies does not have to be all about work. It can be about FUN! Here are three of the easiest no-cook Christmas Cookies of all time. A perfect way to spend the afternoon with the kids.
3 – 4 Tbsp. raspberry, strawberry, apricot or other ﬂavour jam or preserves 1 9-ounce package chocolate wafers (40 cookies) 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces 2 tsp. shortening Spread 1/2 teaspoon jam evenly over the flat side of each of 20 wafers. Top with the remaining 20 wafers, flat sides down. Place filled cookies on a wire rack set over waxed paper. For icing, in a large glass measuring cup, combine chocolate pieces and shortening. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Spoon and gently spread icing over the top of each cookie, letting excess drip onto waxed paper. Let stand until icing is set. Loosely cover and store in refrigerator. Serve cookies the same day. Makes 20 cookie bites.
Graham Cracker Bars
3/4 cup butter 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup milk 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 12 graham cracker rectangles 1 Tbsp. butter, softened 1/2 cup powdered sugar 2 - 3 tsp. milk For filling, in medium saucepan combine 3/4 cup butter, granulated sugar, 1/4 cup milk, and egg. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture comes to full boil. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans and crumbs. Cool 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place 6 of the graham cracker rectangles, side by side, on a foil-lined baking sheet to make a rectangle about 10x7 inches in size. Spoon filling in small mounds onto graham cracker rectangles. Carefully spread to an even layer being careful not to move crackers. Place remaining cracker rectangles on top to match up with bottom rectangles. Lightly cover bars with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or until filling is firm. Cut into bars. In small bowl, beat 1 tablespoon butter with whisk or electric mixer until smooth. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and enough milk to make a thick drizzling consistency. Drizzle over bars. Let stand until set. Makes 24 bars.
Corn Flake Wreath Cookies
1/2 cup butter 3 cups miniature marshmallows 1/2 tsp. almond extract 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. green food colour 4 cups corn ﬂakes red hot candies Melt butter, add marshmallows, stirring until all marshmallows are melted. Add extracts and food colouring; stir until it is a uniform green colour. When mixture is smooth, add corn flakes; mix well but gently so as not to crush the cornflakes. Form into 3" wreath shapes on sheets of waxed paper, decorate with red cinnamon candies or whatever you like – use your imagination. Let cool. Merry Christmas Cookies!! Kathryn Hartwell
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Drop NĘť Shop
Sunday December 8 from 10-4. Drop off you children and take the time to get some Christmas shopping done. The cost is $5 an hour or $25 for the entire day! Ages 3+ We will have crafts, games, dance classes and snacks provided by the Langdon Firehouse.
126 Canal Garden. Strathmore 403.901.6392 facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
tion of three antioxidant nutrients—resveratrol, piceatannol, and pterostilbene. Dietary consumption of cranberry has also been shown to reduce the risk of chronic, unwanted inflammation in the stomach, large intestine (colon) and cardiovascular system (especially blood vessel linings). This “superberry” should most definitely have a place on your Christmas table this year. AND, NOW THE GOOD PART – CHRISTMAS CRANBERRY RECIPES
Cranberry Orange Relish
Founded in 2011, the Chestermere Chamber of Commerce provides an avenue for businesses in the community to create a positive business environment and essentially exists to make the community a better place in which to live. The Chamber works closely with its municipal government and peaks for the business community at public hearings, the media and behind closed doors. It is the "United voice of Chestermere business".
2 cups fresh cranberries 2 oranges, pitted, peel removed from one orange 6 heaping Tbsp. toasted, chopped pecans 6 Tbsp. dried cranberries 6 Tbsp. maple syrup 2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier 2 Tbsp. sugar 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg. Wash the fresh cranberries, and grind them in a meat grinder using a fine blade or process in a food processor until the cranberries are finely chopped. Cut the oranges into eighths, and grind or process until finely chopped. Combine fresh cranberries, oranges, pecans, dried cranberries, maple syrup, Grand Marnier, sugar and nutmeg; stir well, and refrigerate at least an hour or up to 3 or 4 days.
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6 ounces Cranberry Juice Cocktail 1 ounce orange juice Club soda Orange wedge, garnish Pour cranberry juice cocktail and orange juice into a glass with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with orange wedge and maybe a little Grand Marnier (it is Christmas after-all)
CHRISTMAS AND CRANBERRIES Well, you just never know what you’re going to find by accident when you are looking for interesting articles to write about. I was looking for Christmas stuff for our December Issue and also looking for wonderful Christmas Recipes because we get the greatest number of comments about our jokes (good and bad) and our recipes! I did cover Cranberries in my book (Fruits & Vegetables) – which would make a VERY WONDERFUL Christmas present by the way. But I just could not help writing another article on this incredible little berry. So, here are some interesting facts and some super delectable recipes just in time for Christmas!
Cranberry Crock Pot Roast
From Evelyn M. - South Mountain Pork roast (3 to 4 pounds) 1 cup cranberries, finely chopped 1/4-cup honey 1 tsp grated orange peel 1/2-tsp salt 1/2-tsp pepper 1/8-tsp ground cloves 1/8-tsp ground nutmeg Sprinkle salt and pepper onto all sides of meat and place meat in crock-pot. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spread this mixture over meat. Cover and cook 8 to 10 hours on low.
Cranberries are a native North American fruit. Aboriginals, who had been consuming cranberries for hundreds, or perhaps thousands of years, introduced cranberries to the early settlers. I wonder if they knew that cranberries have five times the antioxidant content of broccoli, which means they may protect against cancer, stroke and heart disease. Cranberry's special combination of phenolic antioxidants, proanthocyanidin antioxidants, anthocyanin antioxidants, flavonoid antioxidants, and triterpenoid antioxidants is without a doubt unique. Also unique is the particular combina-
2 1/2-cup fresh cranberries - (frozen berries can be used, but thaw first) 2 cups flour 2 cups sugar 3 eggs
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BUILDING in STRATHMORE, AB RECIPIENT OF Silver in the category of Best In Home Building Wildﬂower Ranch and Lakeview are beau�ful addi�ons to the neighbourhoods of Strathmore. With great access to Highway 1, good proximity to Strathmore schools and abundant pathways and walkways, Wildﬂower Ranch features excellent lot prices, allowing us to have homes star�ng in the $350’s!
Brian Martin 403.830.0949
trilogyhomes.ca 3/4-cup butter or margarine 2/3-cup chopped pecans or walnuts 1 Tbsp. baking powder 1 Tbsp. almond extract Beat eggs and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light in color then add softened butter or margarine and extract. Next, add flour and baking powder, but do not over mix. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Place mixture in a greased 9 x 13 and smooth top. Bake for 45 minutes at 350. Remove from pan and cool. HO-HO-HO MERRY CHRISTMAS Kathryn Hartwell References: whfoods.com, nytimes.com, nationalgeographic.com, oceanspray.com and uc-cranberries.com
play in. Get creative by shoveling twisting paths with tunnels and even including obstacles We Offer: for your dog to navigate. Chal• Alternative Therapy lenge your dog to help you with • Small & Large the snow digging too! Animal Services • Walks – On good weather • Orthopedics days, take the scenic route on your walk (or take a trip to the • After Hours mountains for a hike!). If walks Emergency Care with are not an option for you with hectic work schedules or your own mobility restrictions, consider hiring a dog walking service or a teen in your neighbourhood to take your pooch out for you. • Treat Maze – Most dogs LOVE treats! Take advantage of this by hiding low calorie treats in a homemade or purchased treat maze. You can make your own 403.901.1800 clinic & emergency | firstname.lastname@example.org | animalcarecentre.ca treat maze by punching holes in We are located north of the Trans Canada Hwy on RR 254, 2 km West of Strathmore. an old pop bottle or paper towel roll, adding some treats and let your pup try to roll it around to get the tasty treats out of the holes. *Be sure to monitor your pet to ensure they do not consume the plastic or cardboard from homemade mazes. • Cross Country Skiing – The Strathmore Golf Course welcomes well behaved dogs to join owners on its network of groomed trails. Please be sure to pick up after your pet and leash them when there are others around. Use of the trails is $5 per person, but pets are free! Place Hello from everyone at the Animal Care your cash in the collection box on the north side of the Centre of Strathmore! building. With snow and cold weather looming, we’ve chosen to talk about wintertime pet enrichment for this month’s arCats: ticle. • Treat Maze – Similar to dogs, treat mazes containing Have you ever struggled with a hyperactive dog or a low calorie treats are a great way to engage your cat kitty that’s packing on the pounds? It is not uncommon in some activity. for pets to get less exercise through the winter, but unfor• Laser Pointer – Give your kitty something to chase. A tunately, this reduced activity can lead to weight gain, variety of commercially available options exist includdestructive behaviours and even certain medical condiing manually operated and automatic versions that tions such as orthopedic disease and diabetes mellitus. you can ‘set and forget’ but provide your furry feline a Sadly, with our cold, snowy Strathmore winters, getting frenzy of fun! ourselves and our four-legged furry friends motivated to • Cat Toys – Cat trees, scratching posts, balls, mice, keep active or get outdoors can be a challenge. Check feather teasers, and mazes are just a few of the many out these ideas of easy and inexpensive dog and cat readily available cat toy options. You can also make enrichment activities (many of which will help keep your homemade toys out of items commonly found in your pet’s two-legged family members active, too!): recycle bin. Dogs: • You Tube for Cats – Videos specially for cats featuring birds, squirrels and fish can provide your cat with men• Hide and Sneek! – At mealtime, rather than feeding tal stimulation while you’re out of the home. your dog their portion in a single bowl, try splitting the • Birdfeeders – Consider birdfeeders placed stratemeal up and hiding it in different locations around the gically near windows so your cat can watch some house. This will serve to get your dog moving and enlive-action outdoor bird activity. Windows that require gage their terrific sense of smell. Be sure to take advanyour cat to climb up to get a good vantage point are tage of various floors in your home to get your pet workparticularly ideal because they encourage motion. ing up and down those stairs! Make a pet documentary! Get creative and be sure to • Snow Maze – when you’re digging out your front walkshare your videos with us at the Animal Care Centre by way after a big snowfall, consider spending some extra tagging us on Facebook or Instagram! time in your backyard digging a maze for your dog to
ASK THE VET!
Not s i e s u o AH a Home ! A Pet Without
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Celebrate more of the game that brings us together
THE BEST NUTS N' BOLTS SAUCE
1 cup butter 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon celery salt 1 teaspoon garlic powder 2 teaspoons garlic salt 2 teaspoons seasoning salt 1 teaspoon onion powder
ÂŠ Rogers Communications 2019.
We make a big batch of this every single Christmas for the Kids. It is so good and so easy.
Strathmore Family Centre December 21 & 22 Learn more at rogers.com/hometownhockey
1 (10 ounce) box Cheerios toasted oat cereal 10 ounces Shreddies cereal 1 large pretzel stick 8 ounces Bugles original flavor snacks 5 cups original Ritz Bits miniature crackers 4 cups salted nuts or 4 cups peanuts In a large glass bowl melt the butter in the microwave.
Stir in the Worcestershire and all the spices, whisk until well blended. Pour the snack ingredients into a large turkey roaster, pour the sauce over top. Mix well, bake uncovered at 225 degrees for one hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Store in tins. Makes a Great Christmas Gift. facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
STRATHMORE December 16 @ 7pm Strathmore Station www.womentalk.ca/strathmore LANGDON December 12 @ 7pm Langdon Firehouse www.womentalk.ca/langdon Tickets $20 online or $25 at the door Sheree is a recovering self-saboteur who is now addicted to creating a good life! She is very passionate about personal growth and inspiring others to move from self-sabotage to radical self-acceptance and selflove. She is a long-time resident and entrepreneur in Strathmore and can’t imagine living anywhere else…. from April to October at least! She wants to hear from you because #YourStoryMatters, she can be reached at email@example.com.
At every Women Talk event, I am always moved by the vulnerability and self-awareness of the talkers who share. Being open, curious and vulnerable creates connection and healing. Jules Rainforth, a single mom and social worker with a love of people, talked about the importance of forgiveness. We need to take the time to grieve, feel loss, and then forgive. Other people’s behaviour is often a result of their past trauma and is not usually with the intention to hurt. We heard about Amalia Zarokostas’ lifelong love of horses and photography and the fight between the head and the heart. Not wanting to hurt others, we don’t listen to what the heart really wants. She shared the mind shift that happened when she connected to her passions, followed her heart and allowed her creativity to be guided. Divorce and a near death experience will certainly help to change perspective. Loree Cowling, director of Women Talk Okotoks, came back with a new agreement. Learning and growing, she decided to be the best ex-wife possible. When life and relationships aren’t the
ideal, she advised “Build the evidence of what you desire”. This changes perception and creates your reality. Becky Stone shared how she went from cowboy boots to full time bare feet on the mat. She experienced profound peace when riding or in the barn, but yoga awoke a deeper sense of who she was. She realized health and happiness was possible for her and her mental health stabilized with her yoga practice. This past year brought new challenges to Co-Director of Women Talk Calgary North, Dixie Bennett. Forced to have a hysterectomy because of the possibility of cancer, she shared her experience dealing with the coldness of the medical system. As a single women without children, she went through most of it on her own. It’s so important to have someone to walk beside us on a journey like this. In a Virginia courtroom, she publicly forgave the men that brutally murdered her brother. Former Strathmore resident Annette Stanwick’s book, Forgiveness: The Mystery and Miracle, has touched so many people around the globe and she shared many of the powerful stories of forgiveness that her readers have shared with her. It takes a lot of courage to forgive someone that has caused you so much pain. Annette is currently working on a book about self-forgiveness. WOMEN TALK events are evening gatherings where women present and share their inspiring stories, thoughts, ideas and experiences. You’ll laugh, you’ll learn and you’ll be entertained by amazing WOMEN TALKers! Join us at Women Talk December 12th in Langdon at the Firehouse Pub and December 16th in Strathmore at the Strathmore Station for our Christmas Open Mic. We welcome anyone to share a 5 minute story, a holiday memory, poem, tradition. Tickets available online at www.womentalk.ca/events The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
When you stop believing in Santa Claus is when you start getting clothes for Christmas. It was Christmas and the judge was in a merry mood as he asked the prisoner, "What are you charged with?" "Doing my Christmas shopping early," replied the defendant. "That's no offense," said the judge. "How early were you doing this shopping?" "Before the store opened," countered the prisoner.
SANTA ANSWERS FOR YOUR KIDS What does Santa do when a house does not have a chimney or there is a ﬁre burning in the ﬁre place? Santa likes to keep a few things secret so he can always surprise the kids he is visiting -- all he will say to this question is that he uses a little magic but he *always* finds a way! How do the reindeer ﬂy? A long time ago Santa and his helpers discovered magical oats and corn-- when the reindeer eat the oats and corn the deer become able to ﬂy and leap high into the air. Why can't I ever see Santa or his elves? Santa and the elves are magical and move very quickly. Sometimes, if you are very good, you *might* catch a glimpse of an elf! How does Santa's sleigh make it around the world in one day? Through a combination of lots of practice and hard work, judicious use of time zones, and a little magic, Santa and the reindeer always make it in time. How does Santa know whether I have been naughty or nice? Santa maintains his naughty and nice list (now computerized, by the way), with the help of all the elves who keep track of each person -- you probably aren't even aware they are around you, but elves have a special way of keeping an eye on you. Sometimes if you look quickly enough you *might* catch one peering in a window or around a corner, but you would have to be very fast and very good! What kind of snack does Santa like left out for him? Santa loves cookies, of course, but he is always happy to try anything you think he might like -- pick your favorite kind of cookie or snack and Santa and the reindeer will be happy! The reindeer love carrots and lettuce best, of course! Why doesn't Santa always bring me what I asked for? Thanks to the elves and your gift lists, Santa usually knows what presents you would like to receive. However, sometimes Santa also knows that your parents, family, or guardians have other special things in mind. Also, Santa does not like to bring gifts that he knows your parents etc. would prefer you not to have -- such as a horse, or a space shuttle, or other gifts that would not be appropriate. Has Santa ever missed a year? No, Santa Claus has not missed a Christmas yet. At the North Pole we take many precautions so that nothing can go wrong on Christmas Eve. After so many years of practice we have plans for everything. There have been some close calls as you may see on television, but everyone here loves Christmas so much that we all work extra hard to make sure that Christmas is as fun as it is supposed to be.
2019 Business Excellence Awards
An evening recognizing local businesses in a variety of amazing categories.
Jan 31, 2020 @ 6pm
Strathmore Civic Centre Presented by your Strathmore and District Chamber of Commerce NOMINATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED NOW! The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, December 20, 2019 @ 4pm Please pick up and drop off nominations off at: Renaissance Bakery 104.5 More Country Radio Murray Chrysler (Attn Shawn Kisling) Lil Hoots Clothing Town of Strathmore Or email us attn: BEA Nominations Strathmorechamber@gmail.com 11 Awards to be Won and ALL nominations will be presented to an unbiased panel of judges to determine the winners!!
Phone: 403-901-3175 firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
Value Drug Mart
GIFT IDEAS Liv Beautiful
20% off all products Ph: 403.333.3978
Mink Coral Throws 50”x60” regular $22.99, SPECIAL PRICE $15.99. Ph: 403.934.3122
A Home for the Holidays! Enjoy Christmas in a brand new home from Trilogy Homes a 1738sq ft 2 Storey with three bedrooms for $439,000. Available for quick possession to enjoy the holiday season in the comfort of your new home. Ph: 403.830.0949
Spa Package Gift Certificate $90
ChiroFlow pillows allow you to add the desired amount of water to alter the firmness of the pillow. $70 Therapeutica pillows are contoured to support the curves of your head and neck. Known to reduce snoring for back sleepers! Sized by the doctor to make sure it fits. 10% off any pillow for the month of December at Langdon Chiropractic and Wellness. Ph: 403.936.2450
FREE Installation on orders placed in the Month of December www.bbws.ca/promotions
Animal Care Centre The BEST Christmas gift for your pup! Ph: 403.901.1800
Lil Hoots Consignment Melissa & Doug Pebble to Peak silicone Pasture Pals and teether. Perfect stocking Dinosaur Party. stuffer for your baby’s $26.95 each. first Christmas! 403.934.9979 lilhootsconsignment.ca
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Strathmore Motor Products Car Detailing $249.95
The Lakeshore Spa
THIS CHRISTMAS Beltone Canada
Gift Card for Hearing Aids. Up to $1000* off Beltone Amaze Hearing Aids. Ph: 403.901.6332 *See clinic for details
10% Off Retail *Specific Products* Hempz Lotions, No-Mi-No-U Active Wear, Socks, Glo Beauty, Serene Skin Care, Nelly De Vust Feminine Products, Footlogix, California Mango and XS-Unified Slouch Beanies. Until Dec. 15, 2019. Ph: 403.273.5253
Beyond the Leaf Cannabis
Gift Certificates Ph: 403.936.3673
Expressions The Dance Gallery
$100 off a SET OF TIRES AND INSTALLATION (minimum $500 order) Tires must be purchased before December 20, with installation before January 31, 2020. Ph: 403.901.0100
Drop N’ Shop. Sunday December 8 from 10-4. Drop off you children and take the time to get some Christmas shopping done. The cost is $5 an hour or $25 for the entire day! Ages 3+. Crafts, games, dance classes and snacks. Ph: 403.901.6392
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2. Stevia drops Perfect to adjust sweetness of your baking without impacting the texture or to enhance drinks sweetness. Drops don’t add bulk in baking, so never use it as a whole recipe sweetener. • Sweet Drops, Flavoured stevia drops: delicious to add a chocolate, caramel, coconut or vanilla ﬂavour to your baking with no sugar • Sweet leaf, Pure stevia drops, no ﬂavour.
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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF LARRY AND ROGER:
A Pair of Diabetic Feet
Written by: Vicki L Myhre CPOD (I) CMP PFRP. Enlightened Soles. Internationally Certified Podologist. Registered through the Canadian Examining. Board of Health Practitioners
WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Hi all, Larry here. It is that time of year again! Oh my; Roger and I can not believe how fast the year has gone yet AGAIN. We have both been “chasing our tails” and “putting one foot in front of the other” in our attempts to get ready for Christmas. Baking has been on our priority list, just like everyone else. Roger, in his daily trek through the internet, found some interesting information on safe and natural sweeteners. We know this information will be treasured by Diabetics and Non-Diabetics alike, so we have decided to forego our Christmas Recipe for a “Sweetener Information Sheet” this December. We found some great information on www.sweetashoney.com . Enjoy what we found; it can really take the guess work out of baking.
NATURAL SUGAR-FREE SWEETENERS THAT ARE SAFE FOR DIABETICS
Stay away from the artificial sweeteners and focus on natural sugar-free sweeteners. All these natural sugar-free sweeteners contain almost NO carbs, very few calories, won’t impact your sugar level and taste good, too! 1. Sugar-free Crystal sweeteners Great to use as white sugar replacement, usually these brands can be swapped 1 cup for 1 cup. • Swerve: Sugar-free crystal sweetener made of a blend of erythritol and stevia. Exists in sugar-free confectioner too. • Lakanto: Monk fruit sugar erythritol blend • Erythritol: 100% natural erythritol
3. Liquid maple-ﬂavoured syrup The best way to replace liquid sweetener in a recipe like honey or maple syrup. This natural liquid sweetener is made of Monk fruit, it is a low carb sugar-free fruit like stevia, it had sweetness without the carbs. • Lakanto Maple-Flavoured Sugar-free syrup, sugar-free natural liquid sweetener made from Monk fruit • Choc Zero, maple-ﬂavoured syrup no sugar, no sugar alcohol sugar-free syrup Roger and I found this information very powerful. We always understood that it is important to make good choices when choosing the recipes and the ingredients for cooking or baking of any type. We feel that the more natural the ingredients, the better the impact for the body. We hope you find this list as helpful as we did. Because we do not have the room to list a bunch of recipes using these great ingredients, we ask that you visit www.sweetashoney. co/diabetic-christmas-cookies-keto/ for 10 great Christmas Cookie Recipes including Chocolate Avacado Cookies and so much more! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Until next month, Make your Footprints Count. Larry and Roger
Father Christmas Calls Alex was five. All of his Christmas presents were always signed, 'from Santa.' A little while after Alex had opened all his presents on Christmas morning, we became aware that he was looking quite sad for no obvious reason. 'What's the matter, Alex?' I asked. 'Ummmm,’ replied Alex slowly. 'I really hoped that you and mommy would give me something for Christmas.' Question: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Answer: Frostbite. Question: What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Answer: Claustrophobic. Question: What do snowmen eat for breakfast? Answer: Snowflakes. The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
YOUR OWN PERSONAL CHRISTMAS PRESENT Most people go through life waiting for that perfect time before they do something special or nice for themselves. There is always something more important that needs doing first. But if you keep waiting for that perfect time to come, you will find one day that the best part of your life has passed you by. Here are a few ideas to help get you started. Create something. It does not matter what it is. Something from within you. Go for a walk and take your camera; you will be inspired to take a picture. Learn meditation – meditation is an excellent tool for de-stressing the mind and body. Make a list of the things you like doing the most and try to do at least one of them each day. Two if you can. Learn yoga – yoga is the natural method devised by hermits of ancient India to keep every aspect of the body and mind healthy. Buy something small that costs almost nothing. Make sure it is something you would normally not buy for yourself. Introduce exercise into your life – you need not do much. Drink plenty of water. Make a plan – and stick to it – to drink at least two liters of water per day. Just sit and listen to the noises around you or just listen to the silence. Write a budget – the first step towards improving finance is to have a budget. Listen to a piece of music you have wanted to hear. Decide to do a good thing every day – it gives tremendous satisfaction and it does improve relationships. Make a list at the end of the day of what you did for yourself. Make it a point of being positive – say only good things about anyone around you. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. Get up a little bit earlier than you should and feel the luxury of doing things you aren't too rushed to do, or just sit and enjoy the morning instead of rushing to get ready. Say ‘I love you’ often – make it a point to say these 3 exceptional words to all those whom you love as often as you can. They mean a lot. Give something to someone - something you would not normally do. A smile, encouragement, or a gift. Give a hug often – hugging, touching, smiling are ways to say ‘I love you’ that benefit both the giver and the receiver.
Decide that you are going to do something that you want to do and without any excuses, take the first step. It will be the start of something new and special in your life.
Last but not least, love yourself!!
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3. The Fir Tree When I was little, one of my favorite parts of Christmas thycleaning youth,’ said the sunbeam; ‘rejoice in thy Eve was having my mom read short stories us. Now a full“‘Rejoice When youtocomplete checkup in and fresh growth and in the young life that is in thee.’” -Hans that I’m older, I can’t wait to have little ones of my own Now open Saturdays! Christian Andersen to pass this tradition down to. The Fir Tree is a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. It www.langdondental.com tells the story of a young tree that wants nothing more The following 8 stories were some of my favorite Christthan to grow up. In focusing so much on the future, the mas classics growing up. I hope you enjoy them just as tree forgets to truly appreciate the present. This a great much with your family this Christmas Eve! reminder for children and adults alike. 1. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose and if you ever saw him you would even say it glows. All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.” -Johnny Marks, songwriter Robert L. May wrote Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer at the request of the department store company Montgomery Ward. The story was given out for free to over 2 million children who visited the stores during Christmas time of 1939. Robert’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, saw the popularity of the story and wrote the song we all know and love. From there, the story took off and now we can’t imagine Christmas without our best bud, Rudolph.
2. The Gift of the Magi
“The magi, as you know, were wise men — wonderfully wise men — who brought gifts to the newborn Christchild. They were the ﬁrst to give Christmas gifts. Being wise, their gifts were doubtless wise ones. And here I have told you the story of two children who were not wise. Each sold the most valuable thing he owned in order to buy a gift for the other. But let me speak a last word to the wise of these days: Of all who give gifts, these two were the most wise. Of all who give and re-
4. The Greatest Gift
“Change me back,” George pleaded. “Change me back — please. Not just for my sake but for others too. You don’t know what a mess this town is in. You don’t understand. I’ve got to get back. They need me here.” “I understand right enough,” the stranger said slowly. “I just wanted to make sure you did. You had the greatest gift of all conferred upon you — the gift of life, of being a part of this world and taking a part in it. Yet you denied that gift.” -Philip Van Doren Stern The Greatest Gift is a short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1943. A suicidal man named George Pratt stands on a bridge on Christmas Eve, ready to jump. Before he can, an odd man approaches him and strikes up a conversation. George admits to the man that he wishes he had never been born. The man tells George that his wish has been granted, and upon returning to his town, George finds that no one recognizes him. After the initial shock, he realizes just how much he values his life and learns that to throw it all away would be a waste. Fun Fact: This story became the basis for the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life.
5. The Elves and the Shoemaker
“As soon as it was midnight, there came in two little naked dwarfs; and they sat themselves upon the shoemaker’s bench, took up all the work that was cut out, and beThe Newsy Neighbour Magazine
gan to ply with their little ﬁngers, stitching and rapping and tapping away at such a rate, that the shoemaker was all wonder, and could not take his eyes off them. And on they went, till the job was quite done, and the shoes stood ready for use upon the table.” The Elves and the Shoemaker is a classic fairy tale by the Grimm brothers. One morning, a shoemaker comes into his shop to find a beautiful pair of shoes has been made for him to sell. Astonished, he determines to find out who he should thank for the service.
6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” ―Dr. Seuss How The Grinch Stole Christmas! is a children’s story that, even as adults, we enjoy reading every year. Dr. Seuss is great at sneaking deep life lessons into his stories, and in this tale, he demonstrates that Christmas is a spiritual experience, not a material one.
7. Polar Express
“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” -Chris Van Allsburg In the middle of the night, a young boy is awakes to the sound of a train pulling up outside his house. The train is full of children and it takes them to the North Pole where he gets to meet Santa Claus. This book was turned into a fantastic film that we also recommend checking out.
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8. Twas the night before Christmas
“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there” Although commonly referred to as ’Twas The Night Before Christmas,’ this children’s Christmas poem is actually titled A visit from St. Nicholas. Like many of you, I’m sure, reading this on Christmas Eve is a family tradition. (If it isn’t already, then why not make it one?)
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A little bit of everything Gaylene is a Strathmore resident that has trouble taking life seriously and can usually be found making inappropriate or sarcastic remarks around town much to the embarrassment of her family and friends. (of which she has both – honest!)
Sugar Plums Dancing in My Head… I recently had a doctor’s appointment. Nothing exciting, just the general check-in. You know, kind of like the scheduled maintenance you get done on the car. My blood tests looked good (I studied), my blood pressure was in target range. Apparently no need for new filters or oil changes. I was feeling pretty proud of my old body… that is until Doc asked “So how do you sleep?” Apparently, curled up on my side in fuzzy ﬂannel sheets wasn’t the answer he was looking for. Did you know that there are people that fall asleep in under 5 minutes? My husband is one of them. I am not. I curl up in bed and wait, and wait, and wait and then grab a book and read just one more chapter five or six times, hoping it will take me to the land of Nod. I listen to my husband’s breathing. Apparently, it is calming to match your breathing to someone’s breathing that is asleep. I end up thinking about smothering my husband with a pillow. Then I start thinking about how hard it would be to drag his body to the back yard and dig a 6 foot deep by 6 foot 4 long grave. This reminds me that I still haven’t cleaned off the ﬂower beds in the backyard and I really should get to it, which reminds me that I need to order poppy seeds for Christmas baking. Then thoughts of sugar-plums start dancing in my head. From there, I spend the next twenty minutes trying to think who wrote the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Next, my brain tries to recall the names of all the reindeer – Dasher – Dancer – Prancer – Vixen – Comet – Cupid – is it Blitzen? Blitzen doesn’t sound right. On Dasher, on Dancer, On Prancer and Vixen. On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner – shoot, I totally forgot about Donner. Did I miss anyone else? Crap, I won’t 24 • thenewsyneighbour.com
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be able to sleep until I figure it out. A quick google search and I now know that it is Donner and Blitzen, which reminds me to check who wrote the poem… Clement Clarke Moore. Clement; that’s a unique name. Google again and wow – neat, Clement means merciful. Really, fourteen Popes have been Clements? That seems like an excessive amount of Clements. I wonder how many Popes there have been altogether? I am now truly lost to the addictive properties of the web. 266 Popes later, it is now 2:15 am. My brain isn’t slowing down and now I have to pee. Ugg. After a trip to the washroom, and a quick trip to the kitchen to get a drink, where I spend five minutes watching snowﬂakes fall outside the kitchen window I try to go back to bed, hopeful sleep will come. “Les, pst Les! Are you asleep?” Snore… “Les, I can’t sleep.” Snore… I look at the pillow. I look at my husband. I wonder if he would fit in the freezer. Not until it gets cleaned out. We really need to cook the bacon we bought for the band fundraiser. Oh crap, the boys need to take cash for the Mission Mexico fundraiser. Hmm, Mexico would be nice this time of year. I wonder if there are any seat sales on………………………………………………. “Gaylene! It’s 8:15 – aren’t you going to work this morning?” There is something deeply satisfying about the thwack sound a pillow makes when connecting with my husband’s head… “It’s a good thing you’re tall, it’s the only thing keeping you alive at night! – And you should go see the doctor – you breathe too much when you’re sleeping.” Please note, that no husbands have been injured, or murdered, during the making of my life.
The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
Tiffany Mitchell I am a Registered Provisional Psychologist located in Strathmore. I reside in town with my husband, three kids, and our cat and dog. I am an active volunteer with the Community Therapy Dogs Society, going into schools and diﬀerent community events with my dog Jezzie. I am also active with the Special Olympics Airdrie club, volunteering as the Secretary and coaching the young athletes (3-8) programs. When I’m not
Managing Christmas Expectations When everyone talks about Christmas there is a lot of gushing about how great it is to spend time with family and loved ones. But when dis-
cussing the hardships of the holidays, the focus is on finances or being alone. An often-unspoken obstacle that can be faced are the diﬃculties experienced within family relationships. Unfortunately, we are often left in a hard place, as we feel we are expected to love family and respect them. But at times, they cause more anxiety than we can handle. The question becomes: “How do I cope with the fights and turmoil that can accompany large family gatherings?” In answering this question of tenacity, there are choices to consider. The impact and intensity attributed will vary between individuals. • What external forces are at play when considering spending time with family? o Is it for a specific matriarch or patriarch? o An unspoken assumption within the family? o Where do family relationships sit in terms of importance? • What is the nature of the struggle and anxiety that accompanies seeing family? o Is it the chaotic nature of the holidays? o Strife among members? o Common arguments arising over topics and ideals? The answers to these questions can dwindle down the options that are most feasible for you. The direction you choose, when dealing with family, needs to be what is right for you, right now. Remember, any choice is never permanent; after any given time, you can adjust your route, or proceed in a different direction altogether. In general, there are two basic options: A) Setting boundaries for interactions. How do you set boundaries with family without coming across as rude? There are multiple ways to accomplish this. One of the easiest ones is to set up a more structured gathering. Before attending, you can come up with a list of conversation topics that you feel comfortable engaging in, and ones you really do not want to talk about. When the ones you do not want to talk about arise, redirect by asking the other person a question about their life. People feel valued and special when you show interest in them. When faced with awkward silence, simply bring up a topic you originally decided you wanted to talk about, or an area of possible common interest. Often, the hard conversations, or other anxiety provok-
ing activities arise in idleness. Setting up an activity can be an easy way to combat this. For example, set up a party game that can engage most of the family. Often, when groups are engaged in a fun game, there is not space for strife as everyone is distracted. Some fun group games can be, ‘minute to win it’ challenges, Taboo, Pictionary, etc. Imagine Granny “twerking” trying to get bells out of a Kleenex box tied to her lower-back. B) Stop going to family gatherings. When you feel the family environment has become too toxic and affecting your quality of life, creating separation may be your best option. It is important to not create a big fight by providing reason for not attending. Rather, simply state, “I am not going to make it this year” and leave it at that. If family starts to prod and demand an answer, you can respectfully tell them why, keeping it brief and leaving out heated emotions. The goal is not to put a finalizing touch on it, as maybe next year things will be different. For some, this may feel too drastic, or not feasible at the current time. The holidays are meant to be a time of joy and love shared with everyone, but you need to remember not to lose yourself in the process. A final piece to remember, family is not just those you were raised with or the in-laws but, can also be the ones you choose to love and surround yourself with. Tiffany Mitchell, Provisional Psychologist facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
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MAGICAL CHRISTMAS FOR KIDS Christmas is magical! The entire holiday season can be such a magical time, especially for children. We only have a few short years where kids “really” believe. We always had Christmas Traditions in our family and I truly hope my children remember these traditions and memories the whole year through. I wanted to share these few simple ideas that will help your children feel that sense of wonder and amazement of the holiday season. I love to feel the magic of Christmas and remember the wonderment I saw in my own children’s eyes. My own magical moment. Imagine your child's surprise when they receive a letter from Santa! How magical is that? Write it yourself and mail to your child. There are also some sites on the internet that can help you with this magical idea. Starting December 1st, you can visit the noradsanta. org site each day to see Santa's progress as he prepares to visit all the children in the world. This is a beautiful site and it is so fun to have a peek everyday with your children. Go to portablenorthpole.com, where your child can receive FREE video messages from Santa that you can personalize with your children's names! This is so fun! Check out icaughtsanta.com to make your own personalized at-home Santa pictures. These are so cool! You can take pictures of diﬀerent areas of your house and get Santa posed in them. Decorating your Christmas tree, cooking Christmas dinner or having a cocktail with friends and family. How about a personal phone call from Santa at Christmasdialer.com? These are cute! You can type in what you'd like Santa to say and his voice sounds very authentic. Watch Magical Christmas Movies together! I especially love movies that really emphasize the spirit of Christmas, such as the Polar Express and Miracle on 34th Street.
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At reindeercam.com you can watch Santa feed his reindeer! How magical is that?! You can even download the app on your phone so that you don't miss a feeding. There is nothing better than Christmas books. Wrap your books and let the kids open one each day in December as a type of advent calendar. If you don't have many Christmas books, you may be able to check some out at the library. There are so many great Christmas stories that are both entertaining and meaningful, spend some time reading with your children, it is magical. Make some hot cocoa and sit under the tree each night reading a Christmas story! Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Magical Christmas! The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
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Rules For Raising Kids 1. Never lie to them. They are smart as heck and need truth more than protection. 2. Tell them you love them every day. 3. Hug and kiss them frequently. If they never receive physical affection, they won’t know how to give it or handle it. 4. Let them get hurt. Pain is an invaluable teacher. They will only touch a hot stove once. 5. Let them solve their own fights. When they run to you for help, say, “solve the problem” and stand back. 6. Teach them about money, cash flow, business and economics. This knowledge is 100% up to you. 7. Get them a dog. 8. Teach them to survive. Teach them to hunt, fish, build a shelter, start a fire, grow food, and find clean water. 9. Teach them manners. Please and thank you, yes sir,
yes ma’am should never be encouraged but expected. If you have no manners, neither will they. 10. Give them all of you. Let them see you cry. Let them see you rage. Never hide your feelings or emotions from them. 11. Build a relationship with them. They deserve more than your clients, golf buddies or significant others. Ask them questions. Find out what they love, ask them what they fear. Actively be investing in a relationship with them. 12. Be in their world. If they like video games, play video games with them. If they like sports, play sports with them. Do things THEY want to do, even if it’s not your cup of tea. 13. Date them at least monthly. Men take the boys out for guys night and your daughters out for daddy-daughter dates. Be 100% present with them. 14. Discipline with intention. Discipline them but teach them the lesson after. Always hug and kiss them and tell them you love them after you discipline. 15. Let them be a kid. They are nerdy, stinky, emotional creatures. Don’t try and make them a smaller version of you, let them be a kid. The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
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Christmas Day Games Just because the gifts are opened and the paper is strewn about the living room, it doesn't mean the fun of Christmas is over. Add some fun party games to Christmas day to extend the fun of Christmas! If you have a large gathering on Christmas day, have fun with the hat game. When they arrive, give everyone a Santa hat. These are inexpensive and can be purchased for $1 at the dollar store, or even less in bulk, if you plan ahead. As everyone goes about their business of getting food, chatting with others and the like, the room will look very festive with everyone wearing their Santa hats. However, the object of this game is to not have your hat on. As people forget about the hats, the object is to get rid of your hat and not be the last one wearing a Santa hat. Inevitably, there will be one person so wrapped up in a conversation or the buffet table, they forget to take off their hat and will be left the game's loser. This is a game that can be played again and again as you head forward with the day's festivities. One fun memory game that kids particularly like is to make everyone pay careful attention to all the gifts that are opened on Christmas day. After the gifts are removed from the room (or you remove yourselves from the gift room) have everyone try and remember every single gift everyone got. Include stockings and any food gifts. Tell people they only have to remember the items that were opened that day, not any gifts they received and opened prior to Christmas day. This can be a fun game that's particularly popular with kids because they love to relive the gift magic. In addition, if they were so immersed with their own gifts they didn't notice anyone else's this is a good chance for them to educate themselves about what everyone got that day.
low-rise, but the type that are worn outdoors in the winter that are thick and come at least to the calf. Put several items in the socks. Make sure identical items are in each sock. These items should be related to Christmas in some way. You might include a small ornament, scotch tape, a pinecone, a Hershey's kiss, and the like. Have each person feel the socks (having two socks just makes the game go faster, but you can play with just one sock), and write down their guesses about what's in the socks. Be sure to tell everyone how many items are in each sock. The winner gets, you guessed it, one of the socks! If you have a bunch of wanna-be performers in your group on Christmas day, how about playing a little game of "Christmas Idol"? Set up a small table for the "judges" and have teams of 2 people (or individuals, if they want) sing a Christmas carol. Tell them to have a lot of fun with the song, and even add a Santa hat or other dress-up items if they wish. The winners can take home a CD of Christmas music. This game is particularly fun if just the children want to perform and be judged by the adults, or if, conversely, the adults perform and are judged by the children.
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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through
the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap. When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter; I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
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The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer. With a little old driver, so lively and quick I knew in a moment it must be St Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name! "Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away, all!" As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas, too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
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His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow. The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly! He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself! A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose! He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
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"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
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COOKING OILS Safety Tips for Women Who Run Recently, I was contacted by a local radio station to comment on an article written by Meghan Collie of Global News (posted October 18, 2019). In her article, she references a survey that was done in April 2019 by Runner’s World. “A recent survey conducted by Runner’s World found that 67 per cent of women reported feeling at least “sometimes concerned” that they would be physically assaulted while running. And 16 per cent said that, at one point or another, they’ve actually feared for their lives.” While there are many comments to be made about the continued risk that women face while performing acts of daily living, including jogging or running, I choose here to provide some tips that may be helpful to ensure their safety. 1. Run in a group, with a partner or with a dog. 2. Run on sidewalks in residential or commercial areas in daylight hours – or better yet, run on an indoor track. 3. Do not wear headphones. 4. Carry a personal alarm or whistle in your hand and use it! 5. Be alert to the people and vehicles around you – tune into your vicinity of 30-50 feet. 6. Make eye contact with people who may also be on your running path. 7. Use your instinct – if it feels uncomfortable or risky, change your route. 8. If you are grabbed; scream loudly and fight back. NEVER give up and don’t go to a secondary location. Report the incident immediately.
It seems every time I go to purchase a cooking oil, there seems to be a new one. Remember the good old days when all we had to choose from was Canola Oil? Now there is Olive Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cold Pressed Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil. Palm Oil, Soybean Oil, Saﬄower Oil, Wheat Bran Oil, Peanut Oil, Sunﬂower Oil and all sorts of different plant oils. I remember when I was growing up, all my mother used was lard or butter. Times have changed. So, my question is what oil is healthiest or do you have to use different oils for different cooking techniques? According to Wikipedia, palm oil contains more saturated fats than canola oil, corn oil, linseed oil, soybean oil, saﬄower oil, and sunﬂower oil. Therefore, palm oil can withstand deep frying at higher temperatures and is resistant to oxidation compared to high-polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Since about 1900, palm oil has been increasingly incorporated into food by the global commercial food industry because it remains stable in deep frying and baking at very high temperatures; and for its high levels of natural antioxidants, though the refined palm oil used in industrial food has lost most of its carotenoid content (and its orange-red color). They also say the following oils are suitable for high-temperature frying due to their high smoke point above 230°C (446°F): Avocado, Mustard, Palm, Peanut, Rice bran, Saﬄower, Semi-refined sesame, Semi-refined sunﬂower oil. After researching a ton of different sites, I have come to the conclusion that “Extra Virgin” Olive oil seems to be the best choice for your health. Olive oil is one of the most versatile and best cooking oils on the market. According to research, it contains heart-benefiting ingredients such as polyunsaturated fatty acids and monosaturated fats. However, it has a low smoke point, meaning low and medium heat is safest. Olive oil is an excellent — and healthy — baking oil and can be used as a salad dressing, or added to lattes and other morning beverages for health benefits. What about all the hype about Coconut oil? Personally, I really like it and in the wellness world, coconut oil is like gold. Coconut oil is chock full of health benefits. It can help the body burn more fat, has antibacterial and antifungal properties, can boost metabolic rate, is energizing, improves digestion, and more. On top of that, it has a high smoke point, meaning its an excellent cooking oil for high-heat or frying. Last time I was at Costco, I purchased a big bottle of Avocado The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
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The Perfect Space at Reasonable Rates! Contact us for more information or to setup a viewing: www.CheadleAlberta.ca Phone: 587-355-6300 Facebook.com/CheadleHallAlberta Oil. I thought to myself, now that has got to be good for you, it’s avocados! As it turns out, Avocado oil is hard to beat. With similar health benefits to olive oil and a smoke point like coconut oil, it features the best of both cooking oils. Rich in both antioxidants and healthy fats such as oleic acid, avocado oil can improve heart health, lower cholesterol, and aid in the absorption of beneficial nutrients among other things. My favourite oil by far and one I have used for quite a while now is Grapeseed Oil. I find it has no after ﬂavour and I use it to make my Caesar Salad and it does not change the taste of anything I cook. According to Medical News Today, Grapeseed oil is a good source of vitamin E, even more so than olive oil. Vitamin E is a vitamin that works as a fat-soluble antioxidant, which helps protect your cells from damaging free radicals that have been associated with cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. Vitamin E also supports your immune system. Research shows it may slow the progression of dementia and Vitamin E can withstand heat, and grapeseed oil has a high smoke point. As I was doing my research on Grapeseed Oil, I ran across some information on Grapeseed Extract I really want to share with you. Published by: Healthline.com
Here are 10 health beneﬁts of grape seed extract, all based on science.
In lab studies, GSE has been shown to inhibit cancer in various human cell types. GSE also appears to reduce chemotherapy-induced toxicity in animal studies without negatively affecting treatment. GSE appears to protect your liver against drug-induced toxicity and damage. GSE creams appear to increase growth factors in your skin. As such, they may aid wound healing and help reduce the signs of skin aging. GSE is generally considered safe with few side effects. Dosages of around 300–800 mg per day for 8–16 weeks have been found to be safe and well tolerated in humans. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid it, as there is insuﬃcient data on its effects in these populations. GSE may lower blood pressure, thin your blood, and increase blood ﬂow, so caution is advised for those taking blood-thinning or blood pressure medications. Furthermore, it may reduce iron absorption, as well as improve liver function and drug metabolism. Grape seed extract (GSE) is a dietary supplement made from the seeds of grapes. By supplementing with GSE, you’ll reap the benefits of better heart, brain, kidney, liver, and skin health. You just never know what important information you might find on the internet. I love my job. I hope this may help you next time you are debating which cooking oil to purchase. Be healthy.
References: healthline.com, Wikipedia.com and cheatsheet.com
GSE may help reduce blood pressure, particularly in young to middle-aged people and those who have excess weight. GSE has been shown to improve blood ﬂow and reduce the risk of blood clotting, which may benefit those with circulatory problems. GSE may help reduce your risk of heart disease by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and reducing oxidation to heart tissue during times of stress. GSE shows potential to inhibit many of the degenerative characteristics of brain and cognitive decline. GSE may offer protection against damage from oxidative stress and inﬂammation, thus promoting kidney health. GSE may inhibit a variety of microbes and offer protection against antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, foodborne bacterial illnesses, and fungal infections like candida. facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
Join The Chamber The Chamber of Commerce offers a number of unique business levels to suit your current size and stature. As you grow, your plan can grow with you.
CHAMBER MEMBER BENEFITS • Chamber Health Plans • Payment & Banking Solutions • Audio Conferencing, Web Conferencing & Webcasting Program • Chamber Merchant Services • Shipping Discounts • On Hold Marketing Program, Members Save 20% • Email-Events-Social Media-Surveys • Maintain Control, Save Time & Money with Esso Business Cards • Fuel Discount Program • It’s Easy With VersaPay! • Best Rate Home & Auto Insurance
READY TO GET STARTED? Put the Strathmore & District Chamber to Work for Your Business Today
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www.strathmoredistrictchamber.com Leela Sharon Aheer MLA
I am thrilled to be part of the Newsy Neighbour family and honoured by the trust you have placed in me by electing me as your representative in the Legislature. Please contact me at Chestermere.Strathmore@assembly.ab.ca.
Hello Newsy Neighbours As I write this, the temperature (including wind chill) is south of -20°C and, like you, I am enjoying a warm home due to natural gas heat. We all watch
the news and hear about oil prices, pipeline constraints, and the price differential. There is more to this story though, and in this issue, I would like to talk about the “forgotten child” of the energy industry – natural gas. Alberta is blessed with abundant supplies of natural gas and an energy industry that leads the world in extracting it eﬃciently. Again, as I write this, natural gas-fueled electricity generation is supplying over 50% of Alberta’s electricity needs. It’s nice to know that when we ﬂip the switch, the power will come on, isn’t it? Unfortunately, we are victims of our success in producing natural gas. A combination of our world class energy industry and changes in market conditions have left us with a serious problem, which has serious consequences for Alberta’s prosperity. If you work in the energy industry you know this, and if you don’t, I am sure you
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Call or Text Steve Skaar 403-771-8839 www.PHDInc.ca | PHDskaar@gmail.com have neighbours who do – and they are wondering if they will be able to support their families. Advances in technology have blessed us and our traditional US export market with abundant supply. Various regulatory issues have also restricted the ability of our Alberta producers to get their product to market. The combination of huge supply with restricted market access has led to significant bottlenecks and historic low prices for natural gas. You may think initially, “That’s great! My bills will go down.” Unfortunately, the current price of natural gas in many cases is far below the cost of production. All wells decline and if producers cannot make money, they will not drill new wells to make up for that. Down the road, this will inevitably cost you money. So, let’s talk about solutions. In the short term we need to ensure that our producers can access existing markets. Your Government recognizes this and Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas, has spearheaded the following initiatives: 1. A reduction in property taxes, saving industry over $23 million. 2. Flexibility in statutory payments, recognizing short term cash ﬂow challenges. 3. Measures to ensure that our pipeline system makes market access a priority. This has already improved prices. In the long term, we need new markets, and this means LNG. I am a born and raised Albertan with relatives in India. When I visit them, the air pollution and poverty is appalling. Do you remember the worst air pollution from the BC fires? They live with that every day. Access to clean Alberta natural gas and Alberta technology would: 1. Immediately improve air quality and health. 2. Enhance opportunities. Which would you rather see, a child operating a hand powered irrigation pump for 12 hours a day or an electricity powered pump allowing the same child to go to school? 3. Raise millions from poverty. Make no mistake, this is not strictly an economic issue, it is a human rights issue. Exporting our natural gas and our technology will immeasurably improve the lives of millions and we will be the richer for it, also. In closing, I wish all of you the blessings of the holiday season in the company of families and friends. Please spare a thought for the less fortunate and give what help you can, even if it is only a smile and a visit to a lonely senior in your community. Merry Christmas and here’s hoping for a healthy, happy prosperous (and warmer!) New Year! The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
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Elaine Svrcek, PCP Elaine is a Payroll Compliance Practitioner certiﬁed through the Canadian Payroll Association. Although she was ﬁrst drawn to payroll due to her love of accounting and numbers, her favourite part of payroll is educating employees so that they fully understand their pay and beneﬁts. If you have a payroll, beneﬁt or Employment Standards question that you would like to see featured, please email Elaine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taxable Beneﬁts – the Scrooge of Payroll Does your business host a Christmas Party or give out gift cards from Tim Hortons or Starbucks as Christmas presents? The value of these ‘gifts’ may very well be considered income by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and could be subject to statutory withholdings, including Income Tax, Canada Pension and Employment Insurance Premiums. These ‘gifts’ are deemed Taxable Benefits by the CRA and they truly are the Scrooge of Payroll. It starts out innocent enough. It is a festive time of year and you want to show your employees how much you appreciate them by organizing a Christmas Party. The cost of the party including the meal, beverages, the cost of the venue, any physical gifts (not including gift cards) and the entertainment comes to a cost of $151 per person. You are a responsible employer and wish to make sure your employees make it home safely after celebrating, so you offer a taxi ride home to all employees.
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Wyatt 403-324-3055 Wayde: 403-333-8155 to give each employee a gift card to Starbucks and the local Sobeys. Each employee is thrilled to receive these items and will use them to offset the cost of their family Christmas dinner this year and festive treats. In walks Ebinezer Scrooge (a thrifty, but very unpopular employee of the CRA) and declares, “Taxable Benefit, I’ll take 1/3 of that!”. Gift cards given to employees are always deemed a Taxable Benefit by the CRA, as they are equivalent to cash. The amounts of these cards, regardless of how insignificant it may seem (even $5!!) must be reported as income to the employee and have the necessary statutory withholdings of Income Tax, Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance deducted. If you are an employer and wish to provide gifts and social events to your employees at this festive time of year, be sure to do your research on taxable benefits and make sure the “gift” you are giving is truly a gift. Taxable Benefits usually cost the employee 1/3 of the value of the gift in deductions. If you are unsure what the Canada Revenue Agency deems a Taxable Benefit, be sure to read the Employers’ Guide – Taxable Benefits and Allowances which is available online at https://www. canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/ publications/t4130/employers-guide-taxable-benefits-allowances.html. There is also an excellent chart that indicates what is a taxable benefit and the necessary withholdings the employer must make online at https://www.canada.ca/en/ revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/payroll/benefits-allowances/benefits-allowances-chart.html.
Merry Christmas, right? Nope – Bah Humbug!! This entire amount is deemed a Taxable Benefit by the CRA and must be reported on the employees next pay with Income Tax, Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums deducted on the full amount. Some gift, right? To avoid this situation, ensure that your social events costs never exceed $150 per person. As long as the value is under this amount, the CRA does not deem this as a Taxable Benefit to the employee. As soon as you exceed the $150 per person allowed amount, this amount and any additional costs, including such things as taxi fair or overnight accommodations, all become a Taxable Benefit. You are a smaller business and just don’t have enough employees (or the budget) to host a Staff Christmas Party. Instead, you want facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
Over 30 years experience Shaken & Stirred Marcy enjoys helping others experience the joy in life. She started Mountain Lion Leadership, in 2003. As a leadership & community advocate, she is actively involved with organizations & businesses working to aid growth and development. This is combined with a passion to see women grow both personally & professionally whatever their stage of life. Contact Marcy: email@example.com. Follow Marcy on Twitter @MarcyLField to my proﬁle.
On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, Wheatland County councilors voted unanimously in favour of an Alberta First Resolution. Consequently, if they receive suﬃcient support within the province, should the federal government refuse to act on its recommendations, the resolution calls for an independence referendum in October 2021. Do they lack 2020 vision? Clearly, they believe such action falls within the parameters of their responsibilities as elected representatives of the municipality. Obviously, they fail to understand a municipality's authority is delegated from provincial and federal governments. To clarify, Section 153 of the Municipal Government Act prescribes the duties for all locally elected councillors. It should be noted, nowhere within it is anything laid out about demanding changes to Confederation. Challenging times lie ahead. Specifically, cuts in the recently released UCP budget provide less funding to municipalities to cover basics like policing. Are councilors unaware municipalities experienced the same fallout under the Klein regime? Similarly, they are now responsible to find ways to make up for provincial shortfalls. Without 2020 vision, this impending crunch presents increased demands. THE VALUE IN NONPARTISAN POLITICS The nonpartisan nature of municipal politics across the majority of Canada provides its primary appeal for me. It is beneficial for independent councilors to come together outside particular dogmatic frameworks. As a result, councilors are free to
consider the welfare and interests of the municipality as a whole. Furthermore, the council focuses on anything that promotes the welfare or interests of the municipality. Does it lie within the purview of a municipal council to assume its citizen's political position? Up to a point, we are entitled to individual political beliefs. However, the rule of law talks about the greater good. Furthermore, it is not only our right, but it is also our responsibility to protect those rights for everyone. QUESTIONS As it is my belief and position that Alberta is much better within Canada than separated from it, this Council's decision only raises more questions for me. Have we assigned municipal council the authority to spend precious tax dollars to pursue their partisan position? I understand from a conversation with Reeve Link, Mr. Wilson is visiting other rural municipalities within the District to garner support for their Alberta First Resolution. Consequently, if a significant number of municipalities support the Resolution, it is brought forward for debate at the Rural Municipal Association's 2020 February meeting. Subsequently, this fulfills another step in a process that brings no solutions to the actual problems facing the municipality. Rather, it a diversion plus a waste of time and money. While he sharing his partisan beliefs looking for support, is he collecting pay from Wheatland County? I don't know. Do all rural Albertans support separation? Most certainly not. Many within Wheatland County and its neighbouring communities are proud Canadians First! Ask someone outside of Wheatland County if they know if their municipality is voting for this. Start a conversation. Build awareness. Encourage people to contact their councilors and share their perspective. Challenge the propaganda. Together, let’s lead the way for a better Alberta - a better Canada. MY 2020 VISION Let's fill 2020 with great ideas and positive actions as we foster peace, unity and more loving-kindness in our world. The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
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Blinds and shades can do much more than just block light and come in a wide range of fabrics and materials. Window covering manufacturers have devised innovative way to allow shades to diffuse harsh sunlight and draw it deeper into the room, helping you to illuminate your home naturally. Room darkening shades, that will block almost all the light, help to provide a better night's sleep, or create the perfect movie watching environment. You have the ability to create the ambiance and the level of privacy you need, when you need it.
Experience light exactly when you want it. Motorization gives you precise and convenient control of your blinds and shades. Shades operate independently, moving only when you choose, or when you schedule them. You can put your shades on a schedule, use a remote control, or an app on your smart device. When integrated with a smart home system such as Google Home, Siri or Amazon Alexa, you can move your shades through voice control. "Hey Google, close the blinds!"
Your home loses most of its eﬃciency right at the window. Shades, such as honeycomb shades, can make a significant difference by keeping heat out in the summer and cold out in the winter. In fact, the first honeycomb shades were designed during
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Cords for controlling window coverings can be a hazard for children and pets. Many blinds and shades now come with innovative lift systems that either remove the need for cords or keep the cords inside the shade. Not to mention, long dangly cords look messy and detract from the appearance of your window coverings. Motorization can remove the need for all cords, and the need to even go near your window coverings, providing the highest safety possible. Motorized shades also provide enhanced security by moving your shades automatically and giving the appearance you are home when you are away. There are many things to consider when choosing the right window coverings for your home and your family. It is important to find a trained consultant that will help you through this process. This consultation service is often provided free of charge. Article submitted by Boutique Blinds and Window Shades Photo of Pirouettes® courtesy of Hunter Douglas facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
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It is unbelievably easy, no-fuss, homemade toffee recipe. All you need is: 1 cup raw almonds 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed 1 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 cup pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread almonds in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes; set aside. I used almonds and pecans because I love them both. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, sugar vanilla and salt over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted and mixture is almond brown in colour, about 10-15 minutes, or until your arms feel like they are going to fall off! Immediately spread the hot caramel mixture evenly over the almonds. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. After 1-2 minutes, spread the chocolate chips in an even layer until smooth. Let cool completely, about 2 hours then break into pieces.
One of my most favourite treats in the world would have to be “Toffee,” although I never eat it anymore because as we all know it will pull out the fillings in your teeth! But, the most glorious thing happened - I actually found a recipe where you will not have that problem and it is just so wonderfully fabulous, you have to hide it from yourself because you cannot stop eating it.
I used a knife to cut in toffee into uniform shapes and immediately bagged it for my Christmas gift giving. I knew if I did not bag and freeze, there would be none left to share (trust me). It is sweet but also
healthy at the same time (with all those almonds and pecans, how it cannot be healthy??!!) Did you know that in addition to healthy fats and vitamin E, a quarter-cup of almonds contains 62 mg of magnesium plus 162 mg of potassium. When there is enough magnesium around, veins and arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax, which lessens resistance and improves the ﬂow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Studies show that a deficiency of magnesium is not only associated with heart attack but that immediately following a heart attack, lack of suﬃcient magnesium promotes free radical injury to the heart and potassium, an important electrolyte involved in nerve transmission and the contraction of all muscles including the heart, is another mineral that is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Almonds promote your cardiovascular health by providing 162 mg of potassium and only 0.2 mg of sodium, making almonds an especially good choice to in protecting against high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. So, there you have it - toffee that is actually healthy for you, isn’t life wonderful!
Kathryn Hartwell Information on Almonds found on whfoods site. And toffee recipe found on Pinterest.
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Jill Crossland is a Business & Marketing Consultant with over twenty years of business experience. She is the owner of Jill Crossland Consulting & editor of Entrepreneurial-Life Magazine. From business strategizing to marketing plans and social media, Jill knows how to put the pieces in place for her clients. email@example.com | 403 901 6147 https://entrepreneurial-life.today
What Lies Ahead? Alberta has experience economic downturns before, but the current situation seems particularly serious and
unsettling. For business owners, this translates to sleepless nights and grave concerns for the future.
I’m not about the analyze the province’s woes, but let’s instead look at strategies to help the solo entrepreneur or business owner with staff survive in these uncertain times.
Start the New Year knowing your business inside and out.
Sit down with the accountants, consultants, even lawyers and get their professional opinions on where things stand for your business. You don’t need any surprises, so it is best to know your company’s strengths and weakness while you are still able to rectify them. Of all those meeting, the most important take away is having a thorough breakdown of your financial information.
Master your time
Time is critical and even more so during a recession. Seventy percent of your time should be spent on activities to grow the business. In particular, focus on growth strategies so you will be able to adapt quickly to the changing conditions. Good business owners delegate. You shouldn’t be agonizing over getting your website updated; instead, hire someone who can do it quickly, effectively and most important – properly. Which brings me to another weak spot: stop hiring relatives. Your daughter may think she is the Instagram expert or Uncle Harry has been doing your books since you were a start-up, but an amateur team is not going to get you through the year ahead.
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(403)934-3212/(306)320-7372 Focus on core specialties/areas of expertise
Review your current products or services. Drop the unprofitable and don’t initiate something completely new out of desperation. Focus on what sells well, on what you do best, then market the heck out of it.
Make the most of existing good customers/clients
Being in panic mode will find you tempted to increase prices, which will ultimately decrease your bottom line. Why? Your customer, your client, is struggling too – they might be facing job uncertainty, less work hours or have a spouse recently laid off. Remember, the current recession is not just affecting you. A rewards/referral program or offering something free will go a long way to maintaining your existing customer base. Keep those regular customers informed about upcoming specials and promotions. Be careful with upselling; the adding of products/services to existing lines with the intention of persuading customers to spend more. If the customer leaves your establishment or oﬃce feeling ‘pressured’ for the foreseeable future, you have lost them.
Don't Cut Back on Marketing
You need to have marketing goals that differentiate you from the competition. It is important for your marketing strategy to be tested and measured. See which activities are giving you the greatest sales and focus in on these. In lean times, people’s habits change; for instance, they may be less reliant on say, social media to guide their spending and instead be paying attention to local media (newspapers & radio) to find reliable providers and deals. I’ll close with these thoughts. Everyone will offer you well-meaning advice but at the end of the day, it is you who has grown, nurtured and sweated over your business. Follow your instincts; they are more honed than you realize. Trust in yourself. While retaining core beliefs, values and vision is imperative, business owners (and, dare I say, politicians!) must be open to evolving. Just because something was always done one way doesn’t mean that change cannot and should not occur. Innovation was the foundation of business growth in Alberta; perhaps it is time to again embrace that.
See you in 2020 – it is a new decade. facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
Here’s the thing. Most of us want people to engage with our business year round and yet, there are times when WE stop engaging with them. Yes, the reality is that there will be times when sales will increase and slow down, when there are more people coming through your doors or asking about your services and when the time of year works for or against you. The reality also is that a bit of creativity and some new ideas can help level out those sales swings, breathe new life into your business and make more people aware that you exist. When things are slower, it’s an ideal time to increase your customer engagement and share what you know. Keep in mind that the engagement does not need to lead to immediate sales (although that may happen), the purpose is to stay connected and demonstrate that you care. Ask yourself where their attention is and how you can make things easier for them. If you are a caterer, you could share easy holiday recipes. If you have a computer store, pass along links to great apps that your market will appreciate. If you offer business services, give a presentation with real value and ask for nothing in return.
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Darlis-Keily Ireland A believer in the power of sharing knowledge & expertise for the purpose of connecting, Darlis-Keily has been gathering (and passing along) information for more than 20 years through conversation, presentations and workshops. Knowing that one simple ‘learning’ can be a critical turning point, she shares ideas, insights, referrals and solutions with those looking for new ways to be seen, heard and be exceptional in a noisy world. Through her business, True Turning Point, she trains entrepreneurs and organizations how to grow by sharing who they are and what they know. www.True-TurningPoint.com
The Gift of New Ideas Depending on the type of business you have, you may look forward to increased sales this busy holiday season or you may dread a slow-down as people are preoccupied with the busyness of this time of year. The same thing can be said of other holidays, the summer months and many other occasions. But is it an iron-clad rule that there are times your business is unlikely to be seen or heard by people in your market, or is that simply what we believe and so we sit back and accept it as truth? In the 20+ years I have worked with small businesses, I have regularly seen periods when entrepreneurs step back from working on their business because business is ‘slow’. They stop networking and participating in learning events, shorten business hours or may even close for a few days or weeks, cut back on advertising (after all, no one is buying right now so why spend money on marketing?) and sigh deeply while they wait for the market to pick up again.
Another strategy is to partner with one or more businesses. Consider who you could share customers and clients with for mutual benefit. If you are a holistic practitioner, why not join with one or two other practitioners to offer a special package of services to everyone’s clients? Do you sell giftware? Give customers a chance to pick a diamond from a fish bowl that they take to a partnering jeweler to find out if it’s a real gem. Are health products your thing? Collaborate with a fitness centre, health coach and a local chef to co-promote each other’s services. You can also use slower times to learn more about your customers and clients, set business goals, plan future activities (check out Bow Valley Entrepreneur Centre’s Entrepreneurial Roadmap Bootcamp https://cvent.me/R9Q1R), network, expand your knowledge and discover new ideas. My gift to you this holiday season is five simple ways you can find new ideas for your business. 1. Ask yourself, “How could I (get more clients, find a partnering business, create a new offering)?” and then let ideas come to you throughout the day. Be sure to write them down. 2. Write a list of ideas and keep writing for at least 10 minutes without stopping. Do not censor your ideas as they come to you, even if they seem ridiculous. Generally, the best ideas are the ones you come up with after several minutes of writing. 3. Check out other industries for ideas. The most innovative ideas often come from businesses who offer completely different products and services than you. 4. Brainstorm ideas with a small group of people who know your business well. 5. Ask your existing customers and clients what they like best about your business and expand on what you are already doing well. If you would like some help with generating new ideas for your business, post your request in the ‘Business Growth by Sharing Expertise’ Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ ShareExpertise/) or email me directly at Darlis@True-TurningPoint.com. Gift yourself with business ideas this holiday season and have a wonderful 2020! The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
GDON’S OWN N EST. 2017 LA
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