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Uplifting

A Simple But Brilliant Way to “Toddler-Proof” the Christmas Tree

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Now that December has officially come, even the Grinches of the world have finally begun putting up their Christmas trees and enjoying the tradition of decorating them. For parents of very young toddlers, however, this tradition may be underscored by a fair dose of fear and tension as the magnetism between chubby little hands and bright, sparkly lights and ornaments is observed. In other words, how do you keep your curious toddler from felling the Christmas tree?

Brie Gowen, a contributor to FaithIt, shared the suggestion given to her years ago by a woman at church which she says seemed so insanely simple, she doubted it could possibly work. “Yet here I am,” she writes, “I’ve used this tried and true trick for about seven years now, and it’s worked every single time.”

Gowen is certainly no Grinch, as she describes the thoughtful “heirloom style” of tree decoration she loves, and the deep emotional significance many of her ornaments hold: “I had ornaments my mother had gotten as a young woman in Germany. I had the first glass balls I had ever owned, ones my mom had plucked from her own tree to help me fill my branches. I even had the Snoopy ornament from my first Christmas as a baby.”

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“I had gotten most of these from boxes, after my mother’s recent death, and clinging to these memories helped me,” Gowen explains, “So thoughts of my child toppling over my tree filled me with dread, and I expressed such to the ladies at church one day after the service so many years ago.”

The incredible tip one woman shared with Gowen flipped a switch, in her mind, going from “elaborate fences and barricades” to keep children away from the tree to a safe, creative way to allow even the most precocious children to enjoy the tree.

Even when going through the trials of “terrible twos” and “threenagers”, Gowen reports that her family “had suffered zero tree incidents and absolutely no, I repeat no broken ornaments.”

So what’s the secret? Just two little words: “One Finger”.

The older and more experienced mom at Gowen’s church explained that the key isn’t in finding ways to hide the tree from your child or protect it from them, but to give a clear and reasonable boundary for precious little hands that learn and experience their world through touch.

In a nutshell, you show your children how to touch the tree, the lights, the ornaments with just one finger, and use “one finger” as a gentle command to remind them.

When a little boy or girl first sees the amazing sight of a lit and decorated Christmas tree, it’s incredibly natural for them to want to touch it, like a moth to a flame!

It’s when we don’t allow them to experience this touch, with reasonable boundaries, you’ll see more “tree mishaps and ornament disasters,” Gowen says. “But by allowing them to experience the tree with their fingers while still placing limits, you end up with a delighted child and happy Mommy.”

You, like Gowen did at first, might think this trick is too silly and simple to work, but try it! “If you give them the strong and authoritative instruction of ‘One Finger’ when they first encounter the Christmas tree they’ll follow it,” Gowen assures readers. “You most likely will have to remind them with this two-worded command the first few encounters, but it will stick.”

For the youngest toddlers who are experiencing their first Christmas out of Mom or Dad’s arms, this trick is incredibly effective. It’s also a lesson that will serve them for the rest of their toddlerhood Christmases, making the tree less off-limits and enticing.

Allowing them to touch the tree, even with just one finger, and experience it for themselves is enough to satiate their God-given curiosity. Try it!

 

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Uplifting

Rhino Poacher Meets a Poetic Fate, Complete with Elephants, Lions, and Revenge

If this isn’t justice, I don’t know what is.

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Greed is a hell of a drug. Greed is what makes a wealthy man and addicted man.  It’s the idea that you can never have enough, no matter the consequences to the world around you. Don’t get me wrong: Winning and achieving are great, but there are costs to be considered. For wildlife poachers, the reward is dirty money…and lots of it.  Items such as rhinoceros horns can go for as much as $60k per kilo – an amount that makes cocaine look like over-the-counter DayQuil in comparison. Of course, the reason for this enormous price tag is the rarity of the item, with poachers having nearly caused the extinction of several species of Rhinoceros over the course of the last few decades. But, as Jeff Goldblum famously says in the 90’s blockbuster Jurassic Park, “life finds a way”. One poacher in Africa has learned that lesson the very hard way. Only a skull and a pair of trousers remained after a suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions in Kruger National Park, South African National Parks said. The incident happened after the man entered the park with four others to target rhinos, according to a parks service statement released Friday. His family were notified of his death late Tuesday by his fellow poachers, and a search party led by Kruger’s regional manager, Don English, set out to recover the body. Rangers scoured on foot and police flew over the area, but due to failing light, it could not be found. The poacher likely didn’t deserve such dignity, but the search went on. The search resumed Thursday morning and, with the help of added field rangers, what was left of his body was discovered. “Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured…

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Uplifting

Police Seek Teens who Interacted with Autistic Skateboarder for BEST REASON EVER

Police are searching for a few teens that left the mother of an autistic child in tears at a local skatepark…but for all the right reasons.

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Life is ostensibly difficult for teens and young adults in ways that many of us adults seem to have forgotten. Hopefully, (and luckily, if so), we grow out of these hormonal adolescent years with a bit of an even keel, able to keep a cool head, and fully aware of our strengths and weaknesses.  Sure, we have bills and the complexities of work/friend/partner relationships to navigate, as well as a whole glut of strange, “as you get older” family issues to deal with, but we at least get to do so as adults with a full understanding of our faculties and abilities. For teens and young people, it’s not that easy.  At these ages, human beings are insecure, unsure, and downright dumbfounded by the world around them.  And, let’s not forget, that kids can be severely cruel to one another over the most asinine of subjects.  Style, mannerisms, and intelligence are all fodder for the teenaged bullies of the world. For children on the autism spectrum, things are even tougher.  These are the “weirdoes” and “nut jobs” that the heartless bullies rail on, making them the bread and butter of these jerks’ daily dissing. So when the mother of an autistic son named Carter began crying at a local New Jersey skatepark, many feared the worst. Lucky for all of us, there is still some good left in this world. Kristen Braconi took Carter, who is on the autism spectrum and has ADHD, and his behavioral therapist to the park to celebrate his fifth birthday, where a group of older kids noticed him playing on his scooter. The teens took it upon themselves to teach Carter how to skateboard. “They were absolutely amazing with him and included him and were so beyond kind it brought me to tears,” the mother shared on Facebook,…

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