DECEMBER? HOW CAN IT BE ALMOST THE END OF DECEMBER? By INTERNATIONAL EDITOR, LINDY HEATH

I glanced at my desktop calendar and saw December 19th and then just sat and stared at it for a good five minutes. December 19th? How can it be that late already? Where did this year go? I’m sure we all have experienced this feeling at one time or another but for some reason this year has just flown by. I am not ready for Christmas quite yet, although my home is decorated, my Christmas shopping list is made out for gift buying, and online items are ordered. I did glance at my calendar, shuttered, and quickly slammed it shut…!
But on the other hand, as I was sitting here remembering this past year and how amazing it has been I am smiling. My health has been good this year as well as my husbands. Two years ago on December 7th, he suffered a stroke and yet today you would never know it. We had a great spring and of course the month of July was so special to me. Being elected to serve my Sisters on Council is truly an honor that I treasure more each day. The Fall brought challenges and excitement along with frustration with Internet issues. Through it all I learned, adjusted, and I am still here blogging away. It’s all good!
Now as I look forward to all the New Year brings I have an even bigger smile on my face. This coming year brings visits to Sisters in their Province meetings. These visits will become memories for a lifetime. Our family will add at least one new Great Grandson, a very special wedding of a Grandson will take place, and two of our Grandchildren will be obtaining their driver’s licenses. All events that promise to make the coming year pass by probably way too quickly just as this last year has.
I have other milestones that I am hoping will happen this coming year but right now they are still in the planning stages, but both are important to me personally and each brings a big smile to my face.
As you look back on the past year and forward into the next, may you all have smiles on your faces too. I wish for all my Sisters a warm and wonderful Holiday Season creating smiles and memories for each of you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Hugs,
Lindy

LEADERSHIP COMMANDMENTS by INTERNATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, DEB JURACICH

According to the dictionary, leadership is defined as “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.” Some feel that not everyone can be a leader. I disagree, everyone can a leader. Does that mean we can all be the next President of the United States? Mayor? CEO? Maybe not, but each of us can be a leader in some aspect of our lives. It may be in our families, church, job, Chapter, Province or even International. There are opportunities for all of us. Below are the 10 Commandments of Leadership, from the book 10 Commandments of Effective Leadership and the Boy Scouts of America’s Wood Badge course.
1. Make what matters really matter. Hold yourself and others accountable for bringing your mission to life.
2. Practice what you preach. Be a role model for honesty, integrity, and walking the talk.
3. Communicate with care and conviction. Share what you know, be considerate and confident, and listen respectfully.
4. Create the involvement you seek. Provide team members with meaningful opportunities to participate.
5. Do right by those who do right. Acknowledge and thank team members who meet or exceed your expectations.
6. Provide what they need to succeed. Make sure team members have the tools, training, and support necessary to do their best work.
7. Confront challenges with courage. Face difficult situations directly. Make the tough calls. Do what you know needs to be done.
8. Let differences become your direction. Appreciate the uniqueness of all your team members. Use it to move you beyond the status quo.
9. Strive to serve others. Use your knowledge and skills for the betterment of all.
10. Go forth and prosper. Build a lasting legacy. Accept that your ultimate purpose is to help everyone become successful.

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS by INTERNATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, DEB JURACICH

The Holiday season is fast approaching. The season is filled with family, friends, and our lovely SPG Sisters. It is also filled with traditions! Traditions are beliefs or behaviors that have been passed down for generations or a few years. It is always fun and interesting to learn about traditions from other people. A tradition in our family is making hard-tack candy. I remember as a child making the candy with my mom and brother. Waiting for the candy to get hot enough seemed like it took hours, but the anticipation was always worth the wait. Our favorite part was adding the concentrated flavoring. The aroma would fill the house and the minty flavors would make your face tingle. Back then, we would hand cut the very hot candy by hand with scissors. You had to work fast to get it cut before it cooled.
The hard-tack candy making tradition has continued and grown into a favorite family day. My son, Kyle, loves this day! Together with my Mom, Carol Shelton; my Sister Deb; Uncle Al; and friend Don make over fifteen batches of this tasty treat every year! We do not hand cut the candy, we use molds, but the time spent together creates wonderful memories like it did back when I was little. I hope this tradition continues when Kyle becomes an adult!
What is a favorite tradition that you look forward to this season?