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New Year - doing more with less

Liza Weidle

In a world that seems to demand more, it’s a better idea for me to do more with less, much less. This Christmas, we slowed the pace down and enjoyed time together. The kids picked one main gift they wanted and then focused on time together as a family. This process helped me come up with some ideas to keep the focus on family.

Giving back to others that costs only time – closets have been cleaned out and clothes that don’t fit or aren’t being worn are given away. Before new clothes come in, old clothes need to go out. Electronic gadgets – old cell phones, iPods, digital cameras, laptops – can be given to local groups that could use them. If you don’t know of a local group, check out for ideas.

Fitness with purpose – sign up for local walkathons, jumpathons, danceathons, triathlons  and anything else that gets you off the couch to make burning calories more fun and help others. Most newspapers carry listings of opportunities. is another way to learn about events in your area. This past year, my husband completed a bike across the state event. It was an amazing adventure for him to see North Carolina by bike and to meet so many new friends along the way.

Family night – start inviting families who have kids around the same age as yours for game nights. Our family favorites include Rapidough and Cranium because you can have teams. During the recent snow event, one neighborhood family invited ours to their home for church. Just because it was a snowy Sunday and our church service was canceled, didn’t mean we couldn’t worship together. One of our boys played the piano, the other family found the lyrics to put on the computer screen and the time of praise was easy.

Got ideas to share that will help families do more with less? Please add them below.

There is still time for YOU to enter Parenting Magazine’s 2011 “Send a Mom to Congress” contest at  The deadline is January 31st!

Liza Weidle is the NC Mom Congress delegate and author of "Truth about Parenting: Navigating the Elementary Years."