Tina Gleisner – Interviewed by Robin Hardy
Wondering how you can help the community during the holidays?
Everyone loves the holidays. They’re a wonderful way to pass family traditions from one generation to the next. When we add holiday extras to a busy schedule, it often means we’re trying to do too much. It’s easy to end up so exhausted we don’t enjoy ourselves. Tina remembers how tired she was as she wrapped presents on Christmas eve after the boys went to bed.
That’s why I'm hosting experts to share 24 holiday tips. We want to help everyone squeeze a little more fun (and a bit less stress) into the holidays. A few friends suggested I include my holiday helping hands projects that have evolved over the years, so hope you enjoy them.
Favorite Holiday Activity
When my younger son came home from piano lessons with a gingerbread house (he was about 5 and didn't want to play piano that day), it was the start of my favorite holiday tradition. Over the years we've made gingerbread houses with friends every year. Some of the most interesting were finding molasses in Tokyo, and my Japanese friends loved helping the kids decorate houses. When our son was in the navy, we made a gingerbread ship and took it too him in Norfolk, so they could decorate it on Christmas day. This year will be our first gingerbread house party with my 3 year old granddaughter.
Holiday Tips – Providing Helping Hands for Others in the Community
Tina is a multi-faceted entrepreneur, and the founder of HomeTipsforWomen.com. She loves helping others which made running a handyman business a natural fit. She truly learned from this experience that communities are fragile and it takes everyone working together to build strong, vibrant places to call home.
Over the years Tina and her family have always included activities to give back to the community, and is proud of her son who at age 7 collected money for cancer research to help cure a classmate. For years they adopted families in the community, providing food, clothing and toys. Even though her boys are grown and on their own now, Tina and her husband continue to give back to others who need a pair of helping hands over the holidays.
- Adopting a family is a fun project as your kids can relate to other kids. You can find families through your school, church or it can be totally anonymous through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
- You can pick stars off the giving trees at the grocery store or local mall, and buy the clothing or toy requested. This makes the shopping easier and you can do this in one evening, a night out with dinner and shopping … and nothing to take home.
- You can gift money to a friend or family in need so they can purchase what they need. The pay-it-forward movement makes it easier for people to accept and we started doing this when the economy was bad. Last year we gave money to a friend who was out of work for 2+ years. This year it was a friend of a friend, who was dealing with cancer, divorce and going to school for nursing because she can't return to her old job. Anita wrote my friend “out of oil (in Maine) and writing a post dated check for money that is NOT in the bank.” How exciting that Cindy could write back about her Christmas gift … and Anita responded “Wow, we'll be able to have Christmas dinner as well as new jammies, hot coco and movies for all!”
If you’d like to listen to Robin and I talking about some of my holiday traditions, click to listen …
For more ideas on how you can provide a pair of helping hands (some require time and no money), read Holiday Volunteering Ideas That Make An Impact.
Most Important Holiday Goal
Tina looks forward to a few days of fun and relaxation with her kids who she doesn't see much during the year. It's a special time for everyone to get together and reconnect, sharing all that's happened through the year. It will be especially nice this year with her 3 year old granddaughter.