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7 Steps to a Stress-Free Chaldean Holiday Celebration
By Sue Garmo :: Monday, November 19, 2007 :: 82855 Views :: Health & Fitness, Living & Lifestyle, Community & Culture

California, USA - Chaldeans are busily preparing for the holidays.  The community is getting ready for big family dinners, the traditional extended family tours, and the hectic gift giving calculations.  It arrives at the same time every year, and yet Chaldeans continue to get confused, stressed, and frustrated over the potential holiday madness. Chaldean holiday preparations can be less taxing for Chaldeans if these 7 simple steps are followed. 

Step 1 - BE PREPARED
Create a budget for your gift purchases, a list of who has been nice, and stick to it. Chaldeans have huge families and trying to buy a gift for every cousin, friend, neighbor, or employee will have you filing for bankruptcy.  Chaldeans are generous and charitable, but a line has to be drawn.  Create a gift list to fight the urge of seeing an item on clearance that you think would be perfect for someone not on your list.  Write down a few ideas for presents, based on the preferences of those on the list and hints they have given you throughout the year.

Step 2 - SLOW DOWN
Use slow times to run your errands so that you won't burn out. Shop for groceries in early mornings or late evenings (not during lunch hour or after work), visit the malls during your lunch break while others are at work or in the classroom, and try to avoid standing in line if at all possible. Talk with siblings and friends on your shopping efforts.  Perhaps you can pick something up for them while you’re out and vice versa.

Step 3 - LIMIT INTERRUPTIONS
Learn how to screen incoming interruptions to eliminate stress at work and at home. Use voicemail, caller ID., and email filters to avoid chaos creators.

Step 4 - HELPING HANDS
Turn the big Chaldean dinner feasts, shopping demands, and decoration duties into a family fun gathering.  Invite friends and young kids to help with babysitting, cooking foods, or decorating.  Holiday duties done with friends and family are fun.  Decorating two homes together is better than each one decorating their own.  Same goes with food preparations, shopping, gift wrapping, or watching over toddlers. 

Step 5 - DELEGATE
Delegate simple decorating and gift-wrapping tasks to others or take advantage of charity wrap centers. Small children love to help by adding bows or gift tags to presents.  Youth groups at Chaldean churches often try to raise funds by wrapping gifts for busy people or running basic errands.    

Step 6 - GAME PLAN
Create a game plan for your holiday meal ahead of time.  List what items will be needed, who can help, the best time to prepare portions of the meal and gather all the wonderful Chaldean family recipes.

Step 6 - TAKE INVENTORY
Take an inventory of the linen closet, kitchen serving ware, and other common items that may be needed over the holiday.  Visualize the entire event and figure out what you may possibly need.  This includes the medicine cabinet.  The less surprises the less stress.

Step 7 - THE MAIN EVENT
Start the morning with easy preparations in the kitchen, leaving other items for the last minute. Chop vegetables, mix dips, then assemble snack trays for munching. Put the turkey in the oven, set the table, and bake pies. Leave candles, music, and last minute preparations for later. Leave the house to take a stroll around the block, enjoy a bubblebath, or listen to some relaxing music before your family or friends arrive. Enjoy yourself-- you've earned it!

And the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas, make next year's "to do" so that you won't have to work so hard again and all the great ideas are fresh in your mind.  Shop year round for gifts, decorations, and cards for those you love. Keep a running list of things you need, should not do again, and tips for making things easier on you and your household. Getting organized for the holidays is truly a process, not a product, but with some effective planning you can enjoy the journey.

Have a happy Chaldean Holiday!

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.