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7 Steps to a Stress-Free Chaldean Holiday Celebration
By Sue Garmo :: Monday, November 19, 2007 :: 98941 Views :: Article Rating :: 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!

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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.