Every Christmas, Ryohei Ando gathers his family together for a holiday tradition. Just like their father did as a child, his two children will reach deep into a red-and-white bucket and pick out the best piece of fried chicken they can find.
Yes, it’s a Merry KFC Christmas for the Ando family. It may seem odd anywhere outside Japan, but Ando’s family and millions of others would never let a Christmas go by without Kentucky Fried Chicken. Every Christmas season an estimated 3.6 million Japanese families treat themselves to fried chicken from the American fast-food chain, in what has become a nationwide tradition.
You can read about this KFC Christmas event over at BBC.com!
I've been a good dad all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my two children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of chocolate bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground and figured out how to attach nine patches onto my daughter's girl scout sash with staples and a glue gun.
I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.
Here are my Christmas wishes:
I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache after a day of chasing kids (in any color, except blue, which I already have) and arms that don't flap in the breeze but are strong enough to carry a screaming toddler out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere amongst the countless cans of pepsi I've drunk. If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like a car with fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to watch the football live on my phone for just 5 minutes.
On the practical side, I could use a talking daughter doll that says, "Yes, Daddy" to boost my parental confidence, along with one potty-trained toddler, two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting, "Stop turning the taps on" and 'Leave the cat alone,' because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog. And please don't forget the Playdoh Travel Pack, the hottest stocking stuffer this year for mothers of preschoolers. It comes in three fluorescent colors and is guaranteed to crumble on any carpet making the in-laws' house seem just like mine. If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair (if I had any) in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container. If you don't mind I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could make my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family; or if my toddler didn't look so cute sneaking downstairs to eat contraband ice cream in his pajamas at midnight.
Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the chimney and come in and dry off by the fire so you don't catch a cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet, I've only just managed to finishing the hoovering.
Yours Always.. Dad.
P.S. - One more thing...you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.
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Getting older shouldn’t be something to be frightened of. With older age comes the possibility of having more time for yourself, a greater appreciation for your family, and opportunities to explore new challenges and adventures! To make sure you’re as prepared as you can be, check out these tips:
1. Prioritize your health
Getting old can be a seriously joyous thing, but enjoying your life to the max is easier if you’re healthy. So, taking regular exercise (you can even do it from home thanks to online courses and programs) and eating well is all part of the package. After all, you want to make sure you’re in tip-top condition while you’re off exploring, don’t you?
2. Be organized
Ensuring all your documents and plans are in a safe place is one of the kindest things you can do. This means that no matter the scenario, a trusted person or loved one will have all the paperwork they need. This will take a load off your mind, and you can move on to enjoying more exciting things!
3. Pick up new hobbies
Your latter years are a great time to spend time on new hobbies and skills. Exercise your brain and indulge passion projects that you’ve always considered. Have you always wanted to try fishing? Is salsa your thing? Do you think you might want to speak French? There are so many online and offline courses out there to choose from. And if that’s not your thing, then it’s time to get out there and try it on your own.
4. Upgrade your home
Making a couple of sensible changes to your home can make all the difference to your comfort in the years to come. That doesn’t mean moving straight into a bungalow or installing a stairlift, but it does mean making a few adjustments. Consider including a few pieces of handcrafted pieces, like Crown Furniture, to create an environment that’s safe, chic, and easy to use. Looking for additional ways to improve your home? Try adding these 8 Best Indoor Plants with Health Benefits.
5. Mindfulness matters
Keeping your brain supple is key, but so is keeping your mental health strong. Practicing mindfulness can be a great way to live in the moment and help relieve any stress. It also has the benefits of lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, and generally improving all-round health. To get started, you can choose from a number of apps and courses. Hopefully, you will enjoy the benefits of decreased stress and anxiety and improved focus.
6. Try yoga
It’s true that falls pose a danger to older adults, so to mitigate the risk, try picking up yoga. It helps strengthen core muscles and works on balance and flexibility. Not to mention, it’s a very calming and healthy activity. Adding yoga into your routine is a great way to keep yourself fit and healthy, well into older adulthood.
Hopefully, this article has given you some tips and tricks that will help you ‘age well’ and enjoy your later years.
With the world very much upside down at the moment, finding a good news story isn't that easy. But Thom Foodery shared a video of a game he created for his son during the Covid-19 lockdown which left his son's reaction as the best part! The Mirror has the story..
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live