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Christmas: In Three Words

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In Three Words

Memories, Flashbacks, Celebrations
Kisses under mistletoe
Cheery red check
Children wide-eyes
Excited laughing children
Frantic rushing parents
Presents under trees
Receiving favorite things
Proposals and rings
Families traveling far
Driving loaded cars
Sweet hot chocolate
Candy cane treats
Apple Rum Cider
Nutmeg and Eggnog
Making plans early
Late night parties
Singing holiday tunes
Cherished friends re-un
Love abundantly shared
Long airplane flights
Snowed-in delays
Families lovingly reunited
Tears of joy
Cats batting ornaments
Dogs chasing cats
Lights flickering on
Angels atop trees
Sweet treats galore
Frosting sugar cookies
Dipping cheese balls
Avoiding fruit cakes
Exchanging holiday recipes
Joyous carols sung
Hope-filled stockings hung
Crisp snowflakes fall
Card sentiments mailed
Monthly earnings spent
Playing in snow
Sparkling garland shines
Shopping last minute
World peace rings
Packing it up
Storing it away
Waiting another year
Anticipating next year
Doing it again

– Sheryl Roush, Speaker, Author,

Reprinted from Heart of the Holidays gift book by Sheryl Roush

The Feelings of Christmas

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May the wonderful feelings of Christmas stay with you
long after the gifts are unwrapped, the tree is taken down,
and the ornaments are safely stored away.

May the once-a-year joy of Christmas return to you
in memories throughout the year,
each time tugging at your heartstrings…
each time bringing a smile.

What Christmas Means

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What Christmas Means

If Christmas means Sharing,
then let us share together our hope for tomorrow…

If Christmas means Giving,
then let us give one another strength, encouragement, and faith…

If Christmas means Love,
then let us love one another with the hearts of children…

in the Spirit of Peace.

Holiday Tips: Nurturing The Spirit Year Round

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Holiday Tips: Nurturing The Spirit Year Round

Learning from the Holidays

Holidays and joy are two elements of our lives that are naturally intertwined. Traditional celebrations awaken within us an ardent desire to reconnect with the people we care about and to share our abundance. During the holiday season, we feel more driven to actively practice compassion, tolerance, selflessness, and gratitude. When we feel stressed, we find peace in the company of loved ones. And, filled with warm thoughts, we endeavor to ensure that others can share in our celebrations. Yet while happiness and holidays go hand in hand, the serenity and optimism that blossom within as we act on our festive feelings need not be relegated to a few days or weeks each year. We can carry the holiday spirit within us all year long if we make an effort to embrace a celebratory frame of mind no matter what the date.

Holding the holidays in your heart can be wonderfully transformative. Changing your life can be as simple as thinking about the uplifting activities you engage in and the positive attitudes you adopt during the holiday season and then integrating them into your daily life. If you learn to always be as open to wonder as you are around the holidays, the world will seem like a more magical place, whether it is December, March, or August. While holidays represent a great opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, there is little preventing you from reaching out to the people you care about throughout the year. The patience, compassion, goodwill, and tolerance you feel while celebrating can easily become a part of your everyday experience. Likewise, you will soon discover that the generous charitable gifts you give once a year mean just as much during other months and are often needed even more.

To remind yourself of your decision to carry the holiday spirit in your heart, consider displaying some small part of your holiday décor to signify your commitment. Remember that giving, whether your gifts are tangible or of the soul, always feels good, whatever the occasion. However you prefer to celebrate the holidays, practicing the ideals of the season every day means experiencing the beauty of the holiday season all year long.

Surviving the Holidays

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Surviving the Holidays
by Jacqueline Wales

We are all gearing up for the Holiday Season, and since many of us love it and maybe just as many hate it, I’d like to offer you my five top tips for getting through the chaos without losing your mind.

  1. You are not the GIFTS you give. YOU ARE THE GIFT. Remember to treat it with respect.
  2. You don’t have to accept every party invitation that comes your way. People will love you anyway.
  3. Gift giving is not a competitive sport. If you receive something, you don’t have to give one back, especially if it means going into debt to do so.
  4. When the hurly-burly sets in……Remember to Breathe
  5. If you so desire….. be a BAH HUMBUG! The party will continue anyway.


Celebrating What Truly Counts

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Celebrating What Truly Counts

The Perfect Holiday

As the holidays arrive it is easy to become distracted by our desire for perfection. It might be the need to craft a festive environment, always be in an upbeat mood, or simply the desire to find just the right gifts for everyone in our lives. Even though these things can be positive, if we start putting too much pressure on ourselves during this season, we are much more apt to forget what truly is important—celebrating our lives with the people we care about.

For many of us this time of year can stir up a host of mixed emotions. For example, we might feel a tinge of nostalgia for past holiday celebrations, when times were simpler, or a sense of being let down due to the unmet expectations we have for ourselves and others. No matter what our feelings are, they are likely to be caused by an unrealistic sense of what the holidays should mean for us. Rather than thinking of this season as a time for finding the perfect gift or hosting the best party, we can get so much more out of the holidays if we create a personal inventory of the things that matter most to us. With each item we add to our list, we can then set the intention to use this season as a time to consciously rejoice in and express our appreciation for the blessings we have. The more we are able to let go of our traditional expectations for the holidays, the more open we will become to the bounteous spirit that lies within us.

Our true enjoyment of this season will only come from looking within and reflecting on the deeper spiritual significance the holidays have for us. Infusing our holiday activities with a sense of gratitude will bring a greater level of enjoyment to our life and also help us extend loving and kind energy to all we encounter. It is this spirit that will allow us to truly celebrate by sharing our greatest gifts—infinite love, peace, understanding, and joy—with those around us.

Mattel Toys – Donating to Needy Children

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Mattel Toys – Donating to Needy Children

For charitable giving only– getting toys to donate to needy kids for the holidays.

Mattel Toy Store’s Charity Sales Program supports charitable purchases this holiday season. A charity customer can include almost anyone, as long as the toys purchased are then given to help children in need, or to programs that support children in need. Charity customers will receive a 30% discount on toys that are regular-priced, and sale prices are as is.

Mattel runs seven retail toy stores in Southern California, Wisconsin and Texas, as well as two seasonal stores. For store locations and information, please log onto

Additionally, for any interested groups who do not live near one of these stores, Mattel has a list available with special charity pricing. Customers can review the list and photos and for a nominal shipping fee, Mattel can mail the toy order to any destination of your choice in the US. This list is not published on Mattel’s website, but staff is happy to provide it should anyone like to see it. Contact Trish Procectto directly.

Trish Procetto, Charity Sales Manager, Mattel Toy Store
333 Continental Boulevard M1-0604
El Segundo, CA 90245
Phone 310.252.4236

Fax 310.252.2174
www.matteltoystore. com

Boxing Day December 26

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The first weekday after Christmas, celebrated as a public holiday in parts of the British Commonwealth, when Christmas gifts are traditionally given to service workers, on December 26, the day after Christmas Day, or alternatively on the next weekday after Christmas.

In Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden, the 26th is known as the Second day of Christmas: Stefanitag in Austria, der zweite Weihnachtsfeiertag in Germany; Δε?τερη μ?ρα των Χριστουγ?ννων in Greece; Annandag Jul in Sweden; Anden Juledag in Denmark; Andre Juledag in Norway; Tweede Kerstdag in Belgium and in the Netherlands; Annar dagur jóla in Iceland; Tapaninpäivä (St. Stephen’s Day) in Finland; Karácsony másnapja in Hungary. In some of these countries it is also a public holiday. This day is also known in Spain as San Esteban, and in Italy as Santo Stefano.


It was the day when people would give a present or Christmas box to those who had worked for them throughout the year. This is still done in Britain for postmen and paper-boys – though now the ‘box’ is usually given before Christmas, not after.

In feudal times, Christmas was a reason for a gathering of extended families. All the serfs would gather their families in the manor of their lord, which made it easier for the lord of the estate to hand out annual stipends to the serfs. After all the Christmas parties on 26 December, the lord of the estate would give practical goods such as cloth, grains, and tools to the serfs who lived on his land. Each family would get a box full of such goods the day after Christmas. Under this explanation, there was nothing voluntary about this transaction; the lord of the manor was obliged to supply these goods. Because of the boxes being given out, the day was called Boxing Day.

In England many years ago, it was common practice for the servants to carry boxes to their employers when they arrived for their day’s work on the day after Christmas. Their employers would then put coins in the boxes as special end-of-year gifts. This can be compared with the modern day concept of Christmas bonuses. The servants carried boxes for the coins, hence the name Boxing Day.

In churches, it was traditional to open the church’s donation box on Christmas Day, and the money in the donation box was to be distributed to the poorer or lower class citizens on the next day. In this case, the "box" in "Boxing Day" comes from that lockbox in which the donations were left.

Boxing Day was the day when the wren, the king of birds, was captured and put in a box and introduced to each household in the village when he would be asked for a successful year and a good harvest.

Because the staff had to work on such an important day as Christmas by serving the master of the house and their family, they were given the following day off. As servants were kept away from their own families to work on a traditional religious holiday and were not able to celebrate Christmas Dinner, the customary benefit was to "box" up the leftover food from Christmas Day and send it away with the servants and their families. (Similarly, as the servants had the 26th off, the owners of the manor may have had to serve themselves pre-prepared, boxed food for that one day.) Hence the "boxing" of food became "Boxing Day."

Toasts for Good Cheer

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Toasts for Good Cheer

No matter what looms ahead, if you can eat today, enjoy today,
mix good cheer with friends today enjoy it and bless God for it.
~Henry Ward Beecher

May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you.
Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray,
Heaven to hear you.
~Irish Blessings

These things I warmly wish for you
Someone to love, some work to do,
A bit o’ sun, a bit o’ cheer,
And a guardian angel always near.
~Irish Blessings

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain,
tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you,
those you love near you
and all your heart might desire.
~Irish Blessings

Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
~William Shakespeare

At Christmas play and make good cheer,
for Christmas comes but once a year.
~Thomas Tusser


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Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

– Author Unknown

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