Archive for the 'Hanukkah' Category
‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHANUKAH
‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHANUKAH…
OY! WHAT A SHOCK!
WAS PICKING OUR LOCK!
AND THERE AT THE DOOR
STOOD A ‘ZAYDA’ IN BLUE-
AND HE WORE ON HIS KUPP
A BLUE YARMULKA, TOO!
HIS PUNIM WAS SHAIN-
EVERYBODY WOULD LOVE IT!
‘ROUND HIS NECK HUNG A CHAIN
WITH A GOLD MOGEN DOVID!
HE WORE SILKEN TSITZES
BENEATH HIS WOOL VEST,
AND A SMALL FLAG OF ISRAEL
WAS DRAPED ON HIS CHEST!
HE SAID: "I’M NO BURGLAR,
SO PLEASE DON’T BE NERVOUS.
I’M THE SPIRIT OF CHANUKAH,
HERE AT OUR SERVICE!"
"MENCHEN ALL CALL ME
‘REB’ SHALOM SHAPIRO!
WITHOUT ME, THIS YOM-TOV
MIGHT NEED A NEW ‘HERO!’"
"I VISIT ALL YIDLACH,
AND BRING – KINNAHORRA-
GOOD FORTUNE AS BRIGHT
AS A GLOWING MENORAH!"
"ICH SHLEPP LOTS OF BLESSINGS
AND CHANUKAH GELT,
AND JOYS THAT ARE TAKKA
THE BEST IN DER VELT!"
"IF YOU KNOW NICE MENCHEN,
I’LL VISIT THEM QUICK,
AND I’LL BRING THEM GEZUNT
AND A HOUSEFUL OF GLICK!"
SO WE SENT HIM TO YOUR HOUSE,
AND SHOOK HANDS AND PARTED.
HE SHOUTED, "SHALOM!"
OUT THE DOORWAY HE DARTED!
HE RAN TO A WAGON
WITH HORSES AHEAD.
HE FED THEM SOME BAGELS,
AND HERE’S WHAT HE SAID:
"LET’S GO, MOISH AND MENDEL!
MAKE QUICK, MOE AND YUSSLE!
PLEASE GIVE A RUSH, MALKAH!
HEY, HYMIE, PLEASE HUSTLE!"
THEN THEY RACED LIKE THE WIND!
AND THEY GALLOPED SO SHNELL,
ALL HIS CLOTHING BLEW OFF,
AND HIS GATKES AS WELL!
SOON HE WAS SO KALT
THAT HIS TUSHIE TURNED BLUISH!
HE MOANED AND HE HOLLERED
IN ENGLISH AND JEWISH!
SO, DON’T ACT EMBARRASSED,
AND PLEASE DON’T BE RUDE
WHEN THAT FROSTBITTEN ZAYDA
ARRIVES IN THE NUDE!
QUICK! WRAP HIM IN BLANKETS!
DON’T BEAT ‘ROUND THE BUSH’!
AND TIE A HOT WATER BAG
ON HIS COLD TUSH!
QUICK! FEED HIM SOME CHICHEN SOUP
HEISS AS CAN BE!
AND GIVE HIM SOME SHNAPPS
AND A GLEZ’L HOT TEA!
‘CAUSE HE BRINGS YOU A HOUSEFUL
OF CHANUKAH WISHES
AS WARM AND GESHMOCK
AS PLATE OF HOT KNISHES!
AND HE BRINGS THEM FROM OUR HOUSE
SO FRIENDLYAND BRIGHT,
SO YOUR HOUSE WILL KEEP GLOWING
WITH CHANUKAH LIGHT.
PLUS JOY SWEET AS TSUKKER,
AND PEACE AND GOOD-CHEER
AND EVERYTHING FRAYLACH
EACH DAY OF THE YEAR!
AND NONE IN YOUR FAMILY
WILL BE A SHLEMAZEL,
FOR LIFE WILL BRING EACH OF YOU
SIMCHAS AND MAZEL!
AND ALL THROUGH THE FUTURE
YOUR HOPES WILL COME TRUE,
AND HIMMEL WILL BLESS
YOUR MISHPOCHA AND YOU!!!
Translators available at 1-800-YIDNITE
This humor was submitted to us for posting. Author unknown.
“Heart of the Holidays”
by Angela England
Type-A Mom Gift Guide – Gifts for Moms
Monday, 10 November 2008
Click here to see original post.
The perfect size for giving, a woman who enjoys reading could not get a better gift book for the Yuletide Holidays than this charming book, Heart of the Holidays: Holiday Inspirations Yuletide Treasures and Traditions by Sheryl Roush.
This delightful book came at the perfect time for me as I begin to look forward to the holidays and felt the stress of Thanksgiving preparation creeping up on me. Heart of the Holidays: Holiday Inspirations Yuletide Treasures & Traditions is written by Sheryl Roush and was published by Sparkle Press. As I curl up on the couch to feed my newborn, this holiday collection is easy to thumb through for a few minutes.
Not too heavy or bulky, the easy-to-read format of Heart of the Holidays, makes this book the perfect present to tuck into a stocking, present as a hostess gift for Thanksgiving and Christmas parties, or give on one of the days of Hanukkah. It makes the perfect book for bedroom end table, bathroom magazine rack, or to read just in bits and pieces if you are as busy as I am.
What Readers Will See in Heart of the Holidays
Heart of the Holidays presents readers with over 225 pages of delightful poems, quotes, stories, excerpts, songs, and inspiring sayings in six categories: Thanksgiving; Christmas; Yuletide Around the Globe; Hanukkah; Winter Solstice; and Ringing in the New Year.
I appreciated the range of quotes that were included by Sheryl Roush, covering the range from proverbial sayings, to traditional historic figures, to humorous quips by modern celebrities. For example, in the Thanksgiving section she quotes Oprah Winfrey saying, "The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."
Not just quotes and songs, Roush has brought together the best of the holiday stories and essays available and gathered them altogether in one place. One of my favorites of these was in the Yuletide Around the Globe chapter, an excerpt from Helena Steiner-Hornsteyn, who says in a portion of Christmas in Sweden, "Even if you happen to live in a huge country mansion with a large dining room, on Christmas Eve you always eat in the kitchen together with those who mean something to you. Even if you are very sick you should appear for this meal to show the spirit of Christmas. Because at Christmas there are no barrier and no separations."
These thoughtful and uplifting samples are only a taste of what Heart of the Holidays by Sheryl Roush has to offer as a charming gift for a book lover, or harried housewife alike.
JUST RELEASED: Heart of the Holidays the book plus the Heart of the Holidays BONUS MUSIC CD…. for only $19.95.
In Three Words
Memories, Flashbacks, Celebrations
Kisses under mistletoe
Cheery red check
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
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, www.SparklePresentations.com
Reprinted from Heart of the Holidays gift book by Sheryl Roush
Keep Holiday Stress to a Minimum:
Learn to Say No
4 simple tactics for saying no to unnecessary obligations.
By Katherine Kam and reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
For many of us, the holidays were magical in childhood, carefree times to be savored. But then we grew into hordes of harried adults, falling victim to the season’s high expectations. Holiday stress has become as much a tradition as the Christmas ham.
"People are overcommitted," says Marc D. Skelton, PhD, PsyD, a psychologist in Laguna Niguel, Calif. "Christmas and other holidays around this time are always supposed to be fun, and you’re supposed to do a good job in terms of entertaining friends and family." In an attempt to live up to the season’s tall orders, "people will just run from pillar to post," he says. It’s not even "Christmas" anymore, some of his clients lament. It’s "Stressmas."
We also overload ourselves with inherited traditions, even when they no longer fit into our busy lives, says Elaine Rodino, PhD, a psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif. If one’s mother "baked a thousand cookies and gave them to everyone she knew," Rodino says, "people feel obligated to follow the same kinds of things."
But there is a secret to cutting holiday stress: Just say no. You don’t have to bake all those cookies, Rodino says. "You can start your own traditions.’ And you can learn to say no to lots of other demands, too, including party invitations that don’t entice or a whopping gift list that could clean out a mall.
Holiday Stress-Reduction Tip: Decide What Matters Most
"The spirit of the holidays is gratitude and giving," says Patti Breitman, co-author of the book How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty. Only a Scrooge would dispute that generosity is admirable. "It’s very satisfying to offer support to the people we love, help out a neighbor, or do something positive for the community," Breitman writes. But "the conflict arises when we continually agree to things that please everyone but ourselves or when we commit to tasks for which we have no time or desire." By saying "yes" to every holiday invitation and demand that comes your way, you could wind up exhausted and possibly broke. Instead, reflect on what you cherish most about the holidays, experts say, whether it’s sending greeting cards to maintain relationships, tree trimming, baking, religious observances, seeing family and friends, supporting a charitable cause, or just relaxing. When you know your priorities, you can turn down the less important things, Breitman says. "It’s easier to say ‘no’ if you know what you’re saying ‘yes’ to."
How to Say No to Holiday Stress:
1. Say No to Parties That You Don’t Want to Attend
2. Say No to Out-of-Control Gift-Giving
3. Say No to Unwanted Houseguests
4. Say No to Taking on the Work for a Big Holiday Celebration
Emotional Survival Guide for the Holidays: 7 Tips
Experts explain some simple methods for driving away the holiday blues.
‘Tis the season to be jolly? Not necessarily.
For many people the holiday season, which kicks off with Thanksgiving and spans through New Year’s, is anything but blissful. In fact, this time of year may trigger a bout of the blues or perhaps ignite a depression that has been smoldering under the surface for months. "Holiday blues are a pretty common problem despite the fact that as a society, we see the holidays as a joyous time," says Rakesh Jain, MD, director of psychiatric drug research at the R/D Clinical Research Center in Lake Jackson, Texas. "Many people feel depressed, which can be due to the increased stress that comes with the need to shop and the decreased time to exercise which gets put on the back burner during the holidays." While people with clinical depression should seek professional help, those with a touch of the holiday blues can try these strategies recommended by experts to assure a jolly Christmas and a happy new year.
Visiting Ghosts of Christmas Past
"See what it was in the past that led to trouble, whether drinking too much alcohol or not exercising enough or the decreased social contact that comes from going to parties with relative strangers, but forgetting to connect with friends and family," Jain suggests. "Every time depression visits, it leaves a fingerprint. Look for what in the past has been a repeat source of trouble and find ways to avoid it. If you plan, it’s very likely that you won’t be singing the blues this holiday season."
Sending a Holiday Card — to Yourself
"Writing about your holiday blues can actually change them," says Darlene Mininni, PhD, MPH, author of The Emotional Toolkit. "People who write about their deepest feelings when they’re upset are less depressed, less anxious, and more positive about life than people who write about mundane things," she tells WebMD. She suggests writing for 15 minutes a day for three or four days in a row and answering such questions as "Why does this upset me so much?" Or "What would I like to see happen?"
Avoiding Scrooges and Grinches
"Look at how to protect yourself from the energy vampires of the holiday season who deplete your holiday energy reserve," suggests Judith Orloff, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles and the author of Positive Energy. They can include the drama queens, blamers, criticizers, and sob sisters, she explains. Instead, "try and be around positive people. If your Aunt Meg can suddenly start up and start blaming and criticizing you and make you feel like a wreck, don’t sit next to her. Stake out a seat early." "If you know sitting next to Uncle Jake at Christmas dinner will freak you out, assure that whoever does the seating arrangement moves you to another location," says Susan Newman, PhD. Newman is the author of The Book of NO: 250 Ways to Say It — and Mean It and Stop People-Pleasing Forever. "Don’t be wishy-washy about decisions. People can’t read your mind. If something upsets you they won’t know it unless you say so."
Not Going Home for the Holidays
"If you want to go to your partners’ family this year and you have always gone home, simply explain that this is what you want to do and don’t obsess about the consequences," Newman says. "Remember, people are really looking to get something done and they are not thinking about you as much you think they are. When you say no, they are on to the next person or task. When you say no to people, you put yourself first and during the holidays, we are always putting everybody else in front of us."
Dashing Through the Snow
"Get outside and exercise," says psychologist Joan Borysenko, PhD. Borysenko is the author of the soon-to-be-published book Saying Yes to Change. "This can be hard because if you live in certain parts of the country, it’s cold and snowing during the holiday season. But getting outside is great because you get sun, fresh air, and exercise," she says. Exercise has been shown to boost level of endorphins, the body’s natural antidepressants.
Remembering That It Really Is ‘A Wonderful Life’
"Be grateful for what you do have and all the positive things that have happened in your life," Orloff says. "Talk to supportive friends on the phone and find the kind of support to make you feel less lonely rather than dwelling on the loneliness." Jain agrees. "Thinking that the glass is half full, not half empty, is a simple but effective tool," he says. "Instead of thinking about what you can’t buy, think about the extra time and joy that you have to share with your friends and family."
Creating a Photo Opportunity
Many people actually love the holidays and feel let down only when the holiday season is over, Baron says. But making a plan to get together after New Year’s can help keep the holiday spirit alive longer. "Take lots of pictures over the holidays and plan a late-January get-together where everyone can share their pictures," he suggests. "It’s something to look forward to without waiting for the spring thaw."
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.
Heart of the Holidays Book
Receives Another Amazon.com
There are times during the holidays when things aren’t as cheery and happy as we would like them to be. This book is a perfect companion during these times.
The stories and poems are uplifting, comforting and poignant. You can read a story or two at a time. There’s no pressure to "finish this book." In fact, a book like this is never really finished. It’s something that will be sitting in easy reach for many seasons. I’m sure. We can all use some inspiration and comfort all through the year.
A great read any time of the year.
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.
- You are not the GIFTS you give. YOU ARE THE GIFT. Remember to treat it with respect.
- You don’t have to accept every party invitation that comes your way. People will love you anyway.
- 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.
- When the hurly-burly sets in……Remember to Breathe
- If you so desire….. be a BAH HUMBUG! The party will continue anyway.
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
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 www.matteltoystore.com.
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
Official Kwanzaa Website
Information about Kwanzaa, its origins, and activities
Useful Kwanzaa information
Celebrating Kwanzaa and the various symbols and rituals
Holiday Do’s in the Workplace
This time of year, the decisions that plague many a manager, leader and employee are filled with "what do I do for Christmas for my peers, boss, and direct reports?" Well, as the whole nation comes to a screeching halt and prepares for end of year numbers, final sales crunches, and multiple weeks of long over due vacation, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Make sure you handle this holiday season in a way that inspires, uplifts, shows gratitude and values who they are as people. Here are a few options…
Sometimes just a note will be enough to say Happy Holidays and Thank You for all that you Do! This works best when they are handwritten cards and when they address the specific holiday that the recipient is celebrating. Not everyone in the US celebrates Christmas. Keep in mind that if you have a multicultural work environment that your holiday options may not b merely limited to Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. There may be other and for that reason and non-denominational or non-specific Happy Holiday greeting and card picture might be best. If your budget or time frame only allows for a card greeting this year then it will certainly express your thought and even step it up a notch with more than signature –" add a personal note. (*Do be careful what you say in way of performance in your cards, as these can later be used to prove that you thought they were doing a good job if you have to coach them at a later date. I know, I know, but it had to be said.)
Holiday Lunch or Party
A gathering of friends and family is often what makes the holidays so magical. If the team you have the privilege of working with considers each other friends, then take them to lunch all together, or have a party at someone’s house or consider having each person bring in a pot luck dish. Watch out for third shifters or late shifters who may not get to take part in the festivities. You want to uplift, not leave out those that matter. Also, watch the alcohol intake as the party of this year may turn into the grapevine of next year. Consider conducting a white elephant holiday party in which each person brings a gift valued at a small dollar amount ($10-$20) and through a series of number draws each person gets to take a gift or steal one from someone who has already gone. The funnier the gifts, the livelier the party.
This one is a touchy one. If you have paid Christmas bonuses in the past, you want to keep doing that unless you are prepared to give ample warning. (i.e In July!) Money is not a long term motivator, but it will quickly de-motivate folks if you take it away and that may be the last thing your company needs in an effort to cut the budget. Christmas or holiday bonuses are a generous thing and employees may choose this over a trip, but one might be better off asking them what they want. Once it is spent, money is gone and often doesn’t have the same value that you think it does. Think of the last time you gave someone a raise. Did anyone hug your neck for a 3% yearly increase?
– Monica Wofford, Speaker, Author, Trainer, Business Consultant
Hanukkah Basics from the Jewish Heritage Online Magazine
Hanukkah Crafts site – from About.com
Torag.org – Chanukah
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.
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.
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.
Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
At Christmas play and make good cheer,
for Christmas comes but once a year.
Workplace Holiday Gift-Giving Etiquette
with Bosses and Co-Workers
Company policies on gift giving among employees tend to vague or non-existent. What has become increasingly prevalent, though, is a corporate attitude that actions that create or imply a hostile workplace environment will not be tolerated. If there is a question of political correctness, people at all levels are encouraged to "play it safe." Many companies also (formally and informally) put dollar limits, often $25, on gift values, mirroring traditional IRS guidelines for limits on undocumented gift giving.
In this environment of increased sensitivity, finding "appropriate" gifts has become challenging. Personal items are often "out." Self-improvement gifts can send the wrong message. Gifts of alcohol may carry undesirable risk levels. While some food gifts remain popular (holiday turkeys, hams, steaks, fruitcakes, etc), the proliferation of food allergies can make these gifts problematic.
What continue to be safe are subscription based publications focused on expressed personal interest, inspirational gift books such as Heart of the Holidays that focus on multiple Seasonal Holidays, decorative gifts (ornaments, inexpensive collectibles) if you know a person’s religious preferences, gift baskets (whose contents are often almost immediately re-gifted), gift certificates (which now usually are not issued in piles as a way to circumvent the rules, but now actually meet the guidelines) and event tickets (though all too few are available at the targeted $25 price point.
A final note is that given the downsizing issue, both benefits and perks (such as seasonal gifts) are more frequently varied so as not to create "conditions of employment" which Courts have ruled to be entitlements in some cases.
Length of tenure can dictate what kind of gift is given, as well as how interactive the working relationship. Personal assistants will typically receive a more personalized gift than direct reports. The shorter, more impersonal, the relationship, the more likely a card is most appropriate. This equation goes both ways. Company policy may also dictate the gift. In some workplaces, the work group pools their giving, buying for one other member, limiting the value of the gift to the traditional $25/limit and determining who they will be buying for by lot.
Boss to employee gifts need not be reciprocated, but should be acknowledged in writing and on paper.
Gifts for the boss – gift certificates for books, music and/or merchandise; subscriptions if the employee knows his/her interests; books themselves; and personally prepared holiday foods (cakes, cookies, etc).
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
Family Holidays: Built Upon the Past
November 21, 2007
As the holidays approach, you may be preparing yourself to gather with family members you don’t usually spend time visiting. You may even feel that you are choosing to meet more from a sense of obligation than celebration. But when we trust that the universe always places us exactly where we need to be, we know that we have been placed in our families for some higher purpose. Your spirit may have chosen that particular group of souls to help you learn certain lessons, or to give you the experiences necessary to overcome specific challenges. And when we feel we’ve moved away from situations that don’t resemble us or the life we choose to live, it can seem frustrating to put ourselves back into an old scenario. But even a sense of obligation is a sign that you are still connected to the energy of your family, and for that alone it is worth investing yourself into making the most of any gathering.
Once surrounded by people from your past, you may find that you are feeling challenged by a sort of identity crisis. There is likely to be a gap between the person you know yourself to be now and how you are seen by those who knew you before. But you can call upon your inner strength to stand in your truth and simply be who you are without needing their approval or heeding any criticism. Then, you can offer them the gift you’d like to receive when you also allow them to be themselves.
Being in situations that we might not choose for ourselves allows us to see ourselves in a new light. The contrast helps us to see our own strengths and weaknesses, and to learn to accept others for theirs. Part of the magic of family is the way in which it bonds diverse people together, allowing them to function as a complete unit. Who we are today has been built upon our past. If nothing else, rejoining with the family and friends who knew us in our earlier days allows us to recall where we came from so that we can appreciate all that we’ve been given.
Today, the day after Halloween, I "treated" myself to a refreshed hairstyle. Since my stylist, Adele Nizker, does all of my styling, and for my updated author and speaking photos, I "treat" her to a copy of the new books when ready. To boost her spirits, I decided to read a couple of the stories within the crisp, hot-off-the-press pages of Heart of the Holidays.
Being a mother herself, I thought she’d enjoy the light-hearted "Family Circus Christmas" on page 67, by Terri L. Hall from Baltimore, Maryland. We were both laughing away as this mother of 12 (yes, 12 kids) shares this true and hilarious story with a purposeful point.
To respect Adele’s Jewish beliefs, I selected a story from the chapter on Hanukkah, "The Miracle of Lights" written by Marcia Reynolds, MA, MEd. The second paragraph in, reveals the setting of Russia, which happens to be where Adele is from. As the story and traditions unfolded with detail, Adele was noticeably nodding her head, as she clearly related and was touched at her heart, by the tender words. It was as if she was back in the ‘ol country, reliving her own childhood. It was truly a tender moment, we will both cherish.
Authors Share Their Original Stories in New Holiday Book
Previously published authors sharing previously unpublished original stories and poems are featured in the November 1 release of Heart of the Holidays: Yuletide Treasury and Traditions. Readers embrace touching tributes celebrating Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Boxing Day, Yuletide Around the Globe, Winter Solstice, and Ringing in the New Year.
Authors include: Lorri V. Allen, Lee A. Barron, Lillian Berman, Cynthia Brian, Marilyn Dalrymple, Lisa Delman, Virgina Ellis, Darlene Fahl-Brittian, Jerry Gitchel, Carolle Jean-Murat, Jan Mills, Selena Parker, Kay Presto, John Reddish, Marcia Reynolds, Karen Robertson, Sheryl Roush, Jennifer Rousseau Sedlock, Reta Taylor, Terri Marie, Joni Wilson and Judy Wright.