Archive for the 'Thanksgiving' Category


Heart of the Holidays, Poems, Thanksgiving| No Comments »

I’m thankful for my eyes—
that I might see spectacular sunsets, lovely flowers of spring, the sweet face of a child.

I’m thankful for my ears—
that I might hear the birds’ sweet songs,
children’s infectious laughter, glorious music that uplifts the soul.

I’m thankful for my lips—
that I might help kiss away a child’s tears,
whisper words of love, share encouragement and praise.

I’m thankful for my hands—
that I might help a neighbor in need,
hold hands with loved ones, give a warm hug or pat on the back.

Most of all, I’m thankful for my mind—that holds all these
memories—so that, when I feel sad or discouraged, I can once again
recall all these wonderful gifts with which I’ve been blessed.

– Connie Jameson

Published in Heart of the Holidays; Yuletide Treasures & Traditions, by Sheryl L. Roush






Click on title to view each book.
Heart of a Woman (printed)
Heart of a Military Woman (printed) ….. and on Kindle
Heart of a Mother (printed)
Heart of a Mother (printed with Bonus Music CD)
Heart of a Mother …  Music CD
Heart of the Holidays (printed) ….. and on Kindle
Heart of the Holidays … Music CD
Heart of a Woman in Business (printed)

Corazon de Mujer
(printed) (Heart of a Woman in Spanish)

POEM: Happy Thanksgiving

Heart of the Holidays, Holidays, Poems, Thanksgiving| No Comments »

Happy Thanksgiving

The turkey is cooking; we’ve all been to church,
Our grandparents soon will arrive.
The table is set; the best linen is used,
What a grand day to be alive!

There’s a nip in the air; we’re planning on snow,
We kids have new scarves and new muffs.
The cat, a new bell—the dog, a new bow,
And the phone is ringing for us.

“Hurry up, kids! Talk to great Uncle Joe,”
Who lives a long ways away.
Then we’ll call Cousin Jo and dear Auntie Flo,
And wish them joy today.”

Oh, something special there is in the air,
And not just good smells from the oven.
The holiday feeling is felt everywhere,
“Come on, darlin,’ give Mama some huggin.’”

The kitchen door opens; the food is brought in,
We kids all race to the table.
Napkins are snugly tucked ‘neath our chins,
We are hungry, willing and able.

Dad starts to carve, right after grace,
Then my brother shouts, “Dibs on a leg!”
Mom has a special smile on her face,
Our dog sits at Dad’s knee and begs.

“Please pass the beans.” “Where are the yams?”
“Does anyone want a roll?”
“That turkey is almost as big as I am.”
“Who emptied the gravy bowl?”

So the feast moves on straight to the pie,
I rub my tummy; it’s so full.
But I’m no piker—oh no—not I,
“Whipped cream, if you please, a big spoonful.”

So, with warmth and laughter and much good cheer,
For this day, we send thanks above.
We’re grateful we’ve all been together this year,
“Thank You, Dear Lord for such love.”

~ Virginia "Ginny" Ellis
© 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007

Published in Heart of the Holidays, by Sheryl Roush
Order here!

POEM: Heart of the Holidays

Heart of the Holidays, Holidays, Thanksgiving| No Comments »


With praise, we welcome the Holidays,
We express our love for God and man,
We celebrate each special date,
In the very best way we can.
One God . . . one world . . . for us all,
Yellow or Black or White or Brown,
Joined in spirit, mind, and heart,
Holiday Time . . . our common bond.
Thanksgiving turkeys, cranberry sauce,
Hanukkah candles, Christmas tree lights,
Ring out the Old! Ring in the New!
Heart of the Holidays . . . God’s delight!
~ Virginia "Ginny" Ellis
© July 2005

Written for Heart of the Holidays, by Sheryl Roush
Order here!




Click on title to view each book.
Heart of a Woman (printed)
Heart of a Military Woman (printed) ….. and on Kindle
Heart of a Mother (printed)
Heart of a Mother (printed with Bonus Music CD)
Heart of a Mother …  Music CD
Heart of the Holidays (printed) ….. and on Kindle
Heart of the Holidays … Music CD
Heart of a Woman in Business (printed)

Corazon de Mujer
(printed) (Heart of a Woman in Spanish)

Thanksgiving Thoughts: Over The Years

Heart of the Holidays, Holidays, Thanksgiving| No Comments »


Dad carving the hard-crusted turkey with electric knife, nibbling
as he goes.
Dad carving the moist, baked-in-the bag turkey, without the
electric knife, still nibbling as he goes.

Mom cooked up real cranberries (too lumpy for me).
Sheryl brings jellied cranberry sauce with pickled beets.

Never decorated the house for the fall holiday.
Decorate with autumn leaves, real pumpkins, and golden garlands.

Showed up in time to eat, everything was fixed by mom, departed
early with leftovers in Tupperware and plastic baggies.
Arrive early, set the table, bring healthy food choices to add to the
menu, clear the table after the meal, and wash the fine china, stay
late just to hang around and have meaningful conversations.

From Heart of the Holidays: Yuletide Treasures and Traditions, by inspirational speaker Sheryl Roush, which features 67 original short stories, 36 poems, and 193 quotations and scriptures from 71 contributors.





Click on title to view each book.
Heart of a Woman (printed)
Heart of a Military Woman (printed) ….. and on Kindle
Heart of a Mother (printed)
Heart of a Mother (printed with Bonus Music CD)
Heart of a Mother …  Music CD
Heart of the Holidays (printed) ….. and on Kindle
Heart of the Holidays … Music CD
Heart of a Woman in Business (printed)

Corazon de Mujer
(printed) (Heart of a Woman in Spanish)

POEM: Vegan Thanksgiving

Heart of the Holidays, Holidays, Thanksgiving| No Comments »

Vegan Thanksgiving

It’s sacred Thanksgivin’, and all through the house,
Nothing’s overnight baking, not Lamb and not Grouse.
Making plans for the morning, health-conscious are we,
Jotting it down, while sipping White Green Tea.

We’ll start with Wheatgrass – a 2-ounce shot,
Toasting healthy bodies with no meat in the pot.
Most thankful are we as we pause to say grace,
Not getting caught up in the commercial rat race.

Sparkling Pomegranate Juice in a wine glass,
Light up the stove – we’re cookin’ with gas!
Pita chips and hummus are starter pre-meal,
Carrots, Jicama, Bell Peppers – the natural deal.

Fresh garden salad, sunflower seeds and sprouts,
There’s enough for everyone – so no one pouts.
Simmer a pot of Cous Cous, or Basmati Rice,
Baked Butternut Squash would surely be nice.

Raw Sugar Snap Peas, and baked Yummy Yam,
Doing well avoiding Duck, Turkey and Ham.
Brown Rice Bread, Lentil Veggie soup, too.
Wow – without meat and dairy – there’s so much you can do!

Chocolate Tofu Mousse Cake – well-chilled,
With graham cracker crust, I’m not that strong-willed!
Organic Pumpkin Pie – served piping hot.
Maybe Turkey next year?  I think NOT!

By Sheryl Roush
Inspirational Speaker
Author of Heart of the Holidays





Click on title to view each book.
Heart of a Woman (printed)
Heart of a Military Woman (printed) ….. and on Kindle
Heart of a Mother (printed)
Heart of a Mother (printed with Bonus Music CD)
Heart of a Mother …  Music CD
Heart of the Holidays (printed) ….. and on Kindle
Heart of the Holidays … Music CD
Heart of a Woman in Business (printed)

Corazon de Mujer
(printed) (Heart of a Woman in Spanish)

Holiday Poem: Seasoned Meetings

Christmas, Poems, Thanksgiving| No Comments »

Seasoned Meetings

Turned up collar,
Extra socks,
Find another station,
(Anything but rock,)
Something cheery,
Maybe with some bells,
And scrub-faced boys
Who smile as voices swell.
Getting in the spirit,
Finding the right mood,
Being very thankful,
You’ve a table full of food.
Cozy robes, warm slippers,
A fragrant twinkling tree,
Greetings full of kisses,
Meeting smiles for you and me.
It’s holding close the knowing
Of the love you feel today,
Let others feel it showing,
As you pass along their way.
It’s keeping Season’s Feelings,
(The Humanity of Man,)
Wrapped in joyful trimmings,
To give all year our plan.

© Reta Lorraine Bowen Taylor
Written Christmas Eve 1986

Reta’s work in also published in the Heart of the Holidays book by Sheryl Roush

Turkey Baking Tips

Recipes, Thanksgiving| No Comments »

Turkey Baking Tips

Whether you’re tackling a Thanksgiving turkey for the first or hundredth time, our top 10 tips will ensure your big bird is the best it can be.

1. Thawing a frozen turkey requires patience. The safest method is to thaw turkey in the refrigerator. Be sure to plan ahead — it takes approximately 3 days for a 20 pound turkey to fully defrost.

2. For crisper skin, unwrap the turkey the day before roasting and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.

3. Cooking times will differ depending on whether your bird was purchased fresh or frozen. Plan on 20 minutes per pound in a 350 degree F oven for a defrosted turkey and 10 to 15 minutes per pound for fresh.

4. A turkey will cook more evenly if it is not densely stuffed. Consider adding flavor by loosely filling the cavity with aromatic vegetables — carrots, celery, onion or garlic work nicely — or by carefully tucking fresh herbs underneath the breast skin. For the stuffing lovers, cook the dressing in a casserole dish on the side.

5. For even roasting, truss your turkey.

6. Before roasting, coat the outside of the turkey with vegetable or olive oil, season with salt and pepper and tightly cover the breast with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning (it will be removed in step 7).

7. Don’t be a peeping tom (no pun intended)! Once you get the turkey in the oven, resist the temptation to open the oven door and admire your handiwork. When the oven temperature fluctuates, you’re only increasing the likelihood of a dry bird. About 45 minutes before you think the turkey is done, remove the foil from the breast to allow it to brown.

8. Remove the turkey from the oven when the deepest spot between the leg and the breast reads 180 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Check the internal temperature of the stuffing as well; it should be at least 165 degrees.

9. Tent the bird with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes before carving. If you need more time to make gravy, heat up side dishes, etc., you can let the turkey set for up to an hour without losing too much heat.

10. Remember to carve your turkey with a very sharp or electic knife.

Courtesy of Food Network

Thanksgiving Gratitude Candle Ceremony

Thanksgiving| No Comments »

Thanksgiving Gratitude Candle Ceremony

We all know the importance of expressing daily gratitude, although we sometimes forget, and Thanksgiving Day provides us with the perfect opportunity to experience gratitude at an even deeper level than you may have in the past.

1. In advance of Thanksgiving Day, begin by thinking of all the people that you would like to have with you at your dinner table on Thursday that, for whatever reason, cannot be there. Include those who are unable to travel, who you are unable to visit and those who are no longer with us. Make a list of their names and count how many there are.

2. Then, buy a small candle for each person on your list and at your Thanksgiving dinner light each one, honoring your gratitude to them for whatever gift they brought to your life. Let their presence be with you as you include them in your Thanksgiving celebrations.

Robert Silverstone
Silverstone Consulting

Quotation: Thanksgiving Gratitude

Thanksgiving| No Comments »

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Gratitudes are expressions of gratefulness for things outside of yourself: people, place, situation and things that are external.  Always be specific as possible in your gratitudes. Gratitudes are very powerful; they can literally change your perspective of the world.  You see opportunities where there were none before.  You are open to possibilities that, in the past, would have felt impossible. You become more positive. You see people differently.  You begin to notice little things.  Stress dissolves. Your smile returns. Life seems doable.
~Rhonda Britten, Change Your Life in 30 Days

25 Ways To Say Thanks

Thanksgiving, Tips & Trivia| No Comments »

25 Ways To Say Thanks

As I look back through the archives of "Living Wisely," I see that gratitude has been the theme of several of my articles around the holiday season. The old words seem to drum home the importance of being grateful for what
we have. This year, in the face of financial crises and the loss of veritable institutions that we’ve relied on for employment it may be more important than ever to find a silver lining in order to endure. In a time when our feelings probably outweigh our ability to express them, I thought it might be helpful to explore some ways to say thanks and experience feeling grateful.

1. Say Thank-You with your eyes
Make more eye contact with people. Really connect with the gratitude for being alive by connecting with another human through their eyes.

2. Write a Thank-You note
Write a note that thanks someone for being in your life without them having done anything or given you anything recently.

3. Tell people what they mean to you
Do not let an opportunity go by to tell someone what they mean to you personally and/or professionally. Let people know how they make a difference in your life.

4. Perform a Random-Act-of-Kindness
Anonymously, do something outrageously kind or generous for someone else. Never tell.

5. Create a daily ritual that expresses gratitude
List five things a day you are grateful for, light a candle, say a prayer, tell someone you love them, send out a daily email to your closest buds. Come up with something that will daily put you in contact with gratitude.

6. Volunteer
Hold a hand or lend a hand. Just help someone who needs help more than you do. It will give you amazing perspective on your life.

7. Pick up a treasure
When you see something that reminds you of someone you care about, pick it up for them and give it to them ‘just because’.

8. Make a Donation (even if you think you can’t afford to)
Sharing your money, expecting nothing in return, is a powerful way to show you are grateful for what you have.

9. Write or create something and donate the proceeds
Create something that can be sold to support a cause.

10. Give of yourself
The gift of your time and attention makes a great statement about how much someone means to you

11. Make a kid’s day
Giving a child a special day that will forever be a happy memory will be a win-win you won’t soon forget

12. Write a letter to the editor

If someone in your town (a teacher, a neighbor, a service provider) did something really great, write to the editor of your town newspaper to give that person a little extra acknowledgement. Tell people how this person went out of their way to help. You’ll warm some hearts and maybe cause of positive ripple effect for the person you thanked publicly.

13. Bring a friend along for the ride
If you get an opportunity of a lifetime or get ushered up your career ladder by a helping hand, bring someone you know with you. Do what you can to bring them along. Be that helping hand to the next person.

14. Share a meal
‘Breaking bread’ with somebody or a group a people is a great way to express your thanks for them. Serve them as if they were kings.

15. Park yourself in an awesome spot in nature
A majestic view helps to humble your ego and help you appreciate the richness of your world.

16. Finger paint
Get dirty finger-painting and feel the energy going through your fingers as you press through the paint on to the paper. Feel the privilege of having a body that works.

17. Plant a tree or some flowers (depending on region!)
There is a sanctity to putting living things in the earth to encourage their growth. You don’t have to be a ‘tree hugger’ to appreciate what the earth has given you by giving something back to it.

18. Dedicate something to someone significant to you
Say thank you by honoring someone with a dedication. Whether it’s something you have written or a performance or a book, or maybe even a project, dedicate it as an acknowledgment.

19. List the people that make your life easier
Write down a list of people that are in your life that do things with you or for you that make your life a little easier. Imagine if they were not there and how much would be on your plate.

20. Give away all you no longer need
Taking stock of your stuff and seeing it go on to people that can use it, gives you an appreciation for all you have.

21. Make someone something
Engage your creativity, suspend judgment and express your thanks for someone by making them a gift. Whether you have a particular craft or talent is not necessary. Share your creation and tell the receiver what you did to create it.

22. Help someone feel important
Sing Happy Birthday at your own birthday party to someone whose birthday closely follows yours. Acknowledge someone else publicly while you hold the floor. Include someone at the ‘head table’ of an event who would not expect to be  there. Do something for someone else’s self-esteem.

23. Document someone else’s life
Dust off your camcorder and record an oral history by a family member, friend or interesting acquaintance. You  can even forget the camera and just get someone to talk about the stories of their life. Just when you think you’ve been through it all or you’ve hear it all, you’ll fill with the appreciation for the journey we are all on.

24. Kidnap a friend or loved one for a day devoted to them
Show up unexpectedly and steal someone away for a day of activities handpicked for your friend’s enjoyment. Take  them to eat their favorite kind of food, take them to a movie they would love to see, take them to their favorite sporting event or shopping place. Plan a day that has nothing to do with you. Devote it to them.

25. Say Thank You and Mean It
‘Thank you’ can sometimes take on the same worn familiarity as your most comfy slippers and lose it’s true value. Pay  more attention as you say it and really mean it.

Giddy, ecstatic, humbled, moved, awed—grateful.
However, the emotion registers for you, each of these actions can likely get you there. It is that intense  feeling of being alive that we crave. Despite any troubles we may be dealing with, remember the feeling these 25 ways give you and recreate it every day. That is living. That is worth Thanksgiving.

by Laura Berman Fortgang, Speaker, Author, Coach
Copyright ©2007-2008 Laura Berman Fortgang.
Reprintable when full credit is given.

Suggested Reading
Attitudes of Gratitude: How To Give and Receive Joy Everyday of Your Life
by M. J. Ryan
Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier
by Robert Emmons
Heart of the Holidays: Yuletide Treasures & Traditions. Stories, poems and quotations, by Sheryl L. Roush
Heart of a Mother: A tribute to a mother’s love. Stories, poems and quotations, by Sheryl L. Roush
Heart of a Woman: Insights on the strength and wisdom of women. Stories, poems and quotations, by Sheryl L. Roush
Heart of a Woman in Business: Stories, Strategies and Skills for Business Success, by Sheryl L. Roush

Photo: Thanksgiving Peace

Thanksgiving| 1 Comment »

Thanksgiving Peace


This photo was taken during a silent retreat at Spirit Rock.
This proves even turkeys seek inner peace through prayer and meditation.
Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Dr. Luann Linquist
…as seen on OPRAH
Business Relationships & Communication

62nd Annual Mother Goose Parade

Christmas, Heart of the Holidays, Stories, Thanksgiving| 1 Comment »

62nd Annual Mother Goose Parade

THEME: "Heroes of Might and Magic"

Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 10:00 a.m.

The Mother Goose Parade is the largest parade in San Diego County and the largest of its type west of the Mississippi. Each year, the parade attracts thousands of spectators to the streets of El Cajon, California to view the parade for free on the "Sunday before Thanksgiving."  CLICK HERE for the Mother Goose official website.

The extravagant Mother Goose Parade is recognized as the official start of the holiday season in San Diego County.

The tradition of the Mother Goose Parade is to unite friends and families on a day of free family entertainment; and to understand the value of unity, family bonding, and social togetherness for all ages, races, and ethnicities that this parade is designed for.


Each year, the Parade entices new elements to insure the highest entertainment value of our partners and sponsors; and the enjoyment of the thousands of spectators that line the streets. Grandstands open at 7:00am. Parade kicks off at 10:00am

Pre-Parade Concert entertianment is MENUDO!











The 2008 Honorary Grand Marshals are Tori Spelling (90210), KayCee Stroh, and the San Diego Padres Adrian Gonzalez.

This year we are proud to present our family-oriented theme, "Heroes of Might and Magic" that will guarantee to bring smiles to children’s faces. "The Hulk" Lou Ferrigno is appearing!

This is more than a parade, it’s an event!

Parade day for a spectacular event of colorful and exciting entries for people of all ages, especially our children, that continues to thrill spectators with the old-fashion spirit of magic and fun that is America.

Volunteer Parade Route Announcers are members of Toastmasters International, the world’s largest non-profit educational organization dedicated to effective communication and leadership. Local Toastmasters are members of District 5.


Prominent El Cajon businessman Thomas Wigton was driving home from Los Angeles one rainy evening and had a brainstorm! The El Cajon business community had to give the children a Christmas present and he hit on the idea of a parade. Everybody loves a parade and El Cajon didn’t have one yet but Tom knew the kids in El Cajon would love it!

Seven of them met in El Cajon accountant David Cathers living room in 1947. Jack Maranda remembers it well. "When Tom Wigton asked you to help, you really didn’t say no to him," Jack chuckled. "We all thought it was a great idea but we really didn’t know how we were going to do it."

They received a $150 donation from the City of El Cajon’s Chamber of Commerce, called meetings and planned the first parade for Friday night, November 28, 1947. The Mayor of El Cajon made a televised announcement the night before the parade. "We’re having a parade tomorrow and want you all to come." Population in El Cajon was approximately 1,500 and parade night was bitterly cold. However, about 25,000 spectators packed the short streets to watch the parade! Three floats were entered and the El Cajon Rotary Club probably got the most attention. A tree was part of the display and the float’s Santa climbed it to give the audience a better view. His costume got stuck and he was suspended from the tree for the duration of the parade. Everyone thought it was planned and loved it.

The parade’s success and reputation spread throughout the country. The third parade drew 100,000 and an ad hoc committee was formed to plan the next parades. In 1950, the non-profit Mother Goose Parade Association was formed. By-laws were created, officers were elected and the Mother Goose Parade Association logo and name were registered as trademarks.

In 1950, the parade expanded to include a parade Queen and Court. Young women in the area were invited to compete in the Queen’s contest to raise funds for the parade and the Rotary Club, El Cajon Lions, Kiwanis Clubs and Chamber of Commerce actively participated to ensure the parade’s success. Decals were sold to raise money and grandstand seats were made available. The growth was visible but Mother Nature stepped in to throw a curve. Rain fell so hard that year a float driver smashed into a light pole because he couldn’t see. The parade was postponed until 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving night and, despite the holiday, the parade still drew over 100,000 spectators. In 1982, a weekend downpour forced cancellation.

In 1963, history stepped in. More than 300,000 spectators and 94 units were in place when word was received President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The parade was postponed to December 1st due to the tragedy.

The parade attracted over 400,000 in 1973 when Mickey and Minnie Mouse were Co-Grand Marshals and brought many Disneyland friends along to delight the spectators. That year, the "Mother Goose Ball" was the event of San Diego County and drew socialites from all over the Southland.

Prominent personalities who have participated in the parade include Juliette Prowse, Barry Sullivan, Barbara Rush, David Niven, Liza Minneli, Will Geer, Glen Ford, Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner and innumerable elected officials and distinguished honorees. The Clydesdale Horses, U. S. Navy and U. S. Marine Corps bands have also performed and thrilled the spectators.

The parade association Board of Directors continues to consist of prominent members of the community who volunteer time and money to keep Tom Wigton’s dream alive and thriving. The association also receives much volunteer support from everyone who cares about supporting an event that honors family values, children and giving back to the community. The Mother Goose Parade Association is part of El Cajon’s fiber, and supporters and sponsors proudly participate in the parade and program and display their membership certificates and decals.

The Queen’s Contest has become a valuable and impressive experience for young women in high school and college. In addition to raising money for the association through sales of decals, memberships in the association, program ads and coronation tickets, they are given lessons in a variety of areas to enhance their personal and professional lives. They attend meetings where guest speakers tutor them about salesmanship, courtesy, family values, wardrobe, hair styling, makeup, walking, public speaking and other topics. They also receive instruction on various skills like karate and the end result is a well-rounded instruction to give them poise and experience to handle real-life situations at school, home and in the work place. Academic achievement is a pre-requisite to acceptance and written essays and response to questions asked by judges are some bases for selection. The winning queen and princesses make appearances at the annual parade and other events throughout the year. Scholarships are also given for college tuitions.

Some annual association fundraisers are the Mother Goose Parade Golf Tournament, and the famous Men’s Banquet. Tickets are also sold for the pageant Coronation where the new queen and princesses are chosen. The Coronation is a celebration that includes a sit-down dinner and recognizes the outgoing Queen and Court for representing the association throughout the year with grace and pride.

Today, spectators line the streets as the parade continues to grow as an extravaganza with different themes each year. Floats may choose a nursery rhyme theme or a display related to the annual theme, which are judged for distinguished awards. Parade entries include marching units, bands, floats, clowns, equestrians, performing artists, beautiful cars, the Queen and Court, other spectacular elements that provide entertainment, and don’t forget, Santa Claus, to ring in the Holiday Season.

The Mother Goose Parade is rich in history and delights children of all ages every "Sunday before Thanksgiving" which signals the beginning of the Christmas season as Santa comes to town at the end of the parade in his sleigh on his own special float pulled by model reindeer that soar through the sky.

The parade has evolved into San Diego’s largest parade and the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi. The event is broadcast on local television for viewers of San Diego County which increases in number each year.

Parade weekend signals the beginning of Christmas festivities and is truly what it was originally intended to be . . . a "Celebration of Children Everywhere" because without the children, there is no future. It’s also a gift to our city and our country. But it’s mainly our gift to children of all ages . . . a day of mystical imagination, unhindered joy and excitement – a day to be remembered the rest of the year and the rest of their lives.

Thanksgiving Tips: Save Your Sanity with Sheryl Roush

Heart of the Holidays, Interviews, Thanksgiving| 3 Comments »

Thanksgiving Tips: Save Your Sanity

Interview with Sheryl Roush

Lorri Allen, the Producer/Host of FamilyNet Television & Radio, interviewed Sheryl Roush, author of Heart of the Holidays today, on "Mornings with Lorri & Larry," broadcast from Atlanta, Georgia.
Sheryl shared tips to save your sanity over Thanksgiving, including these good reminders:

  • Get plenty of SLEEP.
  • Eat healthy, and drink wisely.
  • Get outside for a short walk.


To enjoy the most of the holiday, she added these tips:

  • Set positive intentions for the day/event.
  • Be optimistic and stay flexible… plans change.
  • You reserve the right to say NO to invitations.
  • Schedule OPEN TIME on your calendar for YOU.
  • Have your meal catered…. or potluck/buffet style….
  • Have a "relief" staff to clear the table, and do the dishes.
  • Plan the meal ahead of time, to avoid procrastination and stress.
  • Serve dessert 1-2 hours after the meal, in another room.
  • Focus on the “together-ness time” not the doing-ness tasks.
  • Cherish the quality and sacred time.
  • Bring fresh flowers to your hostess.

BONUS: Larry’s Sour Cream Pound Cake recipe (and his special secret), from Savannah Georgia

Sheryl read a couple of quotes by Erma Bombeck and Oprah Winfrey, and a short poem, “The Last Piece of Pie” by Lillian Berman published in from Heart of the Holidays.

Check out archived podcasts and forthcoming guests at
"Mornings" airs from 6-9 am Eastern on Sirius Satellite 161, and from 7-9 am Eastern on FamilyNet Television.


Sheryl’s Heart Book Series are available at:,, Borders stores,
Order personally autographed copies from Sheryl Roush at

“Heart of the Holidays” Book Review by Angela England

Christmas, Hanukkah, Heart of the Holidays, New Year's, Thanksgiving, Winter Solstice| No Comments »

“Heart of the Holidays”
Book Review
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.

Where to buy Heart of the Holidays: Holiday Inspirations Yuletide Treasures & Traditions

JUST RELEASED: Heart of the Holidays the book plus the Heart of the Holidays BONUS MUSIC CD…. for only $19.95.

POEM: Vegan Christmas

Christmas, Heart of the Holidays, Poems, Thanksgiving| No Comments »

Vegan Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
Nothing’s overnight baking, not Lamb and not Grouse.

Making plans for the morning, health-conscious are we,
Jotting it down, while sipping White Green Tea.

We’ll start with Wheatgrass – a 2 ounce shot,
Toasting healthy bodies with no meat in the pot.

Most thankful are we as we pause to say grace,
For not getting caught up in the holiday rat race.

Sparkling Pomegranite Juice in a wine glass,
Light up the stove – we’re cookin’ with gas!

Pita chips and hummus are starter pre-meal,
Carrots, Jicama, Bell Peppers – the natural deal.

Uncork the vintage Sauvignon Blanc,
Segura Viudas Spanish bubbly you can take to the bank!

Fresh garden salad, sunflower seeds and sprouts,
There’s enough for everyone – so no one pouts.

Simmer a pot of Cous Cous, or Basmati Rice,
Baked Butternut Squash would surely be nice.

Raw Sugar Snap Peas, and baked Yummy Yam,
Doing well avoiding Duck, Turkey and Ham.

Brown Rice Bread, Lentil Veggie soup, too.
Wow – without meat and dairy – there’s so much you can do!

Chocolate Tofu Mousse Cake – well-chilled,
With graham cracker crust, I’m not that strong-willed!

Organic Pumpkin Pie – served piping hot.
Sugar-free, you ask?  I think NOT!

Author of Heart of the Holidays, Sheryl Roush,

Keep Holiday Stress to a Minimum: Learn to Say No

Christmas, Hanukkah, Heart of the Holidays, New Year's, Thanksgiving, Tips & Trivia| 2 Comments »

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

Christmas, Hanukkah, Heart of the Holidays, New Year's, Thanksgiving, Tips & Trivia| 1 Comment »

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

Boxing Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, Heart of the Holidays, Kwanzaa, New Year's, Stories, Thanksgiving, Tips & Trivia, Winter Solstice| No Comments »

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 5-Star Review

Christmas, Hanukkah, Heart of the Holidays, New Year's, Readers Respond, Thanksgiving, Winter Solstice| No Comments »

Heart of the Holidays Book
Receives Another

5-Star Review 

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.

-Marilyn Dalrymple

Celebrating What Truly Counts

Boxing Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, Heart of the Holidays, Kwanzaa, New Year's, Stories, Thanksgiving, Winter Solstice| No Comments »

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.

Entries RSS | Comments RSS