Category Archives: Chanukah

A Special Mystery and a Christmas Prayer

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When I received the book, “The Christmas Wish,” written by Richard

M. Siddoway, I did not know how much it would mean to me, in so

many different ways.  Richard is an educator in the public school system

of Utah, along with being a member of the House of Representatives.

He and his wife, Janice, have eight children and possibly grandchildren

since the book was published.

I think where they live in Utah, sounds very much like the book:

Bountiful.

First of all, it is a lovely book, with a special Christmas annual mystery.

A grandson who loved his grandparents and who had been raised by

them. He respected his grandfather very much and after he has passed

away, he finds out Grandpa had visited a woman named “Lillian” every

Christmas Eve. It has a happy ending, one his Grandma is pleased about

and readers are blessed by.

This book holds such great meaning, including being open to what may

possibly be another way to view a situation, along with the powerful

ingredient of forgiveness.

It was written in 1995, given to me in 2003.

Jean A. was my mentor, almost a decade younger than I was. I was in

the midst of pursuing my Master’s degree, when she found out she was

pregnant. A ‘surprise!’ baby.

A mother of three teenagers, Jean was a little distracted. But she was still

the very best preschool teacher of integrated developing levels of children.

A fine example for me to attempt to follow her beautiful and lasting

footsteps. Her husband and family were such a fine example of love and

Jean shone with a year-round Christmas spirit.

Little did I know, she would pass away when her little Spencer was only

three years old, doctor having found cancer growing rapidly due to the

increase of hormones from pregnancy. This book is a treasure and one

that is brought out every Christmas. I read it again, since it has a lot of

history in it, along with all the elements of a good story. I also hang up

a framed snow painting that has the words,

“Star light, star bright,

I wish I may,

I wish I might,

Have this Wish

I wish tonight.

Peace on Earth.”

 

Inside the book there is a precious poem:

“The house is warm, good cheer abounds.

The heart of Christmas is all around.

The children sing, their voices sweet,

The candles are lit, such rosy heat.

My heart is full, my eyes aglow,

For those here with me

and those I cannot know.”

~* Anonymous *~

(A preface also says,

“To Janice.”)

 

“I said a Christmas prayer for you

because the seasons near.

I didn’t ask for riches

but for gifts so much more dear.

I asked for joyful gatherings

with your family all around,

and for carols to inspire  you

with their old familiar sound,

I asked for quiet moments

in your heart on Christmas morn,

for a special time to celebrate

the Savior who was born.

I asked for friends to send their best

that you might know they care. . .

I asked for peace and love and hope;

and I know God heard my prayer.”

Written by

Nancy Parker Brummett

 

Happy “Festivus for the Rest of Us!”

Happy Hanukkah!

Blessed Christmas wishes,

Joy in Kwanzaa Celebrations,

or Hope you find Peace:

May it be True.

December Wonders

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Making your spirits bright and your home fires warm,

makes me think of our Winter’s blustery cold and the

upcoming holidays. There are several directions your

faiths and belief systems may go- Kwanzaa, Chanukah,

Christmas or other ways. You may not be living in a cold

climate, you may be in the exact opposite of my location,

being greeted daily with warm sunshine, gentle breezes.

Wherever you are, I try to write a monthly newsletter to

keep up with various customs, cultures and faiths.

Please feel free to add in the comments section, a special

family tradition to make this interactive and meaningful.

 

Thomas Kinkade’s ‘healthy habits’ message for December is:

“Take care of your body, keeping your

body running the way it is supposed to

can be effective in lifting your spirits.”

(12/2001)

In a December issue of Prevention Magazine,

there was a list of “7 Foods to Keep You Healthy.”

I took the list and added a few personal favorite

ways to use these in the Season of Peace:

1. Eating almonds over the holidays will add some

much needed Vitamin E.

2. Serving different peas or beans, not only add

extra fiber to our diets, fill you up more, but also

give you a great source of Zinc.

3. The special addition to carrots, sweetens your

salads or grated can be added to various casseroles

(even mac and cheese), along with Vitamin A.

4. Mushrooms, cooked or raw give you Selenium.

They can be used in dips, stuffed caps or in gravies.

5. Drinking tea, either black or green, boosts your

antioxidants. Over a warming cup of tea, sprinkle a

dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to create some festive

flavorings.

6. Tomatoes give you Vitamin C, which can be so great

at fighting off colds. I like to have them in salads, but

also enjoy the way you can stuff them with crushed

croutons and Italian flavorings. Nutritionists advise

heating tomatoes releases more of its healing power.

7. Yogurt, which you can include in desserts, sauces and

dips gives you those probiotics that we all need, especially

as we get older.

 

DECEMBER

Birthstone:  Turquoise or blue peridot gemstone

Flower: Narcissus

I think of Poinsettias, when I think of December.

 

There are so many new and old books of Christmas,

along with other December holidays. This is a book

which can bridge any personal choices: “Rabbit’s Gift,”

by George Shannon and Laura Dronzek

(Harcourt Children’s Books) Snowfall, blue skies with

the beautiful effect of snowflakes and a message of hope.

 

December 6-

Full Cold Moon.

Full Night’s Moon.

 

December 7-

Pearl Harbor Day

and

Remembrance Day:

Wherever you live, take some moments to

honor your heroes. Those who serve and

protect us and our freedoms deserve our

meditation and gratitude.

 

“Believe in a Higher Being.

Believe in others and yourself.

Believe in miracles and wonders.”

(Author Unknown)

 

December 14- Quarter Moon.

 

15- Bill of Rights Day.

 

December 16th (sundown)- 24th:

Happy Hanukkah!

 

18-

This is the 50th anniversary of the Pink Panther

theatrical short featuring Pink Panther harassing

his foil/enemy. These characters are the creations

of Fritz Freleng. This won the 64th Academy Award

presentations in the department of “Animated Shorts.”

 

Definitely, this is a reminder that December is the time

to enjoy, laugh and be playful. Pink Panther was so silly

and fun.

 

22- New Moon.

 

December 25th- Christmas Day.

Many religions celebrate Christ’s Birth,

Rejoice and Follow the Stars wherever your faith

takes you.

“December is a time

of celebration and joy.

A time of promises kept

and Love reborn.”

~ Flavia, 2003.

 

26th- First Day of Kwanzaa.

This is a festive celebration of African American

community, culture and faith. This continues

until January first.

Boxing Day- Canada, U.K., Australia and NZ.

 

Many people shop for the following holiday

season (2015), finding bargains and gifts for

the coming year.

 

28- First Quarter Moon.

 

December 31st-

New Year’s Eve.

“Another fresh new year is here. . .

Another year to live.

To banish worry, doubt and fear,

To love, laugh and give.”

~ William Arthur Ward

(American Writer, 1921-1994)

 

May you and your family enjoy many experiences of

happiness. This final month of the year arrived far

too quickly! I hope you find ways to make December

stretch, savoring these special moments. Include some

meditation to help you to relax and not get too stressed.

For me, nostalgia arrives as I take out the ornaments

and decorations of Christmas past.

May this lovely time of year fill your senses with joy and

wonder in the simple things.

Most of all, wishing all of you to experience feelings of

Hope and Peace.

 

 

 

November: Savor With A Grateful Heart

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“Orchards have shared their treasures,

The fields, their yellow grain.

So open wide the doorway-

Thanksgiving comes again.”

Author Unknown

From the delicious and family holiday where Thanksgiving is served

up to Chanukah, along with the sober and patriotic holiday of Veteran’s

Day, the month of November is a smorgasbord of variety and textures.

Here are some special days to remember this coming month of

NOVEMBER

Nov. 1st

All Saints Day (Some may call this the reason we celebrate All Hallow’s Eve

on October 31st!) Oh, and my mother’s birthday, too! Did she ever let us

forget the part about the saints?!

Nov. 3rd

For those of you who have this Daylight Savings Time ends on the New Moon.

“Save seeds from a large healthy heirloom variety pumpkin to plant next year.

Wash the seeds in lukewarm water, then air-dry in a cool spot for a few weeks.

Save in a cool, dry place.” Old Farmer’s Almanac, 2013.

Nov. 6th

“If your ground is not frozen, this is a good time to transplant trees and shrubs.”

Old Farmer’s Almanac, 2013.

Nov. 9th

“When rabbits are fat in November, expect a long, cold winter.” Old Farmer’s Alm. ’13

I had heard that those caterpillars of orangish black and black stripes that the wider

the stripes the colder the winter. What “signs” of a long winter do you know? Please

share!

Nov. 11

Veteran’s Day

Remembrance Day (Canada)

“Sow poppy seeds now for flowers next year. Mix the tiny seeds with

sand and sprinkle over the garden.”  Old Farmer’s Almanac, 2013.

I was intrigued to find out the symbolism of poppies, affiliated with

some Veteran’s fundraising. Buy a poppy to put on your jacket to

remember the vets.

The Egyptians used poppies in their funeral rites. There are also the

meanings of “beauty, magic, consolation, fertility and eternal life.”

If you like legends, there is a beautiful use of poppies in a Chinese

legend given on a site titled:

“Living Arts Originals   Enrich your Life with Symbols”

On this website, the Lady Yee in the legend follows her warrior husband

into battle, when defeat is evident, she dances with a sword to raise his

spirits. When the attempt fails and the battle ends, Lady Yee commits

suicide. Where she is buried, red poppies spring forth representing her

devotion, love and sorrow.

Nov. 17th

Full Beaver Moon.

I like to include these full moon dates, have always enjoyed gazing at the

awesome night sky. I was raised on Lake Erie where the most inspiring

sights and emotions were on a cloudless, clear and crisp winter night.

It fills you with the wonder of our gifts, when you are looking out on a

body of water, no sight of anything but the water and sky. There is a

peaceful feeling and the thought of endless possibilities.

The message is: “The sky is your limit!”

Nov. 28th

Thanksgiving

I have written a book review that encompasses the way Thanksgiving began

in our country and when it was first celebrated. Please check this out later

this month in my post, “A Thanksgiving Story.”

“Chanukah” or

Hanukkah lasts from sunset on Nov. 27th until Dec. 5th, 2013.

Remember to show gratitude for your life, family, friends, and fill this

holiday season with cherished moments. Connect with some who you may

have lost touch with…

Share in your traditions, celebrate and listen to others while you chew your food!