“Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow. I have a place in the pattern, and so do you. Thinking of you this holiday season!” T.A. Barron
Blessed is the season that engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. Hamilton Wright Mabie
May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility. Mary Anne Radmacher
You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights. Maya Angelou
Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. Edith Sitwell
Happy Holiday Season! HAPPY HANUKKAH! MERRY CHRISTMAS/KWANZAA! What a great gift to learn that after 9+ months of battling a global Covid-19 pandemic, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccines have arrived and if we can all exercise some patience and follow the standard CDC guidelines of wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing our hands regularly, we will enter 2021 with hope and a grateful heart. Typically, this is a time of great activity; gifting, giving/receiving, and worrying about all sorts of things and the pandemic has added an unpredictable twist to the mix. We are in a season of holiday celebrations and special events, and we must make the best of it for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. We had the start of Hanukkah on the 10th, Winter Solstice on the 21st, Christmas Day will arrive on the 25th, and Kwanzaa on the 26th and so much to be grateful for. This year, we even had the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn a rare event that according to NASA hasn’t happened in nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night. WoW! What memories of 2020 will you carry with you into 2021? Which ones will you leave behind?
2020 has been a challenging year of unprecedented firsts, frustrations, and moments of grace. It is time to take stock of all the painful and pleasurable events that have brought us to the end of 2020; some great, some good, and some just sad/awful. Regardless of what kind of year this has been for us, it is important to take time to reflect, express our gratitude, and stay motivated to start 2021 on a stronger and more positive note. We can start by creating our own list of gratitude tips that kept us going during the darker, scarier months of Covid19, and by recognizing that the current surge in cases and loss of life demand that we become vigilant and considerate of others. I have culled a list of 33 gratitude tips, most of them shared by my pastor, Pastor Buddy Cremeans of Northway Church, that we can hold onto as we wrap up the year.
1. Gratitude makes us happier
2. Gratitude makes people like us
3. Gratitude makes us healthier
4. Gratitude boosts our career
5. Gratitude strengthens our positive emotions
6. Gratitude develops our personality
7. Gratitude makes us more optimistic
8. gratitude makes us kinder
9. Gratitude increases our spirituality
10. Gratitude makes us less self-centered
11. Gratitude increases our self-esteem
And soon will the holidays come;
Oh, ’twill be so funny, I’ve plenty of money,
I’ll buy me a sword and a drum. “Thus said little Harry, unwilling to tarry,
Impatient from school to depart;
But we shall discover, this holiday lover
Knew little what was in his heart. For when on returning, he gave up his learning,
Away from his sums and his books,
Though playthings surrounded, and sweetmeats abounded,
Chagrin still appear’d in his looks. Though first, they delighted, his toys were now slighted,
And thrown away out of his sight;
He spent every morning in stretching and yawning,
Yet went to bed weary at night. He had not that treasure which really makes pleasure,
(A secret discover’d by few).
You’ll take it for granted, more playthings he wanted;
Oh, naught was something to do. We must have employment to give us enjoyment
And pass the time cheerfully away;
And study and reading give pleasure, exceeding
The pleasures of toys and of play.To school now returningto study and learning
With eagerness Harry applied;
He felt no aversion to books or exertion,
Nor yet for the holidays sigh’d. via famouspoetsandpoems.com
“The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing others’ loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of the holidays.” W. C. Jones
It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. Mother Theresa
Holidays – any holiday – are such a great opportunity to focus on bringing the family together. Lidia Bastianich
It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal and that every path may lead to peace. Agnes M. Pharo
Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. Oprah Winfrey
What stays constant for you during the holiday season? Despite the ravages of the pandemic, the holiday season is a time of reckoning and beckoning. We stop and review the events of the year by facing hard facts while preparing to celebrate the beckoning festivities with loved ones. I often observe a mood shift in people; folks seem a tad more hopeful, cheerful, and happy about the impending holidays. This year is different because of the loss of many lives from Covid19. Over 2000+ lives are being lost each day in the USA, and that translates to many families who will spend this holiday season mourning. While there is some excitement in the air about the holidays, we must remember to share our gratitude for life by helping other families in ways we can.
Share your gratitude and goodwill this season: If we could package the excitement by sharing some of it with struggling families and putting some in reserve for the coming year, we’d all have a positive boost in both our energy levels and our spirit. Of course, all of this depends on our attitude and our feelings of gratitude. Instead of counting all the ways the pandemic unraveled our lives, we can spend our time creating new and positive memories to help us wrap up the year. While we are at it, we can dig up any precious, miraculous moments that gave us hope in the human condition this year… If we look closely, we will find them. Create your list of good things that you are grateful for this year. As the year wraps up, ask yourself: What am I grateful for this year?
12. Gratitude improves your sleep
13. Gratitude keeps us away from the doctor.
14. Gratitude lets us live longer.
15. Gratitude increases our energy levels.
16. Gratitude makes us more likely to exercise
17. Gratitude helps us bounce back
18. Gratitude makes us feel good
19. Gratitude makes our memories happier
20. Gratitude reduces our feelings of envy
21 Gratitude helps us relax.
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;–
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;–a fairy tale
Of some enchanted land, we know not where,
But lovely as a landscape in a dream. via famouspoetsnadpoems.com
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for OCT – NOV 2020 are:
11/01 – 01 All Saints Day, Daylight Savings Ends, 02 All Soul’s Day, 03 Election Day, 05 Guy Fawkes
11/08 – 08 National STEM Day, 10 Science Day for Peace & Development, 11 Veterans Day, 13 World Kindness Day
11/15 – 15 National Philanthropy Day, 16 20 Universal Children’s Day
11/22 – 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 26 Thanksgiving Day, 27 Black Friday
11/29 – 30 Cyber Monday
National Diabetes Month, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, National Adoption Month, National Native American Heritage, Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, National Veterans and Military Families, National Family Caregivers, National American History and Founders Month
12/01 – 01 Giving Tuesday, World AIDS Day, 02 Int’l. Day for Abolition of Slavery, 03 Int’l. Day of Persons with Disabilities, 05 International Volunteer Day, National Repeal Day
12/06 – 06 St Nicholas Day, 07 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Int’l. Civil Aviation Day, 10 Hanukkah (Start), Human Rights Day, 12 International Day of Neutrality, Int’l. Universal Health Coverage Day
12/13 – 13 National Day Of The Horse, 15 Bill of Rights Day, 17 Wright Brothers Day, Nat’l. Maple Syrup Day 18 International Migrants Day
12/20 – 20 International Human Solidarity Day, 21 Start of Winter (Winter Solstice), 25 Christmas, 26 Boxing Day, Start of Kwanzaa,
12/27 – 27 St Johns Day, 31 New Year’s eve
National Pie Day, National Day of Giving – #GivingTuesday, Rosa Parks Day, National Repeal Day, St. Nicholas Day, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Human Rights Day, Chanukah Begins, National App Day, National Salesperson Day, National Day Of The Horse, Bill of Rights Day, National Maple Syrup Day, National Twin Day, Winter Solstice, National Re-Gifting Day, Christmas, Pledge of Allegiance Day, National Hero Day, National Champagne Day, New Years Eve, Universal Hour of Peace
“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.” Anonymous
Peace on earth will come to stay when we live Christmas every day. Helen Steiner Rice
Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas. Dale Evans
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. Burton Hillis
The holiest of holidays are those kept by ourselves in silence and apart; The secret anniversaries of the heart. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge
What are your plans for this holiday and the coming year? My letter to Santa is a yearly staple and I share it unapologetically because it speaks to so many thoughts and wishes we all hold dear. Plus, as Calvin Coolidge aptly says in the quote above, Christmas is a state of mind and we might as well develop a spirit of hope and gratitude this season. Enjoy the letter below. What would your letter look like? Share yours in the comment. Wishing you and your loved ones, peace, hope, health, and a spirit of gratitude this year!
A Letter To Santa
Thank you for the blessings you showered on us this year. Thank you for the new friends, unexpected gifts, and fresh opportunities. We are all grateful… My wish for the coming year is more goodwill, grace, and abundance in the world, and less misery, meanness, and scarcity!
Please don’t mix up the two!
With love & gratitude to all,
छुट्टियों की शुभकामनाएं!
С Рождеством Христовым!
22. Gratitude makes us friendlier
23. Gratitude helps our marriage
24. Gratitude makes us look good
25. Gratitude helps us make friends.
26. gratitude deepens our friendships/relationships.
27. Gratitude makes us a more effective manager
28. Gratitude helps us network
29. Gratitude helps us get mentors, proteges, and benefactors.
30. Gratitude increases our goals and motivates our achievement
31. Gratitude improves our decision making
32. Gratitude helps us forgive others
33. Gratitude helps us strengthen our métier
Haiku: Christmas Is Love In Action
Inspiration: Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!
Musings: Merry Christmas Wishes…
Happy Holidays: Grace & Gratitude to All!
Be Patient: You’re Closer Than You Think…
‘Twas The Night Before Christmas By Clement Clarke Moore
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window, I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a luster of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too–
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the chimney, St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight–
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” via famouspoetsandpoems.com
Any Zen Antics stories via
Positive Motivation Tip: Gratitude adds a special sparkle to all we do. Embrace it
Motivation Mondays: Our series is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge, or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivational word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.
Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
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PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos – Holiday photos via Pixabay, AND/OR WIKIPEDIA