Wishes in the Season of Love, Kindness, and Wisdom

December is coming to a close. Many of you have celebrated holidays or will celebrate holidays over the next nine days. In this season of love, kindness, and wisdom, there are wishes exchanged. No matter which holiday you celebrate, my wish for you is that you find love, kindness, and wisdom here and where ever you are.


Photo is of a guinea  pig with Christmas packages and a Christmas tree in the background a season of love, kindness, and wisdom

Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection.

Pindar

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.

Dale Evans

Photograph of Pine trees in snow

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.”

John Boswell

Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.”

Kahlil Gibran

I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.”

Fred Rogers

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

Photograph of sliced roast beef, a vegetable medley, mashed potatoes,, and fresh bread-a Christmas feast

Small cheer and great welcome make a merry feast.”

William Shakespeare

The success of a holiday depends on what you find for yourself on the spot, not what you bring with you.”

Ellis Peters

If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.

Bob Hope

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

Mother Theresa

A Little Kindness

This time of year can be joyful, but for some the joy is diminished or even snuffed out. And in this second year of the pandemic, the stress and difficulties of those in our community is great. Take a few moments to volunteer or to donate to the cause of your choice.

If you don’t have a philanthropic choice, consider giving to MOCSA, the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault. Their mission is to improve the lives of those impacted by sexual abuse and assault and to prevent sexual violence in our community. They do great things in the Kansas City area. If you’d prefer to give to a national organization, I’d like to suggest RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. If you would like to know more go to either website or my post.

Even if you can’t give either money or cash, you can let others know about the necessary and difficult work these organizations do.

Thank you for caring.

Please Note

This site will go dark for the next six days. I am determined that things will go well, and this site will re-open with a new look.

A Seasonal Wish

Many thanks to all who have stuck with me this year. I appreciate your support more than I can say.

I hope this season of holidays has given you, or will give you, a little love, a little kindness, and a little wisdom and plenty of blessings to count.

What are your favorite seasonal words of love, kindness, or wisdom? Please share.

Holiday Stories Earn a Special Place on Your Bookshelves

No, it’s not a first Friday. But there’s more to the holidays than A Christmas Story or ‘Twas the Night before Christmas. Some stories cross all the lines no matter the plot, no matter the holiday. Holiday stories earn a special place on your bookshelves. Hopefully, in this list there are first lines from old favorites as well as new and different stories for you to explore.


Image of the cover of Night of the Moon is a colorful drawing of a girl looking up at the moon. It's one of the holiday stories you might like on your bookshelf.

It was bedtime and Yasmine waited for her mom to read her a story as she did every night. But this night was different.

Night of the Moon A Muslim Holiday Story
Hena Khan (Author), Julie Paschkis (Illustrator)

Old Bear awoke from his winter sleep. He poked his nose outside of his den.

Hanukkah Bear,
Eric A. Kimmel (Author), Mike Wohnoutka (Illustrator)

“Really. It’s fine,  honey. You couldn’t have predicted a bird bombing as soon as you stepped out of the house….”

Frisky Connections: A steamy, modern dating, Hannukah,
romcom novelette. (The Frisky Bean) Michelle Mars

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies.

The Gift of the Magi, O. Henry

The house is called Enysyule. 

Enysyle. The word lingers on my lips like honey from a spoon.

The Cat of Yule Cottage:
A Magical Tale of Romance, Christmas and Cats, Lili Hayward

It was biting cold, the sort of cold that burns into your bones. It was snowing and so dark that evening before Christmas. 

The Little Match Girl, Hans Christian Andersen

Santa Claus lives in the Laughing Valley, where stands the enormous, meandering aimlessly palace in which his toys are made. 

A Kidnapped Santa Claus, L. Frank Baum

And look at this! A storm system is making its way across the country, and it will bring heavy snow to the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes before wreaking havoc on the East Coast.

The Secret of Snow, Viola Shipman

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The Night Before Christmas,
Clement C. Moore (Author) and Charles Santore (Illustrator)

Clarification

There are no affiliate links in this post. I don’t make a cent off of the books listed on this page. Usually these titles are pulled at random. They are here for your enjoyment. And to entice you to buy more books.

If you liked those first lines, I hope you’ll love these:

The giant bronze angel of death loomed over Miranda Clarke’s shoulder.

My Soul to Keep, Book One in the Fellowship Dystopia series by Lynette M. Burrows

Fellowship.

Do You Want to Read More?

Did you enjoy this list? Check out previous First Line Fridays. You’ll put another enormous smile on my face if you tell me in the comments below— Which ones spoke to you? Did you buy it?

The Perfect Gift for Your Bookworm

It’s almost time but you still haven’t found the non-book perfect gift for your bookworm. Have no fear, I’ve found a few gems that will light up the most serious book nerd’s eyes. There are no affiliate links here. I get nothing no matter what you click, except for the joy of being able to help you. So click on the picture of the item you think will bring your reader friend you and be whisked to the online store page where you can buy it. 

Image is of a hard cover book with a plain beige cover. A silken rope is tied around it with a bow on top. Really the perfect gift for your bookworm is a book.

Your Reader’s Mug

I have never seen a more perfect gift for readers of this blog. Heck, I think Santa might bring me one of these first lines mugs. I’m not sure I’d fill it with coffee, because I’d spill it trying to read all the first lines.

Image of a coffee cup with first lines from books on it, the perfect gift for your bookworm

Fill a Reader’s Cup

Some like to sip coffee or tea while they read. Fill the tea drinking reader’s cup with something fun and flavorful. 

Photo of tea tins that look like books with tongue-in-cheek titles such as Peach and War a perfect gift for your bookworm

Others prefer something stronger but how boring to drink a beer or glass of wine. Give your book lovers a literary twist to their drinks.

The cover of the book Tequila Mockingbird, cocktails with a literary twist has a mockingbird perched on the rim  of a full martini glass. a book that is the perfect gift for your bookworm

Fill Your Bookworm’s Belly

Don’t forget to feed your reader friends. This cookbook offers a touch of the literary with each dish.

Image of the cover of book lovers cookbook--cook something from your favorite book

Your Book Lover’s New Favorite T

Available in Men and women’s sizes this book lover’s t-shirt comes in five different colors. 

Image of a t-shirt with the outline of a stack of books over the words get lit.

Keep your Bookworm Warm

This warm hoodie is sure to tickle the fancy of your most die hard bookworm friends. Get one in all five colors.

A hoodie with the words my weekend over a stack of books followed by the words is all booked.

Tote those Books

Believe me, a book nerd never has enough totes to carry books. And who wouldn’t love to carry a Kate Spade?

Image of a tote with a stack of colorful books on it.

Help Your Book Nerd 

Okay, I am a true book nerd and a writer and this appeals to me. If your book nerd is also a writer, this journal will be appreciated. 

Image of the cover of Book Marks, a reading tracker journal. Cartoon images of books sitting on and reading books

Don’t Forget Gift Cards

Find a local bookstore and buy a gift card for your bookish friends. Why would a reader want a gift card? Seriously? Have you ever met one that didn’t want need more books? Believe me, it will be their favorite gift.

Confession Time

Okay. The gig is up. This is my Christmas list. These are things I would love to have. Me– Your book loving friend. I’m kidding- sort of.

Seriously, if I love these items, I’m sure the friends on your list will love them too.

Make Merry

No matter what holiday you’re celebrating, I hope this list helped give you find the perfect gift for your bookworm friend. And I send a wish for you to be healthy and safe and comfortable during this holiday season. 

Image Credit

First Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Holiday Stress Stirs Your Perfect Storm

Many creators find December, the holiday season, particularly stressful. You want your holiday to be perfect. The list of things to do during the holiday season can be overwhelming and exhausting. You are on deadlines at least to get your holiday shopping or meals or decorations done. Most likely you are also on deadlines for your creative business or you’ve got holiday gifts to create. And it’s not done yet. Holiday stress stirs a perfect storm to derail your creativity.

Photograph of holiday stress caused by a storm--in this photo appears a person in winter outerwear walking through a snow storm. In near white-out conditions you can see a once shoveled sidewalk covered in snow and large pine trees lining the long snowy walk.

So Many Holidays

December many, many holidays. Woman’s Day lists more than one hundred. My December Celebrations posts discussed thirty-seven holidays.

Some holidays hold deep meaning. If that’s adding to your stress, step back. Breathe. You don’t have to make light of your holiday.

Being a creative means being flexible. If holiday stress stirs your perfect storm, take a moment. Remember that you are creative, even if you have to put aside your work for a while during this crazy month. Allow yourself to focus on the most important things and let some things go. Most importantly, destress, have a little fun so you don’t burn yourself out. Reset your mindset. Holiday relaxation can feed creativity and make you feel better too. Too stressed-out to know how to have some fun? Maybe one of these suggestions will give you an idea.

Have Fun With Krampus

Krampus is a scary creature from folklore who punishes kids who misbehave at Christmastime. But don’t be a Krampus because you’re stressed. Decrease your stress with a fun Krampus gift. This one is available on Amazon.

.

image of black t shirt with Krampus image and the words "You might not believe in Krampus but Krampus believes in you!"

Relax on St. Nicholas Day 

This day is a feast day honoring the saint. Take a few minutes to relax and reset. Print out one or two of these online coloring pages and use fat crayons or markers and color. Scribble if you need to get rid of some excess emotions. Don’t worry about keeping color inside or outside the lines. Focus on making it colorful and having fun.

If you are an artist,Trick yourself into a more child-like state of mind. Use your non-dominate hand. Close your eyes and pick a crayon. Use that color on the object least likely to be that color in reality. Have fun.

St Nicholas Center.

Get Coloring Pages.

A Meditative Bohdi Day

Buddhists celebrate this day of awakening or enlightenment. Even if you aren’t a Buddhist, take ten minutes and forget about your list of to-dos. Light a candle and meditate. Or take a stroll among the trees. 

Mitten Tree Day 

Image of a colorful, hand knit mitten ready to be hung on a mitten tree. Giving to others and counting our blessings can reduce holiday stress.

This holiday didn’t make it on the December Celebrations posts. But it reminds us to count our blessings. Buy a pair of colorful mittens or two or three and hang them on a tree for anyone who needs them. If you don’t have mittens to spare, volunteer a few hours to your local soup kitchen or food and clothes pantry.

Feast of Immaculate Conception

This one can be easy. Take the day off—at least refrain from unnecessary work and feast on your favorite foods.

National Cotton Candy Day

Image of a woman at a candy cotton machine, spinning pink cotton candy onto a paper stick. Even imagining taking a bite can reduce holiday stress.

Guess what? Go get some cotton candy and dig in. Get messy. Lick your fingers. Enjoy yourself.

Your Perfect Storm

Don’t let holiday stress create your perfect storm. Don’t let it cause burn out. Take time out to enjoy a little fun, relaxation, exercise. Creativity is a gift. And your time is a gift. Be generous with your gifts, but remember to nurture them as well.

How do you relieve holiday stress?

Image Credits:

Snowy Day Photo by Gary Ellis on Unsplash

Mitten by dooneling, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cotton Candy by Joseolgon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Celebrate Filipino American History Month

Did you know that October is Filipino American History Month? It is celebrated in October because the first recorded Filipinos landed on U.S soil on October 18, 1587. Yes, they arrived on the west coast before Christopher Columbus saw any portion of the Americas. You didn’t know? That’s why you should celebrate Filipino American History Month.

Image of a Filipino Flag partially behind an American Flag with the words October is Filipino American History Month across the top.

Who Came First

The Manila Galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza commanded by Pedro de Unamuno sent a landing party to the area of the coast now known as Morro Bay, California. They claimed the area for Spain and marked it with a cross made of branches. Native indians attacked the group two days later. Unamuno and his crew gave up exploring the coast any further.

Image of a triangular-shaped boulder with a plaque on it about the Morro Bay landing by Filipinos marks the landing spot as we celebrate filipino American History Month.

First Permanent Settlement

History is often murky. But we know that the Manila Galleon Trade thrived and connected Asia, the Americas and Europe for over two centuries. Luzones Indios, natives from the Philippine island Luzon, were among the sailors and indentured servants vital to that network. 

During those two hundred years many Luzones Indios escaped to Mexico and parts of the US. In Louisiana, they became known as the Manilamen. 

The oldest documentation of Filipinos in St Malo, Louisiana was a Harpers Weekly magazine article from 1883. The author of the article thought they’d been there for at least fifty years. Oral tradition puts them there a hundred years earlier. They were fishermen, privateers in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, and fought in the War of 1812.

Sadly the historic St. Malo suffers from destruction by hurricanes and the changing climate. One day that historic site may vanish from sight. 

Manilatown, San Francisco

From the 1920s to the late 1970s, Manilatown in San Francisco thrived. A Filipino American neighborhood, a five block stretch near Chinatown.

California Alien Land Law forbade Filipinos from owning land or businesses. This meant they had to be transient. Live in rooming houses, hotels, or work camps. In San Francisco’s Manilatown, the International Hotel (the I-Hotel) was one of the places Filipinos called home. It was a low-income residential hotel. 

The I-Hotel came to national attention in the 1970s when the urban renewal project in San Francisco threatened the hotel’s existence. The project bought buildings and evicted people who were poor, old, black, and brown. 

In the 1970s, the building housed nearly 150 Filipino and Chinese seniors, three community groups, an art workshop, a radical bookstore and three Asian newspapers.

Manilatown.org

By that time the financial district’s slow take over the area, had reduced Manilatown to the one block the I-Hotel stood on.

Landlords wanted to evict the residents of the I-Hotel. They planned to put a parking lot there.

Image of people protesting outside the International Hotel, Manilatown ,San Francisco 1977

For almost a decade (1968-1977), a “mass-based, multiracial alliance which included students, unions and churches, fought the eviction.” At 3 a.m. on August 4, 1977, 3000 people fought hundreds of club-wielding riot police at the I-Hotel. The eviction was successful.

The Rest of the Story

The building stood empty until it was demolished in  1979. Then the lot remained a vacant hole until local neighborhood groups succeeded in their efforts. Rebuilt in 2005, the I-Hotel houses 104 low-income seniors and the International Hotel Manilatown Center.

Want to know more? Check out Wikipedia’s List of Filipino Americans.

Learn More and Celebrate

The stories above are only a tiny slice of Filipino American history. There are “little manilas” in many major cities across America, yet little if any Filipino American history makes it into our history books and schools. America is a melting pot that historically ignores nonwhite contributions to our history. Please help change that. Share any Filipino history you know in the comments below and celebrate Filipino American History Month.

Image Credits: Top: Images of the flags and the words October is Filipino American History Month by Lynette M Burrows using images of the flags of the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America by Clker Free Vector Images of Pixabay.com. Second Photo Morro Bay historical marker by Harry Cutts, CC BY-SA 4.0. Third photo images of protestors in front of the International Hotel by Nancy Wong, CC BY-SA 4.0 Published

Categorized as History, Holidays, Inspiration and Motivation Tagged ,