Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. To paraphrase a song from The Muppet Christmas Carol, we have one more sleep ’til Christmas. I hope the holiday will be a good one for you, and more than any present you receive, know that YOU are the gift the world needs.
Quote of the week: “If you want to experience the true meaning of Christmas, give something to someone who can offer nothing in return.” –Tori Sorenson
Movie of the week: For the final movie before Christmas, I want to recommend the above-mentioned The Muppet Christmas Carol. We have at least four versions of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, but the Muppet version has some of the best lines. One of my favorite is: “Thank you for making me a part of this!” when Gonzo uses Rizzo the Rat to wipe the dirt from the window so they could look inside. It tells the same story as other renditions of The Christmas Carol, reminding us that we should try to live in the past, present, and future at the same time to really experience life to the fullest. I hope you like it. Merry Christmas!
Joke of the week: Where do Santa’s reindeer stop for coffee? Star-bucks!
Nugget of Wisdom for the week: This week I want to emphasize the idea that the number of Christmas presents you receive doesn’t equate your worth as a person. In my mind, presence is more important than presents. My parents divorced when I was 15 years old. My father remarried when I was 16 and moved away. Though I received gifts, sometimes multiple of the same thing, I would rather have had time with my dad. As I got older, he made it clear that his priorities had changed. While I was still his daughter, because I wasn’t close to him geographically, my place in his life shifted and he focused his time on my stepsisters and little brother. Be intentional with the people in your life and enjoy their presence…even if you receive no presents. Things get broken or lost, but a relationship gives you emotional hugs, and sometimes physical ones. To quote Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This Christmas, just know that you are wonderful, you matter, and the world needs your kind of you.
Podcast of the week: On the fourth Friday of each month, we will share with you an inspiring presenter who has conducted a recent teen workshop for RiseUP Cooperative. This week’s podcast features a discussion about the power of confidence led by Matthew Clay, who for many years was a sports psychologist at Florida State University and worked with student and Olympic athletes. Click here to listen as he asks teens what they think confidence looks and feels like—and whether or not it’s possible to increase it.
Have a great week. Remember, you are most awesome and YOU ROCK!
Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.