Pets, Pizzazz, and Permission

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. Here we are…Christmas Eve Eve. I am extremely relieved to have made it through school for an entire calendar year, first working as a special education assistant, then as a library assistant. As a parent I used to dread school breaks, because it was difficult to keep my children entertained, but as an educator I now have a new appreciation for them. I hope you are enjoying the last few days before Christmas.

Quote of the week: “One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” –Andy Rooney

Movie of the week: In my family, we watch a regular schedule of Christmas movies every year. We own at least four versions of A Christmas Carol, and I want to introduce you to one of these versions this week. An American Christmas Carol stars Henry Winkler as Benedict Slade, an orphaned boy who grew up as the apprentice to a furniture maker in Concord, New Hampshire, during the early years of the Depression. It is an interesting remake of the beloved Scrooge…with a little pizzazz thrown in there. I hope you like it as much as we do.

Joke of the week: Where do Santa’s reindeer stop for coffee? Star-Bucks

Recharge Tip for the week: I don’t have any peppy “words of wisdom” for you today. Instead, I want to say that sometimes it’s okay to be tired or to not look forward to spending time with people. Holidays are busy and can cause a feeling of dread instead of excitement. I hope that isn’t the case for you, but if you find yourself feeling a little droopy, you are just fine. Give yourself permission to need a break from others.

Holidays are often when the loss of family members hits the hardest. If you have lost a loved one this year, I wish you a Christmas remembering the best times spent with the person you are missing. The hole that remains is always there, so give yourself a bit of grace and just do Christmas the best way you can.

Shout-Out of the week: This week I want to give a shout-out to the people who work in animal shelters caring for the animals. I used to work in a pet store when we lived in New York, so I kinda know what they go through. I even sneaked a kitten home while my husband was off on a two-week military exercise. Thank you for feeding, petting, and cleaning up after the animals as they eagerly look for a family. Pets are a serious commitment, almost like having children. I know that my dogs are never too far from me when I am home. If you are interested in adding a pet to the family, please wait until after the holidays, and please adopt from your local animal shelter.

Have a great weekend. 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.

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