Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. As we enter into the second weekend of December, my family has had to come to terms with a fourth death since July. It is easy to become distressed and think sad and depressing thoughts. I am determined to be thankful for my time with my stepdad before Thanksgiving. He was married to my mother for 26 years. If this December gets a little too heavy for you emotionally, permit yourself to feel the sadness, then find joy in spreading cheer to others. You could also watch The Polar Express on repeat; that really helps me feel better.
Quote of the Week: “Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality.” –Washington Irving
Song of the Week: I tend to get on a repetitive cycle of music. This week, I have been listening to songs from The Nutcracker. It started when I watched my daughter’s copy of The Barbie Nutcracker last Friday after work. I enjoy it because it has all of my favorite musical pieces, including “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” “Waltz of the Snowflakes,” and, of course, the opening overture. It is exciting to listen to while you are doing work or even studying. I hope you have a chance to try it.
Joke of the Week: Why does Scrooge love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Because every buck is deer to him!
Holiday Tip for the Week: Remember when I mentioned last week that Christmas shopping either excites people or brings out the worst in them? Well, this really comes out once people are behind the wheel and out on the busy roads. One of the guys in my family is not a patient driver. He gets irritated at creepers (cars that change lanes without signaling); you know how it is… Also, I was driving through one of Knoxville’s most congested shopping areas, the Turkey Creek Shopping Center, when I left a gap for cars turning from the opposite side. The folks in the Cadillac behind me thought they were more important and honked for me to move forward so they could turn in behind me.
Well, for this holiday tip, I want to encourage you to make a list of what you are shopping for ahead of time and then trip link to carry out the shopping. Consider shopping at times that are not as crowded to avoid extra frustration. Getting worked up and irritated when purchasing gifts for your loved ones is not a good thing. Check online to ensure the store has your desired items before you arrive. But above all, the spirit of the season isn’t how much you spend on the people in your lives, but being present for them in the here and now.
Recipe of the Week: I saw this on one of the Facebook videos about desserts. I think you’ll like Christmas Tree Brownies!
What you’ll need:
1 box of favorite brownie mix
Frosting piping materials
You can make these in either a square brownie pan or a regular 9×13 pan. Mix and bake brownies according to directions. Once cool, cut into 12 or more squares. Remove the brownies from the pan and cut the squares diagonally to make triangles. Use the colored frosting to make Christmas trees or even Santa hats. Serve at any holiday gathering and enjoy!
Shout Out of the Week: This week, I want to give a shout out to the board members and volunteers here at RiseUP Cooperative. They all do so much to ensure educational opportunities to young adults. They give of their time, talents, and other means to support and encourage those they minister to. You are greatly appreciated!
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.