Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. We have made it to the weekend of the most anticipated holiday of the year: Christmas. I don’t know about you, but I have a little more shopping to do before I am officially set to enjoy the holiday weekend. One bright spot as I finish recovering from an upper respiratory infection is that my best friend from high school is passing through town, and we will spend some time together. Whatever you have going on—whether shopping, doing chores, or plotting life in 2024—I hope you’ll have a wonderful Christmas.
Quote of the Week: “Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast!” –William Shakespeare
Song of the Week: For the last Christmas song of the year, I want to suggest The Small Town Titans version of “You’re a Mean One, Mister Grinch.” The first time my husband played this song, I didn’t care for it very much. But now I look forward to hearing it, as well as singing to it, every year. A heavy metal rendering of “Stink, Stank, Stunk” seems entirely out of character. I hope you like it.
Joke of the Week: Which of Santa’s friends are the most chill? Jack Frost
Holiday Tip for the Week: I touched on this around Thanksgiving, but it is just as crucial for Christmas. When gathering with family and friends this weekend, be sure to set clear expectations of what will happen. I mean, there is what we want to experience and then what we actually live through. Every year, we have this picture-perfect scene in our minds, as if out of a holiday movie…family members get along, with everyone enjoying plenty of food and commenting that it is “the best” they’ve ever had, and during the gift exchange both young and old love all of their gifts.
When things go counter to what you want or expect, just inhale slowly and don’t take it to heart. I know that many of the changes in my family this year have us saying that it doesn’t feel like Christmas. Don’t let how you feel this holiday make you think something is wrong. What matters is being together—not how “perfect” the moment is. You’ve got this. Merry Christmas.
Recipe of the Week: Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
What you’ll need:
2 bags of fudge cream drops
1 small jar of peanut butter
In a microwaveable bowl, dump both bags of fudge drops and scoop out the entire jar of peanut butter. Melt in the microwave, using 60-second intervals, until all of the drops are melted. Stir thoroughly. In a 9×13 baking pan, spread the mixture evenly and allow it to cool. Cut into squares and serve. It has been a Rhines family Christmas favorite for many, many years. Enjoy!
Shout Out of the Week: This week, I want to give a shout out to all of the UPS, FedEx, and mail carriers for getting so many packages delivered to their customers for the holidays. We appreciate you! For the first time in a while, we have ordered most of our gifts online. While it isn’t always without a glitch, these men and women work hard. Have a safe holiday, and enjoy a bit of rest on Christmas.
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.