My Christmas Card List

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My Christmas Card List
(Written by Helen Steiner Rice)

Shared here by Bernadette A. Moyer

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I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book.
And every year when Christmas comes, I go and take a look.
That is when I realize these names are all a part,
Not of the book they’re written in, but of my very heart.
For each name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime,
And in meeting they’ve become the rhythm in each rhyme.
While it may sound fantastic for me to make this claim,
I really feel that I’m composed of each remembered name,
And while you may not be aware of any special link,
Just meeting you has changed my life much more than you may think.
For once I’ve met somebody, the years cannot erase.
The memory of a pleasant word or of a friendly face.
So never think my Christmas cards are just a mere routine
Of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between
For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you
It’s because you’re on the list of folks I’m endeared to.
For I am but a total of the many folks I’ve met,
And you happen to be one of those I prefer not to forget.
Whether I have known you for many years or just a few,
In some ways you have a part of shaping things I do.
And every year when Christmas comes I realize anew,
The best gift life can offer is meeting folks like you.
So may the spirit of Christmas that forever more endures
Leave its richest blessings in the hearts of you and yours.

I could not have said it better! Enjoy! Merry Christmas 2016!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

November Virtue Celebrating Friendship

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November Virtue Celebrating Friendship
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Through the years I have often told my children, “in order to have a friend, you must first be a friend.” What does it take to make, manage and maintain a friendship?

“Let us ask the Lord for the grace not to speak badly of others, not to criticize, not to gossip, but rather to love everyone.” Pope Francis

How can we celebrate our friendships? What might we do to be a better friend? So much of keeping a relationship going points back to acceptance and tolerance. We make the time for the people that matter the most to us. We show them by our actions how important they are to us.

Today we are living in a country divided; our politics shows us this as we are trying to find our identity, what better time than now to take to heart the words above from Pope Francis?

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” William Shakespeare

This November, won’t you join me and celebrate friendship?

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Books by Bernadette on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Christmastide

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Christmastide
By Bernadette A. Sahm

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Merry Christmas! It is the season …

Songs are swirling around my head and I am singing, “this Christmas I gave you my heart …”

The cookies are baked and decorated; the trees are adorned with decorations and lit.Presents are in abundance and wrapped in pretty holiday papers and ready to be gifted.

There is wine and whiskey and an abundance of food, music is playing and everything is pretty and laced with hope and love and peace.

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Last night it was a beautiful Candlelight Church Service with Lessons and Carols and a special dinner with friends that have long ago become family to me. A woman my mother’s age who became my other mother and her special needs daughter born the same year that I was born. We ate and we drank and we chatted the night away, it was a special evening sure to remain in the memory books.

Hark! The Herald, the Angels sing …

Tonight we are off for a romantic evening in “the sweetest place on earth” Hershey, Pennsylvania where we will take in the Christmas decorations and music and a special holiday dinner. Then we will proceed the next day to visit the gravesite of family members that have departed this life.

Our hearts are full and are hearts are at peace and they are filled with joy and with so much love. We are grateful; so truly grateful for the life that we live and grateful for all the riches that have been afforded us these past 24 years in our home.

We are reminded that the greatest gifts that we can give are love and peace and kindness and we know that is what we want for everyone this Christmas and all through the holiday season!

For many people the New Year is about resolutions but a few years ago I gave up making “resolutions” for “affirmations” it even sounds more positive. This year we are for better health and even more happiness.

“Take out the trash!” will be the mantra for the New Year! Let go of the garbage and all that is dark and dirty and unhealthy. If you can’t say and do anything nice … then don’t say and do anything at all … “Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”

Wishing you all “Green and silver, red and gold and a story born of old, Peace and love and hope abide this Christmastide …”

Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy Brand New Year! Let hope and love and peace reign …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer are available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble

When Your Holiday Season is Shaping Up to be Less Than “Norman Rockwell” Like

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When Your Holiday Season is Shaping Up to be Less Than “Norman Rockwell” Like

By Bernadette A. Moyer

“Tis the season!” For some people and some families the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are wonderful and a time for cheer and for celebrations. And for other people it may be a time of dread.

Recently I read a social media post that stated “wish I could just fast forward to January” they knew they would struggle with the holidays and with their fractured family and broken heart.

Sometimes the dread comes from a job loss or an illness or a death in the family. Many adults with children feel extra pressure to provide a “magical holiday” experience for young children while on a very tight budget. We see images on television and in our stores of abundance and an expectation that we can and will all afford these celebrations. Truth is some people just can’t do it, they can’t keep up because of their finances or because of their grief and sadness.

What we need to remember is that although the holiday season is often dubbed as “the most magical time of the year” this isn’t necessarily the case for every single person. Some people actually suffer from the “holiday blues” and for them this could be the saddest time of the year. Even in families where it appears to be “Norman Rockwell” like, it isn’t always perfect.

I’ve had absolutely great holidays and I have had a few where I just wanted to pull the covers over my head, go to sleep and wake up when it was all over. One year I had no family, no money and was starting all over in my career and at that time I had a little girl that was counting on me to make it special.

There was another year just months earlier we experienced a child estrange and this could have potentially thrown us all into a holiday funk, but it didn’t.

The first sad Christmas I experienced, I vowed it would never happen again and that year I made food, we went to the first screening of a newly released film playing in a local historic theater. And then by 9:00 in the evening we were snug in our beds. The next day I woke up refreshed and stronger for the experience. That year was the bench mark for what I never wanted to happen again. My heart wasn’t right and I was just so sad.

The year of the recent estrangement we changed all traditional holiday plans and headed to Key West, Florida. According to our son it was “the best Christmas ever!” Christmas day we were sitting on Smathers beach taking in the hot sunny weather. Not at all traditional for a gal born and raised in the Northeast but still a happy holiday spent with my husband and our son.

You can and you will get through the holidays and I am convinced that the sad ones are designed to make us appreciate all the happy ones. I also believe the sad ones serve as a shake-up that it just may be time to try something new and different for the holiday season.

Remember not every person out there is happy and having an easy time of it. Holidays bring about past memories with family and friends. Some for happy memories and some may drive home for us the void left from our lost loved ones.

Tips for Handling the Holidays Alone

  1. Don’t pressure yourself, go with your own flow!
  2. Take in the FREE sites, shopping malls and heavily decorated areas may make you feel better.
  3. Grab a coffee or a meal out, learn to be alone and to be okay with it.
  4. Churches have all kinds of Bazaars and cookie sells, support them and take home a few treats.
  5. Volunteer at a hospital, or food kitchen or pet rescue center.
  6. Go to the public library and stock up on must reads and films to view.
  7. Write! Write letters, cards, poetry, notes, express yourself!
  8. Contribute a toy for “Toys for Tots” or other meaningful charity.
  9. Go see a new movie, a new play or a live concert.
  10. Gather with friends and family and people that love you!
  11. Make new traditions and travel.
  12.  Don’t want to be in the public? Pamper yourself.
  13. Stock your refrigerator with healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Exercise. Walk. Move about.
  14. Take long hot bubble baths.
  15. Get your music, books and movies stacked up and ready so that when the holidays arrive you have your entertainment choices at your fingertips.
  16. Sleep! Often when we are sad and depressed we are lacking proper rest. Give yourself permission to sleep it off.
  17. Paint a room or engage in a mini home improvement project.
  18. Do something productive, the end result will make you feel better. Go to the gym and start your New Year resolutions early.
  19. Make cookies, make food. Create healthy dishes with vegetables and fresh fruit.
  20. Can’t afford to travel? There are amazing television shows and archived libraries that have travel destinations recorded for viewing, imagine yourself there!

No matter what is going on in your life and what circumstances you find yourself in this holiday season, just know that this too shall pass. Sometimes a down year is just what we need to inspire us for the next year. Not every holiday season is going to be “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Count your blessings, find gratitude in what you have, focus on what you have now and not on what has been lost and you are sure to find the holidays as peaceful as they can be. And if this is the holiday season that grief prevails, remember that grief can be a gift. You can and you will make it through the holidays …

Grief teaches us many life lessons and tears are the shedding so that the old can be let go and the new may be embraced. After the rain, the sun always returns and so often shines even brighter!

The holidays are coming, so what is your favorite holiday movie? Or your favorite holiday music?

For me, I love the movies; The Holiday and The Family Stone and for the classic movies; Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life. And for Christmas music I enjoy Aaron Neville’s version of Such a Night and when Bing Crosby teamed up with David Bowie for Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Remember 2018 is a New Year and a chance for all that is good and wonderful, believe it and receive it!

Feel free to share your story by writing me at bmoyer37@aol.com and “like” my page at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer