1. My mom bought Reggie a Christmas present. She wrapped it up and put it under the tree. Thought you’d enjoy a fun video of him opening it on Christmas morning. He really does open it all by himself!
2. I was thinking, I would bake so many more cupcakes if I just had a way to transport them. They always get banged around in my containers. The frosting gets smeared all over the place. By the time I get them to the office or to a friend’s house, they look like an unappetizing mess. Then BAM! I got this fun collapsible cake/cupcake carrier as a Christmas present. The first trial run: red velvet cupcakes.
Did you get a present this holiday that you’re excited to use?
3. Kiva Update. A few months ago, my Kiva loan was repaid in full, freeing up those funds to loan to someone else. Melissa Lizeth, age 22, from Honduras started her jewelry-making business two years ago. She took a course and now purchases the accessories for different styles of jewelry, which allows her to provide more interesting items to her customers. When I came across her profile on Kiva, I found her smile to be so engaging. She seems genuine and happy. Her loan was funded by 43 people around the world. So far, she’s already repaid 10 percent, right on schedule.
4. I’ve decided not to make New Year’s resolutions. The ending of one year and the beginning of the next always seems like a good time to take stock, but it ends up being too much pressure. I usually blow all of my resolutions by January 5th, curled up in bed with a gallon of ice cream and wearing sweatpants. Maybe we should approach the whole idea of resolutions differently. Instead of waiting until the end of the year, how about applying the same philosophy every day? Then we could make minor adjustments along the way instead of going cold turkey on all of our bad habits.
How noble and good everyone could be if, at the end of each day, they were to review their own behavior and weigh up the rights and wrongs. They would automatically try to do better at the start of each new day and, after a while, would certainly accomplish a great deal. ~ Anne Frank
Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions? If so, do you make several short-term resolutions, or one big one?
5. This week, I finished reading The Diary of Anne Frank. Maybe it’s been years since you read it, or maybe, like me, you’d never read it. (Surprising, isn’t it, that throughout all of my school years, none of my teachers had assigned it.) What stuck with me most was her connection to nature. Despite (or maybe because of) being cut off from the outside world for 18 months, Anne Frank was comforted by the power and beauty of the natural world. She and the seven others being hidden from the Nazis were not able to go outside for a single moment. “As luck would have it, I’m only able – except for a few rare occasions – to view nature through dusty curtains tacked over dirt-caked windows.” Anne took great pleasure in absorbing the outside. She makes several references to nature in her diary, but this is my favorite:
I also looked out the open window, letting my eyes roam over a large part of Amsterdam, over the rooftops and on to the horizon, a strip of blue so pale it was almost invisible.
“As long as this exists,” I thought, “this sunshine and this cloudless sky, and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?”
The best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be alone, alone with the sky, nature and God. For then and only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature’s beauty and simplicity.
As long as this exists, and that should be forever, I know that there will be solace for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances. I firmly believe that nature can bring comfort to all who suffer.
Peace and joy in the New Year to you! How will you celebrate New Year’s Eve?