HERE for OUR FREE LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR or TOOLBAR or NEWSREADER or TO SHARE
WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY
Connecting 50 U.S. States & 157 Countries Worldwide
& Grow Monthly eMagazine
grandfather once told me that there were two kinds
of people: those who do the work and those who take
the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group;
there was much less competition."
~ Indira Gandhi
December 20, 2004
Time of the Year"
THIS WEEK'S ISSUE
From the Inside Out...
On Santa's Team
Yes You Can!...
Nurture Your Child's
Kalahari Christmas Trees
Untangling the Web...
What a Site!
Last Minute Ideas
Just for YOU...
More Great Gift Giving
Seasonal Truths & Dares
Laughing It Off...
Ever-Festive Eating Tips
Daily Security Alerts
Allowing Life's River to Flow
BE the World
You Want to See!
important to give without expecting anything in return, rather than
keeping a tally of whom we've helped and who has helped us. Silence
and service go hand in hand. Random acts of kindness, particularly
those anonymously accomplished, reflect a healthy non-attachment
to deed or outcome.
~ Chelle ~
From the Inside Out
ON SANTA'S TEAM
grandma taught me everything about Christmas. I was just a kid.
I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day
my big sister dropped the bomb:
is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"
grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that
day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma
always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down
a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon
was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her
everything. She was ready for me.
Santa Claus!" she snorted."Ridiculous! Don't believe it.
That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad,
plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go."
Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second
turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that
had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through
its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those
this money," she said, "and buy something for someone
who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned
and walked out of Kerby's.
was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother,
but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed
big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas
shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching
that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to
buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends,
my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.
was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobbie Decker.
He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind
me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobbie Decker didn't have
a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during
the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher
that he had a cough; but all we kids knew that Bobbie Decker didn't
have a cough, and he didn't have a coat.
fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy
Bobbie Decker a coat. I settled on a red corduroy one that had a
hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. I didn't
see a price tag, but ten dollars ought to buy anything. I put the
coat and my ten-dollar bill on the counter and pushed them toward
the lady behind it.
looked at the coat, the money, and me. "Is this a Christmas
present for someone?" she asked kindly. "Yes,"
I replied shyly. "It's ... for Bobbie. He's in my class, and
he doesn't have a coat." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't
get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry
evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and
ribbons, and write, "To Bobbie, From Santa Claus" on it
... Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy.
she drove me over to Bobbie Decker's house, explaining as we went
that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers. Grandma
parked down the street from Bobbie's house, and she and I crept
noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.
Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she
whispered, "get going."
took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present
down on his step, pounded his doorbell twice and flew back to the
safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly
in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and
there stood Bobbie. He looked down, looked around, picked up his
present, took it inside and closed the door.
years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering,
beside my grandma, in Bobbie Decker's bushes. That night, I realized
that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma
said they were: Ridiculous!
was alive and well ... AND WE WERE ON HIS TEAM!
Contributed by Vidya at AwakeningPath.com
Our New Holiday eCards HERE
Yes You Can!
NURTURE YOUR CHILD'S
preschoolers are too young to grasp many of the abstract concepts
that go hand-in-hand with spiritual life, they have other skills
that will serve them well on the road to spirituality: They have
no problem believing in things they can't see, and they live almost
entirely in the moment. "Kids this age have an incredible sense
of wonder they're innate spiritual beings," says Marianne
Neifert, a pediatrician, mother of five, and the author of Dr.
Mom's Prescription for Preschoolers: Seven Essentials for the Formative
Years . This
is the perfect age to begin nurturing your child's spiritual side
as sustenance for her soul, as a way of answering her cosmic
questions, and as a means of strengthening her interpersonal skills.
Every religion has some kind of belief embedded in it about loving
your neighbor. And giving your child a foundation in faith will
also give her something to fall back on in trying times later in
What you can do to nurture your child's spirituality:
your own beliefs. Whether or not you practice an organized religion,
you'll need to decide what you believe in order to foster spirituality
in your child. That doesn't mean you have to have all the answers,
but you can take time to consider the questions: Do you believe
in a Higher Being? Do you believe there was a divine element in
the creation of the world? What do you think happens when a person
pretend to have all the answers. When your child asks where
people go when they die, answer honestly: "Nobody knows for
sure, but some people think they go to heaven. Other people think
they're born again in a new body." Inevitably, your child will
ask what you think. If you have a strong belief, share it. If not,
it's okay to admit that there are some questions people spend their
whole lives trying to figure out and this is one of them.
daily events to teach spirituality. Big ideas don't always require
big actions. You can demonstrate that spirituality is a part of
everyday life by incorporating it into ordinary actions and words.
When you open the curtains in the morning, you can say, "Look
at this glorious day Mother Nature made."
an appreciation of nature. Nature is a great place to find a
tangible manifestation of the divine. "Kids learn with all
their senses they love to pick up a rock or jump in a puddle
or chase a butterfly," says Neifert. Help your child see nature
as something sacred by demonstrating your own love and respect for
it. When you go for a family hike in the woods or a picnic on the
beach, clean up after yourself (and even others), and be considerate
of creatures in their habitat. Plant a garden with your child, and
make it part of your daily routine to check on the progress of the
plants together. Introduce her to the idea that the Earth is a gift,
and that our survival depends upon the survival of the planet.
stories. The world's spiritual traditions are full of stories
designed to explain everything from how the world was created to
why people sometimes do bad things. Introduce your child to the
notion that different people have different ideas about God by drawing
on this wealth of literature. Read stories together from an illustrated
Bible, a book of Hindu mythology, or a collection of Jewish folk
tales, amending and simplifying as you see fit.
on family traditions. Spirituality not only connects us to the
divine; it also connects us to each other and to the past. If you're
raising your child in the same spiritual tradition that you were
raised in, be sure she knows that she's carrying on family rituals
that were passed along by her grandparents and even great-grandparents.
Show her pictures of her grandmother taking her first communion.
Let her help polish a pair of Sabbath candlesticks that were handed
down by your parents. And be sure to tell the same family stories
at holiday time that you listened to as a child.
it fun. Spirituality should be more joyful than somber and serious.
Together, act out plays or put on a puppet show based on creation
stories or your own spiritual themes. Above all, do what spiritual
people have done for centuries sing and dance! If you don't
know any traditional tunes, a wealth of CDs and cassettes of spiritual
music is available. Don't forget to explore songs and chants from
other cultures or traditions as well.
silence. Once a day or once a week, take a minute to sit quietly
with your child, encouraging her to be silent and listen to her
inner voice. Your moment of silence needn't be introduced as some
lofty practice of meditation, but simply as a calming break in a
noisy day. Whether your child uses this time to commune with the
divine or simply to rest and recharge, it'll help put her in touch
with the "big" picture.
the spiritual side of holidays. Try to balance the commercialism
of the holiday season with activities that underscore its deeper
meaning. Volunteer at a local charity. Donate food, clothing, or
toys to a shelter, and have your child do the same by choosing a
few items she no longer plays with. Participate in church or synagogue
events centered on holiday themes. On the fun side, share some holiday
crafts with your child: Create a homemade nativity scene out of
cardboard and fill it with little dolls, craft a menorah
out of modeling clay, or make a Kwanzaa kinara to hold the
symbolic candles representing the principles of the holiday
unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative
economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
joining a faith community. By regularly attending services and
social events at a place of worship, your child will come to see
that spirituality plays a central role in the life of the community.
She'll also grow up more comfortable with the liturgy and rituals
of your faith and come to see a house of worship as a place where
she can feel comfortable and secure. "Kids thrive on predictability,"
says Neifert. "Whether it's a Catholic child seeing the communion
bread and wine, a Jewish child hearing the Hebrew prayers, or a
Hindu child smelling the incense in the temple, by experiencing
rituals kids come to appreciate the predictability of a religious
service, if not the deeper meaning."
your child's lead. Let your child ask the questions, and give
her plenty of opportunities to discuss her own notions of issues
such as what heaven looks like, or what happens to people after
they die. Try not to dictate the answers to big questions, begin
your answer by asking her what she thinks. Or ask her to draw a
picture and tell you about it. Spirituality is a two-way street:
If you listen carefully to your child, you might discover something
you never thought of before.
Line's International Forum>>>
Our Latest Topics
Early British influence in the African country of Botswana led
to Christmas Pantomimes comical, musical, and very vocal
(unlike Mime) presentations. Based loosely on fairytales, they
manage to fit in an old maid (played by a man) and a young hero
(played by a woman). Somewhat like melodrama's that were performed
in the United States, they usually involve audience participation,
like booing the villain and cheering the hero. Situated right
in the center of Botswana lies the Kalahari Reserve, which is
characterized by vast open plains, saltpans and ancient riverbeds.
Varying from sand dunes with many species of trees and shrubs
in the north, to flat bushveld in the central area, the reserve
is more heavily wooded in the south, with mophane forests to the
south and east. A typical woody plant in Botswana's bush savanna
is the "moselesele" or sickle bush. Its delightful lantern-shaped
inflorescences, that light up the trees like Christmas decorations,
have inspired the popular nickname: Kalahari Christmas Trees.
WHAT A SITE!
"Winter Travel Assistance"
Traffic & Road Closure Information: State
by state links to state, city, and AAA real-time reports on
traffic info and weather and construction-related road closings.
Winterizing Your Car & Tips for Safe Winter Driving:
Check this out before the next snowstorm is predicted.
Tracker at CheapTicket.com:
In a season when you can expect bad weather, real-time flight
information can be a boon. Also includes airport maps, delay
info and travel tips.
Ski Conditions from Weather Underground: Browse
by state. Tracks weather forecasts, amount of new snow, surface
conditions, number of trails, and projected opening dates.
New Stuff by Marylaine Block
eMail: With Pictures"
What causes the recipients see only boxes with red Xs in them,
not pictures when forwarding email? There are a number of possible
explanations for little red Xs in Outlook Express.. How to prevent
them? Use the "Message/forward as attachment"
command rather than the "Message/forward" command.
Sending it as an attachment sends the entire message intact.
Your recipients can then open the attachment and view the pictures
by John in Mohave Valley, Arizona
THAT ONLINE COMPANY LEGITIMATE & ARE YOUR PURCHASES SAFE?
donations are my primary funding source for website costs,
creating and sending weekly Inspiration Line eMagazines
all over the world and since this is my full-time
endeavor-of-the-heart, there will never be a subscription
fee. So, if you'd like to help
... AND receive a wonderful gift eBook ... please read more
Last-Minute Ideas Just
MORE GREAT GIFT GIVING
Perfect Gift for Anyone...by Dr. Barbara Sinor
books are meant to be read and remembered ...
others become intimate daily companions to turn to as
Inspirational Guide for the Recovering Soul
'It is a welcome ongoing opportunity to crystallize
our thoughts and gain immediate inspiration, comfort,
and insight ... simply by opening to any page, it becomes
an enlightening resource for remarkable quotes, rituals,
Here to Visit Our Website for Details!......
Catmas from The Cat's Meow
Our Catmas Marketplace Today!
Whatever kind of cat you love, we have something you'll want
... a book about cats, a Kit Cat Clock, a cat mug or cat mat
to let the world know you love cats when they come to your
door. Because 'The Cat's Meow" is about unique things,
we have cat buttons, cat quilts, stuffed cats, cat t-shirts,
and cat art, too. Take a look around ... we just know you'll
find that Catmas gift you've been wanting or a very unusual
and appreciated gift for a cat-loving friend.
always purr-fectly welcome at www.The-Cats-Meow.com
SEASONAL TRUTHS & DARES
Laughing It Off
EVER-FESTIVE EATING TIPS
Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday
buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if
you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're
serving rum balls.
Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly, it's rare. You
can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who
cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if
you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's
a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than
you think. It's Christmas!
If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point
of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano
out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano.
As for mashed potatoes... always ask if they're made with
skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's
like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
Do NOT have a snack before going to a party in an effort to
control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party
is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New
Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else
to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after
circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food
and that vat of eggnog.
If you come across something really good at a buffet table,
like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa,
position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you
can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful
pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to
see them again.
Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of
each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one
pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more
than one dessert? Labor Day?
Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the
mandatory celebratory calories, but AVOID it at all cost. I mean,
have SOME standards.
One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the
party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.
Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the
this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey
to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive
and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, fudge
in one hand, divinity in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally
worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
twice to Inspiration Line ...
By Don in Flora Vista, New Mexico & Mary Lynn in Peoria, Illinois
DAILY SECURITY ALERTS
Joyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights
ALLOWING LIFE'S RIVER TO FLOW
all want to protect the people, and even the values/beliefs,
that we hold dear. The more we cherish them, the more we can
imagine how terrible life would be if anything "happened"
to them. Our own fears motivate us to enforce fierce boundaries
for them ... and for OUR peace of mind. My favorite
author, Dr. David Viscott, Ph.D., writes:
cannot protect anyone from themselves; you cannot protect anyone
from life. You cannot spare a loved one the confrontation with
their own mortality, their own stupidity or their own emptiness.
Indeed, to take on the burden of sentry, guarding another person's
borders, is to interfere with that person's life lesson. If
we are the sum of everything that happens to us, to limit a
person's experience is to limit their growth."
Viscott continues: "The wrong protective attitudes isolate
us and make us prisoners in our personal life. We strive to
find a livable balance between trust and protection. Too much
space isolates you from the Flow of Life and keeps you
out of touch with the mainstream. Too little space makes you
suspicious of everyone, lest they invade what is yours. You
cannot fence the world out without fencing yourself in. We are
creatures of the boundaries we construct, the limits we test,
the goals we seek, and the restraints we abandon to seek new
worlds. Not to break through the limits containing you is to
be forced to live the same day over and over again for the rest
of your life."
By disengaging from a place of control and moving into an "Observer
Role," when necessary, we can step beyond fear, anger and
sadness to re-create Clarity, Joy and Balance in our personal
environment ... which then has a ripple effect upon the
entire world. Remember that "The Universe rearranges
itself to accommodate YOUR picture of reality." By
KNOWING all is well at a core level the River
of Life is able to flow in a more natural way, so that each
person can experience their own evolutionary process and lessons.
close friend, Gabrielle in Santa Fe, New Mexico, showed me the
from the Hopi Elders -
2001: "To my fellow swimmers: There
is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that
there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on
to the shore, they will feel they are being torn apart and will
suffer greatly. Know that the river has its destination. The
elders say we must let go of the shore, push off in to the middle
of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above water.
See who is there with you, and celebrate. At this time in history,
we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves; for
the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a
halt. The way of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves. Banish
the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary. All that
we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration."
Further Reading: Book
of the Hopi by Frank Walters and Oswald
White Bear Fredericks, plus Medicine
Lodge at Manataka.org.
~ Chelle ("Shay") Thompson, Editor
Our Sister Site's:
DAY IS CHRISTMAS"
"The intent of Inspiration Line is to
show What Is Possible by choosing new perspectives,
we can change ourselves from the inside out to improve our relationships,
our community and our planet."
Can Change Your
Email Address / Delivery Options
NOTICE: All articles and images shown are believed to be public
domain and, therefore, re-printable material.
We make every attempt to credit original authors and websites,
and do not intentionally infringe on anyone's copyright.
Where a source is available, it has been stated. If you believe
a mistake has been made or know the source of
an unattributed article or image, please write to: Editor@InspirationLine.com
and a correction will be made.
Jane Cate, The 'Typo' Fairy & TechAngel
This publication originates in Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
Copyright © 2004 Inspiration Line -
All Rights Reserved
include "Reprinted from www.InspirationLine.com" whenever
you copy and share Inspiration Line articles.