With so many partaking in the “New Year’s Resolution Waltz” laced with melodies of disappointment and insecurities of all of “New Year’s past” – most thinking this will be the Masquerade Ball of their life – when in fact it’s only a stroke away from facing the music and fate’s fortune come the stroke failure’s every last dance.
So why is it so many continue to partake in the sipping of this “Resolution poison,” – even knowing the failure that loom ahead may it last two weeks or two months, if they’re lucky? When will there be a resolve to live, to let go of all of the empty promises – with a desire to change ourselves, and the world? Will there ever be a desire to let go of all New Year’s Resolutions that we so kindly replace with excuses and “safe” reminders to be healthier and kinder that are sometimes at the cost of depression – or worse, the price of ethical grounding?
After giving the New Year 2013 and all its Resolution glory a fair shake of at least two weeks, many have come to the conclusion that not only is it time for a change for the better (realizing it’s never too late to make a change), it’s time folks modified times for the change; perhaps folks will “Resolve to live in 2013; let go of broken promises and change [the world]” – and will more join them? So, in an effort to do away with New Year’s Resolutions of old and in the spirit of magic, giving and living in 2013, readers continue to share with you their take on New Year’s and traditions for sometimes it is all in the attitude, and about the people behind, and of course it is about love. From the deepest part of our hearts; may you be as genuinely inspired as I was with Part 2:
Artist and teacher, Southern California (Tara Berger, Ki’i Boards)
I read in a recent Internet posting, “Removing the frustration of your clutter is a great first step in living more simply. Freeing up your personal space can free up your mind. Having a lot of stuff can trap you into a home, a city, or even a relationship that you do not want. Stuff can drag you down.” – John December (from “Radical tactics to Reduce clutter, complexity and costs of your life”)
As we approached doom’s day, so many of us (jokingly) thought, "what does it matter after December 21, 2012" – the world is going to end anyway. Dec. 21 came and went. Some people were struck with the harsh reality that their life is still the same. Most of us stuck in a rut. But no worries cause come January we have the opportunity to make that New Year’s resolution.
I decided to take the advice I read on the Internet and I began to purge my things. Not just shoes, and clothes, but art supplies and items I haven't seen or touched in years. After all they are only things. I see the victims of natural disasters and think how lucky I am to still have all my stuff! Am I really? Do I really need all that stuff? I decided to test this theory. It’s amazing how freeing it is to let go of things. Letting go, whether it’s physically, emotionally or metaphorically, is freeing!
We should not let our stuff define who we are, or keep us from growing and moving forward. Cherish the memories of times passed but do not let them bind you from making new memories. We should all take the time to purge a little and give ourselves a bit of freedom. (Photo)
Gioia Company Italian Art & Products, Los Gatos, CA (Kathy Winkelman)
The year 2013 continues on with many special celebrations that are not just “lucky” or of “good fortune” but that are full of color, such as in January when Gioia celebrates the season of “Camevale Season” which is in celebration of costumes, merriment and continued colors and joy of the art world. From Venice where the streets fill with elaborate costumes made from the finest fabrics and colors; with the masquerade balls that people flock to and from all over the world, to locally where we celebrate by attending Masquerade Balls at places like Villa Ragusa in Campbell (Feb. 8).
Also, a look into “the number 13 inside 2013 for the Italians is a good luck number that represents Saint Anthony of Padua, the protector of Italy,” according to Puglia Valentina Cirasola, Interioir Designer and author of several books, the latest of which is on colors: “Red. A Voyage into Colors.” (The book is available for purchase through Gioia or at the upcoming St. Valentine’s celebration to be held on Feb. 8 in support of VIA). St. Valentine’s celebration event will be held on Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m., at Villa Ragusa in Campbell). Shop masks for this exquisite event at Gioia Company.
Gioia’s message (with the picture of the daffodils almost in bloom): “From our their Facebook page followed by almost a thousand from all over the world where our brothers and sisters from all around the globe – some from nations at war with each other – all see the same beauty in the Italian countryside, music, ceramics, and the wonderful recipes of Italian Cuisine. In 2013 may we all come closer to Peace through the Arts.”
“Her Christmas Visitor” (Pamela Kay Daniels, Angelic Inspirations, Orange, CA)
Every year this Angel in the Old Town of Orange worked so hard to make her home grander than the year before, decorating to please others through the spirit of the season in her heart. It started out simple enough, decorating from the inside that spilled outward, then people began to stop to say how beautiful the decorations. Although every year heartwarming for her, she remembers some of the most heart-tugging moments in the year 2010 when more and more people began to stop in awe over the decorations, especially over the manger scene with baby Jesus – it was like a child seeing Disneyland for the first time. Her decorations had quickly become the talk of the town with people coming from all over just to see for themselves the beauty and feel the Christmas spirit. Some were touched by the reindeer or Santas of old, or maybe the manger scene surrounded by Angels, elves, Nutcracker, trees adorned in lights, bows and bells; maybe it was the Victorian carolers or the soldiers – so many have someone they love fighting for us; and maybe it was just the spirit that touched them so. Whatever their reason for coming – her joy came in watching “Her Christmas Visitors” – to see their spirits lift, and to see their hearts fill with joy. It was her hope that they carried that Christmas spirit with them wherever they went for it was the only gift she knew to give.
One man even left his engine running, car doors open and in the middle of the street just so he could run up and say to her, “Every night after work I drive by your house just to see all of this (pointing to her yard) your decorations, and it gives me such peace inside; it is so beautiful. Thank you for doing this, and Merry Christmas!” Another visitor stopped in one night really late, knocked on her door with dessert in one hand from a restaurant from the Plaza around the corner and with the Christmas spirit in his heart as he said that he’d heard about her story and how beautiful her decorations – so he just had to come see for himself, handing her the dessert in appreciation. Her home had become a winter wonderland of heart-touching traditions and love. People talked about her decorations into the months of summer; how much it touched them. Her heart was filled with so much joy.
Many thought she should win the holiday decorations contest for the Old Towne of Orange – many calling out from the streets and sidewalks if they saw her – and in all honesty, she was actually a little sad when she didn't win come the end of Christmas 2010 – but, as she stood there alone in her room late one night feeling just a tad sad, the sadness lasted but a brief moment for a faint whisper fell upon her with three words, “The Christmas Visitor.” She knew instantly what they meant, remembering Andy Griffith’s story about Conrad, a story Griffith had narrated a few years prior about the Lord’s promise to be “The Christmas Guest” for Conrad. The moral of that story, she knew, had much similarity to her story – with the meaning of Christmas being about bringing peace, joy and happiness to all, for Christmas was about love.
With love in her heart and the Christmas spirit in abundance, she continued to decorate every year, and when the year 2012 came, it had been such a tough year that she was considering toning down the decorating, such as with the manger scene; the Lord, however, had other plans for her and out of nowhere bestowed upon her the strength to include not only the manger to honor Jesus properly, but to put up her decorations of love. She knew without things like the manger scene, the meaning of “Christmas,” the “Holidays” and things like Christmas family traditions, gifts, the adornment of trees with lights, Christmas music, record sales at retail stores across the world, the two-week winter school breaks and even the spirit of love in the air – things would not be what they are today.
Sadly, so many have become so frightened to even say words like "Christmas,” “God,” “Jesus” let alone the "Pledge Allegiance to the American Flag" – and, it is truly heartbreaking how “non-believers” have intimidated believers into diminishing their own beliefs. The miracle Angel, that many now know by name as Pamela Daniels, was most appreciative for the “tug upon her heart” to do the right thing: Adorn her home for all to see. When I asked Daniels about this story and how it has touched so many people (including myself), and I asked why she did it year after year; her response was filled with Christmas spirit and love. She said, “I do the decorating not for the recognition, but for all of ‘Her Christmas Visitors’ – and for their deep-felt gratitude and appreciation., that is worth far more than any gift I could ever receive,” said Daniels, “For the Christmas décor and all it represents is my gift to my 'Christmas Visitors,' along with a prayerful reminder to all: The true reason for this blessed season, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.”
(Note: Daniels at last count had 311 Guest Book signings from "Her Christmas Visitors" as well as over 3500 Facebook likes with more than 150 comments; and more than 200 of her stories were taken from her Winter Wonderland “basket” in her yard (that still sits out almost ready to be taken down for the year). As for awards for her decorations, she was honored for her decorations beginning in 2009 with Honorable Mention; "Best Use of Lights" in 2011 and 2012 by the Old Towne Preservation Association. She said for 2013 she just may have to start in July.)
For those in great need, dear friends:
And if I may take this opportunity to say, that in the grand scheme of things when I first started to write this out I was thinking about how there are several people in my life who have been diagnosed with an debilitating illness, including cancer; some of whom are very dear friends and some who although I feel extremely blessed to know and have them in my life, I also think how unfortunate that I have to know so many in distress, so I suppose in a roundabout way some might consider it a Catch 22, depending on that whole glass half-full theory. And luckily, I am that eternal optimist so the last statement was for those who get my sense of humor. So, to all those I who may be facing extreme challenges, it is because of your bright and cheerful friendship, attitude and disposition that I am forever a better person and truly grateful; thank you for the smiles. Words could never express the value of friendship, and shouldn't have to. With that said, for the asking (please, don't hesitate to fill in the blank). To everyone else, I would just like to remind folks that a text carries little human spirit with emails carrying emoticons without emotion; so please try to remember that nothing can replace a friendly handshake, a warm hug or the glancing into a pair of loving eyes that could say triple what any 10-page letter ever could (even though they are very nice to receive from those long-distant), so please don’t forget that in 2013 try to remember how to use more personalized greetings. And, last but certainly not least, for all of my wonderful and faithful readers – a very special thank you for your continued support and here’s to wishing everyone a wonderful, blessed, fruitful, New and “lucky” Year in 2013.
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