Tag Archives: Holiday messages

It’s a Brand New Year!

Happy New Year!Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

It’s a brand new year, and we can all finally say good bye to 2020 which caused so much heartache and adversity to so many. Of course, our problems are far from over. Luckily, amid the political unrest and the continuing health issues, there is a glimmer of hope; a vaccine is on the way. Some have already received it, with more scheduled to do so in the next weeks and months. I pray that this vaccine will prove to be the cure we all need.

On the writing front, I have to apologize for the somewhat irregular timing of my posts of late. While I thankfully remain healthy, we are short-handed at my day job at a time of year when we tend to be very busy, meaning I’ve have had a lot of extra hours and days spent working away from home when I would rather be writing. Hopefully this situation will be resolved soon.

In the meantime, I intend to continue writing as regularly as possible. I will most likely continue to share book reviews as I post them to Goodreads. I have set my goal for the year at the same level as last year, which is 30 books, meaning I need to read 2-3 per month. This may not sound like a lot, but considering many of the books I’m drawn to tend to average 400-500 pages, I have to be realistic in setting goals based on the free time I have available.

I will also continue to post topics about random things that interest me and hopefully you as my readers, and I also have plans for when things calm down a bit to work my on personal writing, so hopefully I’ll have some short stories or story bits to share as the year goes on.

I hope all of you out there are healthy, and as happy as possible. I wish those of you who set resolutions the best of luck in achieving them. May this year be kind to us all. We certainly need it to be.

Amy

A Different Halloween Celebration

Contemplating keeping your little ghouls and goblins home this year?  It’s hard to imagine simple things like trick-or-treating in a world where we all wear masks outside the front door everyday just to stay healthy. However, that doesn’t mean we still can’t make the most of the holiday.

If you’re planning on staying home for Halloween this year, your family can still enjoy the night with a few simple at-home ideas.

Deck out your space.  If you don’t plan to go outside, bring your carved pumpkins and dangling bats inside.  Dress the room where you plan to spend the evening with candles and black cats, skulls, and anything spooky; either store bought or homemade with the kids.  Turn down the lighting and pull up a playlist of haunting tunes to set the mood.

Let the kids dress up (and join them if you dare.)  Costumes can be fun anytime, and you don’t have to worry about your little princess or pirate being too cold indoors if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

You can make the best of the holiday by spending it together, no matter what you do! Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

Plan a scary menu.  Easy-to-make snacks like these can add to the party atmosphere, and there are countless recipes available with a simple search.  Don’t forget to include candy!

These Cresent Mummy Dogs were always favorites at my house: https://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/crescent-mummy-dogs/d52a57d7-ab8a-4a1c-8dae-f9f90d03b912

So were these Spider Cookies: https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/spooky-spider-cookies/eb21cebc-c130-4715-aa3f-0e607aea3d27

Bring on the entertainment.  When your little goblins are ready to settle down, consider putting on a not-too-scary movie for them to watch.  Here are a few favorites of my family.  (You can always watch something scarier after the little ones are in bed if you wish.)

Ichabod and Mr. Toad-this cartoon classic from 1949 is one I grew up watching every year with my family, and shared with my own children.  This double feature has a group of madcap animals in a grand adventure, followed by a light-hearted but still spooky version of Washington Irving’s classic Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  While there are chilling moments, the animation should not be too scary for children over 7 or 8.  This is currently available on Disney plus.

The Witches.  The original 1990 movie based on a book by Roald Dahl focuses on a young boy who accidentally spies on a convention of witches and overhears plans to turn every child in England into mice.  Angelica Houston plays the head witch in this movie which features Jim Henson monsters and is available on Netflix.

Image from Rotten Tomatoes.

Hocus Pocus.  This movie from 1993, also available on Disney plus, features three witches who are accidentally brought to life in their Salem home, now a museum. They proceed to craft a plot to harvest the life essence out of children to seal their return.  The three who resurrected them must find a way to stop them before dawn following Halloween night.

Monster House.  In this 2006 movie, available on Hulu, three children must battle against disbelieving adults as well as an evil house that is possessed by an evil spirit to save the lives of unwitting trick-or-treaters who dare to knock on its door.

Image from Rotten Tomatoes.

Whatever you choose to do, be safe and have a great night!  Happy Halloween!

How Will You Celebrate Fall (In a Year of Crisis?)

How do you show your appreciation for the season? Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

While the weather is definitely starting to cool off here in the Midwest, and a number of leaves are already falling to the ground, many of the other usual signs of the season are muted this year.  I have seen a few of the neighbors changing the décor on their front porches, and there are pumpkins for sale in the local grocery stores, but, not much else. 

There are less Halloween decorations and costumes available, less talk about the season on the news, for obvious reasons.  This year we are under a quarantine, which means even in areas that do allow for trick-or-treating it is unlikely that many will feel safe allowing their families’ participation, not without justification.

I remember when my children were young, the year of the awful events of 9/11, and the nation was gripped by terror.  That year, following those eye-opening and life-changing tragic events, many families were in fear of going out, of taking part in normal events.  We flew American flags in defiance, all the while waiting for the next attack, the next crisis. 

When Halloween came around that year, fearing for our children’s safety but not wanting to deny them the joy of the season, we stayed home and invited the extended family over for our own celebration.

All the children came in costume, and the adults were assigned different rooms, hallways, and corners of the limited space with a bag or bowl of candy to give out so the kids could “trick-or-treat” before we had a party with games, food, and creepy music.  Later, we would recall that Halloween as one of the best we ever celebrated, despite the fear that inspired the planning.

The point I wish to make is, don’t let the current situation get you down.  Yes, we are under threat, yes we must take precautions, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy the season.  If it makes you happy, decorate for fall.  Festoon your space with mums, pumpkins, and what have you (I already have a few of my own in place.)  While circumstances dictate we must adhere to a certain amount of isolation, we can still enjoy ourselves and allow our kids to have fun and make memories that will last.

However you decide to celebrate, or even if you choose not to, I hope you get the chance to enjoy the beauty of the crisp air, the brilliant colors, the tantalizing aromas, and the sweet tastes of the season.  Happy Fall!

Happy Holidays!

lighted reindeer decor
Photo by Ignored shots on Pexels.com

To all my friends out there, I wish you the very best for this Holiday Season.  May your fondest wishes come true, and may you experience joy, hope, love, and togetherness in abundance.

However and whatever you celebrate this time of year, please accept my heartfelt greetings for a Joyful Season and a Happy New Year!

Amy