Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

As another year slowly comes to an end, many people start setting goals for the upcoming year. Everyone who makes a New Year’s Resolution plans to improve life in some form of fashion. However, many of the people who make these resolutions fail to keep to them. What can you do to keep your resolutions is the real question.

1) Be realistic.

2) Make sure the resolution is something YOU want and not just something others say you should want.

3) Have a plan of action.

4) Don’t have too many goals so you aren’t set out to fail.

5) Keep it simple

6) Don’t beat yourself up if the goal isn’t going as planned.

7) NEVER give up!

Now that your New Year’s Resolution is set and you know ways to keep the goals, celebrate! Goodbye 2014 and hello 2015! New year, new beginning, clean slate.

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Cajun Time

Christmas Eve is only three days away, which only means one thing for my family.  It means it is time for all of my family to gather around the living room and listen to Gram’s Cajun Night Before Christmas reading.

21569_103382296352858_1837629_nEven though the children and grandchildren are older, the excitement from the reading will never change.  Everyone still laughs at Gram reading, “Mo’ fas’er an’ fas’er de’ gator dey came. He whistle an’ holler an’ call dem by name: “Ha, Gaston! Ha, Tiboy! Ha, Pierre an’ Alcee’! Gee, Ninette! Gee, Suzette! Celeste an’Renee’! To de top o’ de porch to de top o’ de wall, Make crawl, alligator, an’ be sho’ you don’ fall.””  There is never a face in the room that isn’t smiling as Gram narrates while showing each picture.

Over the years, we have tried reading other versions of the Night Before Christmas, but there isn’t one that will ever compare to The Cajun Night Before Christmas.  Let this be the year you start a new tradition whether it be making ornaments, waking the children up with a Christmas bell before they can go see gifts from Santa Claus, or even the reading of The Night Before Christmas.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Never Give Up. Never Give Up; Keep Strong.

10406865_912868985404181_6853601644672863495_nOn December 6, 2014, Min Hampshire was able to mark something off of his bucket list.  Min has been bravely fighting brain cancer for over a year now.  Being a former resident of Jenkins Kentucky,  one thing he wanted more than anything was to attend the Jenkins Christmas Parade and see all of his old friends.  Sadly the weather forecast brought some concerns to members in the city and led to the devastating news that the parade would be cancelled.  After arranging a special ride in the parade for Min, Karen and Rick Corbett as well as the rest of the Jenkins Fire Department knew that something had to be done.  They all knew that there had to be something they could do to still help the dream come true.  Karen and Rick started thinking and the idea of a “Min Parade” came to mind; even though the city parade was cancelled, there was no reason there couldn’t be a check off of his bucket list.  People came together and made sure that Mother Nature didn’t “rain on their parade” and helped make a memorable day for a very special young man.

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Min has always been the kind of person that makes you realize just how special life is.  He is a kind hearted soul that has made a huge impact on everyone’s life.  As teacher, Sonya Breeding, stated, “He just makes it an honor to be around him, and it just makes you realize how precious life really is, and how we should enjoy every moment, and live to the fullest just like Min does.”  In an interview with WYMT, Min addressed that his situation wasn’t easy at first but he made peace with what the future holds for him and that he hopes people take away a message from his story. “Before I was really mad about it, but now I’m just calm. [I want to say something to] all those people out there right now: Never give up. Never give up; keep strong.”

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People came together and helped make this day happen.  The fire department pulled out every fire truck and 10689490_912866415404438_3959523582217741656_nrescue vehicle in the station, WYMT came, people came to the library to celebrate with Min while others lined up in their cars, even the police joined in their cruisers; this was a parade many can never forget.  There was not a dry eye when Min seen all of the trucks lined up for him and that he would be escorted in a truck by the one and only Santa Claus, proving that “Santa is real!”

Everyone needs to take a few lessons from this young man: never give up no matter the obstacle, always stay strong, and never lose sight of your dreams!

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What if Christmas, Perhaps, Means a Little More?

16594_726296977394717_1139137757_nAs Christmas approaches, people rush 1620669_726297250728023_91737345_nstore to store in fear of not getting enough presents for their loved ones.  Many individuals place focus on gifts, however, Christmas is about so much more.  Decorations, food, traditions, memories, music, religion are after all the reason for the season. 155855_174613919229695_685159_n

There are numerous recorded events that show that the tradition of giving and receiving gifts date back to at least the 4th century; a Christian Bishop, St. Nicholas, was known for giving to all children as well as those less fortunate than he.  This generosity of giving gifts quickly spread all over the world.  There are st-nicholasvarious stories about St. Nicholas, however, the most known story is the one about the hanging of stockings: “A recently widowed man and father of three girls were having a tough time making ends meet.  Even though his daughters were beautiful, he was worried that their impoverished status would make it impossible for them to marry.  St. Nicholas was wandering through the town where the man lived and heard villagers discussing that family’s plight.  He wanted to help but knew the man would refuse any kind of charity directly.  Instead, one night he slid down the chimney of the family’s house and filled the girls’ recently laundered stockings, which happened to be drying by the fire, with gold coins and then he disappeared.  The girls awoke in the morning, overjoyed upon discovering the bounty.  Because of St. Nick’s generosity, the daughters were now eligible to wed and their father could rest easy that they wouldn’t fall into lonely despair.”  The tradition of hanging a stockings and gift giving has continued through today.

As time went on, the main focus of the season became the gifts.  Many people sit and stress over what to get others for Christmas, but gifts are not the reason for the season.  People need to stop and think about what Christmas really is about.  In the book, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Suess wrote, “What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store?  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little more?”  Christmas is the time for giving, but why is the giving always gifts that are bought from a store?  Don’t spend your Christmas stressing over presents, instead remember why we celebrate such a wonderful holiday.  Give a little of your time and your heart and you can still have a wonderful holiday. christmas-carolers-1wtnat.2RMS_MIA123-outdoor-Christmas-lights-decorations_s4x3_lgbeautiful-christmas-tree-ideas

Sources

http://www.answers.com/Q/Where_and_when_did_the_tradition_of_exchanging_Christmas_gifts_start
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-legend-of-the-christmas-stocking-160854441/?no-ist
thecapnsquarters.com/Young_and_old/Dr.%20Seuss%20%20How%20the%20Grinch%20Stole%20Christmas!.pdf