Can You Spot the Optimistic Takeaways from A Christmas Carol?

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The first Sunday after Thanksgiving, I hop on the light rail and travel to the Denver Center for Performing Arts to see A Christmas Carolby Charles Dickens. For two glorious hours, me and a hundred or so other avid theatre goers put our gadgets away, sit in the dark and allow ourselves to be transported to the streets of Victorian London. We marvel at the tale written over two centuries ago by a master storyteller. We are transfixed by our fellow human beings who act out the classic story just as our ancestors have done for generations.

Two little girls – I would guess nine or ten years old – sat in back of me. They were appropriately shocked and appalled during the scene in which two business men come to ask Scrooge to donate to the poor. He refuses to give any money stating that those badly off must go to London’s horrible workhouses and prisons.

“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

“if they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

 My Three Optimistic Takeaways from A Christmas Carol

The First– It gives me great encouragement we can still be appalled by dreadful behavior in this age of internet trolls and ugly politics. Or, at least, our youth can be.

The Second– Scrooge’s transformation from a selfish old curmudgeon into a loving and giving person is proof positive anyone can have a change of heart. It is never too late to be a better person

The Third– Dickens reminds us no matter how hard change is or how much they are ridiculed, people of courage will still work toward a greater good. These positive changes benefit each and every one of us.

“Some people laughed to see the alterations in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset…”

If you are working toward change, I hope this post has been a gift of encouragement to you. Stay the course. Never give up. You are worth the effort.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

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Are You Sharing Your Truth?

Writers are given a sacred trust to share the truths we are given. Do we decide what those truths are? Nope. And sometimes it gets very uncomfortable putting our sacred trust out there. Not everyone wants to hear the truth.

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I’ll share one of my ultimate truths with you now: Words have power. They are neither good nor evil. Words are tools in the hand of the person who chooses to use them.  Intent is everything. This is why writers must be careful about how they use their words. Are you sending out messages that inspire and encourage? Or are you spreading falsehoods and hatred?

Words are ideas. They have the power to change lives. Use them wisely.

In this special season, I want to share a quote (and modernize it a bit to fit our world today)

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Peace on Earth. Good will toward ALL men, women, children, animals and most especially – our home, Earth.

From me and mine to you and yours,

Best Wishes for Peace, Hope and Joy

C.R. Richards

 

The Healing Powers of Peppermint and Other Holiday Treats

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If your life is anything like mine, everybody is hounding you to “get something done for me” before the holiday break. Then there is the unfinished gift shopping. Stress, stress, stress and more stress.

“Hold it! Enough. Celebrate the holidays rather than dread them.”

Peppermint – Elixir of the Gods

You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Peppermint has amazing healing properties. It’s an anti-inflammatory, invigorates and can help with digestion. I use peppermint oil along with lemon oil to refresh my house in winter.

While oils are well and good, nothing gives you that peppermint pep like actually digesting peppermint. For a mood boost, try:

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Candy Canes and other Hard Candies

Peppermint Brownies (I use peppermint extract. If you like using peppermint oil, please make sure it is the edible kind!)

 

 

 

Not everyone is into Mint. Here are some other options to help you kindle that holiday cheer:

Our old friend – Baileys

Sugar cookies

Fruit Cake (Not my thing)

Champagne

Pick your holiday cheer. Savor it and forget the stressful stuff. Focus instead on the good things in your life. These are the things you’ll carry into the new year.

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Wishing You Peace, Joy and Goodwill

Merry-Christmas

Ignore the constant barrage of shallow commercialism. Forget the asinine car commercials featuring Santa mooning over expensive cars most of us can’t afford. Try to put out of your mind stores hanging Christmas decorations among their aisles in early October. I know it’s hard, but try to forget all that.

Remember instead how folks seem a little cheerier the closer we get to this wonderful week. Look around a bit. If you stay away from the rabid shoppers at the mall, the rest of the world seems to slow down. We hold our breaths, waiting for our one day of peace. I’m going to turn it over to the Master. He explains it far better than I ever could:

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew. “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round – apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that – as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And, therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol

Romance