December 2023 Uplifting News

News You Can Use
The purpose of this uplifting newsletter is to provide you with insightful advice and a change of scenery through heartwarming stories, as well as give you a smile for a few minutes. I hope you enjoy!

If you know of any local families or organizations that are especially in need at this time, please give me a call or reply to this email. I will do my best to spread the word!

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Links You Can Use Now
Handmade & DIY Holiday Ideas

It’s holiday season, and if you’re unsure what to buy for the person in your life who either has everything or wants nothing, it may be time to think outside the box and handmake something special. From decor to gifts, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re looking for some creative gift ideas that are also fun to make, check out these DIY ideas.

Handmade doesn’t always refer to gift giving. This article has heaps of handy ideas for making your own ornaments and decorations. Perfect way to spread festive cheer.

If you’re looking for ideas that are cozy and family-friendly, this article has plenty of ideas to keep your hands busy and your loved ones feeling, well, loved!

And just in case the previous links didn’t hit that holiday spot, this link has even more cool ideas on how to make something your loved ones will actually cherish for years to come.

Because we all need to be uplifted and enjoy a good laugh…
Find the wonder in wandering. The World Wide Wander is a global day of wandering and wonder in which participants take a guided walk through their local neighborhood with a special guest speaker joining to give a workshop, or “walkshop,” as you walk. Founded by David Pearl and Street Wisdom nearly a decade ago, each session consists of inspiring stories about the local area in the first part of the walk, then the special guest appearance in the second. It’s an immersive experience designed to inspire and explore. More:

Become a Guinness World Record setter. Anyone, regardless of age, origin, or skills, can become a hallowed Guinness World Record holder. All you need is a goal and determination to achieve it. With over 30,000 record categories in the Guinness World Record database, Wonderopolis has provided a guide to understanding the process and potential challenges of making it into the world-renowned records books yourself.

Cake creations. The Spruce Eats has shared a truly delightful exploration of creative cake decorating ideas that can transform your homemade cakes into works of art. With a range of innovative cake designs, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned baker, these cake decoration ideas are surprisingly easy and fun to try, from “funfetti” cakes with a twist to abstract watercolor creations, gemstone cupcakes, a piñata cake, and much more. More:

3 Uplifting Stories from the Holiday Season
As the holiday season gets into full swing, we collectively find ourselves in a time of celebration, reflection, giving, and gratitude. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, even when things appear to be going wrong or the odds are stacked against some people in society, we often see the most heartwarming stories emerge, reminding us of the true spirit of the holidays. From acts of kindness to extraordinary surprises, here are three tales sure to inspire and uplift your spirits this season.

A Thanksgiving dinner on rails. In an extraordinary display of New York City’s generosity, passengers on the L train took it upon themselves to prepare a complete Thanksgiving feast, setting up an extended table right inside the subway car. With an open invitation, fellow passengers were warmly encouraged to join in and enjoy a plate of food, making everyone feel included and ensuring that no one went hungry on Thanksgiving. This remarkable act truly reflects the unity and compassion that defines the spirit of the holidays.

Inclusive Santa’s Grotto. Visiting Santa in his grotto at the mall so you can tell him what you want for Christmas is a staple of the holidays for many. However, for deaf children, it can be challenging communicating their Christmas wishes to the Man in Red. The youngsters visiting Regency Mall in Racine, Wisconsin, have a unique advantage, though. Here, Santa is well versed in American Sign Language, allowing him to effectively interact with and understand children with hearing impairments.

Granting final Christmas wishes. Laney Brown, an eight-year-old girl who courageously fought a rare form of cancer, had two wishes for her final Christmas: to meet Taylor Swift and to be serenaded with Christmas carols by her neighbors. The Make-a-Wish Foundation made her first wish come true, arranging a special FaceTime meeting with Taylor Swift. Then, on the Saturday prior to her passing, a staggering crowd of about 10,000 people, more than double the local borough’s population, gathered outside her home to sing carols.

Exploring the Cosmic Verses: NASA’s Poetic Message to Europa
In an awe-inspiring melding of science and art, NASA has embarked on a poetic journey to one of Jupiter’s icy moons, Europa. This celestial endeavor involves sending to the outer realms of our solar system a poem by none other than Ada Limón, the USA’s poet laureate. Recently, the space agency unveiled the poem that will journey beyond our terrestrial boundaries, a profound testament to human creativity and exploration.

Europa, one of Jupiter’s largest moons, has long piqued the curiosity of scientists due to its subsurface ocean, which may potentially harbor extraterrestrial life. As part of the Europa Clipper mission, NASA decided to reach out to the universe not just with data and science but also with the eloquence of poetry. The poem, “In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa,” is an “evolution” of NASA’s Golden Record, says Robert Pappalardo. Limón’s words will be engraved on the side of the spacecraft, a standout testament to the arts and the human desire to explore the unknown.

By sending a poem alongside the scientific instruments and spacecraft, NASA reminds us that exploration goes beyond the quest for knowledge: it’s a celebration of human curiosity and creativity. Our journey to Europa, guided by both science and art, signifies a profound understanding of our place in the universe and our yearning to explore it, one word at a time.

Read an excerpt from Ada Limón’s poem below:

And it is not darkness that unites us,
not the cold distance of space, but
the offering of water, each drop of rain,

each rivulet, each pulse, each vein.
O second moon, we, too, are made
of water, of vast and beckoning seas.

We, too, are made of wonders, of great
and ordinary loves, of small invisible worlds,
of a need to call out through the dark.

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This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.