Category Archives: Holidays

Holiday Peace…just for today?


I heard the Pope is calling for world peace today and many in the nation, including politicians are going to church today to celebrate Easter. My husband and I don’t celebrate holidays. We believe they are man-made and commercialized for the banks and corporations to get people to spend money they would otherwise not. 

Having grown up in the church and graduated from a Christian university, I wasn’t always this way — jaded toward holidays and religion. But life and learning stepped in. Buying special news clothing, toys and goodies for the children at times when I didn’t have the money put undue stress on me. Giving money to the church; buying endless gifts for family, friends and teachers; attending parties for everyone kept me broke and frazzled. For over 30 years — my child rearing years — I was usually stressed and running like a chicken without a head trying to make ends meet to keep up with the dictates of society while trying to put food on the table. Much of the stress left me when I met my husband and he convinced me to get off the nightmare-go-round of the holy days (holidays).

The wealth and criminality of many churches and corporations says they are anything but holy, peace-filled and worthy of our money and attention. Many of these churches — The Vatican as an example — have their hands bloody from instigating wars and teaching their congregations they are necessary — not to mention their pedophilia and sex scandals. When our soldiers return from these wars of convenience and fabrication battered and broken, these institutions are nowhere to be found to help them.

This is not to put a wet blanket on anyone’s celebrations and festivities. It is just a way to say how we saved ourselves. Rather than practice peace and be nice to everyone on Easter Sunday, we do our best to practice this every day (trust me…it ain’t easy). I do this by staying politically engaged (it’s a civic duty, you know!) to fight against wars, corruption and encouraging others to vote and know who to vote for. Rather than buy mindlessly from the very corporations who are ruthlessly working against our basic needs (jobs, education, health, food, air, water, environment), I grow half of my own organic food and am careful who I buy from. I avoid corporations like the plague. I use gas sparingly, driving only one day a month to shop. We plan to go off grid this year. 

This day that is a man-made holiday, we plan to spend the day in the garden, planting seeds for food to harvest late summer and fall. Food that is unpolluted and will help nourish our bodies. We will end the day with a home cooked meal — produce grown from our yard — and a glass of wine, a game of dominoes and good music. 

That’s the plan and the best use of our time as we create our own holiday with meaning for our particular lives. ♥


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Thank you all for joining CADESERTVOICE, and I appreciate you sharing and caring with us this year.

Here’s to wishing you and your families my best wishes for a happy holiday.

Recent events remind us why we must treasure the love of family and friends at home and spread peace around our land and the world.


Marion Young



Nothing corporate: Holiday shopping outside the big-box store

Excellent post and speaks to how I feel about the consumerism of this holiday. I am continuing to boycott chain stores and corporations for various inhumane and anti-environmental reasons…and for their political ties. Local is the way to go and knowing who I buy from. I opted out of holiday buying in the traditional sense long ago. Now, I pick a very needy family each year to give to. It does much to warm my heart and makes sense of this season.


More than a week into December, I remain relatively unscathed by corporate Christmas chaos (although I’ll admit I caved to the craving for a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha). ‘Tis the season to make you realize what a commercially saturated society we live in — it bombards you from every side: the unbearable soft-rock holiday music playing on loop in the doctor’s office, the sad, cluttered “seasonal” aisle at the drugstore, the bus driver wearing a Santa hat.

I’m not even one of those wet-blanket scrooges who hate everything Christmas, either. I baked gingerbread last weekend, I get a thrill from the smell of Douglas fir on a cold morning, and I’ve been known to get verklempt if I hear Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” after a bit too much eggnog. Actually, my sentimental enthusiasm for Christmas is what makes me cringe at the corporate crap even more…

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Joy, Happiness and Caring all year long!

I was out doing my once a month shopping and walking up and down the aisles of my favorite, local health food store. Out of nowhere comes this tall, cheery man stopping in front of me to say, “I hope you’re having a wonderful day!”

He said it very loud and as if he truly wanted me to have a great day. I could feel the warmth covering my face going down through my heart and extending throughout my body from the genuine love I sensed from this stranger.

“Thank you! I hope you are enjoying your day too,” I said.

He shot back, “Every day I am alive and see people like you I have a great day!” He moved on and said something to another shopper.

I stopped a grocery worker and mentioned the man and his wonderful cheer for the season. The worker said, “Oh, he comes in here several times a week. He must live nearby. He’s like that every time he comes in, all year long. He’s a very happy man.”

Some people might think this man is crazy.

I know better. I saw an angel today.

~ Marion

Christmas gifts for the rich who don’t want to pay taxes

Price: $125,000

While the Republican Party is “flabbergasted” over President Obama’s proposal to let the Bush tax cuts expire so the wealthy can pay their fair share of taxes as they did during the Clinton presidency — AND FAR LESS THAN DURING FDR’S LEADERSHIP — which created jobs and balanced the books, these greedy specimen called humans are fighting tooth and nail to avoid paying up.

If you knew what they do with their money that is untaxed — AND THE OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS WHERE THEY HIDE IT — you would be outraged and in the streets ready to throw these crooks out of office.

Take a good, long hard look at this toy. Consider the person who will buy and receive this. Consider their mentality and morality and concern over people like me and you who have worked hard all our lives and still struggle to pay the bills and survive. Think about those who live at the poverty level and how these wealthy people think of them.

While the Republicans are fighting over paying higher taxes, this battle could mean you pay $2000 more next year if they get their way. What does $2000 mean to you?


* Happy Holidays *

How to remain thankful this holiday season during stressful times

It was many years ago, but I remember it clearly today. I was going through a divorce and my then husband had the children while I relocated and started a new life in another city. The plan was to come back for the girls once I got a job and had a place to live for them.

I was not looking forward to that Thanksgiving Day and the entire holiday season. I was depressed and uncertain as to which way to go and what to do, being all alone. The day before Thanksgiving I found myself crying and alone in my mother’s apartment. I couldn’t talk to her or anyone else. “I’m an adult,” I thought to myself, “and I will act like one.” Yeah. Right…as the tears flowed.

That afternoon, I picked up a newspaper to look for a job and saw an ad looking for volunteers to help feed the hungry and distribute clothing to the needy at a mental hospital in the city. It hit me that I could busy myself on Thanksgiving Day by helping others and forget about my problems. Long story short, I volunteered the next day and had a wonderful time with people who appreciated the fact that I took this holiday — and my time — just to be with them. Little did I know that this would turn out to be an annual event for me, even when I had my family together and times were better.

~ Marion Young

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Article...When Being Thankful Doesn’t Come Easy


The holidays are upon us. For some that means spending time catching up with friends and enjoying family. For quite a few others, it is the most miserable time of the year. Employment issues, personal tragedies and loneliness are among the many factors finding people dreading the holiday season. And this year, on top of potentially stressful gatherings and heart-breaking reminders of lost loved ones that can creep up around this time, there are also many people who are still recovering from the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Nearly three weeks after this natural disaster ravished the entire east coast, there are more than 16,000 people who still do not have power, not to mention the 209 people who died in seven different countries and the $50 billion worth of damage to houses and businesses the storm caused.

Needless to say, 2012 has been a rough year for many people, and you might be one of them.

So if you are one of those people having a rough time and not looking forward to this season of “gratitude,” what do you do? Many people would tell you to “think of the less fortunate” during times of sadness, but why would comparing your situation with someone with even more problems than you have make you feel any better? It doesn’t make your pain or problems any less real or valid because someone else has it worse. But what might actually make you feel better is not just to think but to do something for someone else who needs your help.

And I’m not talking about just donating money to the Red Cross (though this organization is doing amazing things for the victims of Sandy). This holiday season, if you are physically able to, go out and spend some time with forgotten people—even if you feel like a forgotten person yourself. Check out this database of homeless shelters and soup kitchens, find one near you and find out how you can volunteer some time there. Visit a nursing home or hospice center in your area and see what you can do to help out. Just listening to patients who have no one else to talk to and no one to visit them could lift their spirits – and yours. These are not novel ideas, but they work. They work because they give us an opportunity to get out of our own head and be an ingredient in someone else’s happiness. The joy you bring to another person’s life has no choice but to rub off on you too. And it can completely change the way you deal with sadness or loneliness in the future.

That brings me to the one thing everyone can be grateful for, no matter what your situation may be: time to change. Every time we get to see a new day that was never promised to us, we are gifted an opportunity to seek out a different course. We can swallow our pride and mend fences with estranged loved ones. We can change past behaviors and we can make new mistakes. We can seek out professional help if our problems are feeling like too much for us to handle alone. And we can recommit ourselves to our goals and dreams because with each day, we get a little bit more time and just one more chance to do it differently.

If that is the only thing we have left to hold on to—the hope of just one more day—that’s reason enough for us all to be grateful.

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Aroma Scents at Home for Fall and the Holidays

There’s nothing — NOTHING — like the smell of baked apples, spiced cider and pumpkin bread coming from your oven. Well, no need to start baking and messing up the kitchen. You can have those smells anytime you like at little cost. Most of the ingredients are in your kitchen. 

Simply cut an apple (any variety) into quarters. Put the apple pieces in a small pan. Fill the pan with water, then add some cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Sprinkle in a little ground cinnamon if you want. Now here’s the secret: Add a teaspoon or more of vanilla extract. Simmer on the stove top, being careful not to let the water boil away.

Your home will smell delicious! Warning: your family will probably come in and say “What are you baking?” because it will certainly smell as if you’ve got apple pie or cinnamon rolls in the oven. Be careful not to let the pot go dry. Oh, and use an old pot you don’t need.


Want more?

Great home brew – apples, oranges, lemon, allspice, cloves, cinnamon

12 Homemade Simmer Pot/Stove Potpourri Recipes…Would make great gift too!

Fragrant home…the smells of the season

How to Make Stovetop Potpourri