More articles in category: Holidays


By Kenneth Shores, Rockwall, Texas This article is my opinion as provided by my research

July 4, 2018, we will again celebrate the separation of American’s thirteen Colonies from Great Britain after signing the Declaration of Independence. This was the beginning of freedom by choice, under the control of “We The People”.

The following is a brief summary o…


Smigus what?? I asked myself in disbelief as I scanned the invitation to my brother’s Easter Monday party. It had to be joke! A holiday that involves throwing water at people? How have I never heard of this?! 

In fact, Smigus-Dyngus has been widely celebra…

Replace Resolutions

Replace Resolutions

The beginnings of a brand new year always bring hope for a better you. As a result of this, many people set out with their New Year’s resolutions. Every year there are basically three resolutions that most people focus on: losing weight, getting fit, and dealing with financial debt. For some, losing weight is the same resolution y…

A Different Approach to Goal Setting!

As you were preparing to say goodbye to 2017 and start 2018, did any goals come to mind? Any specific thing you wanted to accomplish in the fresh, new year? At the top of the list of so many is get healthy, lose a few pounds, save money, get organized. No better time to declare some goals than on the day of a new year, new month and new week!!

I often find myself …

Christmas Season

I love itttttt. I love it. It brings all the family together, friends and family. In Cuba, it’s December 24th that is when we have our special Christmas dinner, usually lobster or crab and of course rice, beans and salad. Then after Christmas passes it’s a week long of partying for the New Year. You can walk down the streets of Havana or any neighbourhood and hear the music blastin…

Challenging yourself in 2018

Putting up a new calendar is a great incentive to start over and do differently.  That energy is needed to accompany the sense of renewal. However, a new year does not have the capability to change one’s life. If we want to change something in our lives, we need to focus first on what is important to us. We always try to create excuses for what we couldn’t do. To what point...

The Gifts of the Wise Men

Christmas is a time of giving and receiving gifts, but few stop to consider what the tradition represents. The first gifts of Christmas are thought to have been given by the Magi, wise men from the East who followed a new star to worship the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1-2). Tradition claims there were three Magi, but the scriptures do not specify the actual number. In fact, ther…


 The Xmas tree solidifies the coming of Christmas & a time for celebration. 



– Feeling of happiness, excitement & nostalgia

– You know GIFTS are coming

– Charitable by having gifts for relatives & friends under the tree

– First...

Tis the Season of Giving…to Yourself

Tis the Season of Giving…to Yourself

No, I’m not a Scrooge. Nor do I have a “Bah Humbug” attitude. In fact, I love Christmas. I enjoy the holidays. The festiveness, the decorations and the good cheer that is in the air. I enjoy watching Christmas/Holiday movies-the great ones like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and even the silly ones like ‘Elf.’ Once Thanksgiving is over…

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

I have always loved Christmas. The lights, the decorations, the parades, the Christmas carols, big dinners with family, basically everything, even shopping. This year I’m fighting the blah. Not quite the blues, just the meh.

I don’t want to drag out our little two-foot tree from under our bed, or plan a meal, or even sing a Christmas carol. What is wr…

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

The lyrics to this heartfelt, yuletide carol paint a very descriptive picture of the “heart song” of a Christmas traveller. Some may picture this traveller a soldier coming home after a long tour overseas. To others, it’s an uncle who is able to return home after years of hard work making headway at a new company. Maybe this traveller is you. Maybe there’s been reconciliatio…

Creating Your Own Holiday Traditions

Reminiscing of childhood memories of the holidays bring back mental images of traditions like watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, making the trek up north to my grandparent’s cabin for Christmas Eve with my mom’s family while snacking on LifeSavers on the ride home and all of the togetherness one could possibly want. We would listen to Christmas carols and hear…

The Christmas Star

Arguably the most famous star in history – the Star of Bethlehem. The Star that marked the birth of Jesus of Nazareth and that led the Wise Men to where he stayed. The Star that announced an event so monumentous that Herod, king of Judea, had all of Bethlehem’s baby boys murdered.

Many have wondered at what this Star may have been. In a curious process of events,...

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Sleigh bells ring

Are you listening

In the lane

Snow is glistening

A beautiful sight,

We’re happy tonight

Walking in a winter wonderland

Winter Wonderland was written 83 years ago and since the...

The Christmas Tree

The Christmas Tree


Do you hang your Christmas tree from the ceiling? People used to. About a thousand years ago in Northern Europe where Christmas trees probably first became popular, people used to hang them from the ceiling using chains.


Cherry trees and hawthorn plants were potted and brought inside in hope they would flower at Christmas. P…


Decorating your front door signifies the start of the Christmas season. I’m always excited to do this in the last week of November as Christmas is my favourite time of the year. We are all busy with life. It is necessary you TAKE SOME TIME OFF to enjoy the feeling of Christmas & welcome the Christmas cheer



The Right Gift for Christmas

When the end of the year comes, we all get anxious thinking about how to gift the loved ones for Christmas. There are many options and, precisely because of this, it is difficult to decide on ideal gifts for the ones we love.

With the ability to buy pretty much anything online, it’s easier to choose gifts for Christmas, especially if you’re the type of person who alr…

When It’s Not The Happiest Season of All!

If you’re anything like me, when you hear the well-known holiday song that resounds, “It’s the hap, happiest season of allllll” you may mutter under your breath, “Not for us all, buddy. Not for us all.”

I get it. Especially as a single person whose life looks different than those around her, I get the unique set of emotions that the holiday season can bring back t…

Making the most of the Holidays

If you’ve read some of my past articles, you have noticed a pattern, and this one stays true to encouraging people to live their best lives. 

Like many others, Christmas is my favourite holiday. My family has a number of traditions that make this time of year so special. Some of them beginning when I was a child and some that we’ve started in the more recent yea…

Crafty Christmas Cards

Christmas is now less then 6 weeks away. The stores have already set out their Christmas Seasonal items and gearing up for Black Friday. You might have already seen the ads, promoting toys that will be going on sale for the Black Friday weekend and other sales. Maybe you already have decorated for Christmas, unlike me. I’m just waiting for Thanksgiving Day before I set up f…

The Story Behind the Story: The Elf on the Shelf

Who is behind the popular new Christmas tradition of The Elf on the Shelf? If you thought it was just Santa Claus and the folks at the North Pole, you would be missing an even more inspirational part of the story. The story behind the story of The Elf on the Shelf takes us not to the cold reaches of the Arctic Circle, but to the balmy suburbs of Atlanta,…

A Christmas Story

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot BB gun with a compass in the stock. I think everyone should have a Red Ryder BB gun. They are very good. I do not want a basketball. I don’t think a basketball is a very good Christmas present. I will leave you a peanut butter sandwich, and a beer, a...

Teen Advice Quiz Week Four

If I knew then what I know now… but would I have listened? Teen Advice is a plentiful as leaves on a tree, but I’m offering some advice… with a bit of a twist.

I polled a huge variety of people, asking them this one question:

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 15-year-old self, knowing what...

Remember Thanksgiving for our Military
  • Comparing our past with today and looking at our future
  • By Kenneth Shores, Rockwall, Texas

This Thanksgiving will find my 90 year old aunt in heaven. She left us Monday, November 14, 2016 to join her two sisters and six brothers to be with Jesus. Now I, Kenneth E. Shores am the last living person that lived on my grandparents’ farm an…

Krampus Is Coming To Town

A series of strange reports have been coming in from all across Tioga and Potter Counties of oddly dressed individuals that appear to have glowing eyes and horns. These bizarre incidents seem to be connected to a rash of home invasions. Some area residents are claiming it’s the Jersey Devil or Christmas demons, some locals are blaming the trouble on drug dealers disg…

Veteran’s Day

I wrote this November 11, 2011 honoring the veterans in my family:

Last evening we had the excitement of welcoming home my nephew from his year of Army service in Iraq. His daughter made a gold with black lettering poster for him- they are Steelers fans. A group of twelve stood in the baggage claim area of American Airlines to surprise the veteran. Soon we saw the …

The Legend of the Poinsettia

The Christmas tree, holly, mistletoe—each of these plants has a story intertwined with the Yuletide season. Each is an ancient tradition forever connected to Christmas, yet each plant and legend is European in origin. Only one Christmas plant tradition originates in the Americas, the poinsettia. What led this beautiful, tropic flower to its place in Christmas? The legend of...

History – American Armistice Day/ Veterans Day

  • Published in the Rockwall County News  November 6, 2014 
  • Comparing our past with today and looking at our future
  • By Kenneth Shores, Rockwall, Texas
  • This article is my opinion as provided by my research

 Veterans Day, formerly known as ...

Halloween as a Spiritual Adventure

Have you ever been to a theme park that had a Halloween Haunt? I always wanted to go but my husband had no desire to run around a big park with monsters chasing him. My friends thought it was juvenile and my sisters thought I was juvenile for wanting to go. So when my daughter, Teri asked me to take her when she was ten years old, I was thrilled! Her…

The Best Source For Easter Chocolate

Easter is all about chocolate, second to it being a religious holiday of course, and I have been on a quest to find fair trade Easter eggs to no avail. I am quite disappointed to report, I have only been able to find some fair trade bunnies, sheep, chicks and various other Easter themed chocolate, but no little eggs.  Thank you…

What Is St. Patricks Day REALLY About?

Americans are really good at generalizing. I can say that because I am an American. We really like to generalize cultures, so that they are easier to understand. Ireland is no exception. Let’s take a look at the classic holiday, St. Patrick’s Day!

It would make sense to begin with Patrick – or SAINT Patrick if you’re Irish Catholic. It may surprise you to know tha…

Holidays during World War II

Comparing our past with today and looking at our future

By Kenneth Shores, Rockwall, Texas

Let us take a brief quick trip to understand what Christmas was like after December 7, 1941. We lived in Chicago and I was 9 years old listening to a radio program with my family on Monday, December 8, 1941. That afternoon, the program was interrupted by President Roo…

A New Year – A New Direction

It’s that time of year again – New Year’s Resolutions. Almost always those resolutions revolve around losing weight, eating healthier and exercising more. As a society we enter into this phase “gun ho” but within two or three month’s it’s all on the back burner for safe keeping – pretty much forgotten. Believe me, I know because I’ve been there more times than I care to r…

Celebrating Kwanzaa

 In addition to Christmas, I also celebrate Kwanzaa which begins on December 26th and continues through January 1st. To those who are not familiar, Kwanzaa, which was first observed in 1966, is a celebration of family, community and culture within the African American culture and consist of seven Principles, one being observed each evening. Those seven Principles are repr...

A Book for the Holidays

Among all the holiday craziness, the gifts, the dinners and the celebrations, we often forget that is it is a great time of year, to actually decompress, enjoy time off work and actually read a book.

After all the holiday celebration, why not spend some quality time with a good book. Perhaps you may be whisked away in a whimsical adventure, travel th…

The Magic of Christmas

 Christmas here, Christmas there, Christmas everywhere – it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is a time where we stop and spend time with friends and family celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We decorate our homes, put up Christmas trees and sing merry, joyful songs. We gather around the television watching holiday classics lik…

For Those who Won’t be Home for Christmas

For Those who Won’t be Home for Christmas

Despite the lights and carols, the bells and presents, for many people this is not a joyous season. A large number of the population don’t have homes to celebrate in or don’t have family and friends to celebrate with. Age, poor health, poverty, natural disasters and estrangement from family are just some of t…

6 Ways to Reduce Holiday Overeating

Is this the scenario of your post-holiday feasts? Bodies strewn all over the living room furniture. Belts loosened. Groans of regret fill the air. “I’ll never eat that much again!”

Fifteen minutes later the hostess enters the room and announces dessert is ready. Groaning ceases. Bodies haul themselves into upright positions. Glazed eyes become focused. “I sup…

Survive Your Next Toast or Speech!

So you’re the one doing the toast to the boss’ wife at the company party?

Well, it’s that time of year! Party time and of course that means toasts and speeches! And, this year it’s your turn to wow the gang with your accolades and pleasantries for Mrs Boss at this year’s holiday gathering. Whether it’s a toast or a speech, many people shake in t...

My first FAM trip to the Occidental Grand Xcaret

I have been asked by many of you what I thought of the Occidental Grand Xcaret and as a woman that is known to tell it how it is, here goes nothing.

First, I would like to give many thanks to the Occidental Resorts and Air Canada Vacations for inviting me to be part of their FAM trip. For those of you that don’t know, FAM is short for “Familiarization.” It was a…