The Allure of Santa Claus

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“I think that for both children and parents, Santa Claus represents a welcome distraction from the harsher realities of life that many of us have to deal with. Children can tell Santa Claus their hopes and dreams the same way they might wish upon a star. And most parents wouldn’t ever want to dash those dreams or put limits on their children’s innocent optimism. Even in tough economic times—perhaps especially then—Christmas and Santa Claus represent a shining ray of hope. Sure, Santa might not give a child everything he or she wants, and honestly, I don’t think that many children truly expect that. To their little minds, though, it can’t hurt to at least ask, right?”

Being Santa Claus: What I Learned about the True Meaning of Christmas by Sal Lizard, Jonathan P. Lane

Santa’s Lists Have Power!

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“Santa’s lists of naughty and nice may be the stuff of legend, but from what I’ve seen, when Santa Claus is around, nobody wants to take any chances.”

Being Santa Claus: What I Learned about the True Meaning of Christmas by Sal Lizard, Jonathan P. Lane

Acting on Opportunities of Hope

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“If you think about it, there are hundreds of little ways and chances for us to be that shining light of hope for one another, especially during tough times. We can give money, sure, but we can also give our time, love, attention, creativity, or even just a shoulder of support. If we all looked for and acted on these opportunities, even on days that aren’t Christmas, well…imagine the kind of world that would be.”

Being Santa Claus: What I Learned about the True Meaning of Christmas by Sal Lizard, Jonathan P. Lane

Easily Ignored

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“…when you live on the fringes of society with no resources, you have no voice and your complaints are easily ignored.

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Need a Reason

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The older I get, the more I’m convinced: I’ve suffered for a reason. It’s a reason I don’t know yet, but for all of my twenty years it’s been circling me—a forecast of something mighty. There’s no way a person could be born into dysfunction, fighting to survive and helping her family do the same, without some purpose to give it all meaning. On the days that feel dark and endless, I make myself a simple promise: I’ll get out of bed in the morning. Then I’ll head up the hill to class. If I put one foot in front of the other, day by day, I’ll move closer to the light at the end of all this struggle.

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Here There Is No Time

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“Perhaps because he chose to defy death early on and start a fishing camp enterprise, Ted prominently hung a sign in the lodge’s dining room that read: “Here there is no time.” And it was true. One only needed to get up with the sun to know when to fish; listen for the resonating ring of the cast-iron bell to know when to show up for meals; choose whatever activity suited the moment; and fall asleep when the moon rose and stars covered the heavens. For most of the citified guests, their real lives back home raced from one responsibility to another, but here in this Northwoods paradise—at least for a few special weeks—time stood still.”

Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts by Marnie O. Mamminga

Political Chess

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“…the process to alter public policy is like watching a chess game: Sheer strategy and full emotional investment are needed for the most convincing players to win.

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Foster Kid Future

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Deep down I’ve always been aware that I’m just like the forty thousand other foster kids in America who age out of care every year to end up homeless, incarcerated, addicted, or dead.

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Why Some Benefit and Others Suffer

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“We’ll go around the table,” he says, “and I’d like you to tell me why you’re here.” My fellow interns cite their reasons as having relatives in law and politics, and a passion for politics or a political ideology or a commitment to advance a specific public policy. Then the circle reaches me. I think of Rosie, of the money I tuck away to send her every month, of how I’ll never give up trying to rescue her. Then I share my reason for why I’m pursuing this career. “Politics is the allocation of resources,” I tell Professor Chartock. “I want to know who allocates the resources and why some people benefit from them while others suffer.

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Truth Will End It

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I remember a verse I once spotted that Julia had highlighted in her Bible: The truth will set you free. I’ve never been able to forget those words. Even when it hurts, it’s more empowering to know the truth than to stay blind to it. Once I know the truth—and once Paul knows the truth—I’ll be finished. In my life I’ve found that you can’t let something go until it’s really over and it’s never really over until you learn the truth.

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra