This is Bèr. He's going as Paddington Dog for Halloween. Distant cousin of Paddington Bear, but with a strikingly similar fashion sense. Prefers peanut butter to marmalade. 14/10 pic.twitter.com/B9yZChSzGP
Thank you, Lord, that you fill a mother’s heart with love, That you have instilled in her very being the need to protect her children if at all possible, Thank you for giving her the gift of nurturing her children, of teaching them, of comforting them, for feeding them and making a safe place for them.
For guiding them to be all that God has created them to be. Fill every mother with love, wisdom and endurance, with strength and patience and joy. Give them ability to forgive again and again. Enable her to rely on You and call upon You, because You will give her all she needs. In Your precious and all powerful name, Amen
A MOTHER’S DAY PRAYER
Heavenly Father, to you I pray… On this day called, “Mother’s Day.” Let all mother’s on earth give praise, To you…for the children that you gave.
For you have blessed them from above, with little souls to nourish and love. Let them mold each one with care… And teach them to be kind and share.
Forgiveness is the special key… Start early on, to help them see. Their fragile minds are easily impressed. Please teach them ways, so they’ll be blessed.
Sow godly seeds into their minds. With careful pruning, you will find… Young adults with such strong roots, all through life, will bear rich fruit.
And then have faith for God to show… Them all the rest they have to know. Remember they’re His children too. For they were only lent to you.
Prayer for New Mothers
God our Creator, we pray: for new mothers, coming to terms with new responsibility ; for expectant mothers, wondering and waiting; for those who are tired, stressed or depressed; for those who struggle to balance the tasks of work and family; for those who are unable to feed their children due to poverty; for those whose children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities; for those who have children they do not want; for those who raise children on their own; for those who have lost a child; for those who care for the children of others; for those whose children have left home; and for those whose desire to be a mother has not been fulfilled. Bless all mothers, that their love may be deep and tender, and that they may lead their children to know and do what is good, living not for themselves alone, but for God and for others. Amen
We thank you for adopting us into your family through the miracle of your grace, and for calling us to be brothers and sisters to each other. Today, loving God, we pray for our mothers:
who cared for us when we were helpless
who comforted us when we were hurt
whose love and care we often took for granted.
Today we pray for:
those who are grieving the loss of their mother,
those who never knew their biological mother, and now yearn for her
those who have experienced the wonder of an adopted mother’s love
the families separated by war or conflict.
Lord, give them special blessings.
Keep us united with you and with each other, so that we can be and become all that we are meant to be.
Dear God, Bless All Mothers…
In this intense nine months, when mothers-to-be are realizing that their life is about to change forever, bless them God, because they feel alternately elated and alarmed. Help each mother-in-waiting to understand that she has been carefully chosen, by both you and by her baby, to guide it through its early years on planet Earth. Let her know that she will never be alone in the process. Help her to remember that her baby is your own perfect creation, just as she, herself, is your own perfect creation. Thank you God, for making each of your creations uniquely perfect in its own way. Amen.
I am not sure who told Chevrolet that what we really needed this Christmas was to ugly cry over an ad they produced for the holidays, but whoever it was needs to go sit in the corner and think about what they’ve done.
You may have seen the shortened version of this ad, titled “Holiday Ride,” on TV. But you don’t get the full emotional impact without seeing the extended four-minute version, which is a tear-jerker and hit me harder than listening to my child ask me why Mufasa wasn’t waking up.
All the jokes aside, this ad is possibly one of the most needed and uplifting messages of the Christmas season — a season in one of the toughest years Americans have faced. Still reeling from COVID-19 and an economic collapse, we have watched as division and partisanship grew, the negative media coverage got worse, people were unable to get back to work, and inflation and shortages have had families struggling.
And this is all on the heels of a divisive presidential election and a pandemic that has taken our family members and loved ones and kept us separated for (in some cases) over a year.
At a time when all this is going on, this Chevy commercial comes out. It is a message about remembering loved ones and spending the time we have with them. It is, at its heart, a secular but great reminder that this time of year is about our families.
Here, you have a man who appears to have recently lost his wife. In an old barn is her old convertible, covered in dust and clearly unused. It’s an emotional moment as the memories flood back. His daughter sees that he’s struggling, so she goes to their small town auto repair shop and asks for help. They sneak in one night, load up the car, and then restore it. The dad sees the restored car, gets emotional, and drives up to his daughter, who begins to cry as she says “It’s what mom would’ve wanted.”
And it’s at that point that you’ll feel that familiar tingle in your eye, if you haven’t already.
A man lovingly remembers his wife. A daughter sees a father struggling. A community comes together to help one of their own. And an emotional reunion. Also, a dog.
We are a little over week away from Christmas, and now more than ever, we need to stop and remember what’s most important. Yes, we have political battles to fight. But for a few moments, let’s also remember that our families need us for more than fighting those battles. They need us to just be there for and with them.
Evelyn Quintero is an expert in making and arranging Christmas decorations. In fact, she has such excellent creative skills that she earned the grand prize on ABC’s “Great Christmas Light Fight.”
When Quintero lights up her “Peaceful Meadow,” it’s like seeing a scene straight out of a movie. Her residence in Atwater, California, is probably the brightest and merriest home in the whole state this holiday season.
Quintero’s decorations look so good that people from everywhere want to come over just to see it in person. And we’re sure that if they do, they won’t regret it.YouTube
“I think it will put Atwater on the map,” said neighbor Maria Vega of the display.
It took around 80,000 lights to complete the luminous display. It also includes other elements such as deer, mountains, and a waterfall.
One neighbor described it as a “work of art.” And it truly is.
Despite putting up such an incredible display, Quintero never expected to make it to the show, let alone with the top prize.YouTube
“I was in total shock. I just couldn’t believe that they chose me. I’m just a little old great-grandma on a corner here,” she said.
As it turns out, she’s had lots of practice. Before moving to Atwater to be closer to her family four years ago, Quintero and her husband lived in Vacaville, California. They were sort of local celebrities there because of their astonishing Christmas displays. When they moved to Atwater, that seems to be the case still.YouTube
The lot beside her Atwater home was specifically bought for her Christmas displays. She thought it would be great for the people walking on the sidewalk to view the decorations.
“I feel like I’m in a meadow and I feel like I’m out of this world. Like, amazed by these lights,” said a young girl named Kiley Stahlhut.
This display is truly a labor of love, as 90% of it is handmade. She uses a 3D pen to create the ducks, ladybugs, and birds in her decorations.
Quintero also painstakingly hand-painted all 8,000 flowers in the meadow, which are made of icicle lights. The beautiful sea of pink, which took her years to accumulate, is a tribute to her daughter who had passed away.YouTube
“We had a daughter who passed away several years ago and her favorite color was pink so yes, I do have more pink flowers in memory of her,” Quintero said. It’s her way of keeping Andrea’s memory alive.
She loves how people, especially kids, react to her decorations when they see them. As news of her display quickly spread across the country, two Atwater women brought their friend—who just came all the way from Texas—to visit Quintero’s now-famous house.
“I’m amazed at her skills and her imagination and that she even came up with the concept,” she said.YouTube
Quintero wasn’t seeking fame or recognition for this; she just wanted to share her talent and creativity.
“It was like showing your artwork at a New York gallery. That’s what I was thinking,” she said.
Check out the unveiling of Evelyn Quintero’s “Peaceful Meadow” in the video below.
There are Christmas lights and there are Christmas lights and I’ll admit I am a sucker for the latter.
You know, the ones you can’t drive by without saying “whoa” and slowing down your car to take in the scene. Like me, you may have purposely gone out of your way to drive and see them in the first place.
Well, these Christmas lights put those to shame, which is why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Christmas installations from around the country to get you into the holiday spirit.
No matter what part of the country you’re in, there’s likely something for you here — and if not, can we interest you in a holiday lights-themed road trip? Meet you there.
Glow Holiday is one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit, and it’s back this year with COVID-19 protocols as part of the Great Minnesota Holiday Get-Together at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Located between St. Paul and Minneapolis, you’ll experience more than 1 million holiday lights, interactive displays and festive family-friendly activities, complete with Minnesota State Fair food and beverages.
Plan on spending about 60-90 minutes at Glow, followed by a visit to the State Fair Food Court. Tickets cost $20.75 per adult and $12.75 for children ages 5-12 and $1 from every ticket will be donated to local charities.
For its 26th year, Magic Christmas in Lights is back at Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Mobile County. On the 65-acre estate, you’ll be able to stroll through dazzling light displays featuring more than 1,100 set pieces, 3 million lights and 15 scenes, all on the former home of Coca-Cola’s Walter Bellingrath and his wife and philanthropist Bessie.
The lights will turn on Nov. 26 and will run through Jan. 5 (closed Christmas and New Year’s Day). Timed tickets are available until 9 p.m. and cost anywhere from $8 to $25.
It may not snow in Florida, but the Night of Lights will sure make it feel like Christmastime for the 28th year. Every evening from Nov. 20 through Jan. 31, visit the Plaza de la Constitucion and the Bridge of Lions to see one of National Geographic’s top 10 holiday light displays. There are even live music performances in the plaza during weekends and holidays.
It’s free to everyone and sure to please children and adults of all ages. Better yet, you don’t even need tickets to see it. You can tour by trolley, train, boat — or even do a wine-and-carriage tour to see this exhibit featuring millions of tiny white lights in the Nation’s Oldest City.
While it is hard to rival New York City’s Rockefeller Christmas tree, some of the best Christmas lights you’ll find near the city are actually in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn — specifically from 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue and between 83rd and 86th streets. About an hour from midtown Manhattan, these massive, professionally done light displays shine brighter than the top of the Chrysler Building.
The lights start the weekend after Thanksgiving, but the best displays are usually on the weekends starting in mid-December. It is recommended to go during the evening as well, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you are without a car, consider an escorted bus tour to see the lights; tickets start at $55 for adults.
(Photo by OlegAlbinsky via Getty Images)
Hersheypark’s Christmas Candyland in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights in Wheeling, West Virginia
The Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights dates back to 1985 and currently stands as one of the nation’s largest holiday light shows. In fact, it’s so popular it attracts more than 1 million visitors a year. The festival features 300 acres of twinkling lights over a 6-mile drive, plus 90 lighted attractions made up of more than 1 million energy-efficient LED lights. New this year are a 60-foot-tall Welcome Tree and 14 new audio experiences to complement your lights viewing, along with a life-sized nativity scene. The festival runs Nov. 4 through Jan. 9, and is free to the public.
A town called “Christmas Town“? Say no more. McAdenville is marking its 66th year of celebrations, and is frequently nominated as one of the best holiday light displays in the nation. The route goes on for more than a mile and features more than 250 evergreen trees covered with half a million red and green lights, 160 decorated homes and seasonal music at its historic McAden Mills Bell Tower. The tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 1 marks the official start of Christmas Town USA, along with the yule log ceremony on Dec. 16, a tradition since 1950, followed by a parade. Christmas Town USA.
(Photo by Steve Rankin/mcadenville-Christmas Town)
The display is free and open to the public, and you can walk or drive through as many times as you’d like. You can visit each night from Dec. 1 through Dec. 26, between 5:30 and 10 p.m.
Glittering Lights in Las Vegas
Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a wholly American Christmas tradition — and it’s not just because of the millions of twinkling lights. This drive-thru light show also hosts different initiatives to support local charities, churches and schools, including Speedway Children’s Charities. We love a holiday tradition that gives back to the community.
An Old Time Christmas at the Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson is a tried-and-true fan favorite. Here, you’ll find an eight-story Christmas tree display, 6 1/2 million twinkling lights and 30-plus live holiday shows daily on outdoor stages. This year features the debut of “Home For Christmas,” a Broadway-style show at Red Gold Heritage Hall, along with the return of “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol.” Pricing is not cheap; tickets start at $74 plus tax, but do include ride access. Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas runs Nov. 6 through Dec. 30.
(Photo courtesy of Silver Dollar City)
Holiday Festival of Lights in Charleston, South Carolina
The Holiday Festival of Lights is open nightly from Nov. 12 through Dec. 31. You can visit Santa at his village, take a train ride to check out the lights and indulge in all sorts of holiday treats at the Winter Wonderland. And unique to this festival, there are holiday sand sculptures, too. Advance tickets start at $15 or tickets can be purchased at the gate for $20 per vehicle, for use from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.
At Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, you’ll find thousands of lights spread out across 30 acres of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which is even more magical than you’re imagining. It’s all part of the Nature’s Wonders exhibit, the largest curtain of synchronized light and sound in the world. You can also visit the Skylights Lounge where you’ll find several larger-than-life plants from imaginary worlds like Alice’s Wonderland. With a restaurant on-site, this is truly a great way to spend a date night or family outing.
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From foodies to road trippers, we’ve got plenty of gift ideas for the travelers on your list
With Thanksgiving just next week, there’s much to do – and that includes holiday shopping. To help us create our 2021 holiday gift guides, 10Best Editors partnered with a panel of our contributors to nominate their favorite items in six categories.
For the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites. Click on each category below to see the top 10 gift ideas for each category.
Best Gifts for Adventurers: MPOWERD Solar Lights
MPOWERD Solar Lights are the perfect gift for the adventurer in your life — Photo courtesy of Sebastian Jacobo
This inflatable solar-powered lantern and charger is an ideal gift to bring on boating, hiking and backpacking trips or any outdoor adventure. Mpowerd’s Luci Pro Series solar light offers mobile charging, cool or matte white LEDs, and lasts up to 50 hours on a single charge. Perfect for cell phone charging and tent lighting while camping, this product truly puts “the power of the sun in your hands.”
Rocketbook brings the pen and paper experience into the modern age with a notebook that feels like paper but connects to the cloud for endless reusability. A damp cloth erases the page to a like-new state.
Best Gifts for Families: Artsy Fartsy Drawing Game
Artsy Fartsy is a great gift for the whole family — Photo courtesy of Artsy Fartsy
“This is NOT your parents’ drawing game,” says TwoPointOh Games about Artsy Fartsy. A family-friendly version of the well-known adult party game Drawing Without Dignity, this is a fast-paced game where artistic skills are not required.
Not much is off-limits in Artsy Fartsy – categories can be anything from “Don’t Get Caught” to “Animals That Leave Tiny Turds” and everything else you might imagine! Team up with family members to draw and guess from clues that will have everyone laughing out loud for hours. A perfect gift for families from four to twelve members and ages ten and up.
Nine Mile Hot Sauces are the HOT gift this year — Photo courtesy of Nine Mile Restaurant
Spice up your foodie gift basket this year with hot sauces from Nine Mile, the North Carolina-based vegetarian-friendly restaurant. This Jamaican-inspired collection includes Red-I with chipotles and habaneros, the tomatillo-based Hempress Rising with hints of thyme and garlic, and the Sun is Shining hot sauce with a touch of mango and ginger.
WompleBox Gift Box is the perfect gift for a family of road trippers — Photo courtesy of Womple Studios LLC
Womple Studios wants to ignite a passion for discovery and learning in kids through storytelling. Each month, your child will receive a WompleBox introducing new countries and cultures, including an illustrated book, maps, guides and activities to pique their curiosity. Soon they’ll be great, engaged travel partners in your family.
The SUNFLOW Chair will help you relax on your next beach trip — Photo courtesy of SUNFLOW
This isn’t any ordinary beach chair. The SUNFLOW Chair is compact and easy to carry without sacrificing comfort. Set it up in one of four positions for lounging, napping, reading or simply soaking up the sun. “This stylish and innovative beach chair is the ultimate way to enjoy a luxurious day on the sand,” says 10Best contributor Marla Cimini.
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