Gratitude in the New Year — Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier

Katie Daisy 2020 weekly planner

Image of the Katie Daisy 2019-2020 On-the-Go Planner

As we enter a new year, many of us contemplate developing new habits with the desire to enrich our lives. While some of these resolutions can be lofty goals, one simple practice of expressing gratitude or keeping a gratitude list can have a lasting impact. A weekly planner or wall calendar is a wonderful place to jot down your lists and then reflect back on them at the end of the year.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

Here’s more from the Harvard Health Publishing website:

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis:

Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.

Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.

Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.

Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.

Pray. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).


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Feast of Juul — Burning the Yule Log

Image from our Celtic Mandala 2020 wall calendar featuring artwork by Jen Delyth.

The Feast of Juul was a pre-Christian festival observed in Scandinavia at the time of the Winter Solstice. Fires were lit to symbolize the heat, light, and life-giving properties of the returning sun. A Yule (or Juul) log was brought in with great ceremony and burned on the hearth in honor of the Scandinavian god, Thor. A piece of the log was kept as both a token of good luck and as kindling for the following year’s log.

In England and in many parts of Germany, France, and other European countries, the Yule log was burned until nothing but ash remained; then the ashes were collected and either strewn on the fields as fertilizer every night until Twelfth Night or kept as a charm and useful medicine. French peasants believed that if the ashes were kept under the bed, they would protect the house against thunder and lightning, as well as prevent chilblains on the heels during the winter.

The present-day custom of lighting a Yule log at Christmas is believed to have originated in the bonfires associated with the Feast of Juul.

Source: Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, 5th Ed., published by Omnigraphics


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Artist Spotlight — Meera Lee Patel: Encouraging and Insightful

We are delighted to welcome Meera Lee Patel to our family of contributing artists. Working with watercolor and ink, she is inspired by nature, human connection, and the vibrant colors of her native India. She delights in creating art that encourages the transformation of confusion and chaos into centering moments to nourish the heart, spirit, and body. Nested within lush illustrations of flowers and natural elements, hand-lettered quotes offer encouragement and comfort as a touchstone throughout the year and invite you to believe in magic.

Meera is the best-selling author and artist of two journals, Made Out of Stars and Start Where You Are, and the book My Friend Fear. She is also a featured writer and artist for Spirituality & Health magazine. Everything she creates is based on the simple principle that anything is possible. Her vibrant and thoughtful work aims to help people find beauty in daily living. Her clients include American Greetings, Estée Lauder, Food52, Free People, and Vogue India.

Visit her website to see more of her beautiful work.


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Spaceship Earth: The Overview Effect

“Earthrise” from the NASA archives featured in the Spaceship Earth 2020 wall calendar.

Suddenly, from behind the rim of
the moon, in long, slow-motion moments
of immense majesty, there emerges
a sparkling blue and white jewel.
It takes more than a moment to
fully realize this is Earth . . . home.
— Edgar Mitchell

The luminous vision of Earth from space reveals one human family. Boundaries and differences that seem insurmountable at ground level are diminished, illuminating the understanding that all people have the same desires for love, safety, happiness, and acceptance. The “overview effect,” first described in 1987 by science writer Frank White, is the cognitive shift experienced by astronauts while in space. With sudden clarity, they understand that Earth — home to everyone and everything we have ever known — is a pulsing, swirling, living place that we must protect.

This new wall calendar features stunning images from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) photographic archives paired with powerful quotes from philosophers, writers, and astronauts.

You realize that on that little blue-and-white thing, there is everything that means
anything to you — all history, music, poetry, art, death, birth, and love — all of it
on that little spot out there that you can cover with your thumb.
— Rusty Schweickart


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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — December 2019 — Free to Download

December is the twelfth and final month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and is the last of seven months to have a length of 31 days. December got its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar, which began in March.
Flower: Narcissus
Birthstone: Turquoise, Zircon, and Tanzanite

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – Advent Begins
1 – World AIDS Day
3 – GivingTuesday
7 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
8 – Bodhi Day (Buddhist)
10 – Human Rights Day
12 – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic)
21 – Winter Solstice
21 – Yule (Pagan/Wiccan)
23 – Hanukkah Begins (Jewish)
25 – Christmas
26 – Boxing Day (Canada, UK)
26 – Kwanzaa Begins (African American)
31 – New Year’s Eve

Free December Wallpaper

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GivingTuesday — Every Act of Generosity Counts

GivingTuesday logo

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 3, 2019, and every day. Celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, GivingTuesday is an annual opportunity for everyone to commit to supporting a charity that speaks to the heart. Support can come in many forms — a little bit of your time, a donation, or the power of your voice to share all the good work they’re doing.

One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. GivingTuesday has created a directory to help you find organizations, events, and ways to give back in your own community. Visit their website to explore all their resources.

Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.


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2020 Calendars: Art for Everyone on Your Holiday Gift List

Calendars are a special gift for everyone on your list — art and inspiration to delight them for a full year. They also make heartwarming host and hostess gifts.

With over 80 calendars to choose from, you’re sure to find one for everyone on your list. Enjoy savings when you shop on our website.

MEDITATION & MINDFULNESS

NATURE & OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

PETS & ANIMALS

WOMAN & GODDESS

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — November 2019 — Free to Download

November is the eleventh and penultimate month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the last of four months to have a length of 30 days, and the last of five months to have a length of less than 31 days. November was the ninth month of the ancient Roman calendar. November retained its name, despite novem coming from the Latin for “nine,” when January and February were added to the Roman calendar.
Flower: Chrysanthemum
Birthstone: Topaz

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – All Saints’ Day (Christian)
1 – Day of the Dead (Mexico)
2 – All Souls’ Day (Christian)
3 – Daylight Saving Time Ends
5 – Election Day
11 – Remembrance Day (AU, CA)
11 – Veterans Day
12 – Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í)
20 – Universal Children’s Day
28 – Thanksgiving

Free November Desktop Wallpaper

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