Issue 19 | December 2022

Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be joyful; sparkling lights, extra time with family,  presents, and special holiday meals. But let's be real: that also means a lot of extra work on top of already busy schedules. Sometimes it is hard to find that Christmas cheer when all you can see is less time, family drama, and more work. We all feel that way sometimes, and I wanted to give you a few tips to survive the holidays and enjoy them!

1.  Be Realistic about Holiday Expectations. As the hilarious Christmas movie "National Lampoons Christmas Vacation" shows us, expecting a picture-perfect holiday is only going to lead to disappointment. (Especially if your Cousin Randy shows up in his RV). Nobody has a perfect holiday or family, so don't put that pressure on yourself. Overcooking the turkey this year may be one of your funniest memories in years to come. 

2. Schedule Time for Yourself. I know your December calendar is full, but even if you pencil in just 30 minutes to get a coffee alone and sit in a silent car, it can go a long way toward helping you not feel overwhelmed. Some other ideas are to take a walk (blame it on the dog), soak in a hot tub or splurge, and get a massage. No matter what you choose to spend the time doing if it helps you slow down for a moment and take a deep breath, then the mission is accomplished. 

3. Just Say No. It is easier said than done, but the quickest way to burn yourself out is to over-commit to holiday parties, events and responsibilities. It is ok to say no. Otherwise, you will risk being miserable and exhausted and miss out on the moments with your loved ones that would bring you the most joy. 

4. You Do Not Have to Visit Everyone. Trying to visit 14 different family members' homes on Christmas day is a surefire way to dread the big day. You spend more hours in the car than with your loved ones! Invite them to your home, spread out the visits over the next few weeks, or tell them that next year is their year. With today's technology, a Facetime call isn't the same as a warm hug, but it makes it easier to be in many places at once. Then plan an in-person visit in the near future so that you can have true quality time with them. 

Remember, it is your holiday too! Feeling guilty that you didn't do enough is unhealthy and can quickly rob you of the joy the holidays are supposed to bring. The holidays only come once per year, and I hope these survival tips can help you enjoy them with the people you love most. And no matter how crazy your holidays seem, they are still not as crazy as Clark Griswolds!
Happy New Year
Once Christmas is here, it feels like you barely blink, and then it is New Year's Eve. And if you want to ring in the new year with a party, you don't have to travel to Atlanta. There is a big NYE event right in our backyard that you may not have heard about. 

Ever heard of the Possum Drop? It is a family-friendly celebration held in Tallapoosa, GA, that has been going on since the 1990s. Tallapoosa used to be known as Possum Snout way back in the day, so this piece of history, combined with a local taxidermist who has a well-preserved possum named Spencer, led to a long-standing New Year's Eve tradition in the West Georgia town!

And you don't want to miss it this year, because the event is going to be big. Instead of just one day of celebration, they are putting on a 2-day party. It starts on Friday with an 80s dance party and costume contest.  

Friday, December 30
7:00 pm- 10:00 pm
To get the party started, Alabama's favorite dance band, the M-80's, will perform for an ultimate 80's dance party! Dress in your favorite 80's clothes and party like it's 1999. There will also be a contest for the best 80s outfit, so make sure to dig out your leg warmers and tease that mullet. 
Saturday, December 3
Begins at 7:30
There will be a lot of fun to be had on Saturday, starting at 7:30 when George Franco welcomes everyone and officially starts the events. The rest of the night will feature the M-80's again, followed by a performance of a popular Elvis impersonator who will play all of the King's favorite hits. And the final show will be Satisfaction - The International Rolling Stones Tribute Band. The musical lineup should be a lot of fun. Once the music stops, it will be time for the official Possum Drop, which will be followed by fireworks to ring in 2023!  

I hope however you decide to spend your New Years' Eve that you have a safe & fun night and that 2023 brings you all great health and many blessings!

To read more about the event and its history, you can find it all here:

A Recipe from Julie

Candy Cane Dog Treats

It’s the time of year- we’re all hard at work in the kitchen making treats for the entire family. So, why not make some goodies for a man’s best friend? Anyone that knows me knows I’m crazy about my pups, so I wanted to share a recipe for Candy Cane Dog Treats with you. Our furry family members deserve love and treats on Christmas too! 

You will need: 

  • A stand mixer

  • 2/3 Cup Pumpkin Puree

  • 1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter

  • 2 Eggs

  • Up to 3 Cups Oat Flour

  • Red and Green Food Coloring (a couple of drops of each)


Now for the fun part! 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°, line your baking sheet with parchment paper, and leave it to the side for now.

  2. Combine the peanut butter, pumpkin puree, and eggs until they are thoroughly incorporated. 

  3. With the mixer set to low, slowly add in the 2 ½ cups of flour, and mix it until it's just incorporated.

  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it for a couple of minutes.

  5. Separate the dough into two equal portions.

  6. Flatten one section of the dough and add 2-3 drops of green food coloring. Then, knead the dough until it is completely colored.

  7. Repeat Step 6 with the other dough ball, coloring it Red this time.

  8. Now, you can separate each section of dough into 1”-2” balls.

  9. To begin shaping the treats, roll one of each color dough ball into a long “snake-like” shape, making them the same size and length.

  10. Twist one piece around the other, braiding them together. Bend them at the top to give them a candy cane curve.

  11. Place the treats on your lined baking sheet.

  12. Repeat the process until you have worked through all the dough.

  13. Place the treats in your preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until the bottoms start turning brown.

  14. Remove them from heat and let them cool completely on a wire rack.


“This recipe yields approximately 16 large candy cane dog treats. Treats can be stored in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for several days.”

If you make it, let me know how it turns out on my Facebook page! 

Have a safe and Merry Christmas!

Recipe & photo credit:

Funny Arrest Story

Florida Man Tries to Rob Walmart That's Full of Cops

If these funny arrest stories keep coming from Florida, we may have to rename this section "Florida Arrest Stories"! 

A common Christmas event that takes place in towns all over the country is the Shop With A Cop event. That is where local law enforcement officers take children from their community who may not have any Christmas presents and let them shop for some fun toys. It's a wonderful event every year that helps build community relations and ensures that children do not go without at Christmas.  

So recently, in Osceola, FL, many local law enforcement officers were at the St. Cloud Walmart shopping with children. The Walmart store was filled with nearly 40 deputies alongside the forensics team, the community services officers, the OCSO Majors, and Sheriff Marcos R. Lopez. 

During the event, a suspect named only as "Brad" was found to be shoplifting. Needless to say, it did not take law enforcement long to respond to the call from Walmart, seeing as the store was filled with them, and Brad was arrested right away.

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office posted this on their Facebook page, which went viral, and the comment section is quite entertaining. One poster was so inspired that he wrote a poem: 

Brad thought he was Rad!
But Brad got caught being bad!
Now Brad is sad!

~Deryl Ames

Don't Spend Christmas in Jail, folks! 

Thank You for Reading!

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