Celebrating Australia

I initially started out to do a fun, positive, upbeat post about Australia Day.  I had even snagged a few fun memes about the day and the country from over at Phil’s Phun (Phil is an Aussie, you know).  But then, I discovered that not everybody in Australia is all that happy to observe a national commemoration on January 26th, and with good reason.  It’s reminiscent of our own Christopher Columbus Day in October that … well, should really be ended.  According to an article I found on VOA (Voice of America) News …

The first fleet of British convicts arrived in Sydney on Jan. 26, 1788, but Aboriginal groups mourn what they call “Invasion Day.”  Australia’s national day is controversial because it is held on a date marking British colonization. Aboriginal Australians have led the charge for it to be commemorated at a different time of the year. 

Cricket bosses have removed the term “Australia Day” from promotional material for matches because they insist it was a time of “mourning” for many Indigenous players. Many Australia Day events this year are being scaled back or postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions, but the clamor for the date to be altered is likely to be undiminished.

Australia’s Indigenous peoples make up about 3% of the national population. They believe that high rates of unemployment, poverty and incarceration are the direct result of the dispossession and marginalization caused by European colonization that began in 1788.

Aus-mapSadly, Australia’s current Prime Minister Scott Morrison seems rather oblivious to the pain the date recalls.  He is angry that the cricket teams will not be touting the day, and says, “When those 12 ships turned up in Sydney all those years ago, it wasn’t a particularly flash day for the people on those vessels either.”  This statement in itself reminds me so much of the person we here in the U.S. just voted out of the Oval Office … no empathy, no consideration for others’ feelings.  And he doesn’t even know the history of his nation, for according to historians there were 11 ships, not 12.

So now, I am torn.  I have a number of Australian blogging friends and I want to honour their country, and yet, I fully understand the reasons that this day should not be one of celebration, for it would be rather like celebrating the arrival of the first slave ships on U.S. soil … not something to be proud of.  So, instead of writing about the day and the tragedies of history, I will share a few of the beautiful areas and wildlife of Australia and drink a toast to all my Aussie friends … Paul, Andrea, Simeon, Anne, and all the rest!  Cheers, my friends — you guys live in a beautiful country!  🥂


Uluru, the iconic monolith, also known as Ayers Rock, is the emblem of Australia. The massive sandstone rock is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru, one of Australia’s World Heritage Sites, is sacred to its indigenous custodians. The monolith is now off-limits for climbers.


Iconic Sydney Opera House



The Great Barrier Reef is located off the east coast of Queensland and is one of Australia’s natural wonders and a World Heritage Site.


The Twelve Apostles, the collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park in Victoria.


The ‘Totem Pole’ from the last lookout of the Cape Hauy Track, in Tasman National Park, Tasmania.


Weedy Sea Dragon

Lake Hillier, whose pink hue defies scientific explanation. 

I think that Australia has some of the cutest wildlife on the planet!  My two favourites are the Quokka and the Koala, but they are all beautiful!


Baby Echidna, aka Hedgehog


Kangaroo with Joey in the pouch






Tasmanian Devil

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Hello 2021!

I find myself unable to write a post this afternoon.  The nightmares that have plagued both my sleep and waking hours have left me in a dark mood, down a rabbit hole, and anything I would write today would not be worth reading.  So, I turn instead to that lady who, every week, scours the political cartoons to pick the best for our viewing pleasure, TokyoSand!  Thanks once again, TS, for this terrific selection!

Just like we were, editorial cartoonists were pretty focused on saying goodbye to 2020 and welcoming 2021. Here are my favorite cartoons from this past week.


See All The ‘Toons!

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Holiday Edition

Today I am remarkably uninspired to write a post.  Post-holiday exhaustion, or political overload — I don’t know which.  So, since I haven’t yet shared with you TokyoSand’s latest cartoon post, I shall do so this afternoon!  Thank you, TS, for doing such a great job of picking out the best holiday-themed political cartoons!


View the rest of the ‘toons!

Jolly New Year Monday!

Happy Monday morn, my friends!  Come on in out of the cold … just toss your coats over there … Jolly is the coat keeper for the day!  This is always a weird week, I think.  Christmas is over, all except the cleaning up, putting away, etc., and it’s a short week, with New Year’s Eve on Thursday.  When I laboured outside the home, I always hated this week … trying to catch up from the previous week, but not really being able to because most people took a vacation week, and I couldn’t get the answers I needed.  I’m very much a creature of routine, and when my routine is wrecked two weeks in a row, I tend to get rather dark ‘n grumpy.  This year, however, I’m trying to be laid back … with everything else happening in the world, the small stuff really just doesn’t much matter.

So, did you all have a nice holiday?  I know many of you, especially in the UK where very strict lockdown regulations are in place, missed spending the holiday with your families or friends, but hopefully by next holiday season things will be vastly improved.

So, if it’s Monday it must be time for some humour to start the week out, right?  Grab a snack – Joyful wouldn’t let me in the kitchen, so I have no idea what she’s cooked up this morning – and we’ll go in search of a few chuckles.

tea              baconJollys girlfriend Joyful

good-xmas-donuts-2     juice boxes

The secret to a longer life?  Math!

Kane_TanakaI found this both interesting and the last bit highly humorous.

The world’s oldest person, Kane Tanaka, turns 118 on Saturday.  She was born in 1903, and lives in a nursing home in Japan, where she wakes up at 6 a.m and enjoys playing board games. Her secrets to longevity: eating good food and practicing math.

Practicing math???  Whoa … I better stop using the calculator on my phone to add 2+2 and start using my noggin a bit more, yes?

Uh-oh Santa … should’a stuck with the reindeer!

An unidentified Northern California man thought it would be cool to dress as Santa Claus and deliver candy canes to children in his community … via a motorized parachute.  Neighbors say he flies around the neighborhood often in his vehicle, but this time there was a bit of a hitch … ol’ Santa got entangled in a set of electrical wires!

He flew into a maze of power lines and wound up suspended in them, according to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.


The man, who wasn’t identified, was not injured. Video from the rescue shows the red-white-and-blue aircraft dangling overhead as Santa sat fastened to the pilot seat. Neighbors watched from the ground as crews worked.

Santa-wires-2Power was shut off during the rescue to about 200 customers in the Rio Linda area, according to Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman Chris Vestal.

“It’s unfortunate, but we all need to remember that there’s still a lot of good out in the world, there are people doing good things and to look at the brightness of the holiday season.”

“W/o a scratch & full of good cheer we made sure Old St. Nick will use his reindeer when he sees you later this year,” the fire department said in a tweet after the incident.

So, how about some New Year’s themed ‘toons?


"I told the downstairs neighbors they had to take their tree down by New Year's."

And, I have a few cute pictures to share with you …


The highlight of my life the past month or so has been a pair of grey squirrels that appear every morning outside my ‘office’ (kitchen table where I write this blog) window.  After a couple of days watching their antics, I started putting a handful of unsalted, unshelled peanuts out every morning for them, which they take great joy in.  Then, wanting to give them a more nutritious diet, I did some research and ordered a bag of “Critter Crunch” from the Audubon Society, which they also enjoy, but they still prefer the peanuts.  They hop all around the patio, jump from the wrought iron rocking chair to the top of the grill, to the handlebars of Miss Goose’s bicycle!  They are beginning to trust me a bit more, I think, and I smile every time I see them through my ‘window on the world’.  Their latest antic is teasing one of our cats, Pandi.  If she is sitting in the windowsill, they jump up on the outside window ledge and … I swear I think they laugh at her!  Her tail twitches, then quivers, she bats at the window, and the squirrels just sit there.  It is, truly, the highlight of my day.  So, I went in search of a cute squirrel video for this week’s Jolly Monday …

Well, my friends, it’s that time … time for us all to be about our appointed chores.  But take heart … it’s a short week!  Meanwhile, as you go about your week, please take time to lend a helping hand wherever you can, and share those gorgeous smiles with people who look like they need one.  Have a safe and happy week.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

Happy Boxing Day!!!

This Boxing Day post has become somewhat of an annual tradition here at Filosofa’s Word.  Occasionally I ponder doing a new one, but this one pretty much covers all the bases, so why re-invent the wheel?   So please join me in wishing all our friends in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK the very Happiest Boxing Day!!!

BoxingNo no no no no … not that kind of boxing!  Boxing Day is on December 26th, the day after Christmas, and it is a bank holiday in the UK and Canada.  A brief bit about the origins of Boxing Day …

There are a few competing stories for the origin of the name, and while none are definitive, the one that seems most commonly accepted is that the day after Christmas was when servants of the wealthy were given time off to visit their family, as they were needed to work on Christmas Day. Each servant would be given a box to take home with food, a bonus and gifts. In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.


Now, that said, last year our friend rawgod gave me his explanation of the Canadian celebration of Boxing Day, at least in his household as a child …

“Each year an xmas tree was brought to the house, often on xmas eve. All the decorations were brought out of storage, and hung to decorate the tree. In those days baubles were not made of plastic, but rather blown glass. They were very delicate, and much too easily broken, as my poor bum learned every year. Moving on, the tree was the centrepiece of our home xmas day, and the next day, we put all the unbroken decorations into their special boxes so they could survive to the next xmas. By suppertime everything was boxed, and stored–thus Boxing Day.”

And this is what my house looks like on this Boxing Day!boxing-day

So how do our friends up north and across the big pond celebrate Boxing Day?  I went ‘in search of …’ and came up with some fun things, though I strongly suspect that most people spend the day recuperating from Christmas.  Let’s look at a few …

There is an annual barrel rolling race in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire


Until 2004 when the UK imposed a ban on fox-hunting, it used to be a tradition on Boxing Day.  Last year, Colette commented that legal or not, fox-hunting …

“As for fox hunting (despite tradition, I hate it), it still occurs. Meets go out following scent trails by people sent up ahead. The hounds are supposed to follow that and eventually find the people. Horses follow. But the hounds very often find real foxes which they tear to shreds if found. I am opposed to this horrific practice. The whole industry (and it is a lucrative industry) is a travesty akin to Bear Baiting or Cock Fighting, both long outlawed in Britain.”

Boxing-Day-2.jpgI understand that sports are big on boxing day, with horse racing and football.  But remember that what they call ‘football’ is actually what we in the U.S. refer to as soccer.  I asked one of my friends across the pond once, when he mentioned ‘football’ if he was referring to the kind with an ovoid pigskin ball where large people try to kill one another, or the kind that is played with a geometric-patterned black & white ball.  I was informed in no uncertain terms that he was referring to ‘real’ football and that what we called football was but a cheap knock-off. I never made that mistake again!

soccerAnd then there is shopping.  One article I read compared Boxing Day shopping with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in the U.S.  Apparently all the stores have huge sales.  But my question here is … who has any money after Christmas?

shoppingAnd so, to our friends across the big pond, however you spend Boxing Day, I hope it is a fun and/or relaxing day for you!  Happy Boxing Day!!!


♫ I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas ♫ (Annual Redux)

There is a small repertoire of songs that I play at Christmas … none of the typical religious carols, but songs that either have deep meaning for the holiday, or that are fun.  Tonight’s selection, just two days before the big day, is in the second category — fun!  This one goes out to my dear friend, Carolyn, over at Nuggets of Gold, for rawgod’s significant other, Gail, and also for my daughter Chris, who has always loved this one.

This is a Christmas ‘novelty’ song, written by John Rox, and performed by Gayla Peevey in 1953 when she was ten years old. Peevey was a child star who was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma before her family moved to Ponca City, Oklahoma, when she was five. When released nationally by Columbia Records the song shot to the top of the charts, and the Oklahoma City Zoo acquired a baby hippo named Matilda.

Peevey was filmed performing the song on The Ed Sullivan Show in October 1953, airing on November 15, 1953.

A popular legend holds that this 1953 hit had been recorded as a fundraiser to bring the city zoo a hippo; but in a 2007 radio interview with Detroit-based WNIC radio station, Peevey clarified that the song was not originally recorded as a fundraiser. Instead, a local promoter picked up on the popularity of the song and Peevey’s local roots, and launched a campaign to present her with an actual hippopotamus on Christmas.

The campaign succeeded, and she was presented with an actual hippopotamus, which she donated to the city zoo. The hippopotamus lived for nearly 50 years. Peevey, by this point 73 years old, was again present when the Oklahoma City Zoo acquired a rare pygmy hippopotamus in 2017.

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Gayla Peevey

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
Don’t want a doll, no dinkey tinker toy
I want a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
I don’t think Santa Claus will mind, do you?
He won’t have to use a dirty chimney flue
Just bring him through the front door
That’s the easy thing to do

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy, what surprise
When I open up my eyes
To see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles, no rhinosauruses
I only likes hippopotamuses
And hippopotamuses like me, too

Mom says a hippo, would eat me up but then
Teacher says a hippo is a vegetarian

There’s lots of room for him in our two-car garage
I’d feed him there and wash him there and give him his massage

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy, what surprise
When I open up my eyes
To see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles, or rhinosauruseses
I only likes hippopotamuses
And hippopotamuses like me, too

Songwriters: John Jefferson Rox
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Good People Doing Good Things — Just In Time For Christmas

I was going to take a pass on today’s ‘good people’ post, for I find myself with more to do than there are hours in a day.  But, I just couldn’t let you guys down, for I know how much we all rely on the reminders that there are good people out there, quietly going about the business of helping others.

Anthony Gaskins is a UPS driver in Chesterfield County, Virginia.  Now, you can imagine that in this year of pandemic, UPS and FedEx and other delivery service drivers have been overwhelmed.  My friend Herb drives for FedEx and has been working 11-12 hour shifts, 6 days a week, in order to get all those Christmas packages delivered.  Mr. Gaskin has been delivering nearly 200 packages a day!

I am told he is always cheerful, waves and smiles as he passes people on the street, and last Tuesday literally hundreds of people along his route got together and surprised him with a gesture of appreciation.  As he rounded the corner of one street, there were more than 75 cars lining the streets, people holding up signs and cheering for him!


A resident of the community named Patty Friedman wrote in a Facebook post how terribly lonely it was when she moved in during the height of the pandemic, and seeing Gaskins was always the highlight of her day.  Friedman said she wanted to thank him personally, and when she mentioned it to some of her neighbors, she got an overwhelming response that she wasn’t alone.


So, members of her community arrived on bikes, on foot, and in more than 75 cars that lined the main road of the community, waiting for Gaskins to appear.  As he turned the corner, children and adults reportedly help up signs, screamed his name, honked their horns, and rang bells. One of his supervisors was even there to present him with a gift.

Gaskins was visibly moved, thanked everyone, and spoke briefly before getting back to work.


Christine Wheeler of Ottawa, Kansas, walked a total of 12 miles per day to work and back at the Love’s Truck Stop.  She had no vehicle, and really needed the job, for she has two small children to feed.  One day, someone saw her walking to work in the morning and called the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.  It wasn’t the first time they had received calls about this woman walking along a busy highway … in the cold.

That day, December 9th, Deputy Evan Macklin got the assignment to go check on her and make sure she was okay.  Says Macklin …

“It wasn’t warm out.  We got called out there just to check welfare, to make sure she was OK. I came back to the office and talked to my shift about if there was anything we could do for her.”

Well, a small group of deputies put their heads together and quickly realized that they needed some help, so they put the word out in the community.  Pretty soon generous citizens and businesses stepped up to the plate, and in addition to individual donations, the Sheriff’s office contributed its ‘No Shave November’ funds, and just six days later, on December 15th, they were able to surprise Ms. Wheeler with a van filled with winter coats, food, holiday gifts, two new car seats for her twin boys, a price chopper gift card, the registration for the van and the first year of car insurance along with $200 in cash.


Christine Wheeler was understandably overwhelmed …

“I can finally like take my kids to the park. I can go shopping, get food. I want to say, ‘Thank you guys so much.’ This means the world to me.”


The mayor of Fishers, Indiana, Scott Fadness, has launched the “2,000 Acts of Kindness Challenge”, encouraging residents to complete 2,000 acts of kindness by Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 18.


Fishers is giving out $100,000 in gift cards at local restaurants to residents to keep the economy moving during the pandemic. But the $50 rewards are conditional: the recipients must conduct an act of kindness to receive them.  Says Mayor Fadness …

“2020 has been a year that has challenged us as a community, but it has also given us new opportunities to come together.  I’ve seen neighbors helping neighbors, offering to pick up groceries or deliver meals. I have seen our residents step up to support strangers, participating in food drives and creating holiday care packages for those in need.”

Just imagine if every town had a mayor like Scott Fadness!  Why, this nation might actually be a hundred times kinder, gentler.

Residents have been asked to share their kind act, or nominate someone who has performed a kind act, through an online form and on social media. The acts can include gestures like picking up groceries for an elderly neighbor, sending notes of gratitude to co-workers or cleaning snow off a stranger’s car.

It will be interesting to see how this comes out, to read about some of the acts of kindness next month.

Meanwhile, Across The Pond …

We here in the U.S. are so wrapped up in our own struggles that we rarely take a moment these days to think about what is happening elsewhere in the world.  About ¼ of my readership is from the UK and EU, so I try to stay abreast of the happenings there.  But, since many of you may not be aware, I want to tell you today about the latest troubles in the United Kingdom (UK).

In the UK, there has been a new strain of the coronavirus that has largely shut down the entire country. Other nations are banning travelers from the United Kingdom, and the EU has placed a 48-hour ban on even trucks carrying essential food and medical supplies from crossing the border.  The U.S. has not yet imposed a travel ban, but I won’t be surprised to hear that they have by the end of today.

APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Britain

Lorries are parked on the M20 near Folkestone, Kent, England as part of Operation Stack after the Port of Dover was closed and access to the Eurotunnel terminal suspended following the French government’s announcement, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. France banned all travel from the UK for 48 hours from midnight Sunday, including trucks carrying freight through the tunnel under the English Channel or from the port of Dover on England’s south coast. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)

UK officials claim the new strain is up to 70% more contagious than the strains already existing, though scientists warn there is no evidence of that yet and it has not yet been confirmed by lab testing.  Nonetheless, the government is taking no chances.

Already, the UK is in full lockdown, essential travel only is permitted, and Christmas is looking mighty bleak for our friends across the pond.  Grocery shelves are already being depleted, and now trucks carrying food cannot cross into the UK to help replenish those shelves.  Trucks loaded with cargo were backed up for miles trying to get into and out of Britain, while many travelers have been left stranded at U.K. airports.  My guess is that this new strain will have already spread into EU countries, as well as the U.S., Canada and other nations, but we just don’t know it yet … we likely will by the end of the week.

The looming Brexit deadline throws yet another wrench into the works.  NPR’s Frank Langfitt reporting from London writes …

“It feels much more isolated than it did just a few days ago here on the island of Great Britain. The Eurotunnel, which also runs under the channel, is also closed. It seems to be a precautionary measure for about 48 hours. There’s a lot of concern around the Christmas season. We’ve already seen backups at the Port of Dover 20 miles long. And what’s been happening is people are trying to get freight across the channel before the deadline of the Brexit transition period, which is going to end on New Year’s Eve.”

UK-3I ask you to keep our friends ‘cross the pond in your hearts this week, and when you start to feel a bit frustrated that Christmas this year isn’t quite what it usually is, please remember our friends in the UK, many of whom will be deprived of seeing family, will be struggling to find food, and are largely isolated in their homes.  Send them a card or a note online to let them know you’re thinking of them.

To all my UK friends:  My heart breaks for what you are going through — this post was written through a veil of tears — and my special wish for you is that things improve soon, that you are able to spend time with loved ones before long, that you have enough food to eat, and please, dear friends … keep safe.  Love ‘n hugs to you all.

♫ I Believe In Father Christmas ♫

Until last year, I had not, to the best of my recollection, heard this song.  On mention by David, I listened, liked what I heard, and played it here on ye olde blog.  When I played it last holiday season, most of my readers loved it, a couple hated it … no in-between on this one!  Love it or hate it, I think the lyrics are fitting … this year, especially.

I Believe in Father Christmas (aka Santa Claus) is a song by English musician Greg Lake with lyrics by Peter Sinfield. Although it is often categorized as a Christmas song, this was not Lake’s intention. He said that he wrote the song in protest at the commercialization of Christmas. Sinfield, however, said that the words are about a loss of innocence and childhood belief. Released in 1975, the song reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart, but only made it to #95 in the U.S.

I got a chuckle out of this bit of trivia …

In 2005 Lake wrote a letter to The Guardian about the song, in answer to a reader question regarding whether it was possible to survive on Christmas royalties alone:

“In 1975, I wrote and recorded a song called “I Believe in Father Christmas”, which some Guardian readers may remember and may even own. It was a big hit and it still gets played on the radio every year around December, and it appears on more or less every Christmas compilation going. So I can tell you from experience that it’s lovely to get the old royalty cheque around September every year, but on its own, the Christmas song money isn’t quite enough to buy my own island in the Caribbean. I’m on tour at the moment and the Christmas song is as well received now as it was 30 years ago – maybe even more so. If Guardian readers could all please request it be played by their local radio stations, maybe that Caribbean island wouldn’t be so far away – and if I get there, you’re all invited.”

I Believe In Father Christmas
Greg Lake

They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin birth
I remember one Christmas morning
A winter’s light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire

They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a silent night
And they told me a fairy story
‘Till I believed in the Israelite
And I believed in father Christmas
And I looked to the sky with excited eyes
‘Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish, pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear
They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on earth
Hallelujah, Noel be it heaven or hell
The Christmas we get we deserve

Songwriters: Greg Lake / Peter John Sinfield / Serge Prokofieff
I Believe In Father Christmas lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Music Sales Corporation

🎄 Jolly Monday Before Christmas 🎄

holly-4‘Twas the Monday before Christmas,

And all through the world,

The pandemic was raging,

Causing heartache and pain. 

Hey, I never said I was a poet, now did I?  But it is the Monday before Christmas, so I suppose I could shoot for something a bit cheerier, yes?  Lemme try again …

holly‘Twas the Monday before Christmas,

Poor Santa was drunk,

He fell from a rooftop,

And landed on a skunk.

Okay, okay … sheesh, everyone’s a critic … you’re a tough audience this Monday morning!  How ‘bout we skip the poetry, then, and go straight for some snacks and a few fun cartoons, shall we?

We figured since it is the Monday before Christmas, we should have some holiday-themed cartoons …



And, we found some funny holiday memes over at Phil’s Phun, too!


And what would a Jolly Monday be without a cute animal video, eh?  Jolly & Joyful found this one for your viewing pleasure!  I’d like to know how the guy got the cat to lie still while he wrapped him up!  My cats would shred me if I even tried it!  😼😼😼😼😼

We three wish you the Happiest of Holidays this week.  Y’know, one of my friends has taken me to task for celebrating Christmas as a secular holiday, but … there are so many people like myself who are not Christian, but yet celebrate the holiday.  My neighbors, Maha & Ali are Muslims, yet they celebrate Christmas, even have a tree, and we will be sharing our Christmas dinner with them … and vice versa!  I don’t think one has to be committed to Christianity to celebrate the holiday … each of us in our own way.  For me, it is about the camaraderie, the lights, the festive atmosphere … and yes, cookies! 🍪 Why can’t we all put aside our differences for a bit during this season and just enjoy life … live and let live.  Please?  Oh, and by the way, share an extra smile this week, for despite the joy of the season, it’s been a tough year and many people are homebound, won’t be seeing their family for the holiday … give someone a reason to smile back at you, okay?  Much love and many hugs from Filosofa, Jolly, and Joyful!