Saturday, December 16, 2017

"Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling." Edna Ferber

When I was a little girl, I remember my mother always saying "Christmas is for children." My mother has been gone for 15 years, but if she were here, I would tell her that I do not agree.  In some ways, I think adults need to feel and be a part of the Christmas spirit even more than children. In this hubbub of a world we live in, with pressure-cookers of work, family, aging parents, finances, social media, and politics, seeing and feeling reminders of the Christmas spirit warms the soul. 

Yesterday, I saw a woman walk up to speak to the Salvation Army Santa and place some money in the red kettle.  Although I could not hear their words, their body language showed me that they had some pleasant moments in conversation, as both were smiling broadly. Just watching their exchange made me think of all the people who are helped by the Salvation Army; and this past year, with all the hurricanes, I am sure their coffers are depleted.  Last week, I saw a small girl who was being so shy with Santa Claus, as she looked at him from behind her mother's knees.  Oh, the innocence of children and the beautiful myth and magic of Santa Claus!  Seeing the little girl evoked the memory of how my older brother and I worked so diligently to keep our much younger brother believing in Santa Claus for as long as we possible could!  We adored him so much that we did not want him to be crushed when he discovered the truth.  I became misty-eyed when I heard a story on the news about two donors who paid the school cafeteria receipts in a district where many parents could not afford the money for their child's breakfast and lunch.  (Learning cannot happen on an empty stomach.)  Last night, Steve Hartman of CBS told a story about a man who is playing Santa for Hurricane Harvey victims in Beaumont, TX, a city that was completely ravages by Harvey. One man's Christmas spirit and  cash donations to those who have nothing left is completely uplifting!  The recipients of the money were accepted  with great joy, because the money helped them to afford gifts for those they love! If you haven't seen the story, take a minute to view this link:

Christmas doesn't have to be in December. Christmas is a feeling that occurs when human beings are kind to each other.  I love this time of year, when caring for each other seems to occur with more abundance, and people are not afraid to show good will toward strangers. Renewal of the spirit of goodness is a wonderful thing, and not just for children! I wish you a season of kindness and joy, and filled with love. 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Christmas, 1960.  George is 10, I am 8, and Brian is 2 1/2

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit  

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

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