Saturday, December 24, 2011

So this is Christmas...

During the Christmas holidays, I have a recurring song playing in my head:
"So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun... "
 - John Lennon, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"
John Lennon & Yoko Ono Billboard, 1969
This year it seems so apt, with the war in Iraq finally coming to an end and all those troops coming home for the holidays. I haven't heard much about this in the news. NPR did several days worth of coverage during my last week of school before Christmas break (when I was still driving to work each day and therefore, listening to the radio each day), and author Sara Paretsky posted this on her Facebook page a couple of days ago:
"We seem to have ended the war in Iraq with almost no acknowledgement in public. As the wife, daughter and sister of veterans, I'd like to thank the people who gave many years of their lives, those who gave their lives, those who gave their physical and mental health, to undertake this service. The transition home will not be easy for some, especially in this bad economy. I know there are many organizations out there to support returning vets; one that I give money to is Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America. If you have a favorite, especially one that helps with housing or jobs, please post it here. And may our troops in Afghanistan return to us soon."
Paretsky's 2010 novel Bodywork explored PTSD and its effects on military men and women traveling home. (Read my review of the novel here.) She also provided a link to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America website, which you can visit for more information. If you feel like you haven't done enough this holiday season, it would be a great way to finish off your giving.

Speaking of giving, my brother and his Mbegu Films endeavor now have a partner in SmallHD, a camera technology company that has worked on big Hollywood and NYC projects like Entourage and the Today show. Mbegu Films will strive to provide communication and education in East Africa on topics such as clean food habits, vehicle safety, and much more. If you're interested in giving to this project, or partnering with them in their quest for education, contact my brother Carson McNeal via Mbegu Film's Facebook page or by visiting the Mbegu Films website.

I don't know about you guys, but I am just about as ready for Christmas as I'm going to be! My gifts are (almost) all wrapped, house is clean, laundry going, groceries for Christmas dinner bought, and I'm about to head out for a last few items. Merry Christmas to you and yours. May you have a warm and cozy Christmas Eve.


  1. Thanks so much! Happy Holidays to you and Yours.

  2. Hope your holidays are wonderful, Diane! May you get lots & lots of books :)



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