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  • Writer's pictureCynthia Brian


Before pandemic

MIRACLE MOMENT® “The darker the night sky, the brighter the stars!” Cynthia Brian

MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

When the world went on pandemic lock-down in March, most people thought it would be over by fall. It is December holiday season and here in California we are once again on mandated lock-down to shelter-in-place until January 4th, 2021. I’ve reframed the concept into celebrating the HOLLY-DAZE! For the past ten years, my extended family has gathered for several days at my son’s family home in beautiful Lake Tahoe to celebrate a white Christmas. It’s a magical time of baking, cooking, laughing, singing, skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, snowman making, ice skating, caroling, camaraderie, storytelling, hot-tubbing, and celebrating the love of family and friends. On the eve of Christmas, Santa arrives bringing gifts for all of us who have been good girls and boys. We all cherish this time and look forward to it annually. This year, we all remain home for the holidays. As much as my husband and I will miss being with our children and others, it is the right thing to do in an effort to arrest this vicious virus. Although people probably won’t be arrested for breaking the rules, we want to do our part to keep everyone safe. Until the last few months, I rarely shopped online. Since the pandemic, I have been happily amazed at how simple and efficient online shopping has been, in addition to keeping us safer. Since gift-giving is a holiday tradition, I want to recommend the sites I’m using. Each gives a small percentage of every sale to Be the Star You Are!® charity while offering the consumer discounts and bonus gifts. I just used Giving Assistant (: to order my favorite face cream. After typing in “Olay” in the search box, I was redirected to the Olay website. Once I chose the products I wanted, the app “Honey”, found discounts, and I received free shipping. Everything arrived in a few days without me leaving the house. I needed batteries for my solar lights, and Amazon Smile ( had exactly what I needed when the local hardware store didn’t. I’m now a fan of online shopping. It's great to be able to shop and give back to charity at the same time. So look below for places to do your online-shopping while making a difference. It’s a win/win. If you have wanted to buy any of our signature books, now is the BEST time to do so as besides the personalization and normal extra goodies we offer, you will be given a FREE bonus inspirational music CD by a renowned artist. Visit to order today. For hundreds of discounted new books by authors you love, visit our Be the Star You Are!® Amazon store at ttps:// Find your joy and shine your light on others in these dark days. I am more grateful than ever to be alive and for having health, family, friends, and a home in which to celebrate Christmas. Sending love, peace, health, and healing to you during this blessed holiday season. Shine brightly with gratitude! Welcome the HOLLY-DAZE and make a gingerbread village! Cynthia Brian Founder/Executive Director Be the Star You Are!® PO Box 376 Moraga, California 94556 DONATE:

RECOMMENDED HOLLY-DAZE ONLINE SHOPPING! To avoid exposure to coronavirus in stores, shop on-line. We have a dozen suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe while supporting Be the Star You Are!. Most are offering major discounts or sales. for all of your shopping essentials. 1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases 2. Discounted books at Amazon: 3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores : 4. Stock up on autographed, first edition books from our StarStyle® store and we will include extra goodies with your order. Plus, through the holidays we are including a complimentary CD of beautiful, relaxing music to help you decompress. 5. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. 6. Modern Nursery: High-end furniture and decor for the new baby in the house! 7. Abba Patio: Quality gardening products including umbrellas canopies, gazebos, hammocks, furniture, and more. 8. Botanical Interests: Seeds and botanical art. Free garden coloring book and other downloads. 9.Fifth Room: Beautiful structures and furniture for outdoor and indoor living including gazebos, pergolas, bridges, sunrooms, pool houses, and more. 10.Nature Hills: Extensive selection of plants, seeds, bulbs, and garden accessories plus trees, shrubs, and perennials. 11.Sunnydaze: Fountains, fire pits, hammocks, outdoor furniture, garden gnomes, and accessories with FREE shipping. 12. SunBasket: Healthy meal service delivery with fresh, organic ingredients. Eat clean. Feel Great!


by Jessica Wayda As the holidays approach, I sit here and realize that this year has been crazy. Between the kids being forced to be in remote school all year and the world seeming to fall apart, I remind myself that even though things are not the greatest right now, things could be worse. My family and I have a tradition every year that we put up our decorations, we turn on our little gas fireplace and we watch Santa Claus movies with hot cocoa, this tradition is something that we have done since my kids were little and just have always continued it. Even though the world is full of unknowns, jobs are hard to come by and kids are forced to live lives that they are not used to, we need to remember to lean on each other as friends, family and a community. We need to know that no matter what there is so much good and love in this world and that we will get through this together! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. - Jess Jessica Wayda, a volunteer with Be the Star You Are!®, loves volunteering for causes that make a positive difference in the world, and wants everyone to know that although the road may seem tough, know that this holiday season we are here together.


When you are seeking a great book for young readers, check out the thousands of book reviews at our literacy partner, The Reading Tub. Be the Star You Are! volunteers read and write honest, first person reviews with recommendations for similar books. The amazing Executive Director, Terry Doherty, double-checks every submission for accuracy and authenticity.


by Karen Kitchel ‘Tis the season to be kind. What’s in your cup? Little Rosie had no money, so she “borrowed” a beautiful handkerchief from her mother’s purse and carefully wrapped it in bright tissue paper to give to her mama on Christmas morning. That gift was never forgotten. The value of a gift is the thought that goes into it. The gifts we tend to remember are those which are wrapped with love. A gift you might give yourself this season could be a cupful of kindness spilled on anonymous receivers. Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor.


LIVE on Wednesdays from 4-5pm PT, be entertained, informed, amused, and educated on StarStyle-Be the Star You Are!. Then be inspired and motivated onSundays from 3-4pm PT, it's Express Yourself! Teen Radio with our Be the Star You Are! star teen hosts. You'll meet authors, actors, artists, activists, musicians, poets, scientists, educators, and other creatives. Enjoy the HOLLY-DAZE radio parties on the Voice America Network Empowerment Channel or wherever you like to listen. Visit for our line-up of guests.

LINKS YOU CAN USE Positive Results: About Us: Programs: How to Help: Blog: GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: GUIDESTAR/CANDID: We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:


We appreciate you and send all healthy and happy wishes to you and your loved ones. Thank you for your ongoing support. Joyful Wishes and Dreams for a Blessed Season! Be the Star You Are! PO Box 376 Moraga, Ca. 94556


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