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Season of Gratitude and Giving

Posted by rstapholz on
Season of Gratitude and Giving

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Season of Gratitude & Giving


“Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.”  Native American saying


Cynthia Brian-Autum garden As we begin celebrations for our second Thanksgiving and holiday festivities during a pandemic, are you experiencing seasonal sadness or gracious gratitude? There is no doubt that the past 20 months have been challenging, isolating, and frightening. Yet, no matter what transpires, things could always be worse. My attitude is to always focus on the positive and express appreciation for what I have as opposed to what I have not.

Be the Star You Are!® has spent 23 years supporting those in need and our volunteers continue to give back. Next Tuesday, November 30th is Giving Tuesday, an international day of supporting the non profits that help benefit people and the planet. #Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 to counteract the spending of Black Friday and Cyber Monday with philanthropic giving to charities in need of support. It started in the U.S. and has quickly made its way across more than 70 countries. You’ll likely see the day branded as “#Giving Tuesday” to emphasize the collaborative power of social media to spread the word. As we move forward into a new year that will continue to reflect the impact of COVID-19, we hope that you will donate to Be the Star You Are!® so that we can continue our outreach programs the support and empower others. DONATE via PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504.

or through our GiveButter Campaign: https://givebutter.com/BetheSTAR.

If you shop on Amazon to buy your holiday gifts, another way to make a difference is to use Amazon Smile and designate Be the Star You Are!® as your charity of choice. With this direct link, .5% of your purchases will benefit BTSYA and you get all the same discounts, shipping, etc. Use this link:  https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

On December 4th from 11 am -2pm, come celebrate the Christmas Season with Be the Star You Are!® at Santa Day at 5 A. We give our gratitude to Mark Hoogs Team at State Farm Insurance  (www.TeamHoogs.com) for sponsoring Be the Star You Are!® More info at https://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-events

I want to personally thank all of our volunteers and supporters for being part of our Be the Star You Are!® family. Everyone counts. Everyone is appreciated.

Whatever you do this week, may you have a joyous and healthy Thanksgiving and know that unseen blessings are on their way.

Express gratitude and give when possible.

With sincerest thanks,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556




DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Give Butter Campaign: GiveButter 



Thank you 1Today is a good time to thank you for all the kindness you have shown to people everywhere.  We never know the impact of our little “thanks” when someone just needs one uplifting word.

May gratitude be always on your lips and in your heart.

 Karen Kitchel is the Kindness Coordinator for Be the Star You Are!® www.scatteringkindness.com


XMAS with Santa 2018It’s a FREE day of family fun with our BTSYA volunteers helping kids write letters to Santa. Join us on Saturday, December 4th from 11am-2pm. Everyone enjoys hot cocoa, snacks, treats, and a photo with Jolly St. Nick and his elf. Location is 5A Rent-A-Space at 455 Moraga Dr Suite F. Thanks to Mark Hoogs Team at State Farm Insurance  (www.TeamHoogs.com) for sponsoring Be the Star You Are!® More info at https://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of-events


https://www.starstyleradio.comCynthia Brian- Unique talk radio copySMALLTo get you in the holiday mood, tune in to our two radio shows for a big helping of pumpkin pie and all the Thanksgiving trimmings. What are we thankful for? YOU!

StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!: Thanksgiving Gratitude: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/134495/thanksgiving-gratitude-counterfeit-goods-smell-study

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Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio: Coast to Coast Thanksgiving: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/134487/gratitude-thanksgiving-and-country-musics-mikayla-lane

Happy Autumn


Cynthia Brian books bannerIn honor of our 20th anniversary since being on the first New York Times best seller list, first edition, autographed books are discounted in a special sale with proceeds benefitting Be the Star You Are!® You will also receive extra goodies and FREE music CD with your purchase when you buy from the website. Stock up now! http://starstylestore.net

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Happy thanksgiving-Thankful


We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

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2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

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3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

4. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

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5. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store: http://www.starstylestore.net/


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6. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4

THANKSGIVING IS A SPECIAL DAY OF GRATITUDE. Savor the blessings.thanksgiving Message 3

Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity, PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556



Posted by presspass on
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“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.decorated fir xmas tree (1).jpeg

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 (:https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc) 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 (https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882) 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 https://CynthiaBrian.com/online-store to order today.

For hundreds of discounted new books by authors you love, visit our Be the Star You Are!® Amazon store at ttps://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

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!

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Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556




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DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504


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 https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

2. Discounted books at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

4Stock 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. https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store.

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5. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4

6. Modern Nursery: https://bit.ly/2WQv7lJ

High-end furniture and decor for the new baby in the house!

7. Abba Patio: https://bit.ly/3eXTJPV

Quality gardening products including umbrellas canopies, gazebos, hammocks, furniture, and more.

8. Botanical Interests: https://bit.ly/39spMXe 

Seeds and botanical art. Free garden coloring book and other downloads.

9.Fifth Room: https://bit.ly/2D4ymPL 

Beautiful structures and furniture for

outdoor and indoor living including gazebos, pergolas, bridges, sunrooms, pool houses, and more.

10.Nature Hills: https://bit.ly/301ZgAV 

Extensive selection of plants, seeds, bulbs, and garden accessories plus trees, shrubs, and perennials.

11.Sunnydaze: https://bit.ly/3bpr1rb

Fountains, fire pits, hammocks, outdoor furniture, garden gnomes, and accessories with FREE shipping.

12. SunBasket: https://bit.ly/2DipPsT

Healthy meal service delivery with fresh, organic ingredients. Eat clean. Feel Great!

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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.

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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. https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/

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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. www.scatteringkindness.com


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 on

Sundays 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 https://www.StarStyleRadio.com for our line-up of guests.

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Positive Results: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc


GUIDESTAR/CANDID: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

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:


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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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Joy to the World

Posted by presspass on
Joy to the World

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Only those who go where few have gone can see what few have seen.~ Buddha

Did you know that poinsettias grow into trees? Or that mother’s tongue, also known as snake plant, is an excellent fence barrier? Without a thought from whence a plant derives, most of us buy our indoor plants at nurseries, grocery stores, and big-box centers.  Our holiday décor includes colorful tropical specimens that thrive inside.

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On a quest to discover the flora and fauna that bring joy to our world, I traveled to Cuba with a program in support of the Cuban people. Throughout my journey, the diverse and unique landscape constantly changed as our small group of six plus an informative Cuban guide hiked through nature reserves, parks, rainforests, and into the magnificent Escambray Mountains. In 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered Cuba describing it as “the most beautiful land that human eyes had ever seen.”  Supporting 7,500 species of flowering plants with more than 53% being endemic, Cuba is a garden lovers paradise.  

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The rivers, grottos, caves, and waterfalls were dotted with gigantic tree ferns, indigenous species of orchids, tillandsias (air plants), bromeliads, and palms as well as banana, mango, papaya, orange, and grapefruit trees. Philodendrons twined up fifty-foot trees and Ixora commonly called jungle flame or jungle geranium, firespike, and ginger flanked the narrow footpaths.

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Fields of sugar cane, coffee plants, and tobacco straddled the lowlands and hillsides. We traversed log bridges over rushing rivers in Topas de Collantes and were mesmerized by the delicate mimosas. Their leaves instantly closed with the touch of a finger.

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We tiptoed on rocks crossing trickling streams and swam in the poceta de cristal or crystal pond under a waterfall near the top of the mountain.

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A sign on the tree read salto los desparramaderos: translated means “jump the scatters”.  Chuckling, we jumped numerous “scatters”! Tall thick spires of bamboo led to the mouth of the river where rocky stalactites hung from the ceiling of caves and the rocky formations of stalagmites rose from the cavern floor.

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We were fortunate enough to witness the unique Cuban national bird, the trogan tocororo, sitting on a limb in the forest. Its striking feathers are red, white, and blue reflecting those of the national flag. It is said that this endemic bird found only in Cuba will die of sadness in captivity, symbolizing the desire of the people to always be free. It was called guatini by the Taino Indians and is also known as the onomatopoeic tocoloro because of its song. 

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At lunch one day under a thatched canopy, we met the largest endemic land mammal in Cuba, the friendly and curious social rodent, the Cuban Hutia.  Prized as a rare delicacy, it lives in trees and is almost extinct because of over-harvesting. We stopped at a lunch hut in the Zapata Swamp another afternoon but didn’t see any Cuban crocodiles, an endangered species found exclusively in Cuba. 

The produce on this island is always organic, fresh, and delicious. When I commented about the importance of growing and eating organic, our guide informed us that farming organically was not a choice but a necessity because the cost of fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides are prohibitively expensive. Growing organic is cheaper than using chemicals in farming. Fruits and vegetables are only eaten in season. Pineapple, guava, and bananas are the sweetest I’ve ever tasted anywhere. In Havana, carts of tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, beets, bananas, and cucumbers are pushed through the streets offering a daily rolling farmer’s market to the populace. 

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Nature is what attracted me to Cuba and it didn’t disappoint. After hiking, biking, snorkeling, kayaking, bird watching, horseback riding, and examining the flora and fauna of the island, it was the people that stole my heart.

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They have so little economically speaking, yet they are joyful, full of life, and welcoming to Americans. In the casa particulares where we stayed, tiny Christmas trees or frayed holiday trinkets brightened the small rooms where families gathered, a far cry from the Disneyesque Christmas spectacle I’m accustomed to in my family. Speaking Spanish to several Cubans, I learned of dreams to travel and hopes for a freer future.  

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Not many Americans have had the opportunity to visit this impoverished, yet beautiful Caribbean nation. If you are one of those individuals who want to see what few have seen, consider supporting the Cuban people. You’ll be rewarded with a visit of joy, diversity, and plenty of grateful hugs!

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for Bringing a Slice of Cuba to your Landscape

Cuban plants that make great houseplants in California:

Ixora, commonly called jungle flame, flame of the woods, or jungle geranium with clusters of star shaped flowers.

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Poinsettia, a Euphorbia pulcherrima, is the most well-known holiday flower. Although red is the most popular color, the bracts are available in pink, white, salmon, and bi-colors. Poinsettias love warmth and humidity and in Cuba grow to be trees.

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Tillandsias, the largest genus in the bromeliad family, are air plants that will cling to anything. Natural light, soaking, and misting will keep them happy.

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Bromeliads, add a touch of the tropics to every home. With flowers of pink, red, and maroon, they require minimal care. Fill the cup at the base with water and let them thrive.

Philodendrons are easy care houseplants. Vining philodendrons need a pole to climb; non- climbing will grow upright without any support. They like bright, indirect sunlight, and enjoy an occasional vacation outdoors in the shade.

Snake plant, also known as mother’s tongue, is one of the air freshener plants. It requires almost no care at all and will keep you breathing freely.

Mimosa pudica, a perennial herb in the pea family, is the touch-me-not-plant. When touched it closes its leaves, titillating audiences.

Cuban plants to grow in your garden:

Gloryblowers (Clerodendrum) make excellent choices for trellises, poles, and other structures in full sun as climbers. Since they are tropical, they need to be protected from frost.

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Coleus, painted nettle plant, grows outdoors when it is warm, but being a tender specimen, are best grown as a container or houseplant.

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Royal Palm will grow to 60 feet in frost-free areas and is moderately drought resistant, bringing the sway of the island inland.

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Bamboo is a fast-growingCuba 2018-bamboo forest.jpg giant grass that makes an excellent privacy screen. Beware, certain species of bamboo can take over, breaking concrete and sidewalks. 


Firespike, odontonema strictum, is an evergreen shrub that tolerates drought producing brilliant panicles of tubular waxy flowers summer through winter.

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Ginger, both ornamental and edible, is easy to grow and incredibly pretty. To grow edible ginger, just break off a piece of a healthy, plump ginger root that you buy at the store and plant in the location you want. Leaves die back in winter. Harvest whenever you need to add spice to life!

Look around your house and garden to identify what botanicals you are growing with a Cuban origin. Wishing you a beautiful holiday season of joy, peace, gratitude, and love.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. 

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Jánuca!

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Read more: 


Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are1® 501 c3. http://www.BethestarYouAre.org


Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of her new books, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

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Hire Cynthia for projects, consults, and lectures.



Donate to Fire Disaster Relief via Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 at www.BethestarYouAre.org

Light the Night

Posted by Editor on
Light the Night

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“Moon and stars are giving light.

With gifts of nature’s giving, we complete the cycle of living.

Let us give from our mind, hands, and heart to the world.” Chitrabhanu

It was a holiday tradition for our family of seven to pile into our old station wagon to head to the hills of San Francisco to experience the beauty of the decorated homes in Pacific Heights. We called our favorite street, Teddy Bear Lane, and, since we were so young we didn’t know it’s real name. (And I still don’t know where it was!) It was spectacular with a full block of beautiful Victorians lit up with teddy bears flanked by  flickering candles in every window. Another street boasted sparkling reindeer, glistening snowmen, serene nativity scenes, and some even showcased Santa and his sleigh on the steep rooftops. Gardens twinkled with illumination making the night merry and bright.

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After all the “oohing and ahhing”, we’d head to Fisherman’s Wharf to pick up fresh crabs for our Christmas Eve meal, then wander down to Ghiradelli for a cup of hot cocoa.  The coins we had been saving all year to help children enjoy a festive celebration were deposited into the bucket of the man ringing the bell from the Salvation Army. We kids dreamt of sugarplums, teddy bears, star-studded skies, and busy elves on the two-hour drive back to the ranch as we anxiously anticipated the excitement of the season.  It was a deeply satisfying annual excursion, the kind that etches itself into one’s memory forever.

Since we lived in the middle of nowhere, down a mile long lane with no street lamps to light the night, our fear was that Santa wouldn’t be able to find our farmhouse, much less our chimney. To ease our worries, our parents lit two acres of our fields, orchards, and gardens, creating a virtual runway as a navigational guide to steer Rudolph to the right place. We pulled carrots from the vegetable garden to nourish the tired reindeer.  Naturally we baked gingerbread cookies as a treat for Jolly St Nick accompanied by a big glass of milk and a note of gratitude for his generosity. We hoped his list had checked us off as “nice” instead of “naughty”.

This December as I drive around local neighborhoods, I am reliving the joyfulness of my youth without having to drive to Teddy Bear Lane in San Francisco. Residents who celebrate Christmas adorn their houses, trees, shrubs, and gardens with garlands, wreaths, ornaments, and twinkling lights of every color.  The décor is rich, festive, and fun.  It takes time and patience to unravel a string of lights, especially if they are from a previous year, but the rewards are worth the trouble.

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Aside from raking leaves, mulching, planting cover crops, and transplanting cuttings, there isn’t too much work to do in a December garden. Across the country, most landscapes are setting in for their winter slumber. With less chores to accomplish, I champion a different decorating challenge every day with the final goal of having the crape myrtle trees on my driveway shimmer under the glinting moonlight.  I’ll be snipping fresh redwood, cypress, and pine boughs for their fresh forest scent to add to doors and windows adorned with holly and pistache berries. Poinsettias are already on the porch and vases of blooming narcissci perfume the bathrooms.  Amaryllis is budding in anticipation of a December 25th appearance.

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This is an enchanted time of year. Take time to savor the seconds with family and friends as you watch the lights of the nights.  Offer your heart.  Bequeth your soul. Gift suggestions that cost you nothing include forgiving someone who has inured you, being a role model to young people, providing kindness to all, while respecting and loving yourself.

As Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”  May the magic of this blessed time shine a light on you and your loved ones. Merry Christmas from my home to yours.


Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Garden Guide

CLEAN the dead leaves from bearded iris to prevent rot and insect hideouts.

CUT boughs of evergreens to mold into wreaths and garlands.

PLANT a cover crop to increase nitrogen and protect again winter erosion. Fava beans, clover, vetch, and mustard are excellent choices. To find seeds visit www.rareseeds.com or www.sowtrueseed.com.

GIVE the gift of my new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, twelve months of inspiration and gardening tips to sustain your inner gardener with a full year of kindness and happiness in nature. Buy directly from www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store and 25% is a donation to Be the Star You Are!® charity PLUS you’ll receive extra goodies and an autographed copy.

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FEED the birds. Baby, it’s cold outside and our birds need food and shelter. Make sure to clean your birdhouses and feeders regularly.

WATCH for rats and mice. As the cold weather begins, vermin seek a warm bed and easy to find food.

CHECK plants that you’ve brought inside for the winter for any insect infestation.

WATER your Christmas trees. If you purchased a cut tree, make sure it has plenty of water throughout the month as indoor heat will quickly dry out any conifer.

COVER frost tender plants with burlap, sheets, newspaper, or straw. Be on the alert for swift temperature swings.

REMOVE the longer canes from wisteria.

PRUNE crape myrtles and fruit trees once all the leaves have dropped.

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RAKE leaves as they fall and add to compost pile. Allow ½ inch to an inch of leaves to remain on the soil.  Compost the rest.

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PERUSE garden catalogues and read books about landscaping as you curl up with s cup of hot chocolate or licorice cinnamon tea.

PREVENT snails and slugs from devouring your plants by adding copper strips or bowls of stale beer to the perimeter of your garden.

PICK UP guavas that fall and use for jams or juices.


ADD a bow of freshly picked Meyer lemons to your countertop as a useful culinary display.

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FILL your Christmas tree or Hannukah bush with every family ornament that you’ve been saving for years! Nostalgia reigns supreme.

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BUY a small living cypress tree to use as an inexpensive Christmas tree in lieu of a cut fir. Some stores have been selling three-four feet specimens for less than $8.00.

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VISIT an Asian market to buy the delicious exotic Dragon fruit.

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SELECT colorful and easy to grow crotons or ginger plants to add a fantasy island fling to your festivities.


WATCH for snow plants to sprout in the Sierras.

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MAKE a tax-deductible donation to help with hurricanes & California fires disaster relief at www.BetheStarYouAre.org.  Every dollar counts. Be the Star You Are!® cares.

It is the season of giving and sharing. Have yourselves a very Merry Christmas.

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1121/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-Light-the-night.html

Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Cynthia Brian

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

My new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, is available at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store

Available for hire.



A Life Full of Joy: Every Moment Counts By Ariel & Shya Kane

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A Life Full of Joy: Every Moment Counts By Ariel & Shya Kane

December 21: A Life Full of Joy: Every Moment Counts

When you are really here, not lost in your plans or worries about the future, or tangled up in thoughts about what you would have, could have or should have done, then your life becomes vibrant. You perceive your body, your environment and the people around you in a profound way and life transforms into an exciting adventure in which every moment counts. Tune into Being Here and have this holiday time turn into a life full of joy where EVERY moment counts.

Listen Live this Wednesday, December 21st at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel.

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.

You can also listen to Being Here on the go! Stream or download new and archived episodes to your smart phone or mobile device with these applications:
– Podcasts app for iPhone: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201859
Stitcher Podcast app for Any Device 
VoiceAmerica app for Apple
VoiceAmerica app for Android

Thanksgiving Every Day By Ariel & Shya Kane

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Thanksgiving Every Day By Ariel & Shya Kane

November 23: Thanksgiving Every Day

Tune into Being Here as Ariel and Shya share the keys to cultivating a core attitude of gratitude.

Listen Live this Wednesday, November 23rd at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.
You can also listen to Being Here on the go! Stream or download new and archived episodes to your smart phone or mobile device with these applications:
Podcasts app for iPhone
Stitcher Podcast app for Any Device
VoiceAmerica app for Apple
VoiceAmerica app for Android

More Here!

Family Matters By Ariel & Shya Kane

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7th Wave
Family Matters By Ariel & Shya Kane

November 16: Family Matters

Family gatherings around the holidays can be stressful. What if there is another possibility? Listen in to Being Here and learn how to be with those you love and celebrate without the drama. Callers welcome at Tel# 1-866-472-5795!

Listen Live this Wednesday, November 16th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel 

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.

You can also listen to Being Here on the go! Stream or download new and archived episodes to your smart phone or mobile device with these applications:
Podcasts app for iPhone
Stitcher Podcast app for Any Device
VoiceAmerica app for Apple
VoiceAmerica app for Android

More Here!

The Empty Chair Around the Holiday Table by Rabbi Mel Glazer

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The Empty Chair Around the Holiday Table by Rabbi Mel Glazer

The festive holiday tables were filled once with the loved ones who have been a part of our holiday meals for as long as we can remember.  Some were our grandparents, some our parents, some spouses and siblings, and some, our beloved children.  Last year, they were sitting right there in “their” chairs, next to us, laughing and celebrating.  How should we respond to the empty chairs, to the emptiness that fills our hearts with such sadness?  Holidays are supposed to be such a time of joy, but how can we be joyful without them?  Their chairs are empty, and our hearts are filled with heaviness.  What do we do?
We have lost something profound, and we must realize it and verbalize it.  We have lost our loved ones, those who have taught us, raised us, and been our role models and teachers.  They are gone, we are left to go on without them, and it hurts.  They were connected to our lives for so long, and now, suddenly, they’re not here.  A part of them still lives inside us.
And we have lost even more.  We have lost the order and the familiarity of sitting down together, in the very same seats that we sat in last year at this time.  We felt safe and comfortable, everyone was in their correct chair, all was right with the world.  But now, the order is all wrong.  The seating is different, because different people are sitting in those chairs.  When our loved ones die – or divorce out of the family – we are adrift, without rudders to guide us.  Not only do we miss them, but we miss the certainty of the familiar.  Who will sit in Papa’s chair this year?  How could anyone fill his chair, or his place in the family?  When a matriarch or patriarch dies, the family roles are now also adrift.  Who will be the next family leader?  Who will chart the family’s emotional direction, who will be the historian, who will be the family spokesman?  Who will we call when a family crisis occurs?  Death affects us in countless ways, many of them coming to the surface at our holiday celebration times.
What shall we do?  How can we begin to create a “new normal” for our family?  First, by verbalizing our feelings of loss.  At the beginning of the holiday meal, why not take a minute or two to remember those not there this year.  Go around the table and tell stories, laugh together at the good times of the past, cry together at the profound loss.  Make the pain public, share the past so that you can then begin to create the future. Those you’ve lost may not be with you in person, but they will always be with you in spirit.  Make their spirits a part of your family’s holiday meals, and then your loved ones will live on in your lives for as long as your memory of them lives on.  And then you will have found and discovered one of life’s great secrets – You are still alive!  You can still be vibrant, passionate, and committed to yourself and your family.  Life will be different without those you’ve lost, but you will help create that new life that will bring you and your family a new order, a new familiarity, a new sense of power and creativity. And that is certainly worth a holiday celebration.

You can Listen to From Mourning to Morning Live every Thursday at 5pm PST

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Languge Xmas

with Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® Radio brought to the airwaves under the auspices of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity, LIVE, since 1998.

This hour is fun, informative, and lively. Join us!

A Holiday special of sleigh bells, Santa lore, mistletoe, stocking stuffers, and health tips that will keep you merry and bright. Get your Jolly on!
The holidays are joyful times, yet they are sometimes the most stressful. If you are not experiencing joy in the world, Cynthia Brian has a few celebratory tips to help you bounce back from Scrooge to Santa.

What do you tell your kids when they ask about Santa? Cynthia Brian reads a heart-warming story about the magic of childhood for the holidays.

Shopping for the holidays? When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Be The Star You Are, Inc. Bookmark the link and support us every time you shop.
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‘Tis the Season, enjoy the merriment with the Goddess Gals, Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany. Ho, Ho, Ho and a very Merry Holiday!

Listen at VoiceAmerica

Listen at StarStyle Radio with photos and descriptions

Read our December newsletter
Help Be the Star You Are!® without spending a penny. If you’ve ever purchased a TV or computer screen, just 3 minutes of your time is needed to fill out the simple form and click submit. Every unit qualifies for a donation of about $20 to Be the Star You Are!®. You will receive a tax receipt once the donations have been dispersed. PLEASE do this today. Thanks from Be the Star You Are!®

Nonie's Xmas 2015 at ranch
Catch up with all broadcasts on ITunes

Buy books by Cynthia Brian at StarStyle Radio
Check out the online fundraiser for BTSYA

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The award winning positive talk radio program, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasts on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5pm Pt/7-8pm ET.  Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany are the Mother/Daughter dynamic duo who have been co-hosting this program live weekly since 1998 bringing upbeat, life enhancing conversation to the world. With Cynthia’s expertise in interviewing the trailblazers, authors, and experts and Heather’s healthy living segments, these Goddess Gals are your personal growth coaches helping you to jumpstart your life while igniting your flame of greatness.
Brought to the airwaves under the auspices of the literacy and positive media charity, Be the Star You Are!®, each program will pump your energy to help you live, love, laugh, learn, and lead.
Tune in the Power Hour every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT/70-8pmET and join our empowerment party.
For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit StarStyle Radio.
Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
Lend us Your Ears!!!
Make a donation today to Be the Star You Are!® charity

Cynthia Brian talks about the empowering outreach programs offered by Be the Star You Are!® charity.
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Say Yes to The Holidays!

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7th Wave

12/23/15 – Say Yes to The Holidays!

The holidays not only bring excitement, family gatherings, festive food and parties, they can also bring stress and anxiety. Join the Kanes in Being Here and practice the skill set of bypassing holiday discomfort as you say “Yes” to what is happening in your life. Callers welcome at Tel# 1-866-472-5795!

Listen Live this Wednesday, December 23rd at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Network.

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.

You can also subscribe to BEING HERE on iTunes!

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