Happy Stress-Free Sleep-Filled Holiday Week

December 25, 2008

Caster wishes everyone out there a delightful, stress-free, calorie laden, sleep-filled holiday week.


My week will be filled with children hyped on sugar, grandparents, excitement, toys and for me, wine…lots of wine. Happy Holidays everyone, thanks for another great year.

posted by: KDL | visit me on Twitter: newscaster

SELFLESSNESS: The Life You Impact Could be Your Own

December 24, 2008

The holidays are hectic, I know this and every year I get stressed. I rush through everything and then look back on Christmas night and think wow, it’s over and there are only so many left. My kids are little, 2 and 5, and their years of believing are short. I look at how the Internet has taken the mystery out of Santa and the imagination bursts so early. This is why we tryto make the holiday about more than Santa, but about building memories and sharing what we have that others may not.

As you settle into your holiday this week, whether its Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa; look at bringing Holiday to someone who needs it. A neighbor who is struggling with their heating bills or the ice in their driveway; kids who need coats and hats; or people who need food and someone to serve it to them.

Caster ran a holiday food drive the month of December, it was Ashley’s idea and it was a god one. It inspired me to do something as well. Every day all month I donated a Christmas dinner to a family. It cost me $7.95. It included their turkey and trimmings and as of right now I know I fed 25 families of four (I started on Nov 30). It’s not a lot, I didn’t save the world but my children and I did something. I explained to them that we are fortunate for everything we have and not everyone has the same opportunities in life, and it is good to help people when you are fortunate enough to be able to.

Right now there are millions of children starving; kids who won’t have gifts on Christmas Day or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa; kids who won’t have a bed to sleep in or heat to keep them warm. Look to your community to help today. Stop. Take 15 minutes and run by a local shelter and drop off a bag of food, a $20 or a coat. Bring your child and tell them we can all make a difference if we just slow down long enough to look around.

This uplifting post was brought to you by KDL. Follow my brighter commentaries on Twitter: newscaster

For OmniMount, holiday sharing is caring…

December 22, 2008

Thanks to OmniMount, it is going to be a warm and sunny Christmas for the Mata family of Phoeniz, AZ, and I am not referring to the Arizona weather. OmniMount, a Phoenix-based manufacturer of A/V mount and furniture solutions, adopted the family of five for the holiday.

Through the City of Phoenix’s Human Services Department, OmniMount was paired with a family in need. In true holiday spirit the OmniMount team, led by Wendy Scholl and Dawn Leeper, rallied with nearly everyone in the company contributing in the form of gifts or monetary support so that the Mata family would have a more special holiday. The family, two parents and three children, had recently experienced a turn of bad luck enduring layoffs and poor health. Like many others this year, the economic burden can be even more stressful by the strains of the holiday season. To help, OmniMount’s elves, with the help of Ryan DeFusco and Chuck Riddell manning the sleighs – or SUV’s – delivered the carloads of gifts just in time for Christmas.

The positivity and thankfulness that Mrs. Mata expressed to the OmniMount team was overwhelming, “2009 can only bring better things and hopefully we will be able to help another family the way you’ve all helped us.” We hope so too.

This story was just the boost of holiday cheer I needed today. This is a small reflection of the great people we at Caster are lucky enough to work with on a daily basis.

Caster completed our food drive on Friday to benefit the RI Food Bank. Hopefully you are all able to “pay it forward” this holiday season.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday!

Posted by: katie | find me on twitter

Ode to Feeling Better

December 18, 2008

I’ve been searching for a blog topic all day when the lovely Becca handed me this month’s copy of Ode Magazine.  For those not familiar, Ode is a relatively new publication focused on the community of “intelligent optimists” who strive to make the world a better place.  Idealistic?  You bet.  But as I scanned the pages, I stumbled across the feature article – “In Praise of Intelligent Optimists” written by Jurriaan Kamp.  (I searched for this article online but it looks like their website is still featuring the December issue articles.)  As I scanned the article, it is this paragraph that struck me

It’s at times like these that optimism is more essential than ever.  It’s easy to be an optimist when things are going fine.  But optimism is a quality anyone can practice in every circumstance, especially during difficult times.  Optimism isn’t about denying reality; it’s about creating a better reality than you’re facing….The Intelligent Optimist knows a half-empty glass is also half full.  And she knows more can be gained by focusing on what she has than by focusing on what she’s missing.  Intelligent Optimists know that for every problem there is (at least the beginning of) a solution, and that the search for that solution can be inspirational in itself.  At the same time, they’re not afraid of negative thoughts, which they realize help them stay realistic.

The truth is, we are facing a very troublesome time.  It’s hard to escape the bad news – it’s truly everywhere.  You have to dig for a ray of hope or a glimmer of a positive announcement in every newspaper, magazine and online publication.  So what do you do?  It is easy to be a pessimist.  A pessimist never has to take risks or be afraid of failure because essentially, the inevitability of failure is their M.O.  But to be optimistic despite facing terrible, terrible odds?  That takes true courage.

I like to think of myself as an idealist but even I’ve been having trouble finding the bright side.  But I know I need to because progress?  Well, it never comes from thinking failure is inevitable.

Tomorrow is the last day of our food drive.  I wanted to do something, anything, for the people who can’t afford to feed their families during the holidays because as bad as you might think you have it, someone always has it worse.  So on Monday, I’ll drive to the Food Bank in Providence and know that our donations won’t fix everything.  But it’s a start to fixing something.  It’s a start to being optimistic in a very pessimistic time.

Posted by: Ashley / ashleyatcaster on Twitter