I know most people are over the holidaze season by now but they are not technically over yet. Although the celebration seems to begin mid-October and keeps on going with various disguises and excuses to eat, drink and make merry, I have always liked the idea of beginning the winter celebrations with Solstice [i.e. the first day of winter], bringing in the greens and lighting the dark with candles and half-burned out strands of twinkles, enjoying the gifts of presence with friends and family, and ringing in the new year with a toast or four. When I was young I said I wanted to do the 12 Days of Christmas thing with my future family, though, as a mom I find that it is hard to cancel the revelry of Day 1. However, it bugs me that certain media conglomerates and retail corporations are trying to change the month preceding Yuletide to the 25 Days of  Xmas [and what was with the ABCFamily 12 days of Christmas in November Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas thing? talk about overload]…oops overflowing again…

Anyway, I generally celebrate any which way I can and take a lot of joy in sharing my friends’, families’ and colleagues’ traditions. I have always been a bit of a cultural junky as well as a party animal [though that is limited these years]. Celebrations are what make life fun, so why shouldn’t we celebrate everything we can 24/7/365…[and before I hear from any devotees of any specific religion, i am a recovering Catholic, know all the rules/mores/myths, have studied many major religions and do not join any organized ones, so please keep your religion personal, as it should be :)]…

Soooo… I was inspired this morning by the revelation that the fifth day of Kwanzza is the day of Purpose as well as the Digital Dame’s spirit of giving me info on a free book-writing program to pass on some more gifts to anyone out there hal1facp_newwho wants free stuff. The DD has links to 2 software downloads, and at one of those sites I found a free download of an amusing sci-fi book from Australia- Hal Spacejock. It is the first in a series apparently popular down under, so alert any sci-fi/Douglas Adams fans you know. He also has a free book-reading program available, among others.

It was easy enough to find a few sites dedicated to free books like  http://www.free-books.org/ for mp3s of classic audio books, poetry and speeches. They are available to read too and the site also offers a lot of other resources good for home-schooling, ESL or research.

If you are beginning the new year with a resolution to finally begin your writing career, here is a link for freeware offering Writing Tips [“Our goal is to inspire would-be-authors, and publishers who dare to dream in the later seasons of life.”]

That makes five and the Sixth Freebie is perhaps my favorite. It counts as a book, but 200px-hortonhearsawhobookcoverdoubles as an environmental guide if your resolution is to get greener. The Energy Star folks made a guide for school-age children using the characters of “Horton Hears a Who“.  I think I like it so much because the kids got the “Horton” DVD for Xmas, so I know I can do some eco-education here at home. [I am also considering using the original for the LitFlicks Challenge].  Dr. Seuss is good for readers of any age, and there are a lot of old dogs out there who need to learn some green tricks, but if that’s just too juvenile for you or yours, there are a lot of other Energy Star guides and downloads available here including another Horton Tip Guide.

Well, I definitely feel like I fulfilled my purpose, as this blog is here to promote reading, writing and being green. I am working on my resolutions/goals/changes for 2009, some of which are already happening. Tomorrow, I plan to Blog for Peace on the first official iPeace Day, but I do want to send love and luck out to you all for the New Year. It’s bound to be a good one- and I believe that this extended celebration should go from now until about January 20 :).