Christmas Book List for 2021

Announcing our 2021 Christmas book list! This is one of my favorite posts each year to write. It’s so fun to look over our holiday books and choose a handful to share with you each year. Here’s what I’ve gathered for this season- 

The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert: This is a longer picture book, but worth the read! Such a cute Christmas story. 

Merry Christmas, Curious George by Margret Rey 

The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear: This is one I know I’ve put on a winter or Christmas list before, but it’s too good to not include again! 

A Simple Christmas on the Farm by Phyllis Alsdurf

What Christmas and holiday books are you reading this year? 

Holiday Activities For Your Sorority

Earlier this week we published a post on holiday activities for your fraternity, but it only makes sense to include sororities too! Everything we mentioned in the fraternity post such as decorating and caroling is all great ideas, but here’s a few more for your back pocket. 


Nail Painting Night– for a chance for everyone to have festive nails for the holidays! 

Christmas Card Crafts 

Holiday Craft Night- A quick Pinterest search can bring up a long list of ideas for you and your sorority sisters to work on in an evening.  

Philanthropy fundraising- I know it was mentioned in the fraternity post, but I’m writing it again because it’s important! This time of the year can be so hard to make ends meet for everyone, so any extra fundraising that you can do is incredibly helpful. 


What activities does your sorority have planned for this month? 

Holiday Ideas For Your Fraternity

rush week tips

It’s officially the holiday season! And before everyone heads home for the holiday break, it’s important to bring in some Christmas cheer to your fraternity organization! Here are a few fun ways to incorporate it into your house. 

Decorate- I know it seems like a simple one, but walking into a house with a Christmas tree and garland around the banister is sure to lighten anyone’s mood and remind them of the great season we are in right now. Especially during finals week! 

Go Caroling- There are plenty of other college students that would love some holiday cheer from a fraternity showing up on their doorstep singing some Christmas tunes! Even if it’s not all in tune! 

Fundraise for your philanthropy- Through the winter can be some of the toughest times to have everyone’s needs met. Consider some type of fundraiser to help your philanthropy through these hard times. 

Holiday activities- They don’t have to be every single day, but it can be a great idea to have your activities committee plan a few things here and there with all of the members to have a quick break from studying and enjoy time together. 

Christmas Countdown Chain- Or maybe a finals week countdown chain? Either way, it’s something to look forward to and can bring a lot of hope and cheer during a stressful time! 

What activities is your fraternity participating in this holiday season? 

#GoGreek Interview: Samantha Jennings Willan

#gogreek interview kappa beta gamma

Welcome to our #GoGreek series! This blog series focuses on interviewing past and present members of sororities and fraternities. We are able to learn more about their experiences and ask them questions to help others learn more about the Greek world, bust stigmas, and find out if Greek life is right for you. 

Today we are interviewing Samantha Jennings Willan from Kappa Beta Gamma at Humber College located in Ontario, Canada. 

Samantha chose the organization that she did because KBG is a non-panhel international sorority, so she’s been able to make friends all over Canada and the United States, and their philanthropy was something she really connected with. She was also drawn to Greek life because of the community it creates. 


What was your philanthropy and what effect did serving this philanthropy have on your life?

“Our philanthropy is the Special Olympics. I love being able to come out, support the community and give back! The Special Olympics is such a positive organization and each year I still participate in their fundraising events.”

If you could go back, would there be anything you would change about your experience?

“I’d honestly just soak up every moment more! You don’t realize when you’re in it but those are the memories you’re going to cherish and hold onto. I would go on each sisterhood trip, every retreat, etc!”

How has your experience helped or shaped your life beyond college?

“Each sister has made me want to be the best version of myself and I am so grateful for that! These are lifelong connections and it doesn’t just end after 4 years. You’re sisters for life. You always have someone to lean on, talk to, grab coffee with. It’s made me become more confident!”


Samantha’s advice for someone looking into Greek life is to just go for it! Jump right in and enjoy it, it will help you get out of your shell and grow as a person if you do. 

Thoughts On Kid’s Extracurriculars

Back in February of 2019, I saw Mary’s post about placing her kids in activities and her formula for whether or not they should be in them. Here’s what she came up with, 

“Stress of making activity happen > benefit of activity = CANCEL regret-free!” 

When I read her post, my oldest was not even two years old yet so we were not even thinking about extracurriculars yet. However, I made a mental note about it to remember for the future. 

So far in the last two years, my kids have participated in swim lessons, soccer, dance, tumbling, and a handful of others. Every single time we’ve gone through an activity I have the same thought process, “what is this activity’s worth? Are the stresses of making this activity happen worth it?” 

Soccer? Nope. It was not worth it. But we learned and moved on. 

Swim lessons? Because of the nature of the private swim lessons we did, it was definitely the most commitment, the longest drive, and the most stressful. But having my kids become water safe and able to self-rescue in the water before they were a year old? Worth it. 

Dance? It didn’t interfere with any meal times, it was an easy time of the day to go, and it was close enough for us to walk. But my daughter protested it each week, and that alone made it not worth it. 

Tumbling? Easy time of the day, the location was close, and my daughter loved it and was learning so much. Yes. Worth it. 

Even at our preschool, I try every year to keep it in close proximity to our house and within decent times that are doable for us. 

And I have to say, I love it! I don’t feel like I’m spending all of my free time in my minivan acting as a chauffeur and my kids are spending more time in my backyard and in our playroom with neighbors and friends instead of buckled into their car seats rushing to the next thing. They are getting a great dose of unstructured play because of this handy formula that Mary created. 

And just because the video that Mary shared in her post was so perfect, I wanted to share it again here. 

Do You Also Hyper-Focus On Your Child’s Ability To Retain Rote Memorization?

The pressure of learning in early childhood is real and unnecessary. I’ve written articles on this exact topic and I’ve done my own research on it as well! But still… it’s real. It’s there. The ideology that children should be able to name colors, shapes, numbers, letters and more all before Kindergarten seems wild and academic-minded instead of development-minded. However, even I have fallen into the trap of this thought process!

We were wrestling with the decision of sending my daughter to Kindergarten the year she met the cut-off or holding her back one year. The idea of sending her the year-earlier came up and my first questions were,

Does she know all of her letters though?
I know for a fact that she doesn’t know all of their sounds yet.
She’s pretty good at the numbers 1-10, but what about 11+?
How is she supposed to be reading if she doesn’t know her letter sounds?

I quickly fell into the trap of “kindergarten readiness” and thought that my daughter wasn’t going to be ready in time because she didn’t know enough yet. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s currently November 2021 and she won’t even start kinder until September 2022!!

Once I took a deep breath and realized what I was doing, I pulled up an old post that Mary write about kindergarten prep and a list of what you truly should be focused on when deciding if a child is ready for school or not:

  • Feel capable and confident, and tackle new demands with an “I can do it” attitude.
    Check.
  • Have an open, curious attitude toward new experiences
    Absolutley she does.
  • Enjoy being with other children.
    YES. It fuels her extroverted soul.
  • Can establish a trusting relationship with adults other than parents.
    Check. Again, I’ve got an extrovert on my hands.
  • Can engage in physical activity such as walk, run, climb (children with handicaps can have a fine time in kindergarten if school and parents work cooperatively on necessary special arrangements).
    All day every day.
  • Take care of their own basic needs, such as dressing, eating, and toileting.
    The most independent soul I know.
  • Have had experience with small toys, such as puzzles and crayons.
    Yes.
  • Express themselves clearly in conversation.
    Yes, well enough for a 4 year old.
  • Understand that symbols (such as a stop sign) are used to provide useful information.
    Check.
  • Love books, stories and songs and can sit still to listen.
    Oh, yes.

So when you also inevitably find yourself getting caught up with your child’s knowledge on rote memorization (yes, that’s all learning letters, shapes, etc is.), take a deep breath. Realize that it’s normal to have this thought process, but there is more to it. And then come back to this list and remember the important things that your child really needs to know when they go to school.

Tri Delta’s Women of Achievement: A Story We All Need To Hear

tri delta women of achievement story

Have you heard of Tri Delta’s women of achievement? Each year Tri Delta spotlights women of achievement. This year, their women of 2021 were incredibly exceptional women that absolutely deserved the spotlight. 

Tri Delta put a spotlight on Kara Barnett, Duke, Carol Hallett, Oregon, and Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne, Pennsylvania. Each woman came from a predominantly male background in fields of study but is paving the way to show women power. 

Kara Barnett is an arts leader, innovator, and producer. Tri Delta made this statement about her-

“Kara Medoff Barnett was appointed Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company, in February 2016 following nearly nine years as a senior executive at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. At ABT, Barnett has advanced innovation and inclusion, supporting a robust slate of new productions and increasing diversity in the training pipeline. Since 2016, the Company has performed in Paris, Muscat, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Singapore and Hong Kong, bringing extraordinary art to audiences worldwide.”

Tri Delta Organization

Carol Hallett is an aviation industry leader, trusted advisor, and elected official. Tri Delta commented this on Carol: 

“Carol serves as counselor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She served for eight years as president and CEO of the Air Transport Association of America (now Airlines for America or “A4A”), which represents the chief executive officers of U.S. and foreign flag airline and cargo carriers. Following 9/11, Carol helped craft and pass legislation to save the domestic aviation industry from bankruptcy and took the lead in the redesign of airline security policies and practices. She was twice named to “The Business Travel Industry’s 25 Most Influential Executives.” Her areas of expertise include international trade and commercial aviation issues.”

Tri Delta Organization

Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne is noted as a changemaker, investor, and champion. Tri Delta states,

“With more than 30 years of Wall Street, technology, philanthropy, training and professional speaking experience, she is unique in her global experience and knowledge and one among few African American women to start a venture capital firm. Gayle is a highly sought-out content expert in matters of innovation, tech trends, finance, investing and entrepreneurship. She also works with groups to demystify how to invest wisely and with impact.”

Tri Delta Organization

You can read Tri Delta’s full story on their 2021 women of achievement here.