The Holiday Wish List Tradition

I realized today after talking with a couple of friends that my hubby and I have a unique holiday tradition. Sometime before December 25, we exchange “holiday wish lists” – complete with items we would love to have for Christmas. They’re akin to the “Dear Santa letters” we wrote as a child but not as formal. And we definitely know that Santa doesn’t exist. In our case, Santa is our joint banking account. Yet, we still delight (at least I do) in exchanging lists. Now before you assume that our lists only include material gifts, I’d have to say “whoa!” “Slow down.” Intermixed in the gift ideas are wishes for our relationship, our families and sometimes the world (dare we get so lofty).

Here is a brief snippet of some of the items on my holiday wish list.

  • New bike
  • More time to spend together
  • Yoga class passes
  • Spiritual peace for myself and others

The list becomes yet another way of expressing our hope for the holidays, our passions and our vision for the next year. It is a way to listen to the other person’s dreams (be they socks or an electric toothbrush). It’s a way of checking in with your spouse on items both big and small… Boy can they reveal the small things. And in actuality, the list is always just a “work-in-progress.”

Try it with your spouse or significant other this season. You may learn a couple of things about each other. Happy Holidays!


The Caramel Bella

Wanda Sykes Discusses Gay Marriage on The Jay Leno Show

For those of you that didn’t know Wanda Sykes was gay, here she is on “The Jay Leno Show” discussing gay marriage, Proposition 8 and how she believes gay marriage is about equal rights. She brings humor to a very sensitive subject.

Gay Marriage Supporter: It’s Not Too Late For Civil Rights

Cabrera at San Francisco City Hall Protesting Prop. 8

Although the United States made history on Nov. 4 by electing its first African-American president, supporters of California’s No on Proposition 8 (a ban on gay marriage) suggest that American prejudice and discrimination still run deep.

After the ban on gay marriage was passed, members of the gay community have come out in cities across the country to protest. (Meanwhile, gay marriages were legally passed in Connecticut last week.) They seek respect, dignity and their civil rights, which to them means the ability to marry who they love regardless of gender. Since the election results on the measure were released, members of the gay community are troubled by the fact that blacks and Latinos voted disproportionately against the measure. And the No on 8 supporters also “estimate that members of the Mormon Church gave more than $20 million to the effort to pass the measure, though that is difficult to confirm because records of campaign donations do not include religious affiliation.”

Pop + Politics caught up with No on Proposition 8 supporter Carlos Cabrera, 26, of San Francisco, Calif. Cabrera is a single gay man who is openly concerned about the future of gay marriage in California and across the nation. Although the measure passed on Nov. 4, Cabrera and others have spent their time protesting its passage at rallies, including one this past Saturday at San Francisco’s City Hall. He has also talked to numerous family members and friends about the issue.

There are several reasons why proponents of Prop 8 don’t want gay marriage or condone homosexuality. For some people, homosexuality goes against God and other religious beliefs. While religious groups continue to question whether homosexuality is genetic or if it is a chosen lifestyle, Cabrera says that he was born this way.

“I knew I was different from the time I was a little boy around five years old. I remember having dreams (non-sexual) about men, and feeling something about them. I couldn’t place a label on it until I was a teenager, and even then, only reluctantly. Growing up in a Catholic, Latino household I was very repressed growing up. We never talked about gays.  And whenever the topic was mentioned it was either quickly dismissed or my parents would ridicule them. As a result, when I was about 14 and knew for a fact that I was “gay” it was very traumatic for me, internally. I couldn’t face this reality, nor could I accept myself as gay until I was nearly 19. That was when I started college, and I met other gay people who showed me that the stereotypes that existed on television (i.e., extremely effeminate gay men who got AIDS and were rejected by their families) weren’t reflected in their lives. In fact, they all seemed “normal” to me by most societal standards; they just happened to be gay. Later on, I gained the courage to join my school’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transsexual people) club, where I later became president and found it much more comfortable identifying openly as gay.”

P+P continued the conversation with Cabrera about his thoughts on Prop. 8.

Why is Prop 8 so important to you?
Well, it’s important to me because I believe that everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. It’s an issue of civil equity, not of privilege. And the passage of Proposition 8 saddened me because it’s discriminatory against a certain group of people who are doing nothing wrong. Moreover, it troubles me that Prop 8 was such a “wedge” issue for the religious right. Their adamant support for the measure imposes their religious beliefs on others, which I think is just plain wrong and offensive.


CB’s Daily Newsbreak: Marriage, Money & More…

Gay marriage scored a victory Wednesday in Connecticut. A Superior Court judge issued its final ruling to uphold the earlier 4 to 3 Connecticut State Supreme Court ruling that said same-sex couples have the right to wed. This recent news stands in sharp contrast to California’s Prop. 8 referendum that banned same-sex unions in that state.

Where in the world is Osama bin Laden? That is exactly what President-elect Barack Obama wants to know according to his national security advisers. Obama plans to renew the United States’ commitment to finding the al Qaeda leader. During the Oct. 7 presidential debate, Obama said, “We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority.”

And Obama appears to be sticking to his principles and promisesPresident-elect Barack Obama will not allow lobbyists to help pay for any costs related to his transition to power said his transition team yesterday. As he promised to keep big-time money interests and lobbyists out of his campaign, Obama remains firm that lobbyists will not foot his transition and inauguration bills.

Mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money for more finance companies? U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson is seeking to include non-bank financial institutions, such as credit card, car loan and student loan companies into the government’s $700 billion bailout. Paulson said Wednesday that he wants to help American households and businesses have access to various credit and borrowing options. Apparently, there is still $350 billion that is uncommitted after putting the first half into direct capital investments into banks.

And for troubled homeowners, the verdict is still out on government help. The House Committee on Financial Services is looking at what the banking industry can do to help distressed homeowners. Chairman of the committee, Rep. Barney Frank, told CNN “not all borrowers should necessarily be rescued.” Some banks like Citigroup and IndyMac have taken matters into their own hands and launched homeowner programs. Yet “Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s, estimates that 1.6 million Americans will lose their homes this year through foreclosure or distressed sale, and that another 1.9 million families will lose their homes in 2009.”

On the tech front…. Hoping for a boost in e-mail users, Google adds video and audio chatting to Gmail‘s service called Google Talk. Although video and audio chatting aren’t new technologies, Google’s the first major email provider to add the new technology directly to its email system. Google wants to gain the lead on Yahoo and Microsoft, which still have more users.

Finding an ideal husband

Hola Caramel Bellas,
Happy Friday to you all. Don’t you just love Fridays! I do. Anyway, I have a little treat for all the single bellas or those of you that have not tied the knot yet.

One of my favorite columnists, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, has an interesting piece today called “An Ideal Husband.” The article quotes a Catholic priest’s advice to young bellas, just like you. Please check out the full article. It’s worth reading single bellas.

Here are some highlights – all of which are common sense but many of us fail to think about when the love bug strikes.

1. Don’t marry a man without any friends.
2. Does he use money responsibly?
3. Don’t marry a doormat.
4. Don’t marry a momma’s boy.
5. Don’t marry anyone that doesn’t have a sense of humor.
6. Don’t marry the silent type. (I would extend the wisdom to marry someone that can communicate. As a married bella, I know how important communication is to a marriage.)
7. Don’t marry someone you think you can change. (In other words, don’t marry a project.)
8. Don’t marry a heavy drinker or some kind of addict. (I thought this one deserved its own line.)
9. Take a hard look at the man’s family. Don’t marry into a crazy family full of divorces, racism, sexism, prejudice, etc. You know the deal. If his family can’t get along, chances are he doesn’t have the interrelationship skills either.
10. Take a hard look at someone’s religion. Don’t marry someone intolerant of your religion.
11. Don’t marry someone with a bad character. Bellas, if he is a liar, womanizer, throws temper tantrums, control freak, secretive and unwilling to apologize or compromise – throw him back. You will thank yourself later.

I hope this tips help prevent a couple of unnecessary marriages and heartaches.


The Caramel Bella



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my luvs

My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

Things that work my nerves

Bad drivers, cranky and moody people, lack of sleep, crime, filth

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.



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