Sharon's Blog

Do You Have Valentine’s Day Traditions?

Do You Have Valentine’s Day Traditions?

Valentine’s Day Traditions

 There is a lot of history surrounding St. Valentine’s Day that has resulted in different traditions throughout the world. In every variation Valentine’s Day is a special day dedicated to take a little time and effort to show others we care. I think that’s a pretty great idea for a holiday, no matter how it came about or how you choose to celebrate.

 You may have cultural, religious, or just fun Valentine’s Day traditions that have been passed down through your family, but if you don’t – now is the perfect time to start your own traditions.

 Hold a brainstorming session to come up with ideas that would provide a unique change to your regular routine. Think of something with a specific purpose relating to the holiday such as an activity that everyone involved can participate in and enjoy. It can be simple or elaborate, the benefits are the same.

Here are four ways traditions can be beneficial:

           1- they create lasting memories bolstering a sense of belonging and  individual identity

            2 - they strengthen family bonds

            3 - they teach values and sometimes cultural and religious heritage

            4 - they provide an event to look forward to, tapping into planning skills and the art of patience. 

 When my children were young we sent Valentine cards to grandparents, aunts, and uncles made with pink and red construction paper, lace paper doilies, and lots of glue. On Valentine’s Day, the kids helped made red Jello in heart shaped molds for a special part of our dinner. They also pitched in to set the table with Valentine napkins and a theme center piece to surprise dad when he came home from work. After dinner, each child received a special Valentine candy gift for desert – just in case they didn’t get enough candy from their school parties.

None of this was elaborate or expensive, but it created memories, it taught my children to take the time to tell or show others they care, it gave them something to look forward to, and it strengthened our family bonds.

 Just the other day I came across those heart shaped Jello molds and although they are a little worse-for-ware, they stirred memories in my heart that will never fade. The kids and grandkids won’t be here for Valentine’s Day this year, but I will make red heart shaped Jello – after all, it is tradition!

April 1st - Release of the Second Edition of "If You Tell Me, I Can Fly!"

After years of my faithful customers asking for a "boy" version of  If You Tell Me, I Can Fly!, it is finally here, and just in time for graduation and award celebrations.


Winner of seven state, national, and international awards it makes a great keepsake gift for anyone starting a new phase in their life. Remember, if you tell them - they will fly! 

Help fund Santa's ministries!

Help fund Santa's ministries!

Let's support Santa's ministries!

Watching the CBS Sunday Morning feature on Discover Santa 2016 reminded me of the many Santas and Mrs. Claus’ I met during that week who have wonderful, giving missions.

To honor Santa groups and to help fund the many ways they spread Santa Magic during the holidays I would like to give 25% of purchases through October 31st of The Myth of Santa’s Beard books, from friends and supporters of Santa groups, back to the organizations.

If you belong to a Santa organization, please contact me to set up a code that will track your supporter’s on-line purchases. If someone forgets to enter the tracking code, no problem, just call and we will give you credit. Payments will be sent to your groups by November 15th with plenty of time to support your 2016 projects.

We will be happy to send pictures, synopsis, or anything else to help you share this national award-winning book.

The offer applies to all retail editions of the book,

  •  6”x 9” softcover that includes a mailing envelope  $9.95
  •  9”x 11” hardcover  $19.99
  •  9"x 11" hardcover Collector Edition $99.99
  • 11” x 17” Big Book for reading to groups. Individual Book or Entertainment Package  $25.99-$39.99

Together we can spread even more Santa magic.

Never stop believing!



Santa makes a surprise visit at Occasions by the Christmas Store in Tyler, TX

Santa makes a surprise visit at Occasions by the Christmas Store in Tyler, TX

While helping Ms. Sharon film a reading of her book, The Myth of Santa's Beard, these kids got a rare August surprise. Santa Tom Sorrels took a break from his workshop to make sure his best kids were being good as they head into their the new school year. 

Young Girls with Purpose- Graduation

Young Girls with Purpose- Graduation

I was honored to share my book, "If You Tell Me, I Can Fly" with the graduates of Young Girls with Purpose, founded by Debbie Broughton. Debbie has provided these girls with a great foundation on which they will springboard into their futures. Every one of these young ladies is a winner!  Learn more at

Literacy Program learns about flying!


Carousel Publishing is proud to have had our book, If You Tell Me, I Can Fly! incorporated into the Summer Literacy Project in Tyler, TX.  Led by Dr. Kouider Mokhtari, Anderson-Vukelja-Wright Endowed Chair, this pilot program provided daily instruction from June 13 through August 12, with a goal of strengthening the reading and writing skills of approximately 30 first and second grade students in North Tyler. 

Author Sharon Thayer joined the children one afternoon to read her book and talk about metaphors and how we need to strive to reach our goals – to fly. Each child received their very own, signed by the author, copy of the book.

Other Tyler-based agencies involved in the literacy program include; The University of Texas at Tyler’s College of Education & Psychology and the Office of Financial Aid, The Tyler Area Partners for Literacy, the Glass Recreation Center, the Tyler Public Library, the Tyler ISD Title I Program, and the East Texas Food Bank.

Discover Santa 2016 in Branson

Amidst the ongoing chaos in our world, last week, I discovered Santa on a magical island of hope and inspiration.

I discovered the real Santa, the real message, and the real Mrs. Claus who brings it all together. I discovered Santas of different sizes, shapes, religions, and backgrounds working toward one goal: Spreading unconditional joy to all children.

I have always believed, but I discovered new depths to my belief and took a little from each Santa home in my heart. Thank you to everyone who added magic to Discover Santa 2016!

Happy Christmas in July!

I am really going to have a Christmas in July, and then some. On July 5th I am heading to Branson, MO to participate in "Discover Santa 2016", a gathering of nearly 1000 Santas and Mrs. Claus' from all over the world. We all know one Santa is a lot of jolly - just imagine 1000 times the jolly! It's going to be a very fun week.

The event is held at the Chateau on the Lake Hotel with many community events including a book signing at Kringle's Christmas Shop in the Grand Village from 3-6 on July 6th. 

I will be debuting the new hardcover edition and the extra large edition of The Myth of Santa's Beard. Other than the Kringle Christmas Shop event, I will be signing books at in the lobby of Chateau on the Lake from July 6th through the 10th. If you are in the area please stop by and to say "Hi!" and perhaps learn to say Ho, Ho, Ho! in another language. 

Summer break: Let Nature Take its Course

According to the National Summer Learning Association (, “Summer learning loss, the phenomenon where young people lose academic skills over the summer, is one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth and one of the strongest contributors to the high school dropout rate. For many young people, the summer “opportunity gap” contributes to gaps in achievement, employment and college and career success.”

 Back in the day, as soon as we finished our chores on any given summer morning, we ran through the allies and neighbors' backyards, we climbed trees, built forts, played at the river, rode our bikes, played sports in the schoolyard, explored in the woods, and walked through the cemetery creating scary stories - summer meant playing outside. If it was hot we found water, if we were hungry we went home or to the nearest friend’s house for lunch or a snack. There wasn’t a lot of parental supervision, in fact most of the time they had no idea where we were, but we knew to be home for dinner and not one minute past when the street lights came on in the evening.

 Sadly, things are very different today. But the outdoors is still there and it is still the perfect place to close the learning loss gap during the summer. It doesn’t take much – just go outside. There are parks, green belts, creeks and other small islands of nature within our cities and don’t forget that even small backyards offer unlimited opportunities for a child. (A spoon and a little patch of dirt will turn up rocks, bugs, worms, or even a tunnel to China.) Outside the city limits there are county open spaces, state and national parks, or perhaps you have a relative or friend who lives on some acreage and would welcome a visit.

 You don’t need a curriculum or very much in the way of supplies to put a child’s curiosity and creativity into motion. Building a damn in a creek, through trial and error, will keep children busy most of a day as they learn the application of engineering and design principles. Watch as the concepts of buoyancy, density, and gravity go into action as they fabricate a boat made from a piece of bark and a leaf sail. Perhaps you could look up Archimedes' principle on your cell phone (I know you’ve got it.) and teach them the term for what they are learning.

 While you have your phone out, look up the bug, bird, wildflower, spider, or butterfly they just saw. You’ll be surprised how many they can memorize in one summer. Make a list and suddenly you have incorporated math and writing skills into a day of outdoor play and exploration.

 A quiet moment in an individually chosen spot will stir a child’s imagination. Take along a pad and pencil and watch their creativity take the shape of a picture, story or poem. Every adventure will be different and memorable and accidentally along the way they will learn to respect the delicacies and strengths of nature as well as the interrelationships that include themselves.

 Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder says, “The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”

 So, this summer, take the kids outside, let nature take its course, and while you are enveloped in its beauty, enjoy the sights and sounds of the learning loss gap slamming shut.

Security and Predictability

“Just as the rising sun each morning, and other laws of nature, provide security and predictability so too should the rules of childhood.”  Sharon Thayer