Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Letters

I plead guilty. For several years, in my youth, I mistakenly sent out family-themed Christmas Letters. For some reason, I thought folks actually cared to hear about the good, bad and the ugly that had happened to my family over the year's time. I was wrong.
Every year, when we receive Family News Letters, I cringe. TMI. The truth is, your good and your sort-of-good-friends, don't want to read about your bad news. They stop reading when they hit the part about your unsuccessful gall bladder surgery. People do not want to share your misery. They might have empathy or even sympathy for you, but they really don't want to hear about it.
Likewise, if the letters are unbelievably Pollyanna-ish, no one is going to want to read past your astonishingly cute description of "Susie, our miniature cock-a-poo, can read lips" story. No real family is perfect. Bad things happen to all of us.
The point of Christmas Greetings is to wish your friends and acquaintances a Happy Holiday and a Healthful and Prosperous New Year. So do it. Email a card, send a card by snail mail. Call friends on the phone. Say Merry Christmas in person.
Just stop sending those letters. (But, I do appreciate the photos!)

Good Lord. You never promised us a perfect life. We have to take the good, along with the bad. Our abundant life comes from knowing that you are always listening to us and hearing our prayers.
We are truly blessed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Christmas Song

Mel Torme' wrote the Lyrics to The Christmas Song. While listening to it and other Seasonal Selections, the other day, I realized that I had never eaten a roasted chestnut. I have no idea what one tastes like. I wonder, if like peanuts, you can't eat just one? My maternal grandparents lived on Chestnut Street, but I don't remember ever having chestnuts at her house. She was a great cook, but she never roasted chestnuts.
I know a lady named Eve. I hope I get the chance to see her today, so that I might wish her a "Merry Christmas, Eve." Yesterday, I spoke to Carol and wished a "Merry Christmas, Carol."
It's the little things that make a Christmas memorable.

Dear Jesus: Happy Birthday. We are so glad you came to visit us on Earth.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Let it snow......

We had our first snowfall of the season this week. It was a beautiful sight. The snow was deep enough to cover everything in sight. It was a total blanket.
I find that I like winter weather much more than I used to. The older I get, the more I appreciate a good dose of snow and cold.
Snow slows everyone down. It's fairly difficult to race around over the speed limit in a decent snowfall. Folks try it, but generally only once. The risk of slipping and sliding is a big deal. Wrecks happen.
Snow makes everything it covers look clean and pure. The nasty brown and grey of a winter lawn and the bleakness of bare trees are made beautiful and shiny, with snowflakes everywhere.
We don't have school age folks, that we are responsible for, living here now, so we don't have to worry about "snow days". Our days of dressing kids for outdoor "snow day" play are long gone, and we no longer have to entertain bored youngsters home bound and away from school.
I've retired from teaching, so I don't have to worry about lengthened school years, to make up for "snow days". If schools have to make up lost days until the middle of June, I don't care.
Snow is very relaxing. It's a blessing. I love it.

Dear Lord: Thank you for giving us a chance to slow down and consider your wondrous works.
Help me to appreciate all kinds of weather. Our ever changing world is amazing. I am truly blessed, in so many ways.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Psychiatrists have coined a new type of Phobia. They call it FOMO. Apparently many Americans are experiencing it. Notice, I am not saying that many of us "have" it, because I'm not sure the disease truly exists.
FOMO, the acronym, actually means, Fear Of Missing Out. Doctors say that many Americans have a need to constantly check their Facebook or other Social Media pages, because they fear that they will miss out on something important. Holy Toledo, I thought I looked at my Facebook Page because I was interested in what my "Friends" were doing. I wasn't aware of any fear that I had.
Realistically, we all get "left out" of a lot of things in life. In my 68 years of life, I'm sure I wasn't invited to every one's birthday parties in grade school and, guess what, I didn't get invited to Prom when I was a Sophomore in High School. Most recently, I was left out of a party at work.
Big deal. Life is full of events, and we all don't get invited to all of them. Tear yourself away from that Facebook Page. Live life and quit worrying about what you are missing on that screen.
So, the lesson here is..... and I am quoting my five year old granddaughter, a mega-"Frozen" fan....."Let It Go!"

Dear God: We are so blessed, but many of us fail to open our eyes and see what you have given us.
Life is such a gift. The world is such a wonderful place. We thank you.

Friday, December 12, 2014

"On Broadway"

My new screen saver at work is a black and white photo, circa 1965, of the main street in my home town. It's a winter scene. Snow is on the pavement and sidewalks. Cars are parked diagonally on both sides of the street. And, it's Christmas Time, because across each and every intersection, along the whole length of the mile-long business district, are stars, garlands, shiny tinsel and hundreds of lights.
I love looking at this dated picture of the Christmas decorations in my small Midwestern town. It's been a highlight of the Holiday Season. Seeing that photo gives me all kinds of happy remembrances of Christmases all those years ago. Every time I sit down to my computer, I think of some long ago event that shaped my life today.
Those lights remind me of shopping trips to Kresses and Montgomery Ward, with my mom and much older sister. They remind me of my Girl Scout Troop singing Christmas Carols in the second floor window of Little's Department Store. They remind me on going to Midnight Mass. I think about all of the gifts I begged for and just had to have.
I'm reminded of all the different cars we had growing up, and riding in them, up and down that lighted main street.
For many years now, I have lived in a large metropolitan area that has a world famous display of Christmas Lights. People travel from all over the country and abroad to see the fabulous Plaza Lights. I agree that they are a truly spectacular sight.
However, I know that I would trade them, in an instant, for a view of the "not so famous" lights on Broadway, in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What's red and green all over?

We had a discussion at work today about the bright red blossoms that are used to decorate during the Christmas season. To be specific, it was a pronunciation discussion or perhaps a disagreement on the correct pronunciation of the name of the familiar plant.
Some folks say "Poin-set-TI-a" and others say "Poin-SET-ta". Actually, according to Wikipedia, either pronunciation is correct. And, everyone knows that the Internet is all-knowing and all-correct.
The Poinsettia Plant was named after Joel Poinsett, an American Ambassador to Mexico. He first introduced the plant to the USA in 1825. Don't let anyone tell you that he discovered the plant, it had been in Central America, forever. It's known as the Christmas Star down there.
Anyway, no matter what you call it, we all appreciate the colorful plant during the most joyous of all seasons.

Gracious and most bountiful Lord, you have gifted us with so many wonderful things. Thank you for the beauty of nature. Green Christmas trees and colorful Poinsettias enhance our celebration of your birth. When everything in the cold outside is bleak and barren, Christmas color makes us so thankful.
We are truly blessed.

Monday, December 1, 2014

"Just like the ones I used to know."

My favorite holiday movie is appropriately named "Holiday Inn". It stars Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It's corny, sappy and above all, most certainly, politically incorrect, but it remains my all-time holiday movie favorite. Just watching it makes me feel all happy inside.
"Holiday Inn" spawned another Crosby Christmas Movie, "White Christmas". That is not one of my favorites.
Both movies feature the Irving Berlin/Crosby mega hit, "White Christmas". Seen side by side, both  movies have very similarly contrived and goofy plots. The two movies, made decades apart, have the same main theme......boy meets girl, the two fall in love and they live happily ever after. Of course, by the time the second movie was made, Crosby was a long way from being a boy. I actually think he might have been a grandfather, several times over, when he and the lovely Miss Rosemary Clooney sang their duets, in "White Christmas."
Crosby plays an entertainer in both musicals. Big stretch! But somehow, no matter how many times I see Bing, sitting at the spinet piano in the corny country Holiday Inn, I get all teary eyed and happy.
Guess we all dream of a "White Christmas".

Dear Lord: Sometimes our dreams never become reality. We have disappointments, but our faith sustains us. We know you will never fail to provide for us, that we should never, ever loose hope.
Your steadfast love endures forever. Everything will turn out bright.