The temperatures finally dropped and winter showed up.
Everything is blanketed in snow and ice and it’s burrrrrrr.
Our house smells like we had a campfire inside every room; not a great draft up that old chimney.
I have layers on…even in our drafty house. I usually wear my boys hoodies they left, just because I like to. No way am I giving them away…!
I don’t always dwell here during these cold, hibernating months of winter.
I skip off in my head to my happy place with my happy people during happy times of day…
This time it’s dusk at this perfect lake.
This place takes the edge off of life…
These boys; always fun…
I feel the cool sand through my toes, the smell of pines, the nip to the summer evening air.
Summer is sleeping where I live.
But it’s always awake in my dreams.
No one is looking but you.
You just pulled a fresh batch of the most yummiest looking cookies out of the oven and smelled in the goodness, or you hit the trash can after it bounced off the edge with that paper shot at least 10 feet away and clapped your hands and hit your knee. Or you parallel parked that even the DMV would have hired you to instruct and you smiled at yourself in the rear-view-mirror. OR you were in the exact right time at the right place and slowed for the real-live turkey family to waddle across the street, and slowed traffic so no one would hurt them, cracking up, even though you were in a hurry. OR you remembered to compliment your regular coffee maker how “their” just-right-whipped-cream-touch makes your day perfect, and you both smile. OR when you were practicing your soccer shot far from the goal…barely clearing the top rim edge, and you turn and look to see if anyone else noticed…
We are stars more often then we think.
About now we begin to hate our New Year’s resolution we made for ourselves…if we even made one. (I haven’t yet…)
The holiday thrill is long gone.
We are crabby just because it is January and well, Martin Luther King made such a difference.
What do I do except…exist.
But that is just it.
We are stars every single day and we don’t even think about it.
Certainly don’t acknowledge it to ourselves.
Can you just hear the crowds scream and cheer, even for those little tiny things which make you think…‘Hmmm, wow, did you see that!’
Forget those mediocre thoughts.
‘You are a STAR!’
Turn and take a bow…
even if no one is there.
We are there and we are all cheering for you!
(“WOW! YEY! WHOOO-HOOOOO! YES! YES! YES! SWEET! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! COME HERE AND CHECK THIS OUT! THAT IS AMAZING! I LOVE THIS! YEAHHHHHHHHH! HURRAY! SO COOL! WAHHHH!” STOMP! STOMP! CLAP-CLAP-CLAP! HUG! PAT! breathe, sit…”phew! that was amazing…”)
When the Christmas holiday begins it is like there is a Christmas-magic thermometer with a red mercury line that rises with warmth, anticipation, fun, giving and thoughts of baby Jesus… as the holiday presses closer to the 25th.
in an instant
on the 26th…
the mercury begins to drop
and that red line of magic slowly starts to drop down
The New Year celebration holds tight to one last burst of joy,
and then life
clicks back to “normal” in a snap.
We go our way
for eleven months,
the magic thermometer
begins to rise once again…
Each of my family members has allotted an amount of money in our pockets, not for shopping but for giving, only.
On Christmas day we are going to share how we spent a dollar here or a few there to brighten someone’s day.
Here is a just a few: My daughter bought a cookie topped with ice cream for an older woman. She didn’t tell her, she just paid for it before she came up to order. She was so surprised and happy!
My son took homemade chocolate covered strawberries to an elderly home and passed them around. They loved them! He loved it too.
Everyone at my grocery store was impatient to check out and when the checker asked if anyone would spend $10 for a full bag of groceries to donate to the town food bank, each answered “NO.” When my turn finally came, I said no too, then remembered my gift pocket. “Oh, wait, yes, I will!” Her face lit up. But then the people behind me began to buy one too….
The gift pocket is contagious…
Light the World
My husband and I were driving down back roads of Virginia climbing up to the Shenandoah Mountain range getting to our Thanksgiving party. We passed little antique shops and old run down tractor cemeteries and even stopped at a yard auction just for the heck of it. As we turned left and up to our last climb, my eyes caught sight in the window of a junk store, a piece of my past that I had not remembered for years. I wished we skipped the auction and went back for this! It was a plastic life size nativity where each character lights up. This is a picture of it and even the plastic manger is exactly the same as the one we had when I was a child.
My mom loved Christmas and she gave that gift to me. She would let me stay home from school and help her decorate our flocked tree with red tear drop balls and the rest of the house with garlands and lots and lots of bows. She loved bows!
My most favorite decorations was when we got to prepare the nativities to show. We had two. One was little and cemented in place inside the nativity except for the shepherds, wise men and animals. The other was plastic and life size and went in our front yard under our kitchen window. I got to wash each plastic piece from the grime and bug poops collected in the roof rafters where it slept the rest of the year, while we listened to Harry Belafonte’s, Mary Mary Had a Little Baby. When I hear his CD now, songs still skip in my mind where the record player skipped.
I appointed myself the official Christmas baby sitter for Baby Jesus every year. Mary had to sit there so pretty and serine and Joseph was a bit stiff and uncomfortable stepping in as step-dad status. I worried about baby Jesus the entire season! He had to feel so uncomfortable and cold outside sitting on those plastic slats so each year I would wrap him in towels, place pillows under him, and continually keep watch over this little baby over the entire season. This was a big job for a little girl. Even now as I look at the picture my inclination is to get a blanket for this poor little guy.
Setting up nativities is still very special to me and makes me feel close to my mom.
Shepherds would soon arrive and later wise men from the East.
Later yet the memory of that night would bring Santa Claus and Frosty and Rudolph
and all would be welcome.
But first and forever
there was just a little family,
without toys or trees or tinsel,
with a baby—
that’s how Christmas began.
Jeffrey R. Holland
Light the World
25 days of Christmas
25 days of ideas how to give and help other people
When I was a little girl I created my very own life philosophy with six simple words. I spent time drawing them vertically on a small piece of poster board, decorating each individual word differently. I taped the board above my bedroom door and would repeat the words every single day, over and over for years.
Later additions to my little six word philosophy came with age and passing experiences such as these.
“Marvel and be Amazed”
But those original six little words continue to pop into my head often, as they did today. I chose not to post them because they feel sacred to me; written in my innocence.
Recently, I read a statement that won’t leave my head and I believe sums up my little six word philosophy in only two.
The statement is just as sweet and holy.
The month of December collectively represents, to me this beautiful simple philosophy. Humankind seems to be seeking to bring more good during this time of year more than any other time. It is felt.
Every day I wish to add more good to the world.
More good is contagious. If I spread a little to someone or something, then that has the possibility to give more good to someone else. And on and on…
More Good; simply said, simply done.
A two word philosophy that is worth holding on to.
“He that doeth good is of God…”
(3rd John 1:11)