Published in the Rains County Leader on December 19, 2017:
Many wedding ceremonies include words to the effect that “love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment.” The idea, of course, is that love is not simply the dizzying excitement of a new relationship or the warm, fuzzy feeling of a long established marriage. It’s a commitment to act in a loving manner even when you don’t feel like it. People who rely simply on loving feelings are often disillusioned when the honeymoon is over. The more Christmases I experience, the more I realize that Christmas is a lot like love –those who rely simply on the magical feelings of the season are destined for disappointment.
My husband David is a nostalgia kind of guy, and he often reminisces about the good old days, especially at this time of year. He recently lamented the fact that he can’t seem to recapture the excitement and anticipation he experienced during the Christmas season when he was younger. Unfortunately, some of the magic of those mysterious packages disappears when you know the bills will be waiting for you at the end of the month. And let’s face it, there’s not as much magic in a new sweater or even the latest book by your favorite author as there was in a shiny red bicycle or a Daisy Red Rider BB Gun. There’s still lots of magic to be found, though, if you know where to look. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on January 3, 2017:
I don’t make a big deal out of the holidays. Aside from a live Christmas wreath my brother and sister-in-law send us each year for our front door, David and I do very little decorating. It’s not that we don’t enjoy the lights and tinsel, but we have a small house with very little extra space for a tree – and now we have Kitty! We also don’t do a lot of shopping. Our needs are simple, and we tend to buy what we want or need as we go along, so we don’t have much of a Christmas list when December rolls around. In addition to decorating and shopping, there was a time when I spent a lot of time in the kitchen during the holidays, baking and making candy and other once-a-year treats. However, since we both deal with health concerns that are intensified by extra sugar, flour, and butter, I don’t do much of that any more either. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on December 13, 2016:
The children at our church presented a Christmas pageant during the worship service last Sunday morning. It was quite an elaborate production with a backdrop that portrayed Israel as it might have looked on the night Jesus was born. The children wore costumes that could be called authentic with touches of country casual and high fashion. There were wise men with jeans and cowboy boots and angels with stylish footwear – everything from chic sandals to suede boots with faux-fur trim. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 29, 2016:
I love music, and I especially love music at Christmas. I’m not crazy about the radio stations that begin playing the same forty Christmas songs over and over weeks before Thanksgiving. My brother thought I was a real Scrooge when, a couple of year ago, I posted on Facebook that I was very disappointed that our oldies station began playing “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” on November 1. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on December 6, 2016:
Perhaps it’s because of my limits as a writer, or perhaps it’s the ripe old age I have reached, but I seem to begin a lot of my recent articles with some version of the phrase “When I was growing up…” Regardless of the reason, I’m using that phrase again today.
When I was growing up, we were taught not only to be gracious winners but also to be good losers. In today’s society, instead of teaching our children how to win or lose with equal grace, we have shielded them completely from the experience of losing. In the name of building self-esteem, we allow our children and grandchildren to beat us in Chutes and Ladders or Candyland, and we enroll them in sports leagues where everyone receives a trophy or where they don’t even keep score. We pass students from one grade to the next, even when they cannot do the work, and I understand that there are some schools where there are no grades at all. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on December 22, 2015:
The last three weeks, I’ve written about the season of Advent – more specifically about the meaning of the candles in the Advent wreath. The first three candles represent hope, peace, and joy. On the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Candle of Love is lit. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on December 15, 2015:
The third candle of the Advent Wreath is called the Candle of Joy. Much of the joy of the Christmas season is connected with children. There is nothing quite so joyful as the eyes of a child who has just caught a glimpse of the gifts under the tree on Christmas morning – nothing, that is, except the eyes of a parent or grandparent who is sharing Christmas with his or her child or grandchild for the first time. The joy of Christmas is multiplied many times when children come into the home. (more…)