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Posts tagged ‘Christmas Decorations’

I Love Christmas Lights | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on December 15, 2020:

One of my many favorite parts of Christmas is the outdoor displays of lights, but apparently not everyone

feels the same way. Last week a resident of a small town in Minnesota received an anonymous letter claiming that her very understated decorations were “a reminder of systemic biases against our neighbors who don’t celebrate Christmas or who can’t afford to put up lights of their own.” Not that I have a strong opinion about this new issue that has suddenly gone viral, but that is just wrong.

I grew up in what would have been considered an upper lower class or lower middle class neighborhood. There were a few families that hung a string or two of lights along the front eaves or around the porch columns, but ours wasn’t one of them. Dad worked two jobs year round, and since one of them was at the Post Office, he worked lots of overtime during the holidays. He was too tired to climb on the roof for anything short of a major leak, and any money left over at the end of the month was earmarked for clothes, music lessons, or a summer vacation.

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To Keep or not to Keep | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on June 16, 2020:

ConfusedWith all the unrest and chaos that’s going on in the country, I felt like I should write something of a serious nature this week. However, many of the situations make little sense to me, so it’s impossible to write something sensible. In searching for ideas, I came across this piece that I wrote after the holidays. After weeks and months at home with plenty of time to clean and organize, many people are now finding themselves faced with those same post-Christmas problems. So read on and see if you recognize you or anyone you know.

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When the weather begins to turn warm and the trees begin to sprout green buds, the phrase spring cleaning“spring cleaning” always pops up. Maybe it’s because, after several months of being cooped up inside with artificial warmth, we can throw open the windows and let the fresh air chase the stale air out though the screens. Or maybe it’s because it’s time to do some deep cleaning after several months of letting winter cooking odors and fireplace soot settle on the windows and baseboards. Whatever the reason, Mom did it so we do, too. (more…)

Christmas Boxes | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on December 17, 2019:

Ralph and Alva HaganWhen I was a kid, December 26 was Granny Hagan’s birthday. Later on it became the day to return those what-were-you-thinking gifts and to stock up on Christmas supplies for next year. More recently I’ve heard it referred to by a specific name, especially on Facebook when greetings of “Happy Boxing Day” appear on the day after Christmas.

It turns out that Boxing Day began in Britain as a time when the rich boxed up gifts for the poor. I’m thinking it might have been a charitable way to get rid of boxing-day-1901the leftover turkey and those unsuitable gifts. It also became a day when servants were given the day off after receiving a Christmas box or gift from their employers. The servants in turn would go home and give Christmas boxes to their families.

Boxing Day isn’t widely celebrated in the U.S., but boxes certainly play a big part in the American Christmas season. Even though gift bags are probably more popular now than gift boxes, online shopping has resulted in an over-abundance of shipping cartons. And some traditionalists still like to wrap and tie bows on containers with square corners. (more…)

Christmas is more than a feeling |by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on December 19, 2017:

RingsMany 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 oldold fashioned christmas 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…)

Advent is a season of peace. | by Linda Brendle

AdventPeacePublished in the Rains County Leader on December 8, 2015:

Last week I wrote about Advent, the season celebrated by the Christian church that includes the four Sundays preceding Christmas. On the first Sunday, the Candle of Hope is lit. The second Sunday is celebrated with the Candle of Peace. (more…)

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