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 March 29, 2016:
Above all else, Easter is the time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Beyond that, it is a time of tradition. When I was growing up, Easter was, among other things, a time for new clothes, big family dinners, and pictures. This year involved two out of three, but in a rather non-traditional way. (more…)
The Ghost of Christmas Present
After weeks of preparation and excitement, the big day has come and gone. The stores are still full of shoppers taking advantage of post-holiday sales, using gift cards, and returning items that just didn’t work. Restaurants are full of people who can’t face one more meal of leftovers now that the pecan pie is gone. Houses are full of kids who have settled back into there’s-nothing-to-do mode and adults who are looking at the decorations and wondering where they’re going to store all the festivities until next year.
Opinions vary widely on when the decorations should come down. Some people begin dismantling the tree while Christmas dinner is being prepared, some take them down while nursing a New Year’s hangover, and some leave them up until after Epiphany, the 12th day after Christmas. Regardless of when the last box of ornaments makes it back into the attic or the last cookie is thrown out, falling victim to yet another resolution to lose a few pounds, when does Christmas really end? (more…)
No, I don’t mean that gifts appeared under the tree before December 24 or 25 – depending on when Santa traditionally makes his visit to your house. It’s just that yesterday, December 18, seemed to be particularly filled with Christmas-y things and feelings.
First, we had our Christmas lunch at the Senior Center. In honor of the occasion, I donned one of my two Christmas sweaters, one of my two pair of Christmas earrings, and one of my two pair of Christmas socks. That in itself made me feel very festive. There was lots of other holiday wear at the Center, along with smiling faces and happy chatter. There was a special table filled with desserts prepared for the occasion by various volunteers, and there was a small goodie bag for each of us – a pen and calendar provided by the restaurant that caters the meals, a candy cane and a few miniature chocolate bars, and a card signed by all the Center employees. It wasn’t much, but it felt like Christmas joy. (more…)
I went Christmas shopping earlier this week, and it was fun. My budget is limited, so I didn’t feel pressured to find the perfect gift for each one on my list. Instead I shopped the way Mom and I did when I was a kid. I went to a local store and wandered through the aisles until something jumped out me. But regardless of how you shop, there are those gifts that simply fail.
A frying pan – really?
The year I was 16, I couldn’t wait to go Christmas shopping. I worked at Woolworth’s making $1.10 an hour, and I was anxious to share my wealth. I don’t remember most of what I bought, but I remember what I got Mom – a frying pan. (more…)
A beautiful place to relax and reflect.
David and I spent Thanksgiving Day with his family at his younger sister’s home. She and her husband have a beautiful place outside of town, away from the noise and chaos of civilization – the perfect place to pause and reflect on our many blessings. I made a quick sweep with my camera while last minute preparations were being made for lunch. As we joined hands to offer thanks, I put down my camera and recorded the meal and the naps and the football and the love in my heart. (more…)
The Ghost of Christmas Present
Thursday afternoon I posted a “Bah Humbug” Facebook comment about a local radio station that has changed its format to all Christmas music for the duration. To say that my brother loves Christmas would be a huge understatement. In fact, he makes the Ghost of Christmas Present look like Scrooge, and he took exception to my comment and those of some of my friends. This was his last entry: Can anybody explain to my simple mind the abject travesty of playing Christmas music and putting up lights in the first half of November? I’m really having a hard time with all this negativity!
I started to respond, but realized it was going to involve more typing than I wanted to do on my phone, so I shifted into blogger mode and started thinking in terms of a post. After mulling through a few thoughts that seemed familiar, I realized that I wrote how I feel about the holidays in 2011. It was well received, so I posted it again last year. Now, for what is becoming a Life After Caregiving tradition, here’s the 3rd annual posting of “Feeling the Holiday Spirit.”
Yesterday one of my Facebook friends posted this question: Am I the only one not feeling the holiday spirit? I left a witty, social network kind of reply, but I’ve been thinking about it since then. Am I feeing the holiday spirit? My first question is which holiday are we talking about? My next question is what does the holiday spirit feel like? (more…)