Tag Archives: love

Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays!

I recently found a newsletter from a conservative political organization in my email inbox.  After considering for a moment from what possible source the organization had collected my email address, I read through the opening article.  It was a joyous shout out to the President-Elect, giving him the credit for doing away with political correctness and making it possible for Christians to once again say “Merry Christmas.”

Um, what?  I must have missed the notice banning that phrase.  I use it with confidence, among people who celebrate Christmas, especially on Christmas Day, itself.  I also use “season’s greetings” and “happy holidays.”  If I know what holiday, other than Christmas, an acquaintance celebrates, I offer my good wishes for that holiday.  I do not consider this “political correctness,” and here’s why.

In the church calendar, Christmas is one day.  One very important day, of course, but just one.  The season leading up to it is Advent – four weeks of waiting and preparing our hearts.  We light a candle each Sunday of Advent; the candles represent hope, joy, peace and love.  These are the gifts Christ brings with Him, and they are bundled together in my mind when I say or write “season’s greetings.”

If we are supposed to show the love of Christ, why do we get bogged down in arguing about these words?  All the holiday greetings, at their heart, are expressions of good will and joy.  Yes, there are other holidays included in “happy holidays.”  So what?  When someone who celebrates a different winter holiday, or who celebrates Christmas secularly, wishes me happiness, I’m grateful.  Their thoughtfulness does not diminish the importance of Christ to me, or in the world.  When I wish non-Christians well, I am loving my neighbor; again, including whatever holiday they celebrate, by using a generic “happy holidays,” or even by specifically wishing them “happy solstice” (for example), does nothing do diminish Christ and the importance of His birth.  In fact, by sharing these seasonal greetings, we increase the love, hope, peace and joy in the world.  Politically correct or not, isn’t that a good thing?

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Just Some Cuteness

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I love that my kids make to do lists for me to find and envy. I posted one of my daughter’s awhile back; here’s one I recently came across that my son wrote:

To do
have Breakfast
exersise get
Dressed Pick up Legos
go to shwirch
have Lunch
go to Doctor Mary’s office have Lollipop
go home take out Legos
play with Legos
Put away Legos
have Dinner
Play out Doors
go to sleep

🙂 “Have Breakfast,” “Exercise” and “Get dressed” were crossed out. “Shwirch” is our shortened version of “School-work-church,” since I was homeschooling him at my work, which happened to be at our church. The Drs. office visit was for his sister, so that was really all about getting a lollipop from the snack shop there.

I’m thrilled that he included “put away Legos.”  And I’m really going to start putting “play outdoors” on my to do lists.

Hands

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When I was a kid, my grandmother would often run her work- and age-roughened hand over my smooth young one and comment on the contrast.  I loved when she did that, but it bothered me a bit, because I thought she wished her hands looked like mine.  Her fingernails were thick and ripply, and her fingertips were grooved and rough, but I loved every wiggly blue vein and wrinkled brown age spot on those hands.  My grandmother’s hands were a testament to a lifetime of industry.  She was rarely idle – even in her final decade she would sit in her chair, with the TV cranked up, doing the mending for my family (and our neighbors).

It has ocurred to me recently, that perhaps Grandmom wasn’t really envious of my youthful smoothness, or even the fact that my life stretched before me, while hers was winding down.  Maybe she was feeling the continuum of life.  Maybe she was showing me her pride in me, and her love.  Maybe she was trying to pass on her creativity (worked!) and her work ethic (failed miserably!)  Or maybe she just liked how smooth my hands were.

My mother is the grandmom, now, and I’ve seen her pat my daughter’s hand the same way my grandmother did mine.  Whether it has any deeper meaning or not, I love this little tradition.  I’ll continue it, if I’m ever blessed with a grandchild of my  own.

L to R: Girl, Mommy, Boy

4-Year Old Logic

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“Go wash up for dinner, ” I said.

“Why?” he answered.

“Because you’ve been playing outside and your hands are dirty.  And it’s always a good idea to wash up before eating.”

(Off he went to wash up.  When he came back, the conversation continued.)

“Let me see,” I said.

(He showed me)

“Ew! Still dirty! Go wash those hands again!”

“But Mommy, only my palms are dirty…I just need my fingers for food.”

I almost couldn’t argue with that.

After Washing Up (Doesn't look nearly as bad in the photo as in real life!)

Of Cakes and Trains

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The Boy asked for a Thomas the Tank Engine cake for his third birthday last year, and I came up with this:

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Well, this year I decided I didn’t want to face all the greasy decorator bags and tips and bowls and spatulas and little boy and girl fingers…so I went the easy route.  The Boy again asked for a Thomas cake, but this year I asked if he wanted to help.  He enthusiastically agreed.  Actually, “enthusiastically” is an understatement.

I bought canned frosting (! Sacrilege !) and decorator icing in tubes.  I made a chocolate cake from a box (! Blasphemy !), in a 9×13 pan.  Nice big canvas for decorating, no stacking required.  We left the cake in the pan (no side to decorate).  He got the “baby” offset spatula (I got the “mommy” one) and we spread the canned frosting over the top. Then:

Cake Decorating 3-29-10

we tried using the tube icing.  It was a little tough for him to squeeze the tube and get the icing to stick to the white frosting just where he wanted it, so I gave him a toothpick to draw in the frosting with.  When he was done his drawing, he told me what colors to use and I went over his lines with icing.  A #4 candle, several star candles and sugar letters finished the job.  Ta Da:

Happy Engines 3-29-10

It may not look like any Percy, James and Thomas you’ve seen before, but my Boy could not have been happier or prouder.  (Or more wired)  And it didn’t take forever to clean up the kitchen!  I think I made a good decision.

Four Years Ago

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This is what was happening in our family four years ago today:

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FWB 3-39-06

FWB and Daddy 3-29-06

Big Sissy Practicing 4-1-06

My little man is already four years old!  He has learned so much and mastered so many skills in such a short time, it’s easy to that four is still pretty little.  Yesterday I was wearing an “I (Heart) NY” t-shirt that Wonderful Hubby got for me on a business trip.  After we talked about what the letters on the shirt meant, we joked about me going to New York “on the red-eye.”  The evening progressed as usual, and soon it was time for Daddy to put Boy to bed and Mommy to put Girl to bed, as always.  As soon as I was out of sight, Boy fell apart, crying for Mommy.  He often resists going to bed, so we let him cry for awhile, until Girl and I were finished with her bedtime stories.  When I went to him, he asked through his tears, “Are you going to New York tonight?”  After I reassured him that I was not going anywhere, he said, “Don’t go to New York tomorrow!  It was a bad joke! Don’t leave me!”  Poor little guy was so tired and so panicky that this went on for about an hour.  I finally had to sit with him on the rocking chair until he fell asleep.  That was lovely, but challenging, as he now weighs over 50 pounds and is so tall he sticks out over both arms of the chair by a good amount.  I’m sorry that I made such a bad joke, but it is nice to know that I’m so important.  🙂