A White Christmas

I have always dreamed of a white Christmas. It is beautiful and so clean, and what a perfect way to spend the holiday. However, living in Texas made that more of an impossibility than just a slim chance. If we had snow, it was usually in January and February, not as early as December. One year I spent the holiday with my oldest brother and his family in Kansas City, MO. That year they had no snow in December. None. Not even a dusting. It was the first year in something like 50 years, according to the weathermen. A couple of years later I woke up to news that all of Texas had snow, even the border towns and parts of Mexico as far south as Nuevo Laredo and kids were out playing in snow for the first time in their lives. The news also said that there was only a small part of the state that did not wake up to a white Christmas. I happened to be in the small radius of bad luck. Then last year I spent my first holiday in northern Nevada and they always have a lot of snow in November and December, so it was a sure bet that my first year would also fulfill my dream. NOPE. That was the first year in decades that they had very little snow accumulation and none for Christmas. I really was the white Christmas jinx. lol. When I woke up yesterday and the ground was covered in a beautiful dusting of snow, I was so happy! We had probably about 2 inches and it continued to snow throughout the day. It just added to the perfect holiday season. I finally broke the curse! Or, should I assume the universe was on my side and gave me snow? Either way, it was a beautiful sight!

Happy First Day of My Favorite Month!

It is November and boy, has this year gone fast. There were days when I thought felt like I was in limbo and could not see the forest through the trees, but here we are, beginning the eleventh month of 2018. This is my absolute favorite month, and I am so looking forward to the holiday’s this year, for the first time in many, many years. I already know that this news of me embracing the holiday’s might come as a shock to many, and even a disappointment to a few. I admit, I made a great grinch and I wore that hat with obnoxious pride. I cannot deny it though, I no longer have a sense of hatred for the holiday’s. #newbeginnings

So, back to November and how it is my favorite month of the year, and it has been since I was a child. It is the changing of the seasons, the days getting shorter, the temperatures colder, and the leaves changing color, the smells of cinnamon and pine cones in most homes.. it is just a good, warm feeling. But, more than that, this is the month of my favorite day of the year! This suprasses any other celebration, birthday or holiday. It is Thanksgiving and before I get lost in my excitement, let me just say that I really hate that it is not a worldwide holiday. It is a family day. Whether that be with blood relatives, or friends that you have picked up along the way and consider them to be family. This is a day when everyone slows down and enjoys reconnecting with those that are dear. It is the one day that no one cares about what car is driven, the sum of your bank account, the stress of schoolwork or responsibilities of adulthood. It is a day that should be cherished and appreciated. 

So, if you are in the states and you have never thought of Thanksgiving to be all that special, you have three weeks to make a change. If you normally gather with your family, but it is not a happy time, or even a joyous occasion, then make other plans. You know, “friendsgiving” is a thing, and there is nothing wrong with doing something on this one day that is for you. It is a day that you should take to be around those you care about, and that make you feel good about yourself… and, if you don’t want to do that, there are other options. Yes, there are! No family. No friends. No problem! There are so many charitable organizations that do a lot for shut-ins and those that have had a tragic year. I am not talking about soup kitchens, but most communities (if not all) have a program to help those in need. The people that had a lot of loss in 2018, or the elderly that live alone, with no family left or anyone to check on them. Some towns even have a Thanksgiving dinner that they offer to the community and only ask for donations in return. You could help serve food, or clean up, or meet someone new that you never would have any other way. 

Before I close, let me share a little bit of my childhood… kind of. 

Thanksgiving was always a day that was happy in my house. I had a very loving home, but we had a lot of loss. People. Not possessions. 

Mom and Granny would spend all day in the kitchen, after a week of planning. This was a good, heartfelt tradition passed on, and maintained, no matter how sad they were. That changed when I was around 12, but only because they had friends who adored my parents and had a much larger family and it was a bigger gathering. So, we started making a drive north of Austin, which was an hour outside of town back then. They would turn the garage into a game area for the dads and kids, while the rest would help in the kitchen where needed. When I was about 16 Dad and I decided to help my godparents at the community center. They owned the only restaurant in town and decided to start offering free meals. It did not matter how rich, or how poor, everyone was welcomed. They also had a team of people who offered to deliver meals to shut-ins and those who had no way of making it to the community center. It was fulfilling and I have great memories of the town coming together on one day to be happy, and reconnect. 

If you are still reading, thank you. I do hope that you will find a way to enjoy this day, and make a change if needed.. 

The Grinch

It is common knowledge that I completely abhor the holiday’s. It is something that has always been a natural hate for me; one I did not have to work at. It was not until recent years that I have realized I could seriously do without the month of December. 

You might say I am Ebenezer Scrooge, or the Grinch (except I do not steal presents). It is not that I hate the jolly old fat man, or the cheerfulness that the holiday’s give some people. It is that people put too much stress on themselves and have an image of what the holiday should be. 

Maybe I am alone in this, but I think it should be a time of appreciation and reconnecting with those you have lost touch with over the year. I love Thanksgiving because that is usually the one day that people make time for each other and there is no expectation of more. If only December could be like that, then it would be fun. I am not one to rush out and fight the masses, or even go all out in giving everyone I know a gift of some kind, but too many people who “love” Christmas are depressing to talk to during the holiday’s.  Good lord, no wonder people go into debt at the end of the year. 

If you are wondering, I was not a big fan of Christmas, even as a kid. I remember looking forward to helping Mom with the tree and then by the time I was 13, I was doing it by myself. It kind of took the fun out of it, but she wanted it up and so did my twin. Dad, however, could have done without but always went along to make the rest of us happy.. until he did not. I might be a little more like him in that regard. 

At any rate, I have a tree this year. Happy fucking holiday’s! No, it is not a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, although, I was tempted to pick the smallest twig in the forest of pine trees, I did not. 

Are you a Grinch, or more like a Merrymaker? You know, someone who LOVES the holiday’s.

Share Your Traditions With Me

So, I would love to hear about your family traditions and memories, if you are willing to share them with me, and everyone else that might read this post. 

It can be one memory, or several throughout the years. I am curious as to what you remember most about Thanksgiving, and the holiday that follows. Albeit, Christmas, or in my case, the “happy holiday” season of greed. lol. Okay, okay, this thread will not jump into my ever-growing soap box. I promise! 

Believe it, or not, one of my most favorite holiday memories was Dad driving us to the next town over to see the lights. It started off with just the courthouse being strung in strands of lights, which would light up the entire block. It was such a massive light show that I could just sit and stare at it, feeling the holiday cheer. That started over 30 years ago and now it has gotten to be such a big production of lights that people from all over drive in for the weekend, bringing family and friends from all over. It truly is an incredible sight. 

Now it is your turn. 

V-Day

Valentine’s Day, like many of our modern holiday’s, was to celebrate Christian martyr’s named St. Valentine. The day first became associated with love in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. It was established by the Pope  in 496 AD, and then deleted from the Roman Calendar in 1969. Around 1800, a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, that contained suggested sentimental verses for lovers unable to compose their own. Paper Valentines were popular in England in the early 19th century and were printed in mass production and in factories. Thus began the only Valentine’s Day we know today. Hallmark and flower shops have banked on what first started out as a celebration in the Christian society and what has become their biggest sales day of the year.

I hope that no matter where you are in life that you will enjoy today for what it should be about, not what society has dreamed up. Enjoy your day because it’s beautiful. Be happy that spring is near. Smile at the thought of loving those closest to you. But, most of all, be happy with where you are in life. It’s a good one.