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Christmas Day Wish

"If I could lay before you the dearest gift this morning, it would be a time of no beginning and no end. It would be life filled with good health,  and peace and inner joy that can only come from the spirit.

You would quietly refine your thoughts and words so that you never draw anything to you but the finest. You would rest deeply and breath in sweet peace. You would know the tremendous difference between the physical and the spiritual - turning from anger and frustration to a safe haven of love.

You would always be the most loyal friend - not to me but to yourself. All the issues of life rise out of the heart - so this is a gift from heart to heart."

-from  "A Cherokee Feast of Days, II."

I have expressed my heart to you. I have nothing to take back. - Chief Joseph (Nez Perce)

Finding Christmas in Volunteering

The ringing is incessant and then becomes a silent part of the constant din of noise – cars starting and driving off, and people hurrying by, captured in constant conversation about the last or next shopping destination. And there I stand, most of the times in the cold – always ringing the little brass bell.

I volunteer through my Rotary Club to ring the Salvation Army bell each year. Each year I hesitate to sign up for a couple of hours of standing in the cold. Each year I think of hundreds of other things I could be doing instead, and each year I sign-up to ring that little bell.

It happens to me every year. Somehow, as people walk by – a variety of faces, ages, economic classes – I see them acknowledge the bell and the bucket and what it represents: the presence of charity in our world. And as slowly and steadily breath brings life into my lungs, each time I speak to the passersby “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” I feel that elusive spirit of Christmas enter into my spirit and I know that beneath and behind all of the trappings of the holiday, people know , need and seek the blessing of Charity.

The ringing of that bell is when I find Christmas, every year and this year, on December 17th, I will did it again. Merry Christmas!

Santa is Doing WHAT!?

Several years ago (I won't divulge how many because I'm not sure if the 'never talk about a woman's age applies to her, yet) my daughter spent a semester studying abroad in Spain (Yes, I believe she was studying). The Christmas that followed her return she presented us with an inappropriate , weird, ...unusual gift.

The photos below show the small Santa figurine, and yes - he is doing what you think he is doing. She claimed that these figures were all the rage in Spain and to her credit, I did find this link (which dates back to about that time).


Redneck Ornaments - Two Dixie Cups and a String

Continuing on the Homemade Ornament theme, I also remember what you can make with two Dixie cups and a string.

Make a small hole in the bottom of two paper Dixie cups. Thread a piece of colored yarn through the cups to connect them (tie a knot on each end of the yarn to keep it from pulling through). Then, cover each cup with tin-foil and you now have “Silver Bells” to place on the tree – or on your ears while you run around the house singing Christmas songs – not that I have personally done anything like that – I’m just saying, you could.

Dog Meets Christmas Tree...

From last year…

My wife heard a crunching sound coming from the living room and after investigating caught her dog, Sunnie, (note when he is bad he is her dog) making a snack out of one of the ornaments. Sunnie was chewing on a low hanging Gingerbread Man Ornament – now a one legged Ginger Bread Man ornament. My wife rescued the ornament and re-hung it higher on the tree – leaving the recent Gingerbread Man amputee for others to see and wonder about.

I guess that Ginger Bread Man didn’t “run, run, run as fast as you can” – fast enough…

Christmas Gift Idea - Local Cookies!

Still undecided about that holiday gift (or more likely - haven't given it a thought)? Too cool for Cat Humor (see below)?

Well - what about a sweet and local treat?! Best thing, you don't even have to leave your computer. Drop in on my friends at Big Boss Baking and tour their spread of cookies, whoppie pies and granola. I've tasted. I'm hooked.

These goodies are made right here in the Triad and literally are HOME Made (they make them at their home...yes really!)

This stuff should come with a warning label! YUM!