Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No Holiday just Christmas!

Last week I ran into someone that I had not seen in a long time.  We chatted for a bit and then I had to get going, so I said goodbye and wished this person a Merry Christmas.

She scolded me,   "NO - you shouldn't wish people Merry Christmas Dale - that is unacceptable.   You are supposed to say Happy Holidays!"  I didn't know what to say for a moment, then I said.  "I'm sorry, I don't celebrate the holidays, I celebrate Christmas... so again, Merry Christmas!"  Unacceptable or not - that's how it is for me.

If you look on any Calendar you will find Christmas written on Dec 25th.  It doesn't say Holiday, it says Christmas!  Jesus wasn't born at "Holiday" - he was born at Christmas!  Even Santa comes at Christmas - not Holiday!  Why must we say Holiday instead of Christmas? 

Christmas 2012.  What will it mean to you this year?

So many people have told me that their Christmas this year is going to be "nothing special".  I wonder why?  Are they talking about gifts, or food, or family, or spirit?  I never know what to think because we all have our own views of Christmas, and those views are often based on different things.

I guess if I was thinking Christmas was only about gifts, I would also say that this Christmas was certainly going to be "nothing special".  Lucky for me I believe that the Special of Christmas is the birth of a little baby in Bethlehem so many years ago.

I love the story, I love the pageantry, I love the feeling of welcoming the Christ child into my heart anew year after year, again at Christmas.   It is what I was taught to be important at Christmas as a child, it is what I believe to be very important as an adult.  There is a certain calm and peace that comes over me when I sing Silent Night in a candle- lit church late Christmas Eve, it is a peace that I do not feel at any other time of the year, and it is Very Special.

Whatever Christmas means to you, and whatever your Christmas is going to be this year, I hope it will be something "Special".  Whether you get that feeling from sitting in a church late at night, or sitting at a table filled with family or friends or family and friends, I hope that "Special" something happens to you to give you Peace and Happiness. 

This world needs Peace, and we could do with a lot more Happiness too.  We have to make it happen, and Christmas is a good time to start.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hoot goes Home!

Today I thought I'd share a really nice story with you.  It is about an Owl (Hoot) who was found trapped in a soccer net  behind a local grade school in October.  The owl was captured by a rescue group, treated till good health returned and yesterday was released back in to the wild. 

Watch the children's faces when they release the bird.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ghost of Chrsitmas Past

I have an entertainment cabinet in my living room, and each year at Christmas I try and dig out old family Christmas photos and cover the doors of the cabinet with "Christmas Past".

I believe it is important to look backwards every once in awhile.  It reminds us of who were are, or who we were, or who we are supposed to be, or who we would still like to be.  For me it's the memories of a time when life seemed so much simpler, not always better, but certainly simpler.

I thought I'd share a few of the photos that will be on our cabinet doors this Christmas season.

Christmas 1955.
 Christmas 1955

This was the year I was born.  So this was my first Christmas.  Looks like it was a pretty good Christmas for my family that year.  Growing up I had always heard that there never was enough money, and so Christmas was sparse.  Hummmmmmmm......

Christmas 1959

Christmas 1959.

That's me, and that was the year I got my doll carriage from Grandpa Rossnagel- which I still have.  The vinyl on the top hood is ripped but otherwise it still looks about the same.  Mom had nice shiny floors, did she not?  And what's with the 2 highchairs in the kitchen?  The Lassie dog is not something I got for Christmas that year as I have a picture of myself at about 1 yr, and Lassie is already present.

Christmas 1990

Christmas 1990.

Here is a favorite picture of mine.  This is my son at our apartment.  He's two and a half yrs old.  We didn't have any place to hang our stockings so we pinned them to the wall.

Don't you just love the fuzzy jammies, and the cowlick in the hair.

You cant see him, but he is holding a stuffed Mickey Mouse in his left arm, clutched tightly.  Mickey went everywhere Jon went, back then.

Oh here's a really good one.  I'm not sure of the date but I'd say around 1965 or so, give or take a year or two.  This is my youngest brother, Dean.  For a few years my family would drive to Sandilands Forrest to chop down our own Christmas tree.  Dean was always a keen wood worker - still is as a matter of fact.

Don't you just love that hat?  I notice he's wearing rubber boots and not snow boots... wonder why?

This picture was copied from a pretty worn original, sorry for the quality.

The subjects are adorable however, and it too is one of my favorite pictures.  This is my husband Gary and his sister Jane. 

I love the matching PJ's.  Gary looks very much like our son at that age.  So cute.

Jane I know you read my blog.  Hope you don't mind that I shared your photo,  hope this memory brings you joy!

Christmas 1995

This is the only picture I have of Jon actually sitting on Santa's knee.  That would be because it is actually the ONLY time he sat on Santa's knee. 

Every year when we would go to see Santa and Santa would go to lift him up on his knee, Jon would make a great big fuss, and say "No, I'll just stand here." 

This year was different because my brother Norman spent Christmas with us this year.  After church ( which is why a little 7 yr old is dressed in suit and tie - he was a boy chorister at the time with the Men and Boys choir at St. Georges Anglican Church.  They were required to dress in uniform every Sunday).  Anyway my brother Norman told Jon if he sat on Santa's knee, he would by him a gameboy.

Up he went - and yes - that was the Christmas Jon got is gameboy, thanks to Uncle Norm.

I hope you have enjoyed my tour of Christmas Past.  There is room for about 30 photos on the cabinet these are just a few that will make their way there this year.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Best Man!

I have the sweetest husband in the world.  Last Friday night was a horrible night - weather wise.  We had snow on Thursday which the city had not yet plowed, and then through the day it had melted and then the temps fell quickly leaving the roads a mixture of frozen slush and ice.  I had made arrangements to pick up the second box of dolls that I had bought on Friday night.  The lady that I bought the dolls from lives clear across the city, so I thought perhaps we should reschedule.  Gary insisted we go and get the dolls on Friday night as he knew I would be excited to get them.

So we did our grocery shopping after work, came home, unpacked the groceries and put everything away, had supper and the headed out again Friday eve.  It was a horrible drive.  The roads were treacherous, people were driving like complete morons,  and the visibility was very poor.

We arrived at the doll lady's home a little later than we'd planned, and so I sat in the car and he ran in and picked up the dolls.  I think he did this so we could get back home quickly.  The last time we were there, she and I talked dolls for quite awhile, while he sat on the couch and smiled.

We got home, finally and lugged the very heavy box of dolls inside, very thankful to be in from the bitter weather, and safely home from the bad drive.

Here is what was in the box.

I immediately stripped the dolls bare and set about hand washing all the dresses and outfits.  My bathroom looked like a laundry for little people.

Saturday morning I started bathing dolls and washing hair.  It took a lot of shampoo and even more conditioner than I have ever used at one time, and I only did the largest 7 of these dolls.  The rest will have to wait until another time.

These seven are in various stages of spa treatment.  But I did manage to finish one completely by the end of the weekend.

Here is a 20" EEGEE from 1975.  She is made of rubber.

This is what she looked like before I started on her.

And this is her all done...

What an adorable transformation.  If the rest of the dolls turn out as good as she did, I will be a very happy person.

Dolls aside, it was a very busy weekend all around.  I also managed to clean my house and do 6 loads of laundry. I did a lot of cooking and even had time to finish the book I was reading and finish another knitting project.

I so love weekends where I am busy.

Hopefully I can keep the momentum going all week long!