Friday, December 23, 2016

December 22, 2016

It Is Almost Christmas!
December 22, 2016

The month continues to fly by and I am picturing myself holding on to a pole in a subway going 90 miles an hour as we sail along on the track heading toward Christmas Day.  Tonight I am more relaxed than I have been in a while.  Yesterday, with the help of my husband who took a load of packages to UPS and to the post office to get them on their way to our sons and their families, I can relax a little - or maybe a lot.  What a load that was off my mind.  I told Ron I owed him supper and he said if I would drive, he would accept.  We went to San Benito to the Longhorn Cattle Company and had Bar-B-Que.  It was a relaxing meal in a quiet corner.  The place was busy, but the other diners were talking softly at their tables. It was a nice evening.  The doors that are all around the rooms, were open to the night air and I was very comfortable with the temperature in my short-sleeved shirt.  (Of course Ron had on several layers of clothing and his coat.)

I don't mean to indicate that buying gifts, giving gifts, etc. is a load and a burden.  I put the pressure on myself usually by not getting things done in a timely manner.  As long as I can remember, I have not liked to go to the post office to mail packages and it is harder now as they seem to have a long list of questions to ask: are there any batteries? is there anything breakable?; are there any weapons?; on and on while I can't understand most of the questions as they rattle them off rapidly.  I love the special days - all of them: Christmas, Valentine's Day, birthdays, etc. but with our children so scattered it gets harder and harder to shop for them since we are rarely able to be in their homes to see what they like and need or want.

One daughter-in-law and I have similar tastes so she is usually the easiest to buy for.  Another has chosen one type of item that she likes for me to buy for her on gift giving occasions and I enjoy looking for those all year long.  Others are not as easy to shop for.  I am not in search of "the perfect gift".  I just want to give them something they will enjoy and will not consider added clutter in their lives.  Even my husband is hard to buy for.  This time I think I got it right.  I gave him his gift a couple of days ago - a little early.  He does not enjoy having to put up outdoor decorations, but tonight he said, "My kind of decoration.  You plug it in and walk away."
My gift to Ron this year for Christmas

The only perfect gift ever given to the world, was a baby in a stable over 2,000 years ago and he was sent to us by God our Heavenly Father.  For us, the gift is free.  All we have to do is accept it.  God gave His only son to come to earth as a baby and that son, Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth for 33 years before dying on a cross to pay for my sins and yours.  Sometimes we can get caught up in the decorations and gift buying, the parties and parades of the season and not take time to remember the true meaning of what Christmas is all about. 

So, why do we exchange gifts at Christmas time?  That is a question that has many answers - some make more sense than others.  For me, it is a mixture of tradition and love.  It is hard not to become caught up in the commercialization of this Holy Day.  Over the years I have heard how different families celebrate the time.  Some open gifts the night before to keep Christmas day focused on Christ.  One year we included a mother and her daughters at our Christmas dinner who did not believe in exchanging gifts at all.  Sometimes a gift I give may be more about memories than something useful or needed.  That is what happened with my gift to my Mom this year.

Mom was not going to put up a tree this year.  She was going to be out of town.  Her first plans fell through due to a couple of doctor's appointment that took priority over the trip to my sister's house.  So she got out a few decorations, but then my brother invited her to his home.  So she was going to be gone just a short time compared to a longer stay in Idaho.  Growing up, one year we had a unique Christmas tree.  For some reason that seemed also forgotten, Mom spray painted our Christmas tree florescent orange and then decorated it all in silver.  She had silver chains, silver ornaments, and a silver ball suspended over the top of the tree.
Mom putting hooks on ornaments as we decorated her tree
At the time, we kids we appalled!  How could she?  It was in the late 1950s and it was very "modern", but where was our green tree with the usual ornaments?  Yet now, 55+ years later, it is the tree we all talk about and remember.  All the green ones seem the same in our memories. Shopping earlier this month while in Dallas, we came upon an orange Christmas tree.  It was not florescent orange, but close enough.  As I debated buying it for Mom, my husband just picked it up and put it in our cart.  At home, I bought decorations for it all in silver.  I could not replicate all of them, but did the best I could and took it to Mom one evening earlier this month.
Mom with her orange Christmas tree
What memories it brought out!!  She loved it!  She thought it was perfect.  She helped as I decorated the little tree and at one point she asked me why we painted it florescent orange.  My reply, "We, pale face?"  (You have to be a certain age to understand that comment - think Lone Ranger.)   As we talked, it seems the most likely answer was that the tree was so straggly, as many were in those days, that it needed help.  By the striking color and the contrasting ornaments, each ornament became showcased as it hung on the tree.  Precious memories make a great gift for adults.

There are still a few odds and ends on my shopping list and I plan to be out tomorrow morning taking care of those.  It would be nice to be finished with the hustle and bustle of crowded stores, but there were just too many other things going on this year - several out of town trips this fall. 
Our son and his wife in McAllen
Since my last posting, we have made a trip to McAllen to spend last Sunday afternoon with our son's family there.  They are all staying busy.  Some had been working on putting together a new swing set for the younger children.  It was becoming a challenging project especially when the dogs wanted to chew up some parts.  The visit was fun and relaxing.  Using the Cochlear phone clip is great.  I wish the battery had a longer life than it does, but it is good until the battery runs down and needs to be recharged.

We have had dinner out with our friends, Pat and Dennis.  Pat and I spent one Saturday afternoon and the following Monday evening working on a gift she was making for one of her grandchildren.  It is so much fun to work on projects with friends.  This one turned out great and I think the little granddaughter will enjoy it for years to come.  It is another of those memory gifts. 
Fabric photo book


  1. Glad you are enjoying the holiday.....all the fun of preparation went out the window for me last saturday. I flew back to DS Friday night to be with the kids this week and had plans for baking cookies, etc. got up saturday morning and couldnt walk....pinched nerve in my lower back. Been to a chiropractor 3 times and its a lot better but still pretty painful. So my christmas is going to be a little less merrier than I had hoped.

    1. So sorry, Tiny. I have done that often, but recently a different area is pinching a nerve and really having some bad days. About ready to go to a chiropractor. Would you private message me your new address. I am finally ready to send out Christmas cards. I need that address, but could send the card to DS if you want. Is the P.O. box address there still good?