Holidays

Merry Christmas to All!


Dearest Readers:

Merry Christmas! Today is the day to give thanks to the world for our Savior and his birth. May your day be filled with many blessings. Much love, and much thankfulness.

To our troops away from home, I say thank you…for your service to our Country…thank you for dedicating your life to the missions and I hope you have a Merry Christmas while away.

I remember the Christmas my husband was away, fighting a war that America refused to support. It was a lonely, sad year for me, and the saddest of Christmas holidays. No e-mail existed. No cell phones. The only communication we had were letters that took 10 days to arrive…an additional 10 days for a reply. Somehow we survived those sad times and each year, I give thanks that we have celebrated another Christmas holiday together.

For me, it is the little things that matter during this holiday season. A smile from a stranger. A nod. A simple “Hello,” or “Merry Christmas.” Those simple, kind moments mean the world to me.

If you are alone at Christmas, make a phone call to a friend. If you have family or loved ones in nursing homes, make the time to visit. Just take one moment from the ‘busy-ness’ of the day to say three words, “I Love You!”

In life, we never know how long we will live. We awaken to a new day, procrastinating until tomorrow for simple things we should do daily. Please take the time and reach out to someone who is alone or lonely during this Christmas holiday season.

Merry Christmas, from our home to yours. God has blessed us with this day. Let us make the most of every moment at Christmas and always! Merry Merry Christmas!

Free Writing, Holidays

Merry Christmas


Dearest Readers:

This is the week of the Christmas holidays. A time to give thanks and to celebrate with friends and family. I would like to wish all of you a joyous and Happy Holiday Season — a Merry Christmas season.

This is the first Christmas season I can recall people actually saying, “Merry Christmas,” instead of “Happy Holidays” in a long, LONG time. Years ago when I worked in retail, we the employees were sent memos that we could no longer say “Merry Christmas,” since that phrase offends some people. I read the memo and tossed it in the trash.

“No one, including the company I work for will dictate to me what I can say,” so I said Merry Christmas to every customer. Never did I get a complaint.

This is The United States of America. Home of the free and brave. Home where we can speak what we wish to speak — and so I say to all reading this during the Christmas holidays — Merry Christmas.

No, I’m not officially ready for Christmas. I still have gifts to wrap. Goodies to bake. The table to set, and dinner to prepare. Church to attend. This is probably the only free moment I will have to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. As soon as I complete this blog post, I must change clothes and get the house prepared. You know the scenario — dust the furniture. Vacuum. Clean bathrooms…etc. Etc….ETC!

Tonight after dinner I am baking cookies. A tradition I broke years ago. Now those traditions are oh so important to me.

Hubby and I will have a quiet Christmas Day with two friends and of course, our special family — our pups.

To our military families, I do hope you get to speak with your loved ones who are away during this time. I can relate to the loneliness and sadness of having a loved one away since my husband was away at war during our first Christmas season. Fortunately, we’ve spent many Christmas holidays together now and we do our best to give thanks and to be appreciative of the love we share during the Christmas season.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. I hope you will make the day special. Give thanks to God for all that we have, and all that we are…and above all, Please continue to say “Merry Christmas.” Such a beautiful, melodic phrase.

Merry Christmas to all…and now, I must crank up that silly vacuum cleaner. Ho Hum! If only Santa would do it, instead of me.

Merry Christmas!

Uncategorized

Reflections…At Christmas Time


Christmas   Is…

 Dearest Readers:

Yes, it is the Christmas season. A time to give thanks and be appreciative for all that we are, and all that we have. A time to celebrate the birth of CHRIST…a time to recognize that IF we did not have the ‘birth of Christ’ as the reason for the season, we would not be celebrating Christmas.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons for this editorial. I cannot tell you how many times I hear good wishes, such as “Happy Holidays.” My response is a quick, “Merry Christmas to you too.” On one occasion while shopping, the employee look stunned at me when I said, “Merry Christmas.”

“We can’t say that,” she replied. “We can only say Happy Holidays.”

“But…this is America. The land of the free. We can express anything here in America.”

She looked down at the floor. “We can only say “Happy Holidays.”

I recall when I worked in the retail sales industry and we were told it was better to say “Happy Holidays,” than to express “Merry Christmas,” after all, we did not want to offend anyone. The philosophy at the department store was that Happy Holidays covered all of the holidays. Still, I expressed, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” covering both. I didn’t care that I might offend someone. If they were shopping for the holidays, then I wished them a Merry Christmas.

I remembered my grandmother and how furious she got when she read “Merry Xmas.” “That isn’t Christmas,” she expressed. “They’re leaving Christ out of Christmas.” As a child I didn’t fully understand what she was saying. Now older and wiser, I do understand and I make certain I write Christmas, not Xmas. I will not leave Christ out of Christmas.

I do not believe that I am the most religious person in the world, but I do believe in Christ and I believe I am a Christian. I do my best to be a good person, and to treat others as I wish to be treated. Of course, I am human, and at times, I am just a bit opinionated, as you will read in this epistle! Yes, I am a feminist and an advocate against domestic abuse of all types. I look for the good in everyone and I believe that everyone in life has a purpose; however, I believe that when we make mistakes, we must admit them, apologize and rise above the controversy or pain we caused to others. Everyone deserves a second chance. We must make the most of every day and live life to its fullest. I attempt to treat everyone as an equal and I do not understand that IF America is the land of the free, where we can express our words freely, then we should be able to keep Christ in Christmas, and by saying Merry Christmas, there should not be any offense to anyone.

Let’s consider Christmas:

C Christmas, a time to Celebrate and to share our love with others. Most of all, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Christ child. A time for change and growth within our lives.

HHope. Something our entire world needs now more than ever. Hope for the future.Hope for peace.

R –<ins Reflection. A time to reflect on who we are, where we are going, and what we are doing in our daily lives.

IIntegrity. Everyone needs to strive to have more integrity for ourselves, and for others.

SSalvation.

TTime. We need to share more of our time, especially quality time with our loved ones. We need to make time to shut down or unplug the technology and to share quality time without interruptions.

M – Making the most of each day while recognizing that life is short and we should appreciate those who are important in our lives.

AAdoration. Appreciation.

S – Simplicity.

Last year, during the Christmas holidays, I was sick. Dreadfully ill with acute bronchitis. My body lacked energy. Every breath was a struggle. My oxygen level was ‘less than 85,’ and I was told to get plenty of rest. Resting was not a problem. Throughout the day, I rested in bed, watching Lifetime and Hallmark channel Christmas movies until I could almost recite the dialogue of each movie. When the phone rang, I ignored it. I told my friends to simply let me rest. I suppose it is easy to say I basically shut the world away as I drank coffee, took my pills, coughed my head off, struggled to breathe and to rest. I was miserable. My precious schnauzers could not understand why they were tucked inside the gated community of the breakfast room while I sauntered ever so slowly towards the bedroom. Housework was ignored. My stove actually got so dusty I could write my initials on it. My Christmas holidays were a time of reflection. For weeks I wondered IF I would ever get well. What did I learn during this time?

I must say, my husband was my angel during this time. You must remember, my husband has PTSD. When things do not go as he anticipates, let’s just say, he can be a real grumpy bear of a man. Never did he ask me to do anything at home, with exception of resting and getting well. I recognized my neglect of my home and him when he asked me during the week if I could teach him how to do the laundry. He glanced at me, apologizing to bother me saying, “I’m out of clean underwear and shirts.”

Just how long had it been since I did laundry? Glancing at the calendar I realized this illness began in late October. The calendar staring back at me was December. It was time to do laundry!

Life is precious. It is to be cherished with those we love and we should make the most of every day we live. After all, we never know when the wheels of life may turn and we never know when Father Time may start ticking away. Last Christmas, I didn’t shop, at all! My life and health was in a fog, so I learned that Christmas should not be a time to rush around. It is a time to reflect and to appreciate.

Christmas time is a great time to change our lives. To celebrate and appreciate our loved ones, freedom and the belief and faith we have.

So many of us get wrapped up in the hustle, bustle of the holiday season. We rush to get to the next social event. We rush to get our families prepared for the holidays, and we rush to complete our shopping. Maybe we should slow down and appreciate life.

How many times have you seen the actions of someone during the Christmas season? The rushing in traffic. The rudeness of others? Yesterday, a driver that was behind me in a torrential rain storm decided I wasn’t going fast enough in the center lane. He drove so close to me that If I had to slam on my brakes, he would’ve rear ended me. I tapped my breaks lightly, to give him the message to back off. Instead, he swiftly changed lanes, cut me off, then tapped his break. He displayed his arrogance driving by, giving me the finger. Such a nice man!??? Perhaps a new and tormented “Mr. Scrooge!” Yes, he sent me a message and I hope wherever he was headed in the rain storm, I do hope and pray he made it without causing an accident.

It is my perception that we should slow down and appreciate life, especially during the Christmas rush season. Perhaps while shopping, we could stop and smile at someone. How many times have you noticed someone with a frown on their face? Maybe if you said hello to that person it might change their perspective. Have you ever visited a nursing home at the holidays? There are so many people there who never have a visitor and during the Christmas season they do not receive mail, phone calls, or visits. These residents deserve to have a happy holiday season. I have added a few to my Christmas letter list and I enclose a Christmas card with the letter. My hope is to put a smile on someone’s face during the holidays. After all, Christmas is the reason for the season.

My Christmas wish for all of you reading this is one of simplicity. May you appreciate your family and friends while taking the time to realize Christmas is a time to share your love to others and to man kind. May you never get so busy with the demands of your life that you forget to smile and say hello. May you not over indulge with the spirits of the season, the foods, and the gift giving that you forget the true meaning of Christmas. May you stop for a moment, inhale, exhale and say, “Merry Christmas” with a smile on your face.

Merry Christmas to all, and may God bless us – EVERYONE!

Little things mean a lot, especially at Christmas.

Holidays

Merry Christmas to the World – Let Us All Take The Time To Pause…


Dearest Readers:

Merry Christmas, World. It is early morning on Christmas Day. A day to reflect. A day to pause. A day to remember and appreciate the true reason for the season. A day to pray and give thanks. Christmas Day 2013 – a day to appreciate all there is.

Last evening, my husband and I made a new tradition — one we haven’t done in a few years. Somehow, life got in the way and we broke the tradition of going to church. I found excuses. “I cannot find a church I truly like.” Another excuse — “That church is too big. We simply blend into the wood work.” Excuses. EXCUSES. So many excuses.

Monday afternoon while reading e-mails, I came across an e-mail from Seacoast Church, only this time, I actually ‘paused’ — taking the time to READ this e-mail. I discovered they were having a church service with Christmas music on Christmas Eve. I booked a reservation and last night, we went to the Christmas Eve service. Sitting in the back, when the music started, I was moved. Touched. Chills rushed throughout my body. My eyes watered. There, sitting next to my husband, I PAUSED.

What? You might be saying? Why are you writing “pause” or “Paused” so much?

So simple. Last night while sitting in church listening to the service, the sermon was simple — the subject — “Pause.” I decided I must “pause” more. Let’s discuss the definition of ‘pause.’ PAUSE, “a temporary stop. A period of time in which something is stopped before it is started again. A control that you use when you want to stop.”

Yes, it is true. I need to PAUSE more! I need to reflect, appreciate, and consider my actions BEFORE I speak. There have been many times in my lifetime where I have reacted without consideration of my actions. For that, I am sorry. From this day forward, I will PAUSE. I will REFLECT and consider for every action, there is a reaction. From this day forward, when I feel I am hanging on the end of a tight rope, I will PAUSE.

Today, I have a new meaning for the Christmas season. I’ve always considered myself as a religious woman. While it is true, I do not preach the gospel to others, I do remind people that we must be nice. Normally, when someone or something bothers me, I kill with kindness. I smile a sweet smile, and I do my best not to offend others. Yes, I am opinionated and I do speak my mind, but I really do consider my actions; however, I am human and I do have a quick temper when someone ruffles my feathers. Starting today, I will pause, before I speak. I will reflect.

Last night at church, something happened to me. As stated, I had chills rushing through my body. I felt a power I haven’t felt in many years and I know it was the power of God touching me. This morning, while I await my husband getting out of bed so we can exchange our gifts, I feel different. I suppose a simple five letter word touched me, teaching me to appreciate. To reflect. To rewind. To refresh. To pause.

Today is Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to God. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to Jesus. Merry Christmas, World. Please take a moment to give thanks. To appreciate your life and your loved ones. Mostly, take time — TO PAUSE!

Thank you, Seacoast Church for teaching me to PAUSE!

Uncategorized

When I Think About Christmas…I Think of Traditions…


Dearest Readers:

Today is Christmas Eve, December 24, 2013. A day for the world to come together, to celebrate and give thanks. When I think about Christmas, I think about years past. The many, many Christmases celebrated at my maternal grandparents tiny home in the mill village of Bibb City, Georgia. I remember my grandmother’s hands, her washing them every few minutes as she prepared the traditional foods for our Christmas Day. I remember the apron she wore, and I recall the delicious, tempting aromas of pies baking in the oven. The country ham, covered with cloves, pineapples and cherries.

Although our family was not rich, we lived in a community where people looked out for one another. At Christmas time we had foods delivered to us from our neighbors. One little lady within in the community was famous for her pound cakes. Every year, she delivered a freshly made pound cake to our door. Another lady made pies, especially homemade apple pies. Grandma baked custard pies and sometimes, she made homemade lemon meringue pies. She always made her delicious, soft as a cloud and flaky homemade biscuits. Ham sandwiches tasted so much better when we used a cold biscuit.  Christmas time was truly a time to eat…and eat…and eat. Never did we worry about calories.

In later years, Grandma was too weak to bake. Breast cancer had taken its toll on her. I took over as the official Christmas cook. Never did I master Grandma’s biscuits, but I could bake fabulous pound cakes.

Our traditions as a family were simple. We exchanged gifts, most of them purchased at the family owned stores within the Bibb City community. We decorated a Christmas tree, usually just a few days before Christmas. We went to church on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Early in the morning of Christmas Day, we opened our gifts, rushed to church and arrived back home to finish cooking the Christmas meal. As a family, we held hands before eating, saying the family prayer of thanks.

At seventeen, our Christmas traditions changed, at least for me. I was a ‘grown, married woman,’ but my husband was away fighting a war. My mother and dad had divorced when I was fifteen. Christmas became a sad time for me. A husband away at war, my father visiting ‘just for the day.’

Quickly, the years faded away. My husband and I made our own traditions. Going to church. Attending Christmas plays and musical festivals. Sending Christmas cards to friends and family who lived away from us. We drove around, looking for Christmas lights in the more upscale communities. In 1973, we moved to Charleston. Every Christmas my dad would visit with us and together we built new traditions. Christmas dinner at our house, using the best china and lace tablecloths I owned. We opened presents, watched football, and enjoyed the company of each other.

In July, 1999, I lost my dad. Suddenly Christmas was quiet. Although we have a son, he shares his holidays with the family of his wife. Rarely do we get to see them, or our grandchild who is now 13-years-old.

Phil and I are making new traditions now. We drive to see the Christmas Festival of Lights in Charleston, along with other locations within our community. Tonight, we are going to church, to hear Christmas music. This year, Phil played DJ for me and two of my friends at the Red Hatters Christmas Luncheon. We’ve attended Christmas parties and I have noticed more people are saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”

After this discovery, I contemplated in hopes that people are drifting back to the true meaning of Christmas, along with Christmas traditions. So many people are in the belief that Christmas is a time to over indulge. A time to overspend and max our credit cards. A time to over do things. For example, many people must have the most Christmas lights on their home, to show how much Christmas spirit they have. Forgive me, but placing lights on a home does nothing to indicate how much Christmas spirit one has. According to a news report this morning, Christmas was not celebrated in the USA until 1871. I was shocked to hear that statement. No, I haven’t the time today to research it, but I have always been under the impression that Christmas was ALWAYS celebrated. My grandparents shared stories of old when I was a child, how they used candles on the tree, and in the house. I suppose in my childish mind I could not understand why electricity wasn’t used. Silly me.

I lost my grandparents many years ago, but the memories I have are to be cherished.

What are your traditions at Christmas?

This year, we will celebrate Christmas Day at a friend’s home. Perhaps after dinner we will sing a bit of karaoke, and drink a bit of wine. Meanwhile, I will reminisce about my Christmas Days as a child. There were four children inside the house, all tucked in, nice and warm. We would rush to see what was under the tree. Did Santa Claus bring me that special doll? Did I get a guitar? Just what would Santa Claus bring us? As stated, our family was not rich, but Santa Claus never forgot us. Now that I am older and wiser, I realize Christmas is really not about gifts. Christmas Day is a day to reflect and give thanks that we have family and friends who will care for us and spend time with us, during the good times and the sad times. Christmas Day is the day to celebrate Christ and to share that celebration with the world.

Last year at Christmas I was sick. So sick, I didn’t have the energy to cook a Christmas meal. Phil ordered a Christmas meal from Publix. When he delivered it, I realized it needed to be heated again because it was so cold. The meal was dreadful. I told Phil never to order a Christmas meal from any grocery store again. I was so disappointed. Now that I’m well, I wonder, was the meal so bad because I didn’t prepare it, and I STILL had to cook it? Later that afternoon, we drove to some friends’ home to have Christmas dinner. Honestly, I was so ill, I don’t remember much about Christmas 2012. Illness, and a constant cough that refused to go away. May I never celebrate another Christmas Day that ill!

My wish and prayers for you, my readers, is a day of Christmas Thanks and Traditions. May you enjoy the love and caring of your family and friends while taking the time to continue with your Christmas traditions. This evening, Phil and I will be at church. Later, we will exchange gifts, in hopes that we will see our grandchild.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

 

Holidays

What is Christmas?


Dearest Readers:

Christmas is more than gifts, socializing, drinking, partying and  simply having fun. Christmas is the season where we appreciate Christ and all that He represents. To those who are atheists, I say, it is a fact that I believe in Christ and Christmas and I strive to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas. I do not write “Happy Xmas” on packages or on Christmas cards. I write Merry Christmas. I believe in leaving Christ in Christmas.

While you are busy shopping for just the perfect gift for your loved ones have you ever caught yourself singing aloud some of the Christmas songs you hear? I confess, I could be one of those people singing the lyrics while shopping.  I simply adore singing. I know most of the Christmas songs by heart, especially those related to the reason for the season. “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night,” and so many more. Those songs touch me, filling me with the spirit for the holiday season.

But, I ask you — What Is Christmas? Is it simply a time to shop for everyone you know, in hopes they will exchange a gift with you? Is it a time to bake Christmas cookies, cakes and other delicious and too tempting foods? Is Christmas a time to open your home to others, in hopes they will be envious of your beautiful home? Is Christmas the time to brag to others about extreme holiday vacations and gifts? Or, is Christmas the time to celebrate and give thanks for religion, freedom, family, friends, and the birth of Christ on that first Christmas Day?

For me, Christmas is a time to remember holidays past. I remember my grandparents and how they instilled to four granddaughters that Christmas time was a time to attend church, to pray, to sing and to give to others, without expecting a gift in return. Christmas is a time to say thank you and to be appreciative for  every gift, even IF it is a fruit cake or something handmade. I remember receiving chocolate covered cherries, fruitcake and cookies. I smiled and said thank you. Our Christmas time was a time where we did not recycle these gifts to others. We kept them.

One of my most commemorative gifts was when I was about 15. A family friend who was more of an uncle than a friend, built handmade jewelry boxes for all of us. When I opened it, I noticed how shiny and beautiful it was. I had nothing to put in it, but I still have that special handmade jewelry box sitting on my dresser. I store my collection of pearls in it and I still cherish it. I do not have other gifts I can remember like this precious, special jewelry box. Isn’t it funny how something handmade still is cherished!

After last Christmas I learned something valuable due to illness. I was much too ill to rush around like a maniac, or to drive in such a rush, and I was much too weak to bake Christmas goodies. I suppose in all of the hustle bustle of the materialistic, commercialized season, I learned that Christmas is indeed a special time.  I caught myself going to a special window more, folding my hands in prayer, just like my grandmother did. When Christmas morning arrived, I didn’t rush to see what was under the Christmas tree. I rushed to give my husband a hug, but not a kiss, since I was so ill. I think I learned to appreciate the little things of Christmas last year, and when we went to dinner at one of our friend’s house, I don’t think I hugged anyone, for fear of spreading my germs. There is little I remember about Christmas Day 2012, due to illness, but I was  thankful for friends, family and the true reason for the season.

I made a promise to myself during Christmas 2012, a promise of not getting so wrapped up in the season that I would forget the true meaning of Christmas. Now that I am able to write again, I will attempt to write my beliefs for Christmas, and I hope you, my readers, will share your comments and traditions with me. Many of my traditions have changed over the years, but I still strive to share the memories made during my childhood. The traditions of church and singing in the choir. Still, I am searching for a church within my community and when I find it, I will retrieve the traditions I shared as a child.

Christmas is a season to refresh, give thanks and make time to find the little things that are so special in life. We, as a family, donate to local charities during Christmas, and I always contribute to St. Jude and other non-profits. Of course, I always reach to donate to the Salvation Army bell ringers, Meals on Wheels and others. My contributions are small, but they always warm my heart, just to share a bit of generosity and love to those who need help during the Christmas season.

To all of my readers, I wish you a joyous Christmas season. May you take the time to appreciate life, and not get bogged down within the Christmas rush. Take the time to say Merry Christmas to a complete stranger, and smile! Have a Merry, Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

Free Writing, Holidays

Reflections At Christmas Time


Christmas   Is…

 Dearest Readers:

Yes, it is the Christmas season. A time to give thanks and be appreciative for all that we are, and all that we have. A time to celebrate the birth of CHRIST…a time to recognize that IF we did not have the ‘birth of Christ’ as the reason for the season, we would not be celebrating Christmas.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons for this editorial. I cannot tell you how many times I hear good wishes, such as “Happy Holidays.” My response is a quick, “Merry Christmas to you too.” On one occasion while shopping, the employee look stunned at me when I said, “Merry Christmas.”

“We can’t say that,” she replied. “We can only say Happy Holidays.”

“But…this is America. The land of the free. We can express anything here in America.”

She looked down at the floor. “We can only say “Happy Holidays.”

I recall when I worked in the retail sales industry and we were told it was better to say “Happy Holidays,” than to express “Merry Christmas,” after all, we did not want to offend anyone. The philosophy at the department store was that Happy Holidays covered all of the holidays. Still, I expressed, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” covering both. I didn’t care that I might offend someone. If they were shopping for the holidays, then I wished them a Merry Christmas.

I remembered my grandmother and how furious she got when she read “Merry Xmas.” “That isn’t Christmas,” she expressed. “They’re leaving Christ out of Christmas.” As a child I didn’t fully understand what she was saying. Now older and wiser, I do understand and I make certain I write Christmas, not Xmas. I will not leave Christ out of Christmas.

I do not believe that I am the most religious person in the world, but I do believe in Christ and I believe I am a Christian. I do my best to be a good person, and to treat others as I wish to be treated. Of course, I am human, and at times, I am just a bit opinionated, as you will read in this epistle! Yes, I am a feminist and an advocate against domestic abuse of all types. I look for the good in everyone and I believe that everyone in life has a purpose; however, I believe that when we make mistakes, we must admit them, apologize and rise above the controversy or pain we caused to others. Everyone deserves a second chance. We must make the most of every day and live life to its fullest. I attempt to treat everyone as an equal and I do not understand that IF America is the land of the free, where we can express our words freely, then we should be able to keep Christ in Christmas, and by saying Merry Christmas, there should not be any offense to anyone.

Let’s consider Christmas:

C Christmas, a time to Celebrate and to share our love with others. Most of all, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Christ child. A time for change and growth within our lives.

HHope. Something our entire world needs now more than ever. Hope for the future. Hope for peace.

R Reflection. A time to reflect on who we are, where we are going, and what we are doing in our daily lives.

IIntegrity. Everyone needs to strive to have more integrity for ourselves, and for others.

SSalvation.

TTime. We need to share more of our time, especially quality time with our loved ones. We need to make time to shut down the technology and to share quality time without interruptions.

M – Making the most of each day while recognizing that life is short and we should appreciate those who are important in our lives.

AAdoration. Appreciation.

S – Simplicity.

Last year, during the Christmas holidays, I was sick. Dreadfully ill with acute bronchitis. My body lacked energy. Every breath was a struggle. My oxygen level was ‘less than 85,’ and I was told to get plenty of rest. Resting was not a problem. Throughout the day, I rested in bed, watching Lifetime and Hallmark channel Christmas movies until I could almost recite the dialogue of each movie. When the phone rang, I ignored it. I told my friends to simply let me rest. I suppose it is easy to say I basically shut the world away as I drank coffee, took my pills, coughed my head off, struggled to breathe and to rest. I was miserable. My precious schnauzers could not understand why they were tucked inside the gated community of the breakfast room while I sauntered ever so slowly towards the bedroom. Housework was ignored. My stove actually got so dusty I could write my initials on it. My Christmas holidays were a time of reflection. For weeks I wondered IF I would ever get well. What did I learn during this time?

Life is precious. It is to be cherished with those we love and we should make the most of every day we live. After all, we never know when the wheels of life may turn and we never know when Father Time may start ticking away. Last Christmas, I didn’t shop, at all! My life and health was in a fog, so I learned that Christmas should not be a time to rush around. It is a time to reflect and to appreciate.

Christmas time is a great time to change our lives. To celebrate and appreciate our loved ones, freedom and the belief and faith we have.

So many of us get wrapped up in the hustle, bustle of the holiday season. We rush to get to the next social event. We rush to get our families prepared for the holidays, and we rush to complete our shopping. Maybe we should slow down and appreciate life.

How many times have you seen the actions of someone during the Christmas season? The rushing in traffic. The rudeness of others? Yesterday, a driver that was behind me in a torrential rain storm decided I wasn’t going fast enough in the center lane. He drove so close to me that If I had to slam on my brakes, he would’ve rear ended me. I tapped my breaks lightly, to give him the message to back off. Instead, he swiftly changed lanes, cut me off, then tapped his break. Yes, he sent me a message and I hope wherever he was headed in the rain storm, I do hope and pray he made it without causing an accident.

It is my perception that we should slow down and appreciate life, especially during the Christmas rush season. Perhaps while shopping, we could stop and smile at someone. How many times have you noticed someone with a frown on their face? Maybe if you said hello to that person it might change their perspective. Have you ever visited a nursing home at the holidays? There are so many people there who never have a visitor and during the Christmas season they do not receive mail, phone calls, or visits. These residents deserve to have a happy holiday season. I have added a few to my Christmas letter list and I enclose a Christmas card with the letter. My hope is to put a smile on someone’s face during the holidays. After all, Christmas is the reason for the season.

My Christmas wish for all of you reading this is one of simplicity. May you appreciate your family and friends while taking the time to realize Christmas is a time to share your love to others and to man kind. May you never get so busy with the demands of your life that you forget to smile and say hello. May you not over indulge with the spirits of the season, the foods, and the gift giving that you forget the true meaning of Christmas. May you stop for a moment, inhale, exhale and say, “Merry Christmas” with a smile on your face.

Merry Christmas to all, and may God bless us – EVERYONE!

Little things mean a lot, especially at Christmas.

 

 

Holidays

Belated Merry Christmas to All


Good morning, World. Today is December 26, 2012 — the day after Christmas. Belated Merry Christmas to all. Another day for many to shop – to get the great after Christmas bargains. Ho Hum. I will not be a participant this year.  I’m still too sick, too weak to fight the crowds. For the holidays of 2012, I have been ill. Everything has been a fog to me. The beautiful Christmas trees. The Christmas lights. Christmas caroling. Christmas parties…Christmas mass…a complete fog.

I became ill in early October with bronchial asthma. Knowing how to care for myself, I rested, used my nebulizer and inhaler. I have asthma and I know what is required to get well, so I didn’t go to the doctor. I rested. Slept — once until 2:40pm. Totally out of character for me! Getting well a few days before Thanksgiving, I cooked a Thanksgiving feast for two. After Thanksgiving I realized I was still ill, but better.

On December 13, I awoke coughing again. Oh goodness…am I still sick? I asked myself. The night before was a fun night of dancing, singing and having lots of fun at Karaoke at the Elks Lodge. Barbie is back, I said. I’m finally well!

Surprise! Thursday morning is my weigh-in day at Weight Watchers. After washing my face, I turned my lighted makeup mirror on. Oh Gosh. What is wrong with my left eye? I stared into the mirror, got a fresh tissue, dabbing it gently on my left eye. It was bloody red, appearing to have blood gushing out of it. I was horrified. I looked like an alien! I can’t go to Weight Watchers like this. I have to go to the eye doctor! I checked the tissue. It was dry. No blood, nevertheless; my eye was BLOODY!

I looked for my opthamologist phone number in my new Iphone5. It wasn’t there. I struggled to think of the doctor’s name, but I was a true blonde this time. What to do? I decided to drive myself to the office as an emergency. If I needed to stay all day so they could work me in, I would. I packed a few magazines and the Post and Courier in my hand bag, and off I went to the eye doctor. I was mortified! No eye makeup on and here I was driving myself to the doctor. I imagined I would run into everyone I know — without makeup!

By now, I had a bit of pressure in my right eye. I could see well, so I didn’t think there was any damage. Less than an hour later, the doctor checked my eye. The left eye had suffered a subconjunctival hemorrhage from coughing. He confirmed I had no eye damage, but would look this way for a matter of weeks. Great. The holidays are upon me and I look dreadful. Can I wear eye makeup? My doctor laughed. Yes, I could. There was no damage to my eye…It just looked — interesting! Little did I know how sick I was becoming. By Sunday, my chest burned and there appeared to be a bear inside my chest. Growling. Wanting to come out, only I was too weak to let it out. My eye was still red. I could be in a horror movie now, not needing makeup at all!

For those of you who read my blog regularly, I thank you and I apologize for not writing lately. I have been much too sick, and so has my computer. One morning I attempted to use the computer. Everything wasn’t working. Trying to get on the Internet gave me a code of  ‘this page doesn’t exist,’ or something similar. Remember, I am sick and when I am sick, my brain becomes pickled! I realized, not only was I sick with this dreadful virus, but my computer had a virus too! At least my computer and I are closely bonded…maybe a little too closely bonded!

Monday morning, I phoned my allergy specialist. The earliest I could get an appointment was Tuesday afternoon. Lots of sickness in Mt. Pleasant. I was only one of them. Arriving late at the doctor’s office, I apologized, telling them I could not remember where they were located and went to the wrong office. Gosh, how I hate when I’m sick. I am a total air head, unable to comprehend anything.

I remained at the doctor’s office for over two hours. Constantly they tested, treated and diagnosed me. No flu. No fever. No pneumonia. Walking pneumonia — perhaps!

Now, my readers will understand why I’ve been so quiet. Too sick to write. Almost too sick to lift my head off the pillow. Changing the bed linens left me gasping for breath. Christmas Day I received a blessed gift from God — I awoke feeling better. I could go to my friend’s home for dinner. I was finally stepping onto the road to recovery.

This morning I am feeling better — bit by bit. This Christmas holiday season I wasn’t able to shop at all. Each time I thought I might be able to shop, something came up – a surprising assignment with New York Daily News, another assignment for my magazine editor, and of course, all of the illness I battled. So, Phil and I have quietly appreciated that we have each other. Shopping for gifts simply wasn’t an issue for this year. I was much too sick. After all, it is the little things we should appreciate every year at the holidays. For example – good health. Spending time with family and friends. Being nice to one another. Playing it forward with kindness. Instead of being in a rush, especially in traffic, why not allow that insensitive driver who is striving to cut you off to get into the lane ahead of you? Open the door to a stranger. Say hello to someone with a smile. Be nice. Christmas is the time of year to appreciate those who are in our lives, and those who come into our lives. Every one has a reason and a season. The little things. This year I’ve certainly learned to appreciate those precious words and to appreciate “Merry Christmas.”

Perhaps God wanted me to get sick to realize I must slow down a bit and appreciate those I love. Belated Merry Christmas, Everyone. Let us all give thanks for our life, our family, good health and God bless us — EVERYONE! Happy New Year 2013.