December 4. My Favorite Day!

Today is my favorite day of the Christmas season. Why? Well, not only are we moving the furniture around to make way for our Christmas tree, it’s also the day of the season we go see Yesterday and Today. The McGuigan Brothers have again added some new twists to the show they have been doing for many years. It’s a new venue, too. They have been talking about the acoustics in their new home, and it sounds extra special. More about that tomorrow.

When approaching the holiday season, some of us ask for the grace of a glad heart. Sometimes, we have to fake it until we make it. In the beginning, we try to fool ourselves. If we’re working to improve our outlook on life, and making gratitude a new way of life, we can get to the point where we’re not faking it anymore. It becomes part of who we are. We come to have a glad heart, and it’s what we need in this world today.

My Zoom call was more like a Doom call. We both had video, and she had sound. I did not. We communicated and decided to talk on the phone on Monday. I will call her at a certain time. That PST vs. CST is weird. I had it backwards, so now, I have it right. Hopefully, Monday will be better. I think it will.

I want to make this holiday season happier for my heart than it has been. Living in the present is what is the best to do. Being happy for the now is what I choose to do. I need to remember the reason for this season, that is my focus. Since we’re doing decorations like I used to, it’ll be a great time to assess what I can donate and what I want to keep. What I really want to keep. No extras.

I have some ideas to make small reading areas around the house. One in our bedroom, one in my office studio, and one in the lower level. Also have places on the deck and the patio. My spots will double as spots to hand quilt; hand sew things; or embroider. All things I love to do, just more organized. I think this will help me get my whole life organized and running smoother. I can always use more organization.

Some of the author groups I’m in talk about how they take books with them wherever they go. I do, and my brothers have similar habits. While our reading material is varied, the end result isn’t. We are entertaining ourselves, we are passing the time in a productive manner, and we are learning something we didn’t know before. Our parents taught us well. Bored? Couldn’t utter the word. If we did, it was, “Go get a book. Pick up the Newspaper. Draw something.”

Dad worked for the newspaper, so it was always in the house. He also loved drawing. He wanted to be a cartoonist. He was quite good. I have his “Learn to Cartoon” books. I think it’s partly why he loved the Charlie Brown cartoons. Especially Snoopy. If Dad laughed, you knew it was funny. Watching the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, he would say, “That damned dog!” while nearly rolling on the floor. It’s a great memory.

It’s time for me to mix up the egg casserole for breakfast tomorrow (back at the Keto), and finish getting ready for the day. I want to locate the boxes of decorations to start with. I’m going to make it a good season. It has to be. I’m accepting no substitutes. More lights! But no ladders for these old folks!

#800 Club!

As I’m sitting in our living room, fireplace blazing, dogs chewing on bones and napping, I happened to look at how many of these blogs we’ve shared. 800! Wow! That’s over two years! I’m grateful to each of you for reading. You’ve stuck by reading good blogs and not so good ones. You keep coming back, regardless of how you feel or how much time you have, and you check out what we have to say. I’m delighted with that.

Over 400 of you are following me; no, not in a creepy stalker way (I hope not!), but but you ask to be notified when we publish a new blog. I’m grateful for that! Feel free, please, to post a comment on the blog at WordPress, not just on the Facebook notification. I do appreciate a comment in the Facebook area; I believe others may open up and comment if someone will just start commenting on the blog itself. PM me if you’re not sure where to start. I’ll answer!

As the month of December is on the horizon, I’m looking forward to decorating our home for Christmas. Even without a lot of “company” during the season, I can still enjoy it. Why not? Sure, it’s a lot of work. Sometimes, we just need to do it and quit analyzing it to death. Mom and her sisters all went crazy with Christmas decorating. Mom still has more than ten trees, all decorated, in the various rooms of the old family home. Some she leaves up all year.

When I was a kid, it was an extravaganza when Mom decorated the house and tree. The fake mantle was always decked out, complete with the sequined Christmas Stocking her mother made for each grandchild. It was a nice thing of Grandma to do that. Mine didn’t have my name on it, so I let my daughter have it. I put her name on with glue and green glitter. She left it when she moved and got divorced, I think. Oh well. She can make her own!

In the 50s and 60s, we had the old antique looking glass ornaments. No plastic whatsoever. Chemically, I believe many of those had mercury and lead in them, but don’t know for sure. It blew my mind how you could see your distorted face in the glass balls. Yes, I was easily entertained. It’s one of the things the Babe loves about me.

Dad would wait until later in the month (probably mid-December) to get our live tree. Sometime as a kid, my grandma had a silver aluminum tree with the light wheel. A good friend of our folks, Alice and Jack, always got spectacular flocked trees, usually in white. Wow. Blew my mind. One year, she gave me a little mint green Kodak camera. I took photos of my little brothers, my dad, anyone who would sit still. Of course, the thrill came from waiting for them to develop from the camera store. You couldn’t just drop them by Walgreens. Click on the blue to check out the history of Walgreens, I found it interesting.

Grandpa Jewell had a Drug Store, Sundries, and Prescriptions. He had a pharmacist, Cliff Chase. Back then, much of the prescriptions were compounded. Mom said the Jewell family didn’t celebrate Christmas until she married Dad. Grandpa always kept the store open in case there was a sick child who needed medicine. Grandpa finally closed his store by 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, then re-opened the day after Christmas. Quite a feat, I think.

So, just like the Dad in A Christmas Story, mine had to haggle with the salesman. He always went alone, and teased us unmercifully about not being able to find one. One year, he convinced me we had to put it up and drill a hole into the ceiling so the top would be in my closet. Of course, I believed him. He would never lie! He was the King of Dad Jokes, before there were Dad Jokes!

After much grousing, he would set the tree up in the stand, and let the branches fall. Sometimes, they fell completely off, since he was also the King of buying Charlie Brown trees. He’d drill a hold into the skinny trunk, then put glue in the hole. He’d whittle the end of the branch until it fit. Once it dried, you never knew. Well, Mom did. She never let him forget it. We laughed as we grew older. When the Grinch came out as a thing, his favorite phrase was, “Bah Humbug.” Truer stuff never happened. My older brother and him exchanged a gift wrapped in paper with “Bah Humbug” all over it.

As I return to my novel for today, I am warmed by the memories of Christmas instilled in us by Mom and her sisters. My cousins all know what I mean by Christmas addictions. They’ve all lost their mom’s, so if they’d like to have their memories jogged, I’m sure Mom would love a visit for you all to view her tree addiction. I mean collection. It’s from where we all came! Thanks for reading today, our #800 Blog! See you all tomorrow!