Shameless Story Plug

Looking for something short but sort of festive to read? Do you like fiction? How about overworked civil servants that deal with keeping the paranormal under wraps while maintaining the ignorance of the general population?  I’ve got just the thing and it is available for download on Amazon for only $0.99!

Bite Of The Sugar Plum FairiesChristmas is coming and the officers of the Arcane Investigations Division are finding the holiday season to be a busy one. Everyone has been working extra hours but Paul and Mike have been promised two precious days off if they can just manage this last case without major incident. All they have to do is break into an occupied house and round up a bunch of angry fairies without waking the owners or exposing the existence of the supernatural. Easy right?

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Christmas Cards

cards-2052053_1920Today I filled out 18 Christmas cards. My hand hates me.  I don’t usually do that much writing by hand. I type because it is easier on the joints. I am proud of those 18 cards. I filled out addresses and applied stamps and everything. The next step is to actually get them mailed. It only took me two and a half weeks to get this far, maybe I manage to get the cards out in time for Chrismas.

Though my hand is complaining about filling out 18 cards I am certainly glad it wasn’t 18 letters. About a hundred and seventy-five years ago, Christmas letters were what you sent instead of cards. It is all thanks to one guy in England that really didn’t feel like writing a ton of letters to all his kith and kin, that we have Christmas cards at all. This enterprising fellow instead had an artist draw a festive season sketch with the words Merry Christmas and Happy New Year already written on it. Then he had the thing copied and sent those out instead of the traditional Christmas letter.  It took a while before they caught on and someone realized there was money to be made.goblet-3564507_1920

Now, Christmas cards are a tradition that many embrace, though sending a card through the mail has become a bit old fashioned, much like Christmas letters. Now we send a Merry Christmas text message or a mass greeting on facebook. However, I like to still send cards when I can.

I think when you take time to sit down and actually scribble out a sentence or two, or even just “Merry Christmas” in a card and then actually mail it to a person it shows that the person you sent the card to matters to you. It is certainly easier and cheaper to text or email. Stamps are ten dollars for a book of twenty and the cards cost money too. Then there is the time spent digging up actual mailing addresses and trying to produce writing that is legible enough that another human can read it. Christmas cards take effort. If you put forth effort for something like that it is because you care for the person receiving it. It’s like sending a long distance hug.

Maybe other people don’t see it like that. Maybe that is just my point of view. However, I am still thrilled by every card I receive and I hang them on the back of the front door where I can easily see them. I hope that people that receive cards from me feel the love I shove into the envelope along with the brightly pictured piece of cardboard.

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Christmas Cards for Addie

Scanning through my facebook timeline this morning I came across a heartbreaking story about a six year old girl from Utah. I won’t get into the details. I leave the link here for that, but this little girl is living her last year on this mundane world of ours. The doctors can do nothing for her.

She has two older sisters and a mother who will soon be grieving her loss even as they try to celebrate what time she has left. (The little girls also recently lost their father.) And what do they ask for during this time that has to be more difficult than anything I can imagine?

Christmas Cards. They just want Christmas Cards.

They want the world to know that this little girl, for a brief time, lived among us and touched lives. Today, my kids and I will sit at the dining room table and each of us create a special card to send to this family, to let them know we see Addie, and to let them know that they are not alone. Words on paper in colored hues to replace the hug that cannot reach from here. I invite everyone who reads this to do the same.

I believe in Santa Claus

Cleveland-TNI live in a small town that has grown into a rather medium to large town but doesn’t quite realize it yet.  We still have Apple Festivals in the fall, Christmas Parades with homemade floats, and Storytelling Guild meetings in the local library once a month.  Though there are more strip malls, restaurants, and hotels every year but it is still a relatively nice place to live.

There is an older gentleman and his wife who live here. He is a writer and a member of the storytelling guild.  He also owns a red suit that he dons every December.  Most of the year his name is Pete, but for one month he become something else.  A symbol of something far beyond a single man.  He represents magic, hope and wonder.  He is Santa Claus.pete

He rides in the Christmas parade and he sit in the big green velvet chair in the mall, tirelessly listening to each child that sits upon his knee. Some are eager and willing, some not so much, but he smiles to each and everyone.  Watching him, sometimes I think that if the real thing existed in a human form, then Santa has to be a double of Pete.

When I was a little girl, I asked my mother if Santa Claus was real.  Most children ask this question eventually.  Her answer was yes.  Then she went on to explain that Santa Claus wasn’t a person but a spirit.  The spirit of giving and cheer that enters into hearts around this time of year.  That special little nudge that has people being kinder or more generous than they normal would.

I have thought about that explanation a lot over the years.  And I have to say that I really like it.  I think about it every time I see someone drop a dollar in a salvation army bell time-magazine-salvation-army-donationringer’s bucket.  I think about it when my daughter offers to share with her brother, when my son gives up the last cup cake, and when my ex-husband offers to let me come to their house on Christmas morning to watch the kids open presents. (We alternate every year.)   These are things that don’t have to be done but people choose to do them anyway.  Each time these types of things happen, I am witnessing that giving spirit.  Call it Santa Claus, call it something else if you wish, but cherish it.

Yes, Virgina, there is a Santa Claus

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.”

Christmas Eve

cast-of-a-charlie-brown-christmas-2I’ve been feeling kind of up and down lately, like Charlie Brown trying to figure out what Christmas is all about.  I know the story of course. My grandfather was a preacher, it would be kind of hard not to.  Every year we would all gather at our tiny church on Christmas Eve and someone would read it by candle light.

My tree is lit, presents are wrapped, the kids and I have baked cookies, and I even read them the Night Before Christmas.  Sounds like the typical traditions have been observed right?  I’ve even watched the Grinch steal Christmas and the Griswolds acquire their tree.

So what am I missing?  Where is the magic?  Well this morning when I turned on the t.v. I got my answer… sort of.

The kids had left it on one of the cartoon channels so the first face I saw this morning was Steve Urkle from the show Family Maters.  It was one of the Christmas specials I suppose because there was a tree and talk of Santa Claus.  However the words that had me pause over the channel button were:  “Because it’s a miracle Laura, you don’t analyze miracles, you just believe in them!”christmas_eve

Clark-GriswoldMy name is not Laura but the words struck a cord.  Like Clark Griswold, I have been trying grinch-headertoo hard.  Like the Grinch, it was at that moment that I remembered “…Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more.”

There is so much going on in the world, a lot of it bad, that we get wrapped up this time of year either with the Christmas Blues or with forced cheer, trying to make everything just right.  We can’t make the world perfect.  It’s not made that way and everyone has there own version of perfect.

We can however remember miracles and accept them for what they are.  Don’t analyze.  Find a dollar when you needed one?  Get a phone call when you were down?  Someone show up for a surprise visit?  For every bad thing advertised there are a dozen little good things left unspoken.  best_41241bb5c2574fffced6_A_Charlie_Brown_Christmas_

 

 

 

Falling behind in life

523898_427143540690691_680257817_nI have been remiss lately on wishing dear friends happy birthday,  I have “finished” my Christmas Shopping only to realize I forgot people, and trying to remember what I need when I go to the grocery store has become a joke.   Lately I just can’t seem to keep up with everything.  You would think with all the facebook reminders and grocery lists and with speaking to certain people everyday I would remember it all.  But it just doesn’t happen.  Especially when you add in kids and cats.

Casper
Casper

I have had to run back out twice over the last week after getting home from work because I forgot we were out of kitty litter or didn’t realize we were running low on cat food.  I gave up sleep on Monday to watch my daughter’s Christmas concert and tomorrow I have to find a way to be in both kids’ classrooms at once for their Christmas parties.

What I really want to do is hide out at a coffee shop for the first hour and then show up for Garfield-Mornings-garfield-172375_312_318the second hour, spending thirty minutes in each class.  I don’t do crowds well.  I will probably suffer through the whole thing anyway because, I’m mom and that’s what moms do.

260786634643864780_BGZ6cMSS_bI will get up at dark thirty to have my quiet writing time before they get up.  Make sure they are up in time for school, dressed and fed.  Make sure they have all of their stuff then take them to school and do the party thing. Afterward I will take them home and feed them again.  Then we will go meet up with their dad, step-mom, and baby half sister to go visit Santa.  Then we will come back home….you get the idea.  Somewhere in there I will try to remember to purchase more kitty litter because it looks like we are low again.

*sigh*  I now know why people spike eggnog.   eggnog_Flickr_izik