Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

Hurry   Leave a comment

What’s the hurry?
I’m referring of course to the ever more noticeable early rush of Christmas decorations, music and advertising. I don’t know if it’s just more obvious this year because Thanksgiving was so early, or if it is truly even more ludicrous than usual.  I was subjected to “Feliz navidad” while shopping for the turkey. That’s just obnoxious.
There is no reason to Light Up Your Town on November the 5th, or start calling it “the holiday season” the minute the kids stop choking down all their Halloween candy.
It’s not the holiday season.  It’s November.  It’s being grateful for what you received, not looking forward to grabbing whatever you can get.
I know what you are thinking.
You’re thinking I’m a grumpy curmudgeon who can’t keep up with the times, who doesn’t like change and who doesn’t want to have fun.  If you think that, you’d be right–except for the bit about not having fun.  I really do love to have fun.  And I’m writing this because I think people are missing out.
Don’t miss the glories of November, the colors with the blue sky, and the rainy gloomy days when the leaves get torn down.  It’s orange, gold, red, russet and brown.  It’s harvest home.
Don’t miss the rest and the food of Thanksgiving, and the fun of being together with other people to give thanks.
Don’t miss Advent.  Don’t miss the anticipation of the feast of Christmas that is to come.  Don’t miss walking through the sorrow and darkness that is this life, knowing that the surprise that overturns it all is still to come.
Don’t miss the opportunity to sit, quietly, in your home, before the lit tree, and ponder the mystery and glory of this season, the Incarnation.
You don’t have to try to cram all the parties in before the 24th of December.
There is still time.  From December 25th to January 6th, you can lift your glasses highest, sing the loudest, and leave the Christmas tree up, and the lights on.  When the year is at its darkest, that’s when we need the lights the most.
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Posted November 30, 2017 by swanatbagend in gratitude, holidays

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Keep Celebrating   Leave a comment

There are still several hours to go of Christmas.  Don’t give it up just yet.

Today is Twelfth Night, and in the liturgical church calendar it’s the last day of Christmastide.

We still have all our decorations up except for the wooden block nativity which ended up scattered all over the den floor, so I put it away.  But other than that, we are enjoying the tree the kids decorated and all the trimmings.

That’s only partly because we haven’t had time to take them down between travel and being sick.

It’s because I always have the Christmas decorations up at least until January the 6th.

Do you feel like that is way too long to look at red and green?

If so, take into consideration the possibility that you are putting up the red and green too early.

Maybe you’re actually missing Advent (whose color is purple which I love).  As you probably already know, Advent means waiting, and that is what the approximately four weeks before Christmas Day are for.  Waiting for Christmas, but beyond that, preparation.  Stilling the heart and listening.

What ends up happening to me is that the four weeks of Advent are so full of Christmas parties, events, cooking, shopping, and preparation for the Christmas day feast, and any travel that is involved, that it can be difficult to find time to eat and bathe, much less wait.

So, how very valuable the wonderful reality that one of the most delightful feasts of the year is actually twelve days long.  We need those days.  We need them to rest and to celebrate and to honor Christmas in our hearts so that we can try to keep it all the year.

In our ordinary lives where waiting is so often drab, it’s also wonderful that we can enjoy a special set-apart time for doing just that.  Waiting.  God knows we must often wait for many things.  How glorious that we are given Advent, looking toward the lovely twelve days of Christmas, and all that is yet to come as well, where waiting is part of his gift to us.

Posted January 7, 2016 by swanatbagend in holidays

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Veterans Day   1 comment

I was hoping to write another installment in my Slobs series for Halloween, titled (unsurprisingly) Halloween for Slobs–and again unsurprisingly I did not get around to it.  Perhaps next year you’ll see that.  It will be a sister piece to my Christmas for Slobs on this blog, to be followed (when I get around to it) by my e-book Homeschooling for Slobs.

However, I do not recommend trying to do Veterans Day for Slobs.

Nope.  This day is one holiday you are not going to slob up.

For Veterans Day here are some ideas.  (By the way this lack of punctuation is correct–Veterans in this case is an attributive noun.)

There is probably a Veterans Day Parade in your city or town.  You might attend that to honor the veterans who march in it.

Another way to show respect is to attend a flag placing ceremony at a military cemetery.  I have done that twice with my daughter who is a scout, and it is a great honor to be among those who place the small American flags in front of each white tombstone.

You could make a donation to a non-profit that exists to serve veterans, or find one locally that needs your help.

One of the most personal things to do, of course, is to thank men and women you know who are veterans or who are currently serving in the military. If you know a military family whose enlisted member is currently overseas, ask what you can do to be of help and follow through with that.

Whatever your political views and whatever your perspective on wars we have fought in the past and our current involvements, these people deserve our respect and support.

They and their families have endured separations, often repeated, that no family would want to experience.  They have often moved to new locations where they have once again set up housekeeping and made a home.  They are some of the most kind and hard-working people you will ever meet.

And they are incredibly brave men and women who have chosen to serve where there are risks to be run.

Thank them.

 

Posted November 11, 2014 by swanatbagend in gratitude, holidays

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