Posted tagged ‘Christmas’

A New Home for the Holiday

January 2, 2020

My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” ~Forrest Gump

Truer words were never spoken. This year instead of hosting Christmas festivities, my daughter, her husband, and their three daughters hosted us and my son-in-law’s family – his mother, two brothers/wives and a two-year-old. For three days there were thirteen people—nine adults, two two-year-olds, and two four-year-olds—walking, running, jumping, and tumbling around my daughter and son-in-law’s home.

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On Christmas Eve we celebrated an updated Slovak meal – Oplatky (a traditional Christmas wafer), oyster stew (a New England addition), Grandma’s Katie’s fried fish, coleslaw, French fries, and Christmas cookies.

Christmas Day brought Santa gifts, a gift-wrapping mess, and some wild and crazy little ones!

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The afternoon was spent preparing for Christmas dinner, taking naps, and quiet reading time for the non-nappers.

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The dining table was readied. No kid’s table allowed. Everyone had a place at the big table set with Christmas china, shiny silverware, and red and green cloth napkins, a beautiful centerpiece, and one more surprise gift that acted as a place card.

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Dinnertime is what our family calls the “witching hour” for the little ones. Usually, no one is happy with anything. My husband and I hoped for the best as we all gathered around the table. Dinner began with a prayer said by the grandchildren. We clinked our glasses, shared delicious food, talked about our favorite part of the day, and laughed. As I looked around the table, I saw the joy of a family gathering together, and not one child asked to be excused from the table early. It was a Christmas miracle!

Behold the happy family!

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Don’t look for us there. My husband and I had returned to our home to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Christmas season!

I wish you all a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2020!

 

 

 

Happy Holidays!

December 26, 2019

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

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A special thank you to all those who follow and read my blog. I appreciate that you take the time to do so. Happy Holidays to you all!

Happy Holidays!

December 20, 2018

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In this season of hope and goodwill, may your heart and home be filled with the joys of love, family, and friends.

Merry Christmas!

 

Christmas Chaos

December 13, 2018

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…

Actually, it’s beautiful and sunny, but the atmosphere inside is frightful.

I’m behind in my Christmas prep. This is not my normal self. I’m usually on top of things.

It’s time to make my list and check it twice.

“Deck the Halls!”

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Done!

I’m Dreaming of a “White Christmas” with every Christmas card I write!

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Done!

Christmas Cookies – Wh-a-a-a-t?

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Recipes – waiting patiently!

Presents – That’s Santa’s job!

Wrapping –  Can’t wrap without presents!

What else?

Laundry baskets full of dirty clothes.

Dust bunnies hopping in every nook and cranny of the house.

Grocery shopping – the cupboards are bare.

There is chaos in our household. Guests invited weeks ago are expected for Saturday dinner. Family will be here on Sunday –  because there’s “No Place Like Home for the Holidays.”

I keep telling myself, baby steps. Oh, oh, those baby steps remind me of the three sweet girls coming on Sunday. Curiosity will get the best of them. That means to get ready for the “Jingle Bell Rock” and roll of the Christmas tree.

All of this is making me a crazy woman. If I keep this up, “I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas!”

“Breathe in…breathe out,” says my husband. “You can do it.” And then he points to the tree in our backyard that he decorated with me in mind. His heart lights up my life!

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Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. ~Washington Irving

 

 

 

Putting Christmas Away

January 4, 2018

Ah… The Christmas Season! I love it! Decorations. Lights. Family. Friends. Festive foods. It’s like no other time of year. Our home is decorated to the nines. In every nook and cranny, there is something special. It’s been said our house throws up Christmas!

The holidays are over, and all I can say is – THANK GOODNESS! Yup, this is me, Mrs. Christmas saying, Bah Humbug!

The arrival of my daughter, favorite (and only) son-in-law, and three granddaughters on the day before Christmas Eve was the inciting incident. We were totally excited about celebrating Christmas with a four-month-old, and two-year-old twins. Yay! Fun times!

But wait! An unexpected Christmas gift came along with them. From the moment they walked through the door, the nasty flu bug was on their heels. Illness permeated the house. Suddenly, the happy family gathering became one of cranky little ones and cranky big ones, dealing with ear infections, coughs, and fevers.

On Christmas morning, I walked into the kitchen to be greeted by one of my granddaughters throwing up at the kitchen table. Fast action by my son-in-law caught the mess in his hands. (Merry Christmas, Mimi!)

The kitchen emptied out quickly, and I was the only one to remain. I spent the rest of the day there, carrying on a conversation with myself and preparing our Christmas dinner. (Hello, is anyone there? I could use some help!) No one listened to my call. They were busy napping or taking care of the sick. By the time six o’clock rolled around, everyone managed to present themselves at the dinner table. A champagne toast was made, and, as my granddaughters say, “we clinked glasses.” That one glass of champagne was the best Christmas present ever! (More, please!)

After our daughter’s family left, my husband and I took time to enjoy the peace and quiet after the chaos and recuperate. On Tuesday of this week, we began the task of “putting Christmas away.” This ritual always makes me sad. All the preparations and anticipation that go into the holidays disappear (poof!) just like that.

Well, almost. These are the last remnants of our holiday decorations. I’m sending them down to the dungeon to think about how they can make next year’s holiday season a more joyous and healthy one. Or better yet, I think my husband and I will spend Christmas at my daughter’s house and sit and enjoy whatever the holiday brings.

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Now, with a squeaky clean and disinfected house, it’s time to dive into 2018 with gusto. I have high hopes for a great year for everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts from this Year

December 21, 2017

My love of picture books has made me realize our lives are imitating the art and text found in picture books.

Two-year-old twins and a four-month-old have reduced my daughter and son-in-law into babbling, sleep-deprived parents. They now greet us with, “Welcome to the circus!” Yup, Dr. Seuss’ If I Ran the Circus pretty much says it all for them!

As for Mimi and Poppy (a.k.a. grandma (me) and grandpa), The Poky Little Puppy and The Little Engine that Could aptly describe us as we try to keep up with the endless energy of the little ones. There’s never a dull moment when it comes to babysitting. Our only downtime is when all three are asleep. That’s when Mimi and Poppy enjoy a glass of wine and do a happy dance before we collapse.

The twins are a mixture of classic picture books. They can…

be great friends like Frog and Toad

cause a rumpus like Max in Where the Wild Things Are

misbehave like David in No, David!

share like in A Weekend with Wendell

have a cranky day like Alexander, and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Or they can be adorable and loving like in Guess How Much I Love You

Our newest granddaughter takes it all in and holds her own. She’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, slowly finding her place in the world until she joins the “Twin Pack,” and they become “Three Amigos,” who, undoubtedly, will be up to some mischief.

We love being close to our family, but it’s also nice to be surrounded with the peace and quiet of our home, to enjoy our friends, and to reminisce about our youthful days when we, too, had an endless supply of energy. Luckily for us, we struck gold with our family and friends. Life is good. We hope yours is too!

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Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

 

 

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2015

 

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In the spirit of Christmas, I wish all of my readers a Happy Holiday. May you be surrounded by those you love. As Tiny Tim said, “God Bless Us, Every One!”

Seasonal Board Books

December 3, 2015

If you’re in a quandary as to what to get those little kiddos for the holidays, here are a few book suggestions you might consider. After all, a book is a gift you can open again and again.

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No Two Alike written and illustrated by Keith Baker. Celebrate the season with two birds who take readers on a winter wonderland journey.

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The Mitten written and illustrated by Jan Brett. A lost mitten grows bigger and bigger as one animal after another squeeze into it. To the reader’s delight, an unexpected sneeze sends the animals and mitten flying.  Will that lost mitten be found by its owner? Read on and take joy in the beautiful wintry illustrations.

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If you like Alice Schertle’s (author) and Jill McElmurry’s (illustrator) Little Blue Truck, you’ll be sure to be entertained by  Little Blue Truck’s Christmas! Enjoy the spirit of the holiday with this delightful book. It has it all – rhyming text, animal sounds, counting, one, two, three, four, five, and a tree that lights up.

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Llama Llama Jingle Bells written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. Dewdney creates her magic once again in this holiday themed book that includes all the trimmings for a perfect celebration.

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Ten on a Sled written by Kim Norman and illustrated by Liza Woodruff. Join in the fun-filled adventure as ten animals attempt a slippery ride down a snowy hill. Count them as they fall off – 10, 9, 8, 7 … By the time they reach the bottom, there is only one animal left. But don’t despair, all ends well.

If you’re interested in a book with a learning theme, you might want to check this out. The Misadventures of Cowhead:  Cowhead’s Big Move written by Charlene Peterson and illustrations by Kalpart.

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Happy Holidays

December 25, 2014

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Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

The Important Thing

December 19, 2013

At this time of year when priorities can easily become confused, a certain book comes to mind. I’ve mentioned this book before, but it’s a classic and deserves to be mentioned again.

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The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown has been around for over fifty years, and it still hasn’t lost its charm. The illustrations by Leonard Weisgard are a combination of bright colors and black and white drawings that compliment Brown’s rhythmic text. It’s a perfect book to share with a child. It celebrates the importance of the world around us − the simple things. When the book ends, the story need not end. You can continue by telling about the things you think are important. It’s fun. Give it a try.

With Christmas just around the corner, here’s my important thing.

The important thing about Christmas is the presence of love. It’s a time for family and friends, a time to share, and a time to laugh. But the important thing about Christmas is the presence of love.

What’s your important thing?


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Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

Children's Writer

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