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TToT: On Boxing Day, Boxes, and More Christmas Wrapping On Its Way #BoxingDay #10Thankful

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Photo caption: Christmas Eve 2017 photo with my neighbour.

I’m sitting tight today, between December 24/25th and our family’s second Christmas tomorrow, on this Boxing Day of 2017 and I have plenty to be thankful for.

Ten Things of Thankful

I am thankful for another six months with my kidney.

Creatinine was up, from its usual seventy, into the eighties and, of course, even with this slight increase I worry somewhat.

The doctor tells me I am doing well for twenty years on and that he has no reason to be concerned at this time. I take this and hold it close as a win, for now.

It’s a bit of a tentative thankful, but it is genuine. Best I can do.

I am thankful for lunch with my friend from across the ocean.

She is a senior resident OBGYN in Cork, Ireland. She has a life there, with her two-year-old daughter.

I am happy to hear of their lives and am grateful that they come back at Christmas.

We went shopping and out for a nice lunch. I learned about her daughter’s two best friends and their daily routines. Busy girls.

It’s just nice, however briefly they are here, that we can return to our familiarity with each other, no matter how long it’s been, how long a year has felt in between last seeing one another.

I hope her daughter, as she grows, will soon feel that too. I am just honoured to be Aunt Kerry to another amazing child, if not by blood, relation, than by bestowment through lifelong friendship..

Friendship, I’ve learned over the years is never guaranteed in life, but sometimes it is meant to be, with an extra pinch of additional effort.

I am thankful for a quick fix to my heat.

I woke up, on Wednesday morning, to no heat at all. By the evening, I was curled up to warm up, but heat had been restored throughout the vents in my home.

I had a friend to take me out and a neighbour offering a warm place to retreat into if necessary. I was never in danger of freezing.

I worried the workers would be busy this time of year, but I was on a list, and it was short.

The problem had something to do with the pressure switch. That’s all I retained from the explanation. It required a pickup of the part, or delivery really, and Bam! Done!

And I had just been paid for a writing job and it felt good to be able to pay my own repair bill.

I am thankful for a pre-Christmas musical dedication and episode of my brother’s radio show.

Sure, Christmas may be over officially, but why not check these songs out. Some are dedicated to snow too, and Hannukah.

Chin Music (Holiday 2017 Edition) – CHRW Radio Western

I heard the song he played, for me, and I proceeded to dance/flail around my living room to it. Good workout and a reminder that Christmas isn’t so easy, for everyone, all of the time.

Bah Humbug is too strong for me, thankfully.

I am thankful for a Christmas visit and generous gifts from my 2017 neighbour.

Wine and Dutch wafer cookies made with honey.

She gave me a bracelet and necklace, with my birthstone and a heart, and other charms.

I appreciate her in my life, starting this year, and a dear one for years to come.

I am thankful for the love of earth and the natural world in a family creation.

Picked up a mossy world, with a gnome riding a turtle for my dining room’s table’s centre.

My cousin was selling them at the Saturday morning market. They find glass jars and other things, like mine which was an old fish tank or possibly a cookie jar at one time. Then they add moss and other things, creating its own little world in a jar.

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I am thankful for a Christmas Eve morning visit with my friend and her daughter.

A two-year-old into Peppa Pig and I found the perfect Christmas surprise: Peppa Pig’s pizza parlour.

She loved it and warmed up as the visit progressed.

I am thankful we were played and up in the first hour.

http://keepingscoreathome.com/?p=3284

The audio story I wrote and recorded with my brother was aired on the 25-hour Christmas Eve/Day marathon, on a little college radio station in New Jersey.

Jon plays lesser known seasonal songs and a story from a listener, one per hour. He has been doing this for years now and has loyal yearly listener/fans like my brother. It was one of our goals, since he listened and familiarized me with the show last Christmas. We made a plan to send in a contribution from the two of us and we got it done.

It was odd hearing it on that show, but a nice way to finish off 2017 on a high note.

I am thankful for another Christmas Eve to watch A Christmas Carol with my father.

Humbug!

It came on TV at nine and at first, in colour, but my father would rather black and white. I can’t blame him and he found it on another channel.

Again, the past and present and future, and I learn and reflect on my life and on the world.

I am thankful my neighbour could join us for Christmas Eve this year.

She made her signature Caesar salad and served it in wooden bowls she brought back from Costa Rica.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKkzbbLYPuI

Onward to Second Christmas. Hobbits have “second breakfast” and the Kijewski family has “second Christmas”.

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Song Lyric Sunday, Spotlight Sunday

In My Day… #SongLyricSunday

I dedicate this one to my father.

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Sometimes a song comes on the radio and speaks to someone:

Here you go Dad.

***

You shine like a star
You know who you are
You’re everything beautiful
She’s hot, hot like the sun
The loneliest one
Still everything beautiful
Well I’ll be god damned
You’re standing at my door
We stayed up in the city
Until the stars lost the war
So Friday night, holy ghost
Take me to your level
Show me the one I need the most
I need the most

I wish I knew you when I was young
We could’ve got so high
Now we’re here it’s been so long
Two strangers in the bright lights
Oh I hope you don’t mind
We can share my mood
Two strangers in the bright lights
I wish I knew you
I wish I knew you
Oh I wish I knew you when I was young

Truth, it’s all that you need
You bury that seed
It’s everything beautiful
That sound comes from the underground
It’s all inside you now
It’s everything beautiful
But what are you running from?
They got you on the run?
So Friday night, holy ghost
Take me to your level
Show me the one I need the most
I need the most

I wish I knew you when I was young
We could’ve got so high
Now we’re here it’s been so long
Two strangers in the bright lights
Oh and I hope you don’t mind
We can share my mood, yeah
Two strangers in the bright lights
I wish I knew you
I wish I knew you
Oh I wish I knew you when I was young

Maybe we can share my mood
Whoa, whoa, whoa
Maybe we can share my mood
Whoa, whoa, whoa
Maybe we can share my mood
Whoa, whoa, whoa

I wish I knew you when I was young
We could’ve got so high
Now we’re here it’s been so long
Two strangers in the bright lights
Oh and I hope you don’t mind
We can share my mood, yeah
Two strangers in the bright lights
I wish I knew you
I wish I knew you
Oh I wish I knew you when I was young

LYRICS

***

This week’s
SLS:
so near the holidays and the end of yet another year, and a lot of wishing goes on for us all.

It’s all the pretending we partake in and the pretending things were once better that can get in the way of living in the “now” of the present.

Regrets are plentiful. It’s a main theme in A Christmas Carol and I watch at Christmas, every single year, and think of the past, present, and future of it all.

Pretending things are fine when they aren’t. Pretending things were so much better when they likely weren’t.

And here’s to not having to pretend so much.

Cheers!

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TToT: Special Snowflakes and Safe Places – Wham! Bah HumBug! Whoosh! #SnowInTheSahara #10Thankful

: You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch / You’re a nasty, wasty skunk / Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk / Mr. Gri-inch / The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote: Stink, stank, stunk!

—Dr. Seuss

Two holiday favourites I like to watch this time of year are The Grinch and A Christmas Carol. I wonder at if the real life Grinches and Scrooge’s of this world could grow a heart and see the error of their ways, but sadly, I doubt it by this point.

Neil Gaiman Reads “A Christmas Carol” – NYPL Podcast

Also, as I was sitting in the gymnasium from my youth, watching a new generation of children singing about Santa and snowflakes and all the other traditions of this time of year, I felt the ghosts of my own childhood, all the years I spent in elementary school. I also listened to songs about snowflakes and I thought about that.

I get on my own case for letting it bother me at all that the idea of a snowflake has been hijacked by those who have started referring to “liberals” as “special snowflakes” and saying all the “special snowflakes” need to go and hide out in their “safe places”.

So just what exactly is so wrong with that, anyway? Huh? Hmm?

I want a break from worries. As much as I love the advice I’m often given, to try not to focus on those things that upset me, I refuse to let something as beautiful as a snowflake be a negative thing. Or, as if a safe place is somehow a bad place to be.

Oh, no no no. I…Don’t…Think…SO!

So, here I am, starting this pre-Christmas TToT with a rant or two, but I wish I didn’t have it on my mind to rant about anything at all. I do plan to give myself the gift of a break from all that once Christmas does come.

(this is a real single snowflake showing all of the tiny details)

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I’m thankful for snowflakes.

Snowflakes are special, this is true. They are nature at its finest. They are the most delicate things and I am lucky to have grown up with them, here in Canada. I recently had a fascinating conversation with someone who didn’t grow up with the kind of snow we have here. He spoke of his thoughts about it now. I enjoyed hearing his perspective, so different from mine.

They are all different, snowflakes, and that makes them special, not one being the same as another. They may be delicate on their own, but as more and more of them fall, eventually they become a collection of flakes, which makes snow and the results of enough snowflakes, all packed together, this can become the most unstoppable of forces: an avalanche.

I’m thankful for safe places.

Wait until war ravages where you call home and then see if you look for a safe place to run to.

In a world so full of harsh weather and cruel human behaviours, and a safe place is something we all would cling desperately to.

I thank everything I have for home, which is my safe place/space, where family are and where I know I am loved by someone. I desire greatly to explore the world, but I’m sure thankful I have the safe place right here to return to. If that makes me winy or pathetic to some, so be it.

I’m thankful for solstice. Man, do I love that word.

🙂

December 21st is the first day of winter. I am ready for it.

Snow Falls In The Sahara For First Time In Over 37 Years – Bored Panda

I think there is something beautiful about winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. People are thrilled this means the days, from here on out, begin to lengthen and commence in June. That will be another big month in my life, but for now, I enjoy what transpires in this part of the world and astronauts have seen it and word it best:

***

Generations of astronauts, after looking at Earth from space, have professed a profound new understanding of it. Edgar Mitchell, who, in 1971, became the sixth man to walk on the moon, said, “From out there . . . international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’ ” Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong’s crewmate on Apollo 11, expressed similar sentiments in his memoir, “Carrying the Fire,” which was published in the midst of the Cold War. Seeing our home planet from afar, he wrote, prompted an epiphany: “The earth
Must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or Communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied.”
Mike Massimino, in his memoir, “Spaceman,” reports having spent almost a full day staring out a window of the Space Shuttle Columbia, watching sunrises and lightning storms (“like a form of communication, like a sequence, like the clouds are alien creatures speaking to each other in code”). On his second spacewalk, Massimino told me recently, he had a spare moment to “take in the view.” He recalls being struck not only by Earth’s incredible beauty—“We are living in a paradise”—but also by its fragility. From out there, he said, especially during night passes, “you can see the thinness of the atmosphere,” a bluish-green line. This sudden perception of Earth as a delicate, intricate system is so common among astronauts that the writer Frank White coined a term for it: the overview effect.
Astronauts are endlessly fascinating to me, in part because they have a knack for poignant quotations. Buzz Aldrin, for instance, described the lunar landscape as a vision of “magnificent desolation,” a grand phrase for a bleak truth. Unlike our paradisiacal, blue-and-white Earth, the moon has no atmosphere and no real sky—just gray dust and black space, such that color photographs from moonwalks appear mostly black and white, as though someone colorized the American flags after the fact.
NASA brought six flags to the moon, on poles outfitted with horizontal crossbars so that the stars and stripes would show, as though caught in a nonexistent breeze. The flags are still there, but radiation is presumed to have left them in tatters—monuments to our love of Earth, or maybe just litter.

***

I’m thankful for the chance to return to my childhood for an afternoon.

It was a tad emotional, I admit, but it brought back a lot of worthwhile memories that had me thinking.

I have so much wrapped up in that building, both good and bad. I found it highly moving to return there. It gave me a lot to think about.

Why Do People Tell Ghost Stories on Christmas? – The Smithsonian

Speaking of ghosts at Christmas time, they were everywhere there.

I’m thankful I got to see my nephew’s Christmas concert.

Oh, aw, ah all those little boys and girls, trying so hard and singing their hearts out. They tried their best, especially the youngest ones like my nephew, to remember the words they practiced and my nephew, for one, was nervous when he walked on stage and saw how many of us there were in the audience.

I couldn’t pick out my nephew up there, as I am unable to see anywhere that clearly upon returning to that school as an adult with considerably less sight, but I am still glad I went, even if he couldn’t see me either.

I’m thankful for safeguards and protection for natural places.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/obama-ban-offshore-drilling-arctic-atlantic-1.3905384

President Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau working together once more, for one of the final acts together, to preserve parts of the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.

They are protected against off shore oil drilling in those places. I don’t know how foolproof it will be, if what they’ve done will stand the test of time and Trump, but we shall see.

I am glad the two men are working together, once more, at something worthwhile. Sure, it may not be protecting everything that needs protecting, but it is something.

I’m thankful for a return to my library writing group.

I had missed a few, but I am glad I returned for this final meeting of “The Elsewhere Region” of 2016.

There were cookies and chocolate with mint and chocolate and raspberry tea. I don’t normally drink tea like the rest of them like to do, always afraid I might spill mine all over my electronics, but this time the tea sounded just too good to pass up. I took precautions, but the tea was delicious. Just the perfect thing for the occasion.

I wrote a story, dialogue and a conversation between two young women. The mystery object one member brought in was a strange family Christmas decoration. It was a frog wearing a fancy outfit and hat and his tag said something about him being named Mistle Toad.

Okay, so I guess he was a toad, not a frog, but it made for some interesting ideas for a writing prompt. We discussed and most wrote about the popular idea of kissing a frog and making it turn into a handsome prince.

My story confused some, but it really illustrates how, like snowflakes, all our writing styles are so diverse and so very much our own.

My imagination is a lot different from many of the other writers in the group. This always makes for a fun time.

I’m thankful for understanding doctors and nurses.

I have a doctor who hasn’t given up on me, even though I am a bit of a difficult case, and who promises I can call and come see her if anything comes up, even if it’s before our next scheduled appointment. That’s the sort of empathy and understanding I have always hoped for.

Also, I have a nurse offering to give me an iPhone case she no longer needs.

I’m thankful for my flu shot.

I know many people think it totally unnecessary. Some have gotten sick soon after getting one in the past and feel it can cause more problems than it helps prevent. I must say that I do take my low immune system seriously enough. If I can ever prevent getting a bad flu one of these times, I will get the shot.

My arm hasn’t even really bothered me this year, since getting it, and after the initial stinging and burning of the injection itself.

For those who are in perfect health, who are young and strong, there’s likely no huge need for it. Either way. I don’t get too worked up. It’s easy enough to get and so I do.

I’m thankful for a surprise Christmas card.

Thank you
Lizzi
for the surprise. I also enjoyed the tactile parts on the front of the card and the surprises to be found inside.

I admit I don’t do up Christmas cards myself. I find it hard, all so visual and I guess I’ve lost a little of my artistic streak, which I could draw on to make cards still for people.

As for Christmas cards, having them sent to me, not many are. I suppose many people think I won’t be able to see them anyway, so what’s the point? I don’t know. I may feel somewhat left out, but there are other ways of expressing holiday cheer. It’s just nice, once and a while.

: He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!

Is Montreal’s Christmas tree ugly, or are we just looking at it wrong?

: Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.

—Dr. Seuss, 1956

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TToT: Hearts and Sunshine – Music To My Ears, #10Thankful

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.

–From “Little Gidding” by T. S. Eliot

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Last week I wrote my TToT list, like I’ve done for nearly every week, for months now. I found ten things to be thankful for, as always, but I did preface my list with a list of three things I had to complain about. Christmas wasn’t all merriment and joy for me.

Christmas Through Your Eyes

But then there’s this, there’s them. This song I include because I know how much I still have to be thankful for, not least the way the children in my life help me see certain things in a new light.

If I can’t see Christmas lights like I used to, or colours so bright, I am grateful for the little children who teach me to appreciate the beauty of the world.

My niece’s birthday cupcakes had designs of rainbows, hearts, and sunshines on them. These are the things she loves to draw lately. They are what make me feel like there is just a tiny bit of me inside of her, as those are the things I loved to draw when I was her age, back when I could see enough and loved colouring and bright colours.

I see myself in her sometimes, the little girl I once was, and I feel a little less afraid. Thanks goes to my cousin for the amazing cupcakes, as always.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For a second Christmas. A do-over if you will, with three amazing little people and the best family a girl could ask for.

Of course, there was nothing really wrong with the first one. I finally got to give my nephew the talking oven I’d been dying to give him and he loved it. Best part of Christmas Eve.

🙂

However, then I fell asleep with a headache, missing out on watching A Christmas Carol with my father, our little December 25th tradition.

Christmas number two was three days, after Boxing Day, with my brother and his wife and their two children. We all get together, at my parent’s house, and do Christmas on our own time.

For a spur-of-the-moment Sunday night trip to the movies, (to see the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens), with my two brothers.

I loved it. It was an awesome escape from reality for a couple hours.

I was not born yet, to witness the craze of the first Star Wars, back in 1977, so I probably don’t have the same attachment to what it was like when it first came out in theatres.

All I know is I liked the characters, the action, and the fact that I saw it all unfolding with my brothers. A few weeks ago now I wasn’t seeing any movie with Brian. Now here we all were.

For another excellent movie narration, by an expert in the art of movie describing.

🙂

I really need to write a letter. I really see no reason, in 2015/16, that all movie theatres don’t have audio descriptive track for the visually impaired.

I know it’s a small town movie theatre, with few people in need, but there are still some, me included. With all the technology we have, it’s possible, and I shouldn’t have to worry about what movie to go to, not feeling I can’t see a specific film, say if I were on a date.

My older brother is well practiced, after being the one to do it for my younger brother and me since we were little, but most people don’t know how to describe a movie. It isn’t something to come naturally to most people.

For my brother’s home electronics knowledge.

I haven’t had much in home audio for a while now. When my ex left, I told him I didn’t need the flat screen television, and that he should take it, that I could get by with an old television for the time.

This meant that the surround sound system I’d purchased, when we started dating, was sitting unused, but since I was the one who bought it, I kept it. I assumed I would use it again, at some juncture.

Well, I finally have the chance. I required help to set it up again. My brother came over and got it working for me.

For Canadian healthcare and a card to access it.

I resisted having to get the new, updated card, for as long as I possibly could. Finally, I couldn’t resist any longer and got my photo taken, waiting for the card to arrive in the mail.

Well, it came the other day and I know I am lucky to live in Canada, to have the access to all the medical attention I might ever need, of which I very likely will at some point. That little card is my ticket.

For my brother, who continues to become his old self, a little more everyday and for the beautiful music he still makes.

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His language and memory are growing stronger all the time and I have him back. I’d feared that I’d lost him forever, in the way that he might never again be who he was. I was afraid we wouldn’t continue to have the connection we’ve always shared, that we could no longer have the talks we used to have. It’s a Christmas miracle. I don’t care what anyone else says.

At one point, during Christmas Part Two, my uncle came over with a guitar and his recorder. The two of them started to play and we all started to cry.

It was the best sound in the world, hearing my brother play the guitar, when we weren’t sure he ever would again.

Grenade

The above song doesn’t fit the scene, but I will forever think of it when I remember this next thankful on my list.

For the birth of a beautiful little girl, her existence, and the sunshine she’s brought to my family’s lives for these last five years.

I will never forget the night of New Year’s Eve, 2010 and celebrating, alone, in the kitchen of the house I was living in at the time.

It was just me, pizza, and wine, toasting the birth of my brother’s first child, my parent’s first grandchild, and my introduction into the best title ever: of Auntie Kerry. I couldn’t wait to get back to my family, to meet my niece for the very first time.

She has made the world a much brighter place, these last five years. She is smart and funny. She is so sharp. She keeps us all on our toes. We are constantly surprised by what she knows and what she thinks and what she says.

For one more perfect visit with my friend and her baby girl.

It was a chance to ring in 2016 with Chinese food, chocolate cake, and The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story.

🙂

For the fun of watching said unauthorized story with my old friend. She explained the wild outfits of the early 90s and the ways the actors playing the 90210 characters did or did not look like the real people they were said to be portraying.

It was highly amusing and entertaining. It was a surprise discovery, as we were looking around the television for something else to watch, other than all the to-be-expected New Year’s Eve countdown specials. We had fun, while my friend’s baby girl slept nearby. She wasn’t really old enough to watch, but my friend and I had fun discussing our memories of those days of 90210. It was my favourite show and this unauthorized movie was a fun way to spend the last few hours of one of the best years in recent memory.

Plus, in the morning I got to keep a sweet little girl company, while her mother got dressed, had something to eat, and packed up to leave.

They are gone now, back to Ireland, and I will miss them very much, but I got to have one last visit with them both. I will never forget that.

Unforgettable

RIP Natalie Cole

“I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words – how wonderful life is, now you’re in the world.”

–Elton John

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TToT: Shortest Day, What A Life – One Crazy Thing, #10Thankful

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

–Maya Angelou

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Okay, so there was good news this week and a lot of cheer, with Christmas and all, but I still can’t say everything was perfect.

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

It’s Christmas and that means we’re all supposed to be feeling great, but how many of us is that actually not the case for, really?

Rain instead of snow. Fog instead of flurries. I don’t like being frozen either, but the way people seem to have embraced all this unseasonable warmth baffles me. To me it seems like we are living one of those world disaster films, just after the opening credits have rolled. Do we not think this could spell worse times ahead, for this planet? Do we care?

Christmas in most of Canada is supposed to mean snow. I just can’t feel thankful for the fact that we don’t need to wear coats to go out to our holiday parties this year. After all, this is Canada, not Australia.

Also, a friend is leaving and I can’t feel thankful that I won’t get to be around, over the next couple years at least, to see her little girl grow up.

Finally, in my little list of grievances before I get to my thankfuls, because I am not always as positive as I would like, as this TToT convinces me I am.

I can’t see Christmas lights on houses and many more beautiful things I miss seeing so much. I try to convince myself I am lucky I ever saw such things as the lights on houses. I always loved going out for drives, at night, to look at the lights when I was growing up.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For a homecoming we’d hoped for.

My brother was released from hospital after only one week. We had no idea, when he first got admitted, how long he’d be in there.

We didn’t dare hope, at first, that it would only be a week, which did feel a lot longer.

Christmas in Killarney

For unexpected time with a friend.

There were several surprises this year, not least the one where an old friend showed up in these parts again, after so much time away from home.

Well, I never would have wished it, considering the circumstances, but I selfishly got to have her around and in my life for several months.

For the chance to meet and watch a special little girl grow.

She is beautiful and precious, a sweetheart of epic proportions and I’m the lucky one to get to spend so much time with her in her very first year of life.

I only complained above about the weather because I want this planet to do well, even when I am old and gone and when those who are so small and sweet now have grown.

For a remote control to rival a grandpa’s.

🙂

The little girl I refer to above loved her gift from me.

Okay, well the necklace is lost on her now. She would certainly chew on it, but that’s not what it’s meant for.

It’s the toy remote control that she chewed on happily and of which I gave to her, so now she can change the channel on her grandpa.

😉

For a pair of fuzzy slippers.

I love my new slippers. They are dog slippers and they are so warm. Perfect footwear for cold winter mornings and the floors that go along with them.

For the prize for best Christmas present, given by an aunt, for 2015.

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Well, maybe that’s stretching the truth a little, but I still scored with what I got my nephew.

He loves cooking, toy kitchens, and talking about things being “too hot!”

or

“It’s ready!”

I know Christmas isn’t all about the presents, but I still hope my niece and other nephew will love their presents from their aunt just as much.

For Christmas traditions, even if I fall asleep for them.

😦

I was a little upset that I couldn’t stay awake, but a Christmas Eve headache mixed with the fact that we didn’t begin this particular tradition until after ten made it difficult.

Every year I watch A Christmas Carol with my father. Ah well. There’s always next year.

For a delicious Christmas Day dinner.

I surprised myself and a few others, with how hungry I was, but It was really tasty. Hit the spot.

For the new Christmas music my brother introduces me to every year, for the last few years.

The song below was particularly helpful when I was feeling blue last year. It really cheered me up, with its upbeat tempo and catchy lyrics.

Christmas Wrapping

Still does the trick this year.

🙂

For a

Christmas Full Moon

I can still see the moon, if the conditions are right, but I did not see this one. Doesn’t mean I am not still thankful that it happened and that someone, somewhere, got to see it.

There won’t be another for almost twenty years or so.

Here’s to all the Christmas lights, brightness of a full moon, and more beautiful things I will mention next time, here on the TToT.

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Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.

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History, Memoir and Reflections, Special Occasions, Throw-back Thursday

Christmas 2014: My Wish

“What is this illusion called – the innocence of youth? Maybe only in that blind belief can we ever find the truth.”

Amy Grant, Grown Up Christmas List on YouTube

“Wook wook,” my little nephew says, as he squats by the Christmas tree and points his finger at the pictures of snowmen. He didn’t need or care about the contents of the gifts under the tree. He loved the brightly coloured wrapping.

Santa is still a new concept to him, at two years old, but it is slowly about to dawn on him that there is this mysterious guy in red and a white beard who can bring him something he wishes for once a year.

I am grown now, but I still long to return to that age of innocence, the one where Santa can make magic happen for me.

I know Santa isn’t able to bring me what I really want. the things I want are listed in the song above and the rest I already have.

It’s my first year with a blog at Christmas and I wanted to write something meaningful and jolly, but what Christmas story could I possibly come up with that I haven’t already seen?

This year I watched three new Christmas movies, at least to me: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), A Christmas Story (1983, released a mere few months before I was born), and finally (an unrivalled classic) It’s A Wonderful Life (1946).

I can’t say why I hadn’t seen these three so far in my over thirty years on this planet. They were all before my time, the third more than the first two, obviously, but somehow I missed out and did not grow up with any of these having the impact on my childhood as they do so many others.

Again I enjoyed the beloved Christmas Eve tradition of watching Scrooge (more commonly known as A Christmas Carol, 1951) with my father and family. Each year life alters in both big and small ways, which I reflect on as I watch the so familiar story of the three ghosts and the realization the character of Scrooge gains by the end of the film.

I reflect on the themes of generosity and appreciation Charles Dickens wrote about in the book and on my own past, present, and future and on that of the worlds’.

This 2014 it has been the start of the bicentennial markers of events during World War I and to me the Christmas truce of 1914 is an intriguing event.

The Real Story Behind the 1914 Christmas Truce of World War I

It must have been a great risk for those first to step out of the relative safety of their own trench and onto No Man’s Land to hesitantly greet a so-called enemy in a war they did not quite understand.

They hoisted lanterns from their side and began to sing, in a show of peace and good will. This was followed with friendly greetings, human being to human being, and presented gifts of cigars and alcohol.

Supposedly photos of loved ones back home were shared and this is something they all had in common.

My real Christmas wish is the essence of the song Grown Up Christmas List.

Peace can be found when effort is made, not to shoot or fire on someone you may be battling or fighting with.

Of course this did not last past December 25th and the Great War would get unspeakably ugly and horrific. This may have been the end of some sort of romantic time of chivalry and gentlemanly behaviour that would soon be no more, but really things don’t happen that way.

Humans are basically the same now as then. We have the free will and choice not to take the low road, while still so tempting for so many.

Today and this entire month the lights and the music and the shopping were a little lost on me, I must admit.

I know I am not the only one who must try extra hard during this holiday season to feel merry and jolly. It makes you feel inadequate when you can’t quite reach the level of celebration expected and so clearly felt by others all around you.

For me, it felt odd because I have always felt a heightened sense of happiness around the holidays and then this year my annual good mood did not arrive as I have come to know it.

I use the song above and the remembrance of what went on 100 years ago (demonstrating what we as human beings are, in deed, capable of), to put my less than happy Christmas 2014 into a much needed perspective.

I let the innocence and developing experience of a happy and a magical Christmas that my young niece and nephews are having bring me an added bit of a boost this particular year.

I know they can see the beauty and the value in a thing like a wrapped present and that can be enough. Toys aren’t everything in life and those desires won’t last.

Life can’t be the way it once was at Christmas—I know that.

I only want the things that I already have, the ones that no Santa can bring me, and the ones the world may never fully find.

I will watch A Christmas Carol again in 2015 and hopefully my mood will have jumped considerably, depending on the events of this coming year, but as long as I have what I know I already want I remain confident I can get through anything thrown at me during the months to come.

Other than the family I am lucky to have and of which so many others do not:

I want those who disagree to come to a truce.

I want the pain of lost love to heal and strengthen, to be able to someday find love again.

I wish for anyone who feels lonely to know what it feels like not to be, to experience what it’s like to find friendship and acceptance.

Merry Christmas or whatever you may believe, from me here at HerHeadache. Having this blog allows me to find strength, acceptance, and hope. These things I wish for today and all year round.

I hope you find all you wish for and that you are not alone, with loved ones to share this day with.

I’m off to eat some chocolate because, whatever you may believe in on this day, it can only get better with a little chocolate right?

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