Closing Up Shop for December

Yes, I’m closing up shop during December. 2016 came in as usual last January, but it has been a long journey to healing from a fall I took at the end of January. A minor setback recently has required further treatment. I’m hoping by January 2017 to be free of the chronic pain I’ve experienced this year.
Not only that November brought shocking news for some of us with the election results. I won’t deny I have dealt with frustration, fear, and anger. Yet, there is nothing I can do. I have decided to accept the situation by keeping a watchful eye and ear on matters affecting my family.

Bottom line, I’m feeling quite overwhelmed and behind in my writing and family life. I have decided I need to take the month of December to “clean up” my act. Then I will begin the new year with a fresh start to my writing, the blog and newsletter, and even social media.

I will not be posting here or on Facebook or Twitter during December, with one exception. Amber Lea Starfire the 5th year of the “Take the 31 Days of Gratitude Challenge.” The challenge runs during December on her Facebook Page, Writing Through Life. My participation there is all important to what I’m calling an “Advent of preparation.” I need a breath of fresh air and more positivity in life, and this is how I plan to achieve it.

Any writing I do will be on my manuscript, and some time will focus on what I can bring to you in 2017. Christmas and the birth of the Christ Child is the focus of our holiday time.

The first newsletter of 2017 will come out on Wednesday, January 18th. My first blog post will publish on Wednesday, January 4th. Hope to connect with you then.

Sending the warmest of holiday greetings and abundant hope for the coming new year to each of you!

Scripture verse, Romans 15:13
Scripture verse, Romans 15:13

I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Peace to you.

Christmas Memories

As we draw closer to Christmas day, I find a flood of memories filling my mind. Some are good memories, some are funny, some are sad. But such are the ingredients of life. Capturing these memories felt important, necessary, desired. As I sat down to write them out, I decided some were worthy of the blog where I share my life stories.Nativity Scene at Centennial Park in Nashville, TN (1954-1967) via Nashville Archives

Not too long ago I posted on memory triggers. In the last few days, a high school classmate posted an image on our graduating class’s Facebook page. (Image: Nativity Scene at Centennial Park in Nashville, TN (1954-1967) via Nashville Archives)

That image triggered a rush of memories.

Suddenly I could feel the biting cold of the night air as we stood under the stars and gazed upon the largest nativity I had ever seen. Every year we piled in the car, bundled from head to toe, to join with hundreds, maybe thousands, of other citizens in and around Nashville to view the Nativity donated by a local businessman.

And then it was a quick drive home to warm up and crawl into bed but not until Dad had read the nativity passage from the Bible. Mom, Dad, and I — and years later my younger brother — gathered on the living room sofa with the lights twinkling on the tree and our now somewhat very small nativity lit on top of the radio/phonograph console.

Memories by now were marching on and I’m thinking back to one Christmas night when I was about seven, almost eight. As all children experience, I went to bed when told but could not sleep. Waiting and listening for any sound that evidenced the arrival of Old St. Nick.

There it was. Sounds of activity in the living room. Voices even. Could it be?

Only one way to find out. I quietly climbed from my bed, opened my door, and peeked into the hall. Someone was in the living room!

Tiptoeing as quietly as possible I made my way down the hall. He was in the living room. Putting together a blue bicycle! Oh, how I had dreamed of this moment. My very own blue bicycle. And Santa, right there before my eyes!

1955 Hanes Ad via Google 1955 Hanes Ad via Google

Strange — Santa wasn’t wearing the familiar red suit. Instead he was wearing jockey shorts and the standard male undershirt of the day. A toolbox sat by his side and an instruction sheet laid out to follow along. Didn’t his elves put everything together for Santa to deliver?

And there was Mom, her hair in curlers and her in her robe in the middle of the night. What was she doing up with Santa in his underwear?

This was definitely not what I expected. I gasped and gulped back my tears.

Santa was evidently my mom and dad. All this time I believed in a man in a red suit with a snow-white beard who drove a sleigh pulled by reindeer and delivered toys all over the world. The truth sat in my living room, right before my eyes!

Mom and Dad looked up at my gasp, and they knew then that the secret of Santa was no more. Their little girl discovered the truth on this very night called Christmas Eve.

I sat in Mom’s lap while Dad finished putting the bike together. He sat me on it and promised the next morning he would take me out to go for a spin.

Santa or no Santa, I gave Dad a big smile!

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These are only a couple of my Christmas memories that came back to me this last week. Have you experienced any cherished memories in the past few days or weeks? Perhaps you’ll share them in the comments below.

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Healing by Writing will be quiet until the first of the year. It’s a time to be spent with family and cherishing the new memories being made. I hope you’ll be doing the same.

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