Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Christmas Memory by Konnie Enos

The sun peeking over the horizon added light to the room but not to my thoughts as I realized it was now Christmas Eve. I’d been up for at least 24 hours and the task wasn’t done yet. I was exhausted and more than frustrated with family members whose idea of helping was taking our three school aged girls off our hands while we got the work done. They however had no problem with leaving our two boys with us to deal with while we tried to work. They were both toddlers in diapers.
So while I struggled to help, or keep the boys out from underfoot, my husband strived to get the work done and it wasn’t getting done fast enough. We should have been on the road already. All things considered as the sun dawned bright and clear that Christmas Eve I was short tempered and decidedly not in the Christmas spirit.
After spending the morning attempting to keep the boys out of my husband’s way and finally taking a short break for lunch my husband said he was going to get his friend, who had a truck, to help him haul the garbage to the dump. Then he could finish cleaning the place out. When he was finished we could finally leave, possibly by dinner time, a full 24 hours after we’d originally planned.
As he walked out he said, “Put the boys down and take a nap.”
“Good idea.” It was naptime. I set to work trying to get them to settle down on a couple of blanket on the hardwood floor in the living room while I stretched out on the lone remaining piece of furniture, an old recliner. I was still fighting the boys when my husband and his friend returned.
Our friend pointed to the recliner. “What about that? Is it going to?”
My husband said, “Yes.”
I said, “No way. This is in the last load. You are not taking the only place I have left to rest while I need sleep.”
My husband actually pulled me out of the chair. “We’re only taking one load. It’s going now.”
I fought him. “I can’t sleep on the floor.”
Our friend said, “You’re going to my place.”
In minutes they had me and our boys at his house. His wife tucked our toddlers down with their own kids, a toddler and infant, and had me lie down on their couch while telling their other kids to keep quiet so people could sleep.
 Over the next several hours I woke up several times. My husband and our friend brought our girls back from their aunt’s place, and that old recliner. A neighbor came around with gifts for the poor families in the neighborhood and learning our family was there as well left the gifts meant for us too.
Around dinner time my husband and our friend returned saying the cleaning was finally finished but our friends would not hear of us leaving on Christmas Eve.
This couple fed and found places for seven extra people to sleep warm and comfortably on Christmas Eve, made Christmas stockings for everyone and retagged gifts a couple of gifts, I assume intended for them, so my husband and I could have something under the tree. They also insisted we join them for their Christmas feast before they would send us on our way. The only thing I could do was share the treats I had gathered for our Christmas stockings.
My Christmas went from horrible to one of the most beautiful Christmas memories I have because one family gave freely of what little they had.
Isn’t that what Christmas is all about.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Christmas Memory by Bonnie Le Hamilton

This last week there was a post on Facebook about tricking kids into thinking they were getting nothing for Christmas, and one of my little brothers (the middle one) brought up something we once did to the oldest of our brothers.

First you have to understand that Bryon was a snooper. If you hid any gifts in the house, he found them well in advance of the big day, without fail. Our mother tended to hide our gifts at the house of some friend or other. But our stepmother (the mother of the two youngest brothers) came up with another plan one year.

First, you have to know she was really good at wrapping presents. Not just neat, but very well taped. There was no way you could undo just one little corner and sneak a peek. In fact, there was no way to get a peek without having to completely re-wrap the thing. Then she came up with devious plan to make him think all he was getting was a lump of coal for Christmas.

That year, along with using so much tape, she didn’t put his name on any of the tags. I can’t remember how it was that she knew which was which (I think it was the wrapping paper) but he thought he wasn’t getting anything, without us saying so, because of course, he did find where the gifts were hidden, he had searched all those tags for his name to no avail.

On top of that, on Christmas morning all he found in his stocking was a small box designed to look like a red brick chimney and inside that box was a real lump of coal. I remember the look on his face when he pulled that box out of his stocking and looked around at all our stocking filled to bursting with treats then he looked at his box again and apologized for snooping.

Even then our stepmother refused to give him his gifts, and he actual stocking stuffers, until he’d promised to stop snooping.

Here’s hopping Santa is good to all of you! Merry Christmas everyone. 😊

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Of the Spirit of Christmas by Konnie Enos

On December 16, 2015 I posted “Tis the Season” about The Spirit of Santa Claus and Christmas. Well, I’m going to revisit the topic. The Spirit of Santa Claus, the true Spirit of Christmas, is giving, not receiving. So in the Spirit of Giving, I’d like to give all my readers something to think about. I want you to focus on the reason for the season.
Focus for just a moment on why we celebrate Christmas.
It’s not trees all lit up with lights and presents stacked under them. It’s not stockings lining the fireplace waiting to be filled. It’s not even big family gatherings or huge dinners.
The reason we celebrate Christmas, is to remember.
Remember what the trees, the wreaths, the lights, the candy canes and the stars represent. Remember why we gather as a family to dine together and exchange gifts. Remember the true reason for the season. Mostly remember the birth that this season is supposed to mark then remember the child born oh so long ago.
Now remember the man as was documented in the New Testament.
The man who healed the sick, lame, blind and deaf. The man who didn’t judge the sinner as beneath him. The man who forgave the woman caught in adultery. Remember the man we celebrate this season for.
If you happen to celebrate Kwanzaa remember the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Christ’s efforts were to bring unity, collective responsibility, cooperation, purpose, creativity, faith and yes, even self-awareness. Remember the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
If you don’t believe in Christ. If you celebrate Hanukkah then think of the miracle of the lights and the reason you celebrate this season. Think of your God and all you are grateful for.
Now if you don’t happen to be Christian. If you don’t happen to believe Christ existed or that he was The Son of God. If you don’t even believe there is an all-powerful god, think of the world you’d rather your children, your grandchild, had the chance to grow up in.
Now that you are all thinking, remembering. Answer one, or both, of these questions. What would Christ do? Or; how can I make this world a better place?
Just think about your answer for few minutes. What can you do to make this would a better place?
Now I have a challenge for all of you. Every last one of you. Do I have your attention?
I challenge you, starting December 1st through December 25th to do something every single day to GIVE. Give friendship. Give love. Give kindness. Give your talents. Give your time. Give your understanding. Just GIVE.
To help you with this challenge, as a means to give you ideas each day on how you can give, I challenge you to go to and look at “Light the World” which is twenty-five days of ideas for giving. Admittedly, this is ideas for giving as Christ would give, but they are universal. Make our world a better place. Be the light the world needs right now.
Let’s see if we can’t make this a truly joyous season for all by basking in the true Spirit of the season. The Spirit of Giving. Let’s make this even bigger. I challenge you to pass it on. Pass this on to your friends, your family, and your neighbors. See how just how many people we can get making an effort to “Light the World”.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa and Happy New Year one and all.
(And to those who say “Bah Humbug!” go read Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”.)

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Season’s Greetings by Konnie Enos

Due to the season the debate has raged on all over social media about season’s greetings.
Are you politically correct and wish everyone “Happy Holidays”?
Or do you settle with polite and say whichever greeting you are most comfortable with? I’m not sure how many holidays are between Halloween and New Year’s Day, but I know it’s a lot more than just Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I honestly don’t understand why there is such a debate about it.
If you are a good Christian, and truly follow Christ’s example, then you would accept everyone, no matter their religion. If you are a polite, caring, decent, human being, you’d do the same thing. I’m also sure most, if not all, religions have teachings about being polite to others.
So during this holiday season when so many of us are celebrating one significant festivity or another, why can’t we all just spread good cheer? Why can’t we stop debating about the “proper greeting” and just be kind to one another?
In all honesty, as a Christian woman, I’d be ecstatic if someone greeted me with a hearty Happy Hanukah.
Judy Marcus, a Jewish freelance writer (her blog Opinionated Woman appears on Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays) posted, on December 7 of this year, a similar opinion. Basically a friendly greeting is appreciated even if someone says Merry Christmas.
What difference does the greeting make as long as the giver is genuinely sincere in offering it? If no malice is meant, why take offence?
As Ms. Marcus asks in her post, what would Jesus do?
Did he ever once ridicule anyone?
I would think the Christ like thing to do would be to greet everyone with friendship.
Personally, if you tell me Happy Hanukah, I’ll wish you one back. Not because I celebrate it, but because I now know you do and I’d want your holidays to be joyous for you.
The same would go for anyone else.
In my church we have a saying. The truth hurts the guilty. So to me, people who are so easily offended by a simple greeting are the people who are most guilty of not being kind human beings. They are the one passing judgment, (Matthew 7:1-4) quickly pointing out the small ‘mote’ in another’s eye hoping they won’t notice the huge ‘beam’ in their own eye.
If you are going to be offended by a simple greeting, what are you doing wrong?
Christ commanded us to not take offence.
And that is the problem. Far too many people take offence. At every little thing. Even when no offence was intended.
If I were to see Ms. Marcus on the street I would have no way to know, just from looking at her, that she is Jewish, so I could not possibly know to wish her a Happy Hanukah until after she expresses that greeting to me.
So I have a perfect solution for everyone.
Instead of trying to come up with one phrase that pleases everyone, why don’t we just use the ones we already have and everyone just greet everyone else with the one they are most comfortable with. And if you’re comfortable doing so returning the greeting of someone that is different than your own.
So I’ll say to any Jews who might read this, Happy Hanukah.
If you celebrate Kwanzaa, Have a Joyous Kwanzaa.
Whatever your celebration this season, enjoy it.
Merry Christmas.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tis the Season by Konnie Enos

‘Tis the season for annoying commercials and the extreme commercialism that has become this holiday season. Everywhere you look there is another ad for something else you simply have to buy. One recent ad on the air here touted, repeatedly, that this was the season of getting. The entire ad never once said the word give, or at least not that I heard.
What’s the worst part of it is many people blame this get, get, get, give me, give me, give me mentality on The Spirit of Santa Clause. It’s no more The Spirit of Santa Clause than it is The Spirit of Christmas. Santa Clause is about giving, not getting.
   The Spirit of Santa Clause is about giving time and talent to make or find that exactly right gift, that special something for someone you love. It’s about family and time.
In the hustle and bustle of this world too many of us forget why we celebrate Christmas. They focus so completely on what they’d like to receive they barely even think about what they are giving. The Spirit of Santa Clause isn’t just about giving, it’s about giving the right gift.
Stop focusing on how much you’re spending, other than keeping it within your budget, and don’t worry about how many gifts there are. Think about what will really please the person you are getting those gifts for.
One year, with a really tight budget, as usual. I could only get one gift for each of my children. I skimped and saved. I planned. I tried to figure out what each of my kids would love to get, that I could afford. It wasn’t easy because I knew that one of my kids wanted a camera. But with a great deal of effort, I managed to find just the right gift for all of them, including that camera, the most expensive gift I bought that year, and probably ever.
But the right gift doesn’t have to bought, it can be made. In fact, the very best presents are from the heart, handmade especially for the recipient.
Can you draw? Then make a picture.
Do any sort of handcraft? Utilize them.
Do you have a sewing machine and know how to use it? Same thing.
Can you cook? Bake? Know anyone who is away from home this time of year? A box of homemade goodies always pleases.
My daughter does paint by number pictures and frames them for gifts, or counted cross stitch pictures. She’s also knitted baby hats and made necklaces and earrings.
I can crochet, knit, do cross stitch and other handcrafts. I can cook and I write. It’s a simple thing to plan what handcrafts you’ll use to make that one gift for that one person on your list. As a writer, there is nothing wrong with composing a story for your family as a gift. Perhaps you’ll manage to pen the next great best seller. Richard Paul Evans did and The Christmas Box was born.
I’ve made gifts for my children over the years and they still talk about them. I can think of at least twice, if not three times that I’ve written something as a gift.
Personally, I think it’d be a wonderful tradition to make at least some of your gifts each year. But I’d challenge all of you to really think about your giving and who those gifts are for. The best gift for someone who collects Nativities is one they don’t have yet. It’s not that book, movie, game or anything else you can think of that you absolutely adore but they don’t.

So in the true Spirit of Santa Clause and the true spirit of the season, the Christmas season, give from the heart.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.