Christmas Eve meanderings

Christmas Eve! The presents are wrapped, the goose is thawed, and family is gathered. We await the arrival of the jolly man in his red suit like children (some traditions never die).  My hope is you are with your own family of loved ones during this holiday season whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or other days which are traditional for you.

I confess I am sick. I have been for a week. It is the mother of all colds and it has really laid me out. I’m fighting though.  Wasn’t enough to stop me from getting to the theater yesterday to see SKYFALL. And wowie. Best Bond movie EVER. I do hope you’ve seen it. My next movie I want to see? The Hobbit, of course.

Wanted to share news of the Guest Blogger, RLB Hartmann. She left us and went into a fabulous interview. Please take a moment to read it, you’ll learn even more about this interesting woman here.

If you are following #DailyTwitamin on Twitter, it will be off tomorrow for Christmas. If you aren’t following, why not? The Twitamin is a mental vitamin of useful information or trivia given in doses of 140 characters or less. Painless!

That’s it for me. Merry Christmas, readers  and friends. And think good thoughts for wellness and joy, won’t you?

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December (already??)

I cannot believe December arrived. I was so busy with NaNoWriMo that I didn’t notice. Kinda. I mean I knew it was there, just not THERE. And now here we are. Decorations managed to get up and this weekend I started my baking. Two cakes. One – the chocolate fudge – is a wonderful success. It will be wrapped and frozen, then doled out in a couple of weeks. The second – a raspberry/lemon cheesecake flavored cake – decided to stick to the pan and leave torn pieces at the turnout. Pish posh. Well, that just means we have to eat it. And I did not wish that to happen. Hubby won’t mind much, but now I’m a cake short! Have to wait until the next baking, next Saturday, to move on. I make Amish Friendship cakes which means I can bake every 10 days after preparing the dough. Good cakes, too, with lots of room for variety.  Here’s hoping I do better next weekend.

NaNoWriMo may have ended but I’m still writing. Managed another 3200 or so words. I know I’m slowing down because of decorating and baking but I’m working hard at keeping the flame alive. I am consumed with ideas for the book so I must keep them alive. It is like an eternal flame, this book. I am happy.

Good news! The Guest Blogging is back! I will have a surprise for you by mid-month and I’ve lined up another guest or two for January. The goal is one a month but we’ll see how we do. I’m certainly honored to use this venue to support talent. And I like to support ideas too. I want to put forth writers, not just authors. So look for a variety, like cakes!

This week is Christmas card week and present wrapping. I hope you have tinsel in your hair and flour on your cheeks. I hope you are sampling cookie dough and watching Hallmark movies.

I do. I am. Life is short. Laugh loud and long. Then tell your friends and family how much you love them when you write them a card and share a cookie.

Don’t forget to put out lots of twinkle lights. They remind all of us that magic is possible especially in December. I’ll leave a light in the window.

Twas the Night Before…

…Christmas. 

Dear readers and friends,

Last post I wrote about standing in the shadow of traditions and today more of those traditions are realized, some older than me and others of my making.

First, the goose I serve for Christmas dinner (tomorrow) is baking and the house smells with onions, oranges and butter.  The goose is my tradition having grown up with a traditional turkey. For 20 years I have created an old-fashioned Dickens dinner and today I smile knowing I have my own, long-standing tradition.

Next, this past Sunday my husband and I spent the afternoon making chocolate chip cookies. Ah, the smell! And as they cooled and we shoveled them in our mouths, the recipe was my mothers, the dishes I used were her old china and it all came together on that tablecloth I told you about.  Oh it brought happy tears to my eyes as we licked chocolate from our fingers.

Tonight, I look around the house and see decorations on my tree that speak of years of collecting, each ornament holding a special meaning with some of them older than me. But the tradition of how I prepare the tree, what lights we use and why…these are our traditions, tenderly held.

Also tonight I will meet best friend Melonie online where we will chat and finally, lovingly, wish each other a Merry Christmas before sending each other off to our families. This is our tradition, one over a decade old that I think even she has come to cherish.

Twas the night before Christmas…and Clement Moore’s poem is also a sweet tradition. I may be 55 years young but a read-aloud of this old poem is another tradition that will happen around midnight tonight.  Stockings are hung over the fireplace (and rumor has it that they are already full!), another tradition carried from my youth.

All around me are the roots of my life, traditions created by generations past, continued by me, with new traditions of my making before me. There is great comfort in this traditional world I live in, filled with memories and rooted in love.

Finally, after all the snacking tonight and when the story is finished, I will pause alone with a passage from another story, also a tradition, about a baby in a manger.

I wish you, known and unknown, a heartfelt traditional Christmas. May ye be merry and bright in the New Year.

                                                                                             With love, Sherry

3-2-1 Hi and Welcome!

Here I go!  The new blog goes live today and I’m nervous.  I hope to generate excitement and interest.  My goal:  to update at least three days a week.

First thoughts:  I’m a traditionalist.  I like the holiday traditions my parents created and maintained and I like the comfort and warm those same traditions bring to me now.  I lost my father in ’99 and my mother in ’07.  I have a sister but we do not live close  to one another; therefore, it falls to me to maintain the memory and joy of the traditions my mother established.

The holidays (actually beginning with Halloween) are the best representation of these traditions. Understanding the meaning of treat-or-treat and then dressing up and greeting each house with a riddle or joke ready is just one thing that seems separate from others around me.  My mother believed if you participated in something, you did so with knowledge for the reason for it.  Same went for Thanksgiving and Christmas.   So this week as I prepare for Christmas decorations and Thanksgiving dinner, traditions are my focus and in the forefront of my thoughts.  I meet these thoughts with reverence for my missing parents but also with a sense of security and joy knowing I was given a strong roots where I have built my life and forged new traditions on old.

More on these as the days move forward.  I’d love to hear about the traditions you carefully keep. And I hope that everyone will find something in my new “home” to entice, delight or provoke.  Words are a joy and when combined with thoughts, are a tease to be shared!  Let us use them to each others betterment.

As for me,  I can already smell the pumpkin pie and the simmering potpourri on the stove.  The holidays are calling.  Yes, Mom, I’m coming…