Throwback Thursday – Traditions

This time of year for us signals calm, peaceful gatherings of food, family and friends. It’s no longer about gift giving. (I don’t shop Black Friday, Cyber Monday or any of that nonsense). There’s nothing we need or want that can be purchased at a store. It’s more about being “present” with each other.

When the kids were small, it was a different story. It was about presents under the tree, anticipation of Santa coming while they were fast asleep. Rightly so. I loved seeing the looks on their faces on Christmas morning. Especially the year they each got a new bike. So much fun!

With my parents being gone and the kids grown, my perspective of the holidays has  changed over time.

My Mom loved Christmas. It was definitely her favorite holiday. I always got a thrill out of helping her decorate, baking with her, and reminiscing about Christmases with my grandparents.

We laughed a lot. We sometimes cried, missing those times of absolute joy. We would turn up the music loud and dance around the kitchen together when Jingle Bell Rock played.

One year I accidentally dropped a whole pan of cookies on the floor. Both of us looked at each other with wide eyes and then laughed hysterically. No stress; just fun.

Now I’m the matriarch of our motley crew (makes me feel old … ha)!

The first picture consists of things that are special to me.

The wreath above the fireplace is one that my Mom had for years and the last one she hung when she had to move to assisted living.

The brass candlesticks were made by my uncle, who honed them from mortar shells found during the war. How he managed to get them home from Germany, no one knows. He never told anyone … haha!  They’re very heavy!

Mr. and Mrs. Claus shelf sitters were given to me as a gift several years ago. I just love them!

The velvet Christmas stockings were purchased at a craft fair when we lived in California. I stuffed good memories in them.

And last, but by no means least, the Merry Christmas hearth rug was made by yours truly for my grandmother the year she had to be in a nursing home during the holidays. I wanted her to have something that would cheer her up. It did. Mission accomplished.

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The next image is a tree made completely from jewelry items that belonged to my grandmother, my mother, myself and my daughter. My favorite is the cameo toward the top that my grandfather gave my grandmother when she was 16, the year they met. They were married for 55 years. Wow!

This was quite a project for me. Selecting the pieces and placing them strategically to form a tree took a while, I must admit. But once that was done, gluing them on was pretty easy. I used a special glue and once completed, put this into a glass shadow box. There are still a few holes to fill in with some pearl head pins, but that’s easy..

It now hangs on the wall in the family room and each time I see it, I feel all the memories attached to each piece. My daughter suggested that I list each piece on the back and its history. I think I’ll do that. When I’m gone, this will be passed down to her. She wants it now. Ha!

Not yet, dear daughter 💓

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Be good to yourself and each other. Namaste’

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In Time for Christmas

I found the piece below from Wayne Dyer and thought it might be just what some folks could use … just in time for Christmas.  Namaste’

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My new Poinsettia Plant

Dear friends,

Many years ago, when the holiday season arrived and certain relatives were due to make their annual appearance, I felt a sense of increasing dread. Far too many of us suffer from the pain of family get-togethers, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Somehow we allow the expectations and demands of our family members to be the source of so much unhappiness and stress, when what we really want is to be authentically ourselves and at peace with our relatives.

The conflict seems too often to be a choice between being authentic, which means no peace with certain relatives, or having peace at the price of being inauthentic. Being peaceful and authentic can define your relationship with your relatives. First, though, you may have to assess your relationship with the closest relative of all—you.

In order to change the nature of family relationships, you’ll have to change your mind about them and consider that you are the source of the anguish in your relationships, rather than the individual whom you’ve pegged as the most outrageous, the most despicable, or the most infuriating. Over the years, all of these individuals have been treating you exactly as you’ve allowed them to with your reactions and behaviors. This can miraculously change when you choose to be at peace with everyone in your life—most particularly, your relatives.

If the focus of your inner dialogue about your family members is on what they’re doing that’s wrong, then that’s precisely how your relationship with them will be experienced. If your inner speech centers on what’s annoying about them, that’s what you’ll notice. But if you’re thinking, I am authentic and peaceful with this relative, then that’s what you’ll experience—even if that relative continues to be exactly the way he or she has always been.

The key to having peace in all your family relationships is forgiveness. Your relatives are simply doing what they’ve been taught to do over a lifetime, and the lifetimes of many of their ancestors. Shower them with understanding and forgiveness from your heart. Rather than being in a state of non-peace concerning any family members, say a prayer of gratitude for their presence in your life and all that they have come to teach you.

The likelihood is great that you’ll see dramatic changes in your relatives as you teach them with your own persona how you intend to be treated. But if they don’t change, and if they continue their non-peaceful ways, let go of your need to see them transformed. It all works in Divine order, and the saying Let go and let God guarantees your own peace, and you dramatically increase the odds of helping others to do the same.

Love today and always,

I AM,

Wayne

Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He’s the author of 30 books, has created many audio and video programs, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows. His books Manifest Your DestinyWisdom of the AgesThere’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, and the New York Times bestsellers 10 Secrets for Success and Inner PeaceThe Power of IntentionInspiration and Change Your Thoughts—Change Your Life have all been featured as National Public Television specials. See Wayne in his new feature length movie The Shift. Visitwww.drwaynedyer.com for details.

Happy Birthday to Hubby & Sis

Happy Birthday to my hubby and his twin sister.  Nobody’s telling their age but I think they both look great.  Carryl was born a whole half hour before Darryl.  And as babies, the story goes that he was always stealing her bottle.

There’s two to wash, two to dry;
There’s two who argue, two who cry….
There’s two to kiss, two to hug;
And best of all, there’s two to love!
~Author Unknown

Darryl, Carryl and one of them and their mother, Eileen.  Happy Birthday to two really awesome people!!!!!  I love you both.  Namaste’

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Happy Easter

Just a quick note to wish all of my readers a warm, joyful and peaceful Easter.  Pray for the miracle of peace around the world.  (We all know it’s not about the bunnies, colored eggs and candy).

Frankly, I never understood how anyone could buy into the whole Easter Bunny thing.  Any kid with half a brain could figure out that bunnies just don’t lay eggs.  I’ve always thought there should be an Easter Duck because when I was a kid, my brother and I actually each got a duckling for Easter.  We loved those furry little creatures but they got too big and Grandpa told us they’d be better off living on a farm.  OMG!  I hope they didn’t get eaten.  I’d much rather think they lived to a ripe old age and died of natural causes.

This photo is of one of the beautiful flowers in a special arrangement sent to hubby and me by his boss and crew after Bud’s passing.  Such wonderful, caring people.  The bouquet was just beautiful.  I only added a slight antique effect.  Namaste’

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Christmas Day

What we thought would be kind of a sad day turned out very well.  We were hoping to have my stepdad out of the skilled nursing home at least for Christmas Day, but that turned out to not be the case.  Instead, we took all the presents and went to where he is.  His daughter and her husband were there from the midwest and we all had a great time.  Stepdad was happy that we were all there.  Everyone ate lunch together at the nursing home.  I guess if I had to be in one of those places, I would sure want my loved ones around me.  I hope he’ll remember at least some of the moments we all shared today.

Here’s a shot of me and WS.  Obviously I didn’t take this picture, so I’m breaking the rules of the photo-a-day project, but hey, I’ve broken lots of rules before – LOL!

Hope your Christmas Day was spectacular in every way.  Namaste’

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For Two Reasons

It seemed appropriate to post this picture today.  I took it while at a friend’s house.  Yes, Linda, you’ll recognize it from your coffee table.

This is also for a blogger friend of mine (and you know who you are).  We both have been feeling the pinch of the holiday stress, so here’s to us.  It also reflects how I feel about WordPress right now.  I used to get emails when someone whose blog I am following puts up a new post.  Not any more.  What happened?  Has anybody else out there in the blogosphere experienced this?

I’m trying to remain calm about it.  Namaste’

 

Officially Finished

No I don’t mean the blog.  I have until December 31 for that.  What I mean is that our Christmas decorating is officially finished.  Hubby did a fabulous job on the outside and we put up a tree this year … first time in a long time.  Thirty days until Christmas.  Sure seems to be speeding by … or is it just me?

Hope your conclusion to the holiday weekend was a good one.  Someone asked me if I was going to shop the Black Friday sales.  My response was that I’d rather have a root canal.  Namaste’