Sunday, December 26, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
...that could simply the season and bring the true meaning of Christmas!
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas--oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it--overspending... the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears.
Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids - all kids - and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition--one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.
The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.
As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn’t end there.
You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.
Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down the envelope.
Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I love getting Christmas Cards.
I love the newsy Christmas letters.
I love the pictures.
I love hearing about friends and family.
So I send Christmas cards because I love to get them.
I am grateful that Katie writes my letter,
and designs my card...
I do put the address and stamp on, and then mail them.
I used to think that they had to be hand signed and hand addressed,
but then reality set in.
Better to get a card with an address label than no card at all.
Enjoy reading the Christmas Cards you get...
I will be enjoying those that make it to my house this season.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
and the true meaning of Christmas.
Then I found this great quote...
"Inspired by the knowledge that the Christ child received just three gifts, one brilliant mother decided to simplify her Christmas giving. She began by researching the meaning behind the three gifts.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
For Thanksgiving we went to cold cold Park City and meet our good friends from Wyoming.