Monthly Archives: December 2007

New Year’s Resolutions and What She Said…

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

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New Year’s Resolution from A Nice Place in the Sun

It’s still the first week of a new year. I know that I need to remove the gazillion decorations and take down our tree, get into a different frame of mind and get back into the swing of things.

But now I’ve been tagged by one of my blogger friends, Ann, from A Nice Place in the Sun who’s asked, “What’s your resolution?”

She’s not the first to ask me that question, but I’ve been pondering it for over a week now and only feel compelled to answer now that she’s asked. Not sure why…maybe because it seems more formal/official (coming through the blogosphere and all…). Maybe it’s because she’s such a darned nice person. Maybe it’s because we just had a death in our family, so I’ve been even more contemplative than usual. For whatever reason, I now have an answer, though I guess that puts me into the third category (below).

Scroll through the answers provided by the growing list of bloggers (also below) and maybe you’ll find some inspiration. Or maybe you’ll smile or have a chuckle or two. However you feel about these things, I wish you the best for the coming year.

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For those of you I tagged (that’s part of the deal), here’s how the game works:

“Start Copy Here”

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions we seem to fall into four categories:

1) quite serious about them,

2) a bit flippant about them,

3) pressured to do them, or

4) just refuse to do them.

So, the purpose of this little game is to let us know which category you are in.

Copy from “*Start Copy Here*” through “*End Copy Here*” and post it.

Before “*End Copy Here*” tell us who you are, your site(s) (with link(s)), and your New Year’s Resolution, or not.

Then tag as many others as you like, from one to your entire blogroll, your choice.

If you like, create an introductory paragraph to your post that also acknowledges who tagged you.

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS:

Ann – A Nice Place in the Sun – “To let the rest of my life begin as soon as possible.”

Juliana – Juliana’s Site – My New Year‘s resolutions are looking for a part time job, keep blogging, and learn to cook and bake.

Michelle – Rusin Roundup – 1. Learn to be happier and accept myself for who I am, 2. Is to lose about 25 lbs., and 3. Is to stop smoking.

Karen – Grow Rich Along With Me – My resolution for next year is to achieve $3K per month passive income by the end of 2008.

Mel – Attitude, the Ultimate Power & Complain Complain Complain – “I don’t need no stinking resolutions.” I never hold to them anyway so why frustrate myself by starting them now.

Sandee – Comedy Plus – I don’t need no stinking resolutions either. Years and years ago I did them because everyone else did, but not once did I follow through. Why set yourself up for failure?

Lynda – lynda’s loft – My resolution is to see resolve to that which needs resolution. Like Mel and Sandee, I feel that resolutions give us more stress, however, being a person who sets goals each year, isn’t that the same thing as a resolution??? Goals vs. resolutions? Goals are more general and allow for more time to complete them, a resolution requires a mind-set and immediate action, which is not always feasible… Well, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it…

Amelia – Amel’s Realm – This is a list of my New Year‘s Resolution:
1. Health: Continue exercising twice a week, eat enough veggies and fruit, have enough rest, take vitamin C regularly and women’s multivitamin during my period.
2. Spiritual: Improve my Daily Bread reading routine and my prayer life and learn more from God’s Word.
3. Financial: Continue to make money online (my goal is getting €100 per month at least), be more creative in writing posts, and save most of the money.
4. General Life: Continue to learn Finnish AND practice it as best and often as I can, try out more baking and cooking recipes, continue to maintain and share positive thoughts, continue to learn to control my thoughts, continue to learn to catch myself before I start complaining and count my blessings instead, continue to stop and cherish all the little moments in life that oftentimes go unnoticed, and continue to feed my inner child and last but not least, continue to ENJOY my life thoroughly.

Max – MAX – My New Year‘s resolutions are to dedicate more time to my friends; to finally be able to read “Der Spiegel” in German; to be calm when organizing my marriage; to go one last time to my favourite club and dance the night away; and continue to be happy!

Eric – Speedcat Hollydale – I love chicken. Problem is that I really never get to have enough chicken! My New Year‘s resolution is to enact “Chicken Tuesday”. On this day I will eat only chicken, blog about chicken, and promote chickens all over the world. (hormone free) Join me, won’t you?

Marzie – Mariuca & Mariuca’s Perfume Gallery – My resolution for 2008 is to enjoy a healthier lifestyle and to expand my Perfume Collection.

Sindi- Life Is A Roller Coaster – My resolution is to complain less, pray more and be a little more thankful for what I have.

Judy – Sugar Queen’s Dream – My New Year‘s resolution is:
To take better care of my health.
To eat better, well at least 3 meals a day, I’m lucky these days if I stop for one meal a day….
To help make the world a better place to live, I love the human race, but think there’s always room for change.
To be generous until it hurts.
To live each day as if it’s my last.
To make a book of our personal family recipes and traditions for each of my 3 my children, so that the traditions and family cooking can be passed on in my family line long after I’m gone and finally…….
To help more with the local Human society, Animals like little kids can not fend for themselves so it’s up to each of us to take care of our pets and to step in and care for all animals…..
I hope that through me I can encourage my Children to be better adults and in turn to raise the Children they have or will have, to be good people with good, sound & solid values…. Peace!

Adrian – First Time Dad – My New Year’s Resolution for 2008 is to be a better father…now I don’t usually make New Year‘s resolutions because I never keep them but this one I better keep! Happy New Year to one and all!

Colin – Life – New Years Resolution? No way…Better to achieve more throughout the year rather than pander to the whims of a one day ‘wishful thought’

Mauro – 1 Million Love Messages – My resolution for next year are: 1. Change my job (maybe work online). I’m really unhappy in the actual one. 2. Dedicate more time to my family and girlfriend… maybe start to get ready for our wedding 🙂 3. Work hard in 1 Million Love Messages and reach 2500 Love messages (or more) in the end of 2008.

MidgetManOfSteel – Mental Poo – To get out of dealing with people who I have no desire in helping at the job I’m doing…catch the eye of someone who can see that I can write and be funny…and get my own ticket to happiness from my humor….and a Ferrari. While I’m doing this, I resolve to get a Ferrari.

Stacy – My Thoughts – My New Year’s Resolution for 2008 – Is to be more understanding to my children and to other people, Not to curse at others while I am driving, try to eat right and exercise, try to volunteer in my community, and to believe more in my spiritual side.

Jason – DatCurious.com & DatMoney.com – Although, I normally don’t do New Year‘s Resolutions (because I find it as an excuse to actually do something I should’ve already been doing), this year I will plan on giving back to the blogging community, especially my audience. I’m not sure how I will do it yet, but I definitely will.

Kesa – Little Aussie Cynic – My New Years Resolution is the standard….. to finally get off the smokes and to loose 8kg…. both which are possible just difficult…..Happy New Year to you and yours….Aussie

bmgmom – Being a Mom is Great; BMG Mom’s Reviews; Parents & Kids Talk Radio – I resolve to read at least one book per month. Oh, and to stop blogging at 8:30 every night to get back to doing storytime with my kids (like I did before I blogged) (and then get back to it after they’re asleep, of course). Then, more generally, I want to be more positive, open hearted, simple and grateful.

“End Copy Here”

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Here are the bloggers I’m tagging to do this! If you haven’t read their blogs yet, you should check them out.

Piper of Love at Bliss in Bloom (because she is so inspirational, and we can all benefit from her words of wisdom and encouragement!)

Monica at Ya…About That… (because I just met her, because #45 on her “100 Things About Me” list tells me that she probably has a resolution or two (?) and #12 suggests she’s probably pretty nice and #15 tells me she’d probably be okay with another one of these tagging/meme things)

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And now… another meme…

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What She Said…

 

If Mom Says OK logo

I’ve been tagged by my blogger friend, Opal over at If Mom Says OK, with a “Your Month” meme and, well, if you go back a few taggers you’ll get to one of my favorite blogs, “Suburban Scrawl” written by my blogger friend, Melisa.

Suburban Scrawl Logo

The post includes a list of the months of the year, along with traits that are supposedly associated with people who are born in that month (see below). Well…I’m terrible with these meme things…so I say, “Ditto” to Melisa’s post. Because, really, truly, my answers would be pretty darned close to hers…well except for these:

#1 I don’t have trouble sleeping and I don’t have that lovely lavender pillow mist spray

#12 I didn’t go to New York with her sister

#21 Lotus didn’t tag me, but, in a way, she started all this, so…

#37 I’m not so good with that one. I cry at sad movies…

Here’s the rest of the meme and the list of bloggers I’m tagging, because I enjoy all of their blogs (or vlogs, in some cases) and would love to know a little more about each of them. If you haven’t yet read any of these blogs, I highly recommend them:

Deb at Missives from Suburbia, Rachel at A Southern Fairytale, SoCalMom, Rose at It’s My Life, ee at Expecting Executive, wow at wornoutwoman, MamaWise, Kymburlee at Temporary? Insanity, Whimspiration, RibbonRockStar, and Jim at The Busy Dad Blog.

Here’s your challenge-are you up for it? Find your birth month, highlight the traits (within that month) that you think apply to you (and briefly describe why). Then post your answers, copy the meme and tag 12 others (it’s always nice to circle back and let the original tagger know you’ve done it, too).

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

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Thanks for playing!!

Happy New Year!

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*Note: These posts first appeared separately, but then one disappeared. To make a long story short, I’ve joined them together as one big me me post.

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Winter Reading Challenge – List of Books

Winter Reading Challenge

Check out my other blog to learn more about the reading challenge I’ve decided to join.
Headed by my blogger friend Karlene at Inksplasher, the challenge runs from December 22 to March 19. Here’s the beginning of my list of books that I intend to read this winter:

Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, a non-fiction NYT bestseller about an American nurse who attempts to climb a challenging mountain in Pakistan, fails and becomes seriously ill. He is nursed back to health by villager, then promises to repay their kindness by building a school in their village. I’ve heard that it’s an uplifting story that seems like a great read for this month. That will be first book.

After that book, I plan to read Water for Elephants, a novel by Sara Gruen.

Then,

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, which is considered a classic.

More to come…please stay tuned…

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UPDATE: 1.31.08

Eat, Pray, Love

I’m adding this one to the list: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know, it’s a little post hype. Most people who read the bestsellers read this one a long time ago. I have to admit, I’ve been reluctant to read it after having seen the author interviewed on Oprah a couple of times. The first time I saw her I decided I wouldn’t read it, but the second time it seemed as though she was softer, more humble after her rapid rise to Oprah-style fame. So, I’m giving it a shot.

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Filed under books, family

Best New Web Community – cre8Buzz!!

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

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Well, at least that’s what I think…

And I hope you do, too! Cre8Buzz has been nominated for a Mashable Open Web Award in the category, “Best Niche or Miscellaneous Social Network.” So, please support this wonderful community by clicking on this button, scrolling down until you see that category and voting for cre8Buzz. It’s that easy!

Mashable Award Button

If you haven’t heard about cre8Buzz yet, it’s a community of interesting people who are not primarily young folks in college. It includes moms & dads, political pundits, talented writers, photographers, hobbyists and so much more.

Cre8Buzz has opened up a whole new world to me as a blogger. It’s a world of supportive, funny, interesting people who are interested in the substance of my blogs and who will tell me what they think (good or bad) about what I have to say. I can count on the members of that community to comment on my posts, listen to my radio show and just ask me how I’m doing on any particular day.

I’ve seen nothing like it on the web. I’m so grateful to have become a part of cre8Buzz and would love to show my support in any way I can. If you have something to share, check it out and see what you think. If you’d like to join, let me know and I can hook you up with an invitation. Or, if you don’t want to join but you like what you see, please vote (just click on that button!).

Thanks for your support!!

For more info and a better description of the Buzz, you’ve got to click here to read Piper of Love’s post on her blog called, “Bliss in Bloom.”

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Filed under Awards, Fun, reviews, Thoughts

A Tribute to Mom (or How to Decorate a Christmas Tree)

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

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Yes…the holidays are upon us.

Stores blare Christmas music, commuters face nasty holiday traffic, shoppers swagger through crowded shops, busy busier frazzled parents lose patience with tired kids, and families spend hours (or days!) decorating their homes. It’s a time filled with ritual and traditions. And every family has its traditions. Some families go nuts every year on the outside of their homes hanging lights and signs…we don’t get crazy with our property — maybe we’ll put a few strands of white lights here and there, hang a couple of wreaths with bows, that’s about it.

But our Christmas tree inside our house? Ah, now that’s different.

We give heartfelt attention to our trees. My mom loved decorating Christmas trees. She trimmed beautiful trees. So did my grandmother. She had two trees at Christmas time with an elaborate, magical, snowy Christmas village underneath both of them, complete with kings on horses (or were they camels?) pointed toward her fireplace which had a beautiful creche inside. She spent a lot of time putting puffs of cotton underneath cotton batting then sprinkling glitter around to make it look like a shimmery, snowy fantasy land. She had little houses, animals and figurines spread all around and then a lovely little wooden fence on the edge of all of it. When we were old enough, my sisters and I would help her assemble this (what was in our minds massive) world. It was absolutely delightful.

We don’t even try to replicate that magic, but, sort of as a tribute to my family of origin, I put some effort into our tree. I enjoy decorating it. It all starts with the search for the right tree. We go out to a tree farm and my hubby uses a wimpy little saw (provided by the farm) and a whole lot of brawn to chop down a tree.

This year, our son spied a Norwegian Spruce (super prickly but great for holding lots of ornaments). It’s a funky tree, and we actually heard another family rejecting it because its branches were a bit wild and dense. We didn’t mind. So, in a Charlie Brown (well, Linus) kind of way, we decided that was the one for us. With a little TLC, we trimmed it, removed some of the sappy branches (and the twisted weedy thing that was growing up the trunk) and took it home.

Hubby and I put it in the stand without incident and then it was up to me to do the rest. I turned on some Christmas music, got a cup of tea and just sat and looked at it — not because I was feeling contemplative and pondering all my Christmases past, rather because I couldn’t find the box of lights. I had the tree topper, so I climbed up the ladder and set it on top, then I went back through the dozen or so boxes of decorations to search for the lights. I was just about ready to give up when, almost an hour later, I finally remembered that I stowed them in the attic.

Thank you, God! I mean, I needed the lights, because it’s the first step in the system. Yes, I have a decorating system that I’ve developed after years of advice and assistance from Mom. I start with the lights (I used to do a spiral around the tree, now I just zig zag up and around it and place them in spots that will optimize the sparkle factor). Mom always said that the key to making a great tree is to put some of the lights deep into the tree (in toward the trunk) to give it depth and provide maximum twinkle. Can’t skimp on the lights.

tree lights

Ornaments are another place to be generous. I try to find great ornaments each year (preferably after Christmas, to get a good deal on bulbs I wouldn’t otherwise buy) and I have a color scheme to which I am loyal — clear lights with red, gold and white (but very few white) bulbs. So when I see a special red or gold bulb after Christmas, I scoop it up, add it to the collection, and look forward to putting it up the following year.

Mom insisted that the general idea is to hang the largest bulbs around the bottom and the smallest bulbs at the top, but I save a few small bulbs to sprinkle here and there around the middle (where I need more color). The shiniest bulbs go closest to the lights to maximize the sparkle. All of this is probably basic, basic tree trimming knowledge.

So now I’ll share some of my favorite Mom tips. First, how to use very effective little trimmings called sprays.

gold spray

I’m not much of a crafty gal, but this trick is worth a trip to Michael’s (or AC Moore or whatever craft stores you have near you). Mom gave us some red and gold sprays that I carefully place in those bare spots that are otherwise just big, bland sections of green (Mom also used to add feathery birds to her tree, but I chose to omit them).

Another important Mom tip: ocassionally stand back a few steps and look at the whole tree to find the bare spots and fill them in with just the right decoration. I did just that and tweaked until I was satisfied. Then, I gathered up my french ribbon (the kind that has wire on each side — I use red ribbon with gold beads on the sides) and carefully wound it & twisted it around the tree. Finally, I used strings of beads and draped them around the tree, up and down the branches like this:

Christmas tree beads

Then, when I finally finished, I made another cup of tea, got a little plate of cookies and sat and looked at it.For me, it’s the most special part of my ritual. That’s the time when I reflect back on all the past Christmases, back when mom was still alive. I think about my mom and grandmother and silently thank them for all the wisdom they passed on to me. I think about the time in college when my mom took me shopping for Christmas decorations because she wanted to help me set up my very first tree (away from home). I remember marveling at her attention to detail and understanding what a difference it made.

When I spend that special time looking at our tree, I am so grateful for the many warm, loving memories. I feel blessed to have had all those years learning Mom’s tips, decorating with her, buying new decorations, laughing and singing carols. All sorts of feelings start rushing through me. I start to wish she could be sitting there with me, also having a cup of tea and some cookies. I wish I could see her beautiful, sparkling eyes as she gazed approvingly at the tree.

At this time of year, I miss my mom the most. So my ritual often ends with tears. Sometimes I cry, other times I just sit and smile. No matter what, though, just before standing up and going on with the rest of my day, I always say, “This one’s for you, Mom. Thanks.”

BMGmom Tree

2007 Christmas Tree (during the day)

2007 tree at night

2007 Tree at Night

Merry Christmas!

Happy Chanukah.

Happy Eid.

Habari Gani.

Happy Winter Solstice (that one’s for you, Dan!)

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Filed under Children, Christmas, Culture, design, family, holidays