The spirit moved me…


Holiday spirit.  Two words that, for many, have been difficult to muster up this year.  Especially for me, someone who usually cannot wait for the first Christmas music to start playing on the radio along with the sappy and fun holiday movies that pop up on television. Oh yes, besides being a Hallmark movie junkie. I scour the zillion channels on FIOS for White Christmas, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol.  In fact, this year, I spent time on Christmas Day watching both Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman…just for snowflakes and giggles.  Both brought back memories of watching the shows when my own children were small.  That was a yearly tradition, along with never missing the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center.  Such simple things that made the holiday spirit come alive.

This year was so different.  Too many things became almost a chore, a tiring ritual with a lack of excitement involved as the preparations began.  Let’s face it, with the virus undercurrent flowing everywhere, so much of what we’ve all taken for granted was compromised.   No rushing into shopping malls for gifts, ordering instead from online sources and then hoping, wishing and praying with each tracking number received, that items would arrive in time for Christmas.  No large family, or other, gatherings to celebrate the season, opting for Zoom or other apps for human connections.

Still, underneath it all, some element of seasonal spirit managed to remain, mainly with the happy memories of holidays past and the hope that there would be more in the years ahead.  Somehow, these very thoughts kept dancing in my head as I made every effort to dive into my usual seasonal frenzy.

Our annual Christmas tree trek.  With the grandkids, of course.  (I blame them for choosing the 10’ tree that takes over the living room.)

Decorating the house, inside and out.  Bows and lights everywhere.  (The electric provider loves me during the holidays.)

The traditional Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner.  Crab, Lobster, Shrimp, Mussels, Clams, Scallops, Bacalao, Anchovies.  (I know that’s 8 fishes.  I cook outside the box.)

Leaving cookies and milk for Santa (which I end up consuming while I’m wrapping presents).

Misplacing Baby Jesus for his birthday debut in the Manger (finally locating Him at 3 on Christmas morning).

Tracking Santa’s flight on Norad. (Yes, I still do that.  Don’t judge.)

And…one of the best of all, reading The Night Before Christmas to my grandchildren on Christmas Eve.  No matter how old they get, or how old I get (and can still hold the book up without assistance) this will be a precious family tradition. 

My hope is that they all carry it on, long after I’m gone (or I will come back to haunt them, like Marley’s ghost!).


workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop…List the top 7 things that fill you with the holiday spirit.


Somewhere…in my memories


It’s a little more than days away and, once again, I am digging deeply into the world around me to find some Christmas spirit. Much like snowflakes in bright sunlight, my enthusiasm for the season disappears quickly.  I keep holiday music tuned on every radio within reach, make endless To-Do lists and watch one more day breeze past.

But, I remember…

When there were so many presents under our tree that the huge evergreen was almost dwarfed by the packages festooned with colorful ribbons that spread across our living room.

When the season used to take forever to arrive and seemed to stay around longer.

When people didn’t line up in stores, like mercenaries, the day after Thanksgiving,  intent on inflicting pain and suffering just to purchase gifts.

When I had time to bake dozens of Christmas cookies that hid away on our pantry shelves, only to be found by sensitive little noses and prying fingers.

When everyone wore some type of holiday corsage or festive button on their coat.

When toys were simple and operated by imagination, not batteries or a power cord.

When packages that came in the mail were wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string.

When Bloomingdale’s was the main attraction where I lived and everyone raced to see their fabulous window display each year.

When outside decorations didn’t have front lawns looking like Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, packed with teetering-tottering air-blown holiday figures and mechanical reindeer.  Simple lights and a wreath on the door told passers-by that Christmas lived in that home.

And..I remember how my mother would walk into our home and remark how beautiful everything was, how she enjoyed all the traditional holiday food.  She loved Christmas…back before she started to forget.

All of this is somewhere, in my memories.



workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop…Write about a favorite Winter memory.

I share this post just about every year.  For me, it’s a gentle step back into a time when life was so much simpler and the memories are much like gifts waiting under the Christmas tree, all with “Open Me First” tags on them.  


For the simple things….

Time has just been running away from me lately and blogging, about anything, has taken a very big hit.

It’s not that thoughts and ideas haven’t been waking me up at night, urging me to write, write, WRITE!!  Putting it all in order to make a worthy blog post has been another thing entirely.

All excuses aside, I’ve been reflecting on the joys of life as we head into the time of year when you stop dead in your frantic tracks and rejoice, giving thanks for the simple things.

Family, friends, health and happiness.

A sturdy roof over your head, a warm fire, food on the table and…a job.

The laughter of children.

Traditions that create fond memories for those we will someday leave behind.

Ahhh, yes, these simple things we should never take for granted!

Thanksgiving Blessings, one and all!