Christmas Photo a Day, December 14, 2019

Eire, Cymru and Alba My 2019 addition to my tree, memories of my trip.

I can admire the artistry of a themed tree. One that is perfectly coifed, with evenly spaced globes of silver and gold or purple and teal or whatever colors and styles and shapes that present visual splendor.

But for me?? While I might change from colors to white lights (I enjoy the zen of untangling to string them on the tree, so that can change without having to buy a new tree when my vision changes), and some years are Victorian with garlands of pearls and candle lights, and such, the ornaments are decidedly NOT themed.

The only coherence any ornament on my tree has is it is a memory.

My Aunt Gael gave it to me from her trip to New Orleans or that she ordered the one year from Lillian Vernon for EVERYONE with our names engraved, or that we bought together on a trip to Quebec.

There are ornaments my favorite highschool teacher made, who was like a mom to me in those chaotic teenaged years,

There is a silly Chinese lantern that we got at a Chinese restaurant when Arlie was a baby, with Nana and Boston Pop, when we flew to Boston to establish a relationship with that fractured bit of family.

William the Hippo brings back thoughts of the years that cousin Thomas lived with us, and the tale of the Missing Hippo, as well as fond memories of traveling to the Met with my grandfather.

(I could do this all day, you do realize, right?) Taking the tree down with someone, or putting it up alone, and the stories are there…sometimes expressed out loud and sometimes just smiles on my face as I pack them up till next year.

Then there are of course, the handprint ornaments, on fragile glass balls, as my granddaughter grows bigger, and the ones she makes for us. There are the vacation collections, one for each of the kitties, and the one very precious paper one from my grandmother’s tree…

Keep your perfection. There is a place for that kind of beauty.

Me? Unless my tree gets BIGGER, it’s only things that have a story that will make it onto the tree.

Christmas Photo a Day, December 12, 2019

Throwback Thursday—

….. wander to a past post for a moment—Gifts from the Attic Stairs

Cats made from my dad’s clothes; I gave as gifts the Christmas after he died.

Christmas Photo a Day, December 10, 2019

Do you know the secret about Christmas?

What is CHRISTMAS, if it’s not about GIVING?

It’s not about GETTING… we buy what we want and need (and don’t need), when we want and need it, all through the year. We treat ourselves. Pretty well, in fact.

But, GIVING! Why are there lines and lines of people in every shop? What suddenly makes us positive that more sweaters, earrings, toys are necessary NOW?

Hint– It is the JOY we get in doing something for someone else. It’s about putting that smile on their face. About not being able to wait to see their face as they open what you found for them. About knowing we have found that perfect thing, that thing that says I was thinking about YOU when I bought this. We can’t wait to give it.

Take that feeling a step further and GIVE something to your favorite charity. Or find a new charity and give to that. Or, don’t pass by that “Go Fund Me” that scrolls by on Facebook, but read it and decide that you do have $20 to spend online, for someone who found it necessary to ask Cyberspace Santa for something this year.

….there but for the grace of God go I …

OLD CITY BAR, by Trans-Siberian Orchestra –Youtube in case it isn’t opening automatically

We recently bought a house for our “community cats”… since they feel safe in our yard, we feel a certain obligation to care for them. There are three currently… two who are feral/skittish and won’t let us near them, but who will come for dinner on our deck— Fuzzy Wuzzy and Ditto….and Gray, who has a home but apparently doesn’t like it there. Gray is social and a talker.

(Of course, ONE did decide to move inside with us a few years ago)

Alastair, the cat who stayed.