Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Believing in Christmas Miracles

Yes Virgina, there is a Santa Claus.  Believing.  Do you believe in Santa? in Christmas Miracles?

I have always loved the Christmas season - it fills my heart with joy.  I even got married in December, many years ago. My husband was my christmas miracle that year.  I had waited a long time for him.  He was and still is a good man.  We are no longer married to each other, but it is still something that I believed with all my heart would happen someday and it did.  God answers our prayers in ways we can't even fathom sometimes.

As a young girl, I believed in Santa and  I still do today as an adult.  But in adulthood, he is a different kind of Santa.  He doesn't wear a red suit and beard, it is his spirit that moves the miracles to come true.  But, only if we still Believe.

The Hallmark Channel has been running Christmas specials for a few weeks now.  I love watching them.  In one of the specials, a little girl says to someone (I cannot remember who right now) -    "Believing is seeing. "

 I have pondered this since the day I watched it.

I myself have prayed for a few miracles to occur in my life this Christmas.  Two have actually occured today! Magical. I wonder what will happen from now until December 25th? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

Believe it or not there was a time when there wasn't 250 some channels to chose from on TV.  There is probably more than that now, but I don't watch much television so I am not certain.  When I was a child there were only three or four major stations.  Each Christmas my sister, brothers and I would anxiously await the christmas specials.  My mom would scope out the paper for the days they were on and on those days, we would happily get our pajamas on early so that we were ready when it came on.

Our favorite was of course Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, followed by Frosty and The Year Without a Santa Claus. Those specials continue to ring dear to our hearts. In fact, today, I was having a bit of a discouraging day - and then while I was putting away the laundry, my mother left me a voice mail message.  "Honey, turn on Channel 4 - now!"  and there was Burl Ives as the snowman dressed in green and blue plaid.  My day at 8:00pm, had suddenly gotten so much better!  Funny how even at 48 years old, Moms know just how to perk up your spirits.

We can all sing the songs of Heat Miser and Snow Miser and name all of the toys on the Island of Misfit toys.  And my siblings have handed these memories down to their children. 

Thank you again Mom for these wonderful holiday memories, they will always bring us back to our childhood and our hearts will be full.


Monday, November 28, 2011

The Christmas Wish List

It would be right about this time that my Mom would ask my brothers, sister and I for the infamous "christmas list."  When I was a child, the toy commercials waited until the day after thanksgiving and the stores would be waiting to bring out their holiday wares that weekend as well.  That's not true anymore is it? Why is everything so rushed? Why can't we slow our world down to savor each of the holidays as they come and relish those times? They only come once a year. 

I digress, I'm sorry.  Back to the childhood christmas list.  We had such fun creating these lists.  The Brand Names, Sears and JCPenney catalogs would be dog eared by the time we got done with them.  The lists would end up being two pages long, handwritten in pen, pencil or crayon -whatever we had handy. As children we thought Santa had an endless supply of money.  Why wouldn't he bring us everything on that carefully crafted list?   We believed he would.

We handed those lists to my Mom with great hopes that Santa knew exactly what we really wanted in our heart of hearts.  The excitement grew in our tummys with each passing day.  ( I will tell you that funny story in another upcoming blog!).

My mom would carefully peruse those lists and somehow she and Santa had a direct line to one another, for on Christmas day the toys that were dearest to our hearts always ended up under the Christmas tree.  They weren't always the most expensive or the ones at the top of the list, but somehow Santa always knew just which ones to pick!

So what was one of my most favorite toys ever! A Dancing Bear!  Ok.. I couldn't find a picture of the actual one I had but you get the idea! Hahaa.. the actual one I had came with brown ears,hands and feet with a funky flowered print all over his body.  His feet had elastic at the bottom so I could strap him onto my feet!  I had sooo much fun with him.  I adored that bear and I looooved to dance. 

Goodnight my friends, talk with you tomorrow, Kimberley

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Silver and Gold themed Christmas Tree this year!

So, my friends, I decided it would be a silver and gold themed Christmas tree this year!  And I have invited my girlfriend and her daughter to assist in the creation today!  I am curious to see what this collaborative effort will look like.  The thought of it just makes me smile.

And yes, when it is all done, I will defnitely share the pictures with all of you.  What will be your inspired tree this year?  Will you invite some special people into your family holiday traditions? Our family has always opened our home and holiday celebrations to friends, especially those friends who might not have relatives close by.  I have found that is a gift all by itself, for each of us.

Some might ask, "how do you come up with new ideas each year for your Holiday theme?  My answer: I look around me.  I open old magazines that I have saved and I look at my new favorites. Christmas music is turned on and the hotels, stores and streets start to take on their own holiday finery.  As I allow myself to be open to all the sparkle and beauty of it all, it suddenly comes to me.

This year, my inspiration came from the florist I visited to purchase my Thanksgiving table flowers.  You might be familiar with it? I walked in and oh the smells of Thanksgiving and Christmas were all blended together - the nutmeg, cinammon, lilies, pine.  I was truly in heaven!  They had a beautiful Christmas display in gold, it felt like fairy dust and magic to me. The creative juices began to flow...

And then last night as I was donning my 1970's disco apparel at a fund raising dancing event for charity, I found myself sitting under a sprawling tree growing in a courtyard at the Hyatt in Buffalo. The branches with its silver ornaments dangling about were directing me to the Christmas tree that stood beside it - dressed in silver and gold!   It was then that I knew, silver and gold was my 2011 Christmas theme.   I have been singing that song by Burl Ives now for a couple of hours! Hahaha!

Silver and Gold decorations...on every... Christmas Tree...( can you hear this little snowman singing??? lol)

And so my friends,, I thought I would give you some help in creating your own inspirations. Here are some website suggestions to get your juices flowing:

Happy Creating! Please feel free to share your inspirations with me.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Decorating Day! (my rendition of Black Friday!)

So what does everyone do the day after Christmas? Shop? Eat Turkey sandwiches? Well, not me! 
I think about the Christmas decorating theme for this holiday season and get the house and Christmas
tree decorated.  Yes, I might eat some left over turkey while decorating but my focus is most certainly on Christmas!

I have to hand it to my Mom yet one more time as she started this tradition.  My mom would decorate every room in the house, even the bathrooms.  She would start early in the morning on Friday and would work right through to the evening.  And the kicker was, she never decorated the same way two years in a row! The tree had a different design every Christmas! 

To this day - my Mom decorates her tree differently every year even in her late 60's!  I lost count of how many plastic totes of decorations she has.  She even has them numbered with an inventory list! She is very talented and should have been an interior designer- she is that good!

What will be my theme this year? Still not sure, I am thinking gold.  I hope I have some gold decorations - lol!  I have boxes of different colored ornaments, not sure I have gold.  We shall see.  It's only 11:25am, the day is young!

Stay tuned!  I will keep you informed and perhaps even share some pictures!

Here's to Happy Decorating Day versus Black Friday (something about that name I just don't like!),


Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade...

Ever since I can remember my family watches the Macys Day Parade on this day.  It has been a tradition since I was a little girl and I am so happy that my nieces and nephews cherish that holiday event as well. 

When I was a little girl, I remember my parents turning it on and letting us eat our bowl of cereal in the living room watching the parade while they prepared the turkey.

The smells of pies and stuffing were still lingering in the house from the night before and now the smell of turkey would join them.  We would have a large group for dinner, so big in fact that my mom had to set a larger table in the living room so that we could all sit together!

I can still recollect the one Thanksgiving where my grandmothers boyfriend sampled every piece of the 19 pies my mom had made! We were amazed! How did he do that?

The parade lasted for several hours and by that time my parents were done in the kitchen and we were all told to get dressed and help set the table. 

Someday, I hope to attend the parade in person.  I have wanted to see it ever since I can remember.  And when I do go, I will carry those fond memories with me that my mother and father created.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Finally the writers block is over... and the Holiday Season Begins...

Finally my writers block is over! I am so grateful for that! That dry spell was waaay too long.  I apologize to all my readers that I haven't connected with you over the last few weeks.  My nephew was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital and then I had a painfully stiff neck for a week.

I am so happy that the walk through the desert is over! Lol!

Sometimes its the unexpected that moves you to create again.  And let me tell you it was the unexpected!  I won't share it with you because I would be a little embarrassed!

So, what shall we talk about today?  I think what is most fitting is the beginning of the Holiday Season!  My favorite time of the year!

It is a time when I spend hours in the kitchen, cooking up all those delightful smells of sage, poultry seasoning, onions as the stuffing frys up in the pan and the women in my family gather round to share stories and laugh together.  It is a tradition in our family to have the women come together on the wednesday before Thanksgiving and make the stuffing and pies for the next day.  My mom started this tradition and I have tried to keep it going.  Sometimes this evening has ended up just being my mom and I and sometimes there are many including my sister, her daughters, one of my close female friends and her daughter.

It is a great women bonding time.  I cherish it every year.   And so it begins my friends.  I will think about all of you during these joyful times and will share with you some of my favorite Holiday traditions everyday throughout the next four weeks.

I am hoping that you will share yours with me as well! 

In fact, I want to send my heartfelt thanks out to my readers and give the 20th person who shares their holiday tradition story over the next two weeks a gift!   Share your tradition in the comment section of my blog.  If you have difficulty with this please let me know at as some folks have had some challenges with this over the last few weeks.

If you would like you could send your tradition via email as well!  What is the gift? A $25 gift certificate to Pottery Barn!  Just in time to buy those special holiday gifts or perhaps a gift to yourself!

Send me your stories by December 7th and we will see who the lucky winner is! Isn't this fun! I love giving presents to people!


Friday, November 4, 2011

An artist and His work, an Interview with Sting

I listened to an interview with Sting last night by Mark Goodier. I could listen to him talk for hours.  He has been a favorite artist of mine for a long time now.  Not only do I love his music, I admire him as a person.  His persona is spiritual, somewhat eccentric, sensual and so very connected to the human experience.

He has come out with a new box set called, Sting 25 years.  A culmination of his work over the last quarter of a century.  In this interview he talks through his thoughts as he made different pieces of music - how he was feeling, what was happening in the world at the time, what inspired him.

He took a lot of risks throughout his career and I am certain he will take more in the years to come.  As creative souls, artists, whatever society calls us, we evolve through our work.

In the interview Sting remarks:

       "I won't finish a song if I don't think it's particularly good.  I might take a fragment of it and it might morph into something else..... Anything else, I don't bother finishing."

As I contemplated those words, I thought of my own work and blogging.  My mother and I were chatting yesterday and she asked me if I had written any new blogs recently. I said to her, "you know Mom...I see all these people with their blogs referring to other people's writings and I see people on Twitter, 'tweeting' much the same. 

But, as for me,  I want to be original.  I want to write my own words and share them with the world.  I know that I am not a 'known brand' in the world - YET, - but I am trying to establish myself as a writer.  I want people to know what I can do.  I want to share my own thoughts."

So many articles I have read say that "you must blog everyday" to be successful, to drive people to your site and to keep them coming back.  I struggle with that mandate, so-to-speak. On certain days, the inspiration for a great blog piece doesn't come to mind.  I don't publish every blog I write because for some reason, I wasn't particularly happy with it.  I might have written it, saved it, re-read it the next day and said - you know what, I am not thrilled with that. I think I will just save it.

I want my readers to feel inspired, to be moved, to know that someone understands and most of all, I want to share our human experiences with one another. 

I guess then, I am right there with Sting. One could only hope that I will be as successful as he, in my own works of art.

I would love to hear some thoughts from my readers on what they think about this topic?