Sunday, December 30, 2012


the tree still looks lovely, even on december 29.  but it's not the same, is it?

all of the anticipation is gone.  the gifts are open.  the gatherings are done.  the decorations that took a whole day to lovingly place in just the right spot take less than 30 minutes to pile onto the table, wrap up, and pack away. (this makes me inexplicably sad.)

the very last christmas cookie gets eaten.  peace on earth and goodwill toward men fades into the background of many peoples' minds.  things go "back to normal."

but i'm not a big fan of normal.  and i have a hard time when christmas magic disappears into the ether.  i have to baby-step my way out of the holidays.  the decor gets packed away well before the tree.  and then snowmen and snowflakes take the place of the santas and reindeer.  just to keep things festive a little bit longer.  as if maybe there could be such a thing as winter magic, too.

when i was small, i had a sesame street christmas record.  the record is long gone, but one song stays with me.  it advised listeners to "keep christmas with you, all through the year. when christmas is over, save some christmas cheer."  it's not too difficult right now, while some christmas spirit lingers.  but it can get pretty tough as the year moves on, the seasons change, and christmas becomes both a distant memory and not even a dot on the horizon.

but i try.  i stay on the look-out for the perfect christmas gifts, because you never know when you'll find them (and sometimes they show up in july).  i try to remember the "code of the elves."  i try to remember what's truly important, even though those things might only come to the forefront during the month of december.  and for those times i'll struggle and forget, i keep a few reminders around the house, all year long (even though they're really christmas decorations).

peace on earth.  good will toward men.  today.  and every day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


i don't remember big events.    i remember little details.

i remember what color a sweater was, who ate what cookies, what kind of flowers were in the vases on the tables, what types of sprinkles were a hit with the little ones.

i'm not sure why my mind works this way.  why i remember this way.  but i do.  maybe it's because i once read that god is in the details.  or maybe it's just how i am, how i was made.

i wouldn't change it, though, my attention to details.  i like that about me.  noticing the small pieces gives me more to be thankful for,  more to learn, more to know.

and helps me to realize just how much more i still have to learn and know and be thankful for.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

comfort and joy

i am a firm believer in the spirit of christmas.  i believe it is a time of magic and possibility.  i believe it is the one time of the year where people might really think in terms of peace on earth and goodwill toward men.  i believe it is a time when people are generally, genuinely, happy.

i believe.  will all my heart.

and then something terrible happens.  something unfathomable.  a week before christmas.  and my heart, every one's heart, breaks apart.  and it seems like there might not be a way to feel happy ever again.  let alone at christmas.  next week.

but this is when we need christmas the most.  we need to hold on to the idea of peace on earth.  we need to tell everyone we know that we love them, that they are loved, and give them a hug.  we need to bake cookies with our children, and let them use as many sprinkles as they want.  we need to wish strangers a merry christmas, or a happy holiday, or just smile at them and wish them well.  give tidings of comfort.  and joy.

and we need to remember that, while our hearts are broken, there are some whose hearts are shattered.  and maybe, just maybe, if we can love, if we can find some way to be happy...  maybe, just maybe, some of that love, some of that happiness, will find it's way to where it is needed most.

it won't fix everything.  it might not fix anything.  but it will help. 

i believe that.

there are so many reasons to run away and hide.  to bury our heads in the sand.  to fall into a sobbing heap.  to crawl under the covers and never come out.

but i don't want to do that. 

i want to smile at strangers, and hug my loved ones, and let kids cover cookies with sprinkles, and sing christmas carols while i wrap presents, and think in terms of peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

i want to make god and buddha and george harrison and john lennon and buddy the elf proud.

because i believe in the spirit of christmas.  i believe, in spite of everything, that happiness is possible.  even when it doesn't seem so.  i believe that love is the answer.

i believe.  with all my heart.

i just hope someone else does, too.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

'tis the season

some weekends are busy.  really busy.  really really busy.  like this one was.

up early (even though it's the weekend).  going non-stop all day long, and on into the night because it is impossible to get it all done during the day.  then up the next day for the same thing all over again.

and all of it is for other people.  and none of it is for me.  and no one is helping, even though other people are involved.

then i say "yes" when someone asks a favor, even though i totally don't have time to do any favors for anyone.

but... somehow.... when i put the word "christmas" in front of it...

christmas baking, christmas favors, christmas work... with christmas carols, christmas lights, christmas cocoa....

it all seems kind of nice.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

14 because i like multiples of 7

i had a race this past weekend.  not that me having a race is anything too out of the ordinary, or even anything special.  but this one was in december.  it was my final race for this calendar year.  and it meant that i have had at least one race each month this year.

it's been awhile since that has happened.  it used to happen every year.  but things change and knees change and life changes and plans change with it all.  but this year it all came together again.

i'm happy for that.  i like having goals sitting out there, waiting to be met.  but more than that, i like the record that a year of races provides.  not, like, setting records.  more like historical records.  my history for this year.

i can look back at a year's worth of race shirts and see my whole year laid out before me.  i remember everything that was happening when i ran this race or that race.  not just what was happening as related to running, but what was happening in life.

all the details, big and small.  the highest highs and the lowest lows.  the smiles, tears, happiness, anger, frustration, fear, joy.  they are all there,  the memories and the life, woven into cotton, polyester, cool-max, and dri-weave.

stride on.

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