Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Merry Stress-mas

During this busy time of year, I find myself overwhelmed – again. I do this to myself every year since having my children. I plan on starting my Christmas shopping early, making homemade ornaments and cards, and getting my Christmas card list all spiffed up with cards sent out the day after Thanksgiving. Does it get done? Well, it used to before I had my children, but not anymore.

My days are filled with writing assignments, reading at one or the other schools (a fun thing!), running to pick up a gift from THE only store that has IT left on its shelf, and planning on making a few more batches of cookies to give. Notice I said, “Planning.” The actual “doing” does not seem to happen lately. These cookies are very important since we give them out as gifts to a few people who make our lives fun. Ever since my eldest (now 8) was small, we have gone around to the neighbors delivering cookies a few days before Christmas. We pick out the nicest-looking, unbroken cookies, pack them into pretty holiday tins, add a tag, and go to a few nearby houses and the Fire Department. Actually, the Fire Department has not gotten cookies in the past couple of years, but I plan on making tons this weekend and bringing them down to the House. (There’s that planning thing again.)

All of this brings me in a roundabout way to speak about the meaning of Christmas. We sung at Lessons and Carols at my church the other night. Readings and songs tell the story of Christmas. The Adult Choir, the Children’s Choir and several musicians get together with the congregation for this one night to enjoy the season in song.

As I stood in front of the choir, about to sing with three other people, I had the opportunity to hear both choirs for a change. Usually I am stuck at the end of the soprano section with only soprano voices to hear. When the children sang their verse, I was glad we were rehearsing first. I had to hold back my tears. Their little, innocent voices, so clear and pure, rose up and out, filling the air with their sweetness. I later enjoyed the little girl pulling up her stockings during a children’s song, and the boys in the back doing impromptu dances with their feet while remaining seated during another one of their songs, but the innocent moment stayed with me.

In this joyous season of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, take a moment to stop all of your rushing around and enjoy the innocence. There are few moments in life like the one I had the other evening. Make sure you notice them as they quickly pass.

What are your most treasured holiday moments?

Share them with us.


Wreaths Across America

The Wreaths Across America story began over 15 years ago when Worcester Wreath Company (a for-profit commercial business from Harrington, Maine) began a tradition of placing wreaths on the headstones of our Nation's fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery.

UPDATE: Over 3000 people laid wreaths at Arlington today. 'Just thought you would want to know.

California Family Leave Act

Under certain circumstances, California employers must provide up to ten days of unpaid leave to employees who have spouses in the military. California joins Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York, all of which have Military Family Leave laws.


Follow Santa’s progress as he treks across the world on Christmas Eve. (Note: My sons love doing this each Christmas Eve. It is part of our Christmas tradition.)

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