Tag Archives: Holiday

Going Non-Traditional

Readers in the United States — this one’s for you.

Do you have an opinion on the Norman Rockwell Freedom from Want?

The highlights: Three generations at the table, the eldest couple clearly in charge: he wears a suit, she has an apron over a dress. Fruit, a large covered dish, and small side dishes are on the table before “Grandma” lowers the turkey on a platter. You can only see faces/heads/partials of the family — all are well-groomed and smiling.

Does this look like your family? Do you recall portions of this happening during your childhood?

It may have been Thanksgiving — or a Sunday — I do remember a chaotic day with lots of relatives and food (I believe mother had to tie the oven shut because the turkey was too large). We had three generations in the house. Mother, not grandmother, was in charge. Consistent with her personality — she asked for and got assistance from others in her generation. Noise, food, people, and music probably burst out of our brick house on Main Street.

Later, when I was a teen and college student, the Thanksgiving feast was held with good friends and alternated between the homes. Lots of food, conversation, and fun. The deer hunters — yes, the season often overlapped with the holiday — took a few hours off.

After marriage, I lived many miles away from family, therefore we celebrated with friends, neighbors, or perhaps drove an hour to an Aunt & Uncle. My career (in health care) required working the day about half the years. Good planning permitted a bit of feasting and fun later in the day — after work. But please — spare the hours of preparation for the traditional meal — and the nuclear family was more comfortable after a busy shift.

What takes center stage at your Thanksgiving? Church service? Food? Football? Family & friends (or friendly family)? Shopping? Phone or video calls with loved ones far away?

However you choose to mark the day —

Tom, and his family, suggest a menu more in line with the 1621 celebration — venison, fish, and cornbread.

May your Blessings be Abundant!

Underwater Spooks

BOO! ‘Tis the season to scare each other.

Most Americans take the Halloween decorations, jokes, and “trick or treat” activities with a smile and idea of fun.

Do you ever wonder how other creatures cope with things which scare us? Does a plastic dog skeleton scare a dog? Do corn field creatures appreciate a maze? Do raccoons tell jokes to each other?

Cue the spooky movie music —

the hunt is on.

I’m convinced Hollywood designers used this stealth swimmer as a spaceship model.

Celebrate the Harvest

Belated Thanksgiving Wishes to Canadian readers!

Growing up on a small farm in the upper Midwest, the end of November always seemed rather late to celebrate the harvest. Grain was usually cut, thrashed, and stored by early September. (Some years it was a race to finish late in August before the free labor – children – returned to school.) The final crop of hay followed close behind. Corn, our other crop at the time, often was cut and/or picked in October.

I live farther South now — not tropical, but enough miles to change the seasons a little. (Global warming plays a part too.) Houseplants come inside late Sept or early Oct — before frost nips at the tips. Gardens are tapering off — a few peppers and tomatoes hang on for the excellent gardeners. Apples, pumpkins, and root vegetables are ready for picking and digging during October.

The puzzle artist stylized a harvest from days gone by — perhaps you can find elements of your childhood in the scene. Did you grow up rural? Or take a fall drive to admire colorful leaves and end up at an orchard?

Craft Show Season

Welcome to October!

Let the gift buying for the end-of-year Holiday Season begin!!!

No — this non-enthusiastic shopper has not been hijacked. I do experience positive emotion at both the purchase and receiving of gifts. However, I do try to accomplish my seasonal shopping in a small number of excursions.

Are you looking for something unusual? Perhaps a handmade item you don’t have the talent or time to create. Do you want to support some local, very small business persons?

Perhaps you should take a look at local ads and attend a craft show. Many are sponsored by organizations associated with churches and schools. Give them a little boast — even if they don’t charge an attendance fee, they often operate the snack bar. How about a drink and snack during your stay?

Outdoor author table at craft show.

The season for outdoor events is drawing to a close in Missouri. See you inside, with mask, at my next event. November 6, Mary Queen of Peace, Webster Grove, MO. (Reasons to give a book as a gift: easy to wrap, quiet, no batteries required.)

Party Perfect

Have you been to a party recently?

No? Me neither. But some of my friends have attended special occasions such as birthday parties. Or allowed children to attend at a neighbor or friend’s house.

When I was a child — some of my friends held birthday parties every year. Others had one or two over the years in elementary school. We went to their home — played games outside (if weather permitted) laughed, oohed and aahed when gifts were opened, and enjoyed cake.

My children attended a few parties for their friends. Often at an arcade, bowling alley, or skating rink. Fun and food were the result.

What does it take to make a party these days? How do you dress?

Yes, Mama–I’ll mind my manners and wear my mask.

Santa Makes It Complete

This blog has been filled with puzzles and memories evoked by their pictures during the last number of weeks. Christmas has been a popular theme — many of the puzzles featured snow, carolers, and holly wreaths.

Today we bring you a representation of Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, St. Nick, or “The Old Man Himself.”

With the aid of little girls, one dressed as an angel, plus a lamb, wreath, and gifts; this Santa wishes MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all!!!

Did Santa visit your house? Did he leave a little Christmas magic?

Small Town, Big Celebration

The size of the village, town, or city is not an indication of the amount of Christmas spirit within the citizens.

When I was a child, our village of less than 400 residents celebrated large. Green garlands were strung across Main Street from one light pole to another. An evergreen tree was decorated with lights. Children were treated to a Christmas party (Saturday before the Big Day) at the local theater. Santa made an appearance and handed out brown paper bags of treats. The school held a holiday concert. Churches opened their doors for special programs.

Like many puzzle artists, this one takes us back a number of decades to show an idealized scene. (Do puzzle buyers like horses? Are they nostalgic?)

I see a Community Center, City Hall, and the largest house in town all decked out for party time. How would you caption this one?

All Done!

The year 2019 is rushing to an end.

Has it gone past in a flash for you?

Or did it drag on forever — with one problem barely solved before the next arrived?

Like most years — I’ll have to give 2019 mixed reviews. Some fun times were contained within it’s boundaries. And also some problems — some I caused for myself, others got an assist from either Mother Nature or others.

But they’re done!  As soon as the clock sweeps past midnight! Welcome 2020. May you stay shiny and bright and full of promise — for more than one minute.

Final 2019 vacation photo.

I hope my luggage gets to the right place.

Just like the Song

Dashing….. in a one horse….

Gather your friends. This one horse open sleigh has plenty of room for two couples. Drive on over to the relatives and make it a party. Hot chocolate for all!

This year this vehicle is on display for photo ops. Can you picture yourself driving? Bundle up in your winter coat. Remember hat, scarf, and gloves.

 

O Holy Night

Shepherds watched.

Angels sang.

The babe was born in a stable.

Keeping Christ in Christmas.