Pick A Favorite

The Christmas holiday season is all around us. A favorite activity becomes either a drive or walk in the neighborhood to look at the holiday lights.

Cities and small towns decorate street light poles. Churches and some businesses decorate inside and out. Many homeowners fill the yard with seasonal figures. (Inflatables tend to look sad laying down on the job during the day.) Homes and apartments sprout lights in the windows and trees in the living room.

This puzzle displays nine common Christmas decorations. (I’m not sure when the penguin joined the group.) Do you have a favorite?

I think I would pick the holly and cookie. Let’s keep the snowman for January, shall we?


Keep the Light Burning

The holidays of December tend to feature light. Candles are central in the Menorah, the Advent Wreath, and marking the days of Kwanza. Trees, inside and outside of buildings, are covered with lights. Decorations are lit.

While many of us keep these extra lights burning only during the days with the shortest amount of daylight — some lights need to be year round. These are the lights that show the way for others.

Lighthouse keeps dared not take a day (or night) off. So let’s have the holiday party at their house!


Greeting Card Perfect

Holiday cards are in the mail!

Oh, look! We’ve heard from___.

Christmas cards, holiday cards, greeting cards (and the notes and letters often with them) have been part of the December holidays all my life. Mother had an extensive list, including several of dad’s Army buddies. Relatives predominated — since both my parents came from large families — my brothers and I never lacked for aunts and uncles. Also included were friends from various portions of their lives.

Preparing the cards has always been important to me. Yes, I switched over to a form letter a number of years ago. However, an extra personal line or two at the bottom is not unheard of.

Do you enjoy receiving cards? Do you display them? Toss them in a basket on a table?

The picture created by this puzzle would make a great greeting card to display on a shelf.


Deck the Halls

Christmas is coming! Pause a moment in a public space and you will likely hear bells or Christmas music or both.

Public spaces and private homes are hosting decorated trees, lights, and figures both religious and secular.

Pull out the music. Refresh your memory. This puzzle artist presents a nostalgic scene of Victorian Era carolers. See the holly? Sing along.

Everyone can sing the chorus.


Wet Celebration

Americans enjoy a good birthday party. We get to sing. Yes, laughter often follows. A birthday spanking equaled the number of years celebrated plus “one to grown on”. Little children (and sometimes big ones) play games. Cards and gifts are usually involved. And food — don’t forget the food!

Cake has become traditional. Often it’s served with a side of ice cream.

Our family didn’t get grand on the birthday celebrations. But I do remember a few. One time my brother wanted a three-tier cake. By using round cake pans of two sizes, plus putting a pottery bowl to use as a cake pan — my mother filled the order. Oh — and red frosting — that particular cake had red frosting.

Several decades later– I happened upon another birthday celebration.

This one was at the Georgia Aquarium, in honor of one of the California sea otters. He didn’t get a red, three tiered cake. Or my personal favorite — angel food.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Otter! May all your days be splashed full of fun!


Travel Season

Home for the holidays. You hear the phrase in the seasonal music. It’s a common question in the workplace and between neighbors.

While I enjoy traveling — regular readers of this blog are familiar with my reports on short and long trips — I’ve never been one to do it at this time of the year.

Why? You ask.

It’s a multitude of little things. I grew up in Wisconsin where weather influences winter travel. We lived on a farm — cows don’t take vacation and require hiring someone to care for them while the owner is gone. My father worked for the post office — December is their busiest month.

When I moved away from home the habit continued. Visits were planned for spring, summer, or fall when the weather was more cooperative. Vacation from my health care employers needed to be arranged in advance — and some years was limited. Distances were great at times.

At the same time I remain at (or close) to home during the holidays, I admire families that make the effort and take the time to visit each other. They have chosen to strengthen bonds and create new traditions centered around a specific holiday. And that can be the source of many memories and much laughter.

The fellow in today’s photo is traveling. South. Toward warmer weather.