Christmas Box: Presents and Presence

“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!” –Charles Dickens

IMG_4242bMerry Christmas from me and Princess Belle! Isn’t she cute?

Belle is our lovely 6-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, and she’s great friends with my sister’s dog Foxy.

My family has a few traditions on Christmas Eve: 1) Early dinner out in Missoula before… 2) attending and participating in the Christmas Eve service at Living Savior Lutheran Church, where afterwards we drive home and… 3) before anyone changes out of dress clothes, my siblings and I pose for a photo on the stairs next to the Christmas tree.

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Make Christmas Merry

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” –Calvin Coolidge

I express the following thoughts with the idea that I’m addressing myself as much as I am addressing you. In fact, I’m probably thinking out loud to myself, and to my experiences, more than to anyone else. What I know is, many good and bad things in this world are beyond our control, yet many aspects of our lives can be directed by the kind of attitude we decide to have—for ourselves and toward others. Perhaps I am naive in believing that people can change, even when they themselves believe it is impossible. Yet I cannot proceed in any other way than to try and see the best in others, unless and until they prove to me otherwise. It is with these hopes and ideas in mind that I write:

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The 17 Best Christmas Songs (in my humble opinion)

“Eve engaged her On Duty sign and stepped out of the car. Immediately her ears were assaulted with a blast of music. Christmas carols pumped, full blast, into the air. She decided that people ran inside, ready to buy anything, just to escape the noise.” –J.D. Robb, Holiday in Death

With so much Christmas music out playing from the radio, inside stores, and everywhere I wander this season, I sometimes find myself way overstimulated. I love Christmas music, but I still retain my preference for good music… okay, at least music I really like. So in the Christmas music spirit Continue reading

Thanks Day #6, #7, #8… and Beyond

“‘Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double-first, your passion and your new Smith Corona electric typewriter and work hard at … something. Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible.” ― David Nicholls

Alright, before anyone takes a look at this and says “Hey! You skipped the last 3 Thanks Days, and it’s already December! We’ve moved way past Thanksgiving already…” then I’m going to beat you to the punch and say… Continue reading