christmas k.i.s.s.

Each year, the same resolution.

This year we’re going to keep Christmas simple!

Each year, a slow descent into the madness of the season. Advent stillness and pondering is pushed aside for frantic shopping, preparations, parties, and family squabbles over where everyone must spend Christmas Day…or it won’t be Merry.

Here in Canada, we’ve succumbed to Black Friday craziness even though we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. On the one hand, we don’t have to wait for our traditional Boxing Day sales to get great deals. On the other hand, we’re bombarded with flyers and online announcements flogging prices too low to ignore. And, we’re off. Credit cards in hand.

I struggled with Christmas when our own five children were young. We lived in a small, rural town with few stores and no online shopping. The marathon trip to the city to get presents stressed me. Hoping that each child was happy on Christmas morning stressed me more.

I breathed a sigh of relief when the gift giving was over. Took a big breath. And began work on a turkey dinner for twenty plus.

Each year, during my annual Christmas melt-down, hubby offered this advice. “Christmas doesn’t have to be a big production”. (I’m still married to the man.)

Our children’s families are growing. This is the advice we’re giving them.


Do your own thing on Christmas day. Enjoy the wee ones. Start your own traditions. RELAX!

Christmas is more than one day. We have the whole Christmas season to get together and have raucous fun – and we will. Our focus will be on the gathering, not the feasts. The playing not the work. The joy not the stress.

The presence, not the presents.

old year…still here

A year has gone by. A year without blogging. A year of self-imposed guilt. A year of wondering whether to continue or not.

It’s been a busy year. The three new grand-babies have all turned one. Two more grand-kiddies have started their school adventures. Routines and schedules define days, weeks and months. Hubby and I help as much as we can, while looking on in amazement. How do parents do it all? How did we do it?

A new writing adventure came my way. I wrote a screenplay this year. Five drafts to date. It’s been a steep learning curve for me, but a surprisingly enjoyable one. Writing fiction lets you “play God” with plots and characters. (I’m a little worried about how much I’m enjoying this power!) I treasure the fleeting moments when I’m “in the zone”. Time stands still and the perfect dialogue and action flow effortlessly. As with all writing, the moments are rare. More common are the hours/days spent staring at a blank screen, convinced that you’ll never write another word again. I can’t say much more about the project at the moment, but stay tuned! 🙂

And what about this blog? The news of the day continues to infuriate and depress me. Church news is no better. I shake my head at the utter stupidity, lack of courage and downright immorality of many of our leaders in both the church and the world. I have ranted and raged on this blog and it’s exhausted me. I needed a break. It doesn’t mean the anger has subsided or will never pour out on these pages again. But, I’m making no resolutions, except to write.

So, the blog will continue. It has a new, simple design, which I like very much.

New and simple.

new year, new decade

It’s a new year and, for me, the start of a new decade. I celebrated my 60th birthday last week – all week long. After a year of dreading this milestone, family and friends helped me embrace the gift of years. Many glasses were raised. Good food eaten. Candles blown. Hugs and kisses shared.

We baby-boomers like to believe that we are aging better than previous generations. “Fifty is the new thirty!” we proclaim. Sixty is “the new forty”. I look around at our close friends and their zest for love, life and laughter make the words ring true. Sure, there are wee signs of aging. We chuckle at the “brain farts” as we race to remember a name. Events we lived through are now recounted in historical documentaries. When did our present become such a distant past?

In the weeks before Christmas, hubby and I welcomed three more grand-babies into the world. We are now parents of five, and Grammy and Papa to nine. The wee ones keep us hopping, and keep us young. The holidays saw us cuddling the newbies, playing with toddlers and pre-schoolers, and sliding down snowy hills with the older kiddies.

I was spoiled with presents on my birthday, but the one that meant the most came from my five children. It is a book, engraved and bound by my talented artist daughter. Inside are five beautifully written letters, engraved in gold. The kids had a bet that this, of all presents, would make me cry. They were right. I had to explain to the little ones that Grammy had “happy tears”!

I’m no longer afraid of being sixty. I have life and love aplenty. I still have dreams to follow. Goals to accomplish.

And many more words to write…