Chuckles for Christmas

man in santa claus costume
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

The Holiday Season can be a time of great stress and make people anxious as they rush around stores, malls, etc., to find gifts and presents for the family, friends, and loved ones. Whether it be preparing dinners, snacks or great feasts, getting ready for the relatives, the list goes on and on.  After a while, it can simply become overwhelming.

Well, today, I have good news for you! I collected a few quips about the Holiday Season that, I hope, will bring a smile to your face, gladness in your heart, and a giggle or two, to help brighten your day.

——————————

“Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.” – Victor Borge

 

“For Christmas this year, try giving less. Start with less attitude. There’s more than enough of that in the world as it is – and people will usually just give it back anyway!” – Anne Bristow

 

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.” – Shirley Temple

 

“The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.” – Joan Rivers

 

“Christmas, here again. Let us raise a loving cup; Peace on earth, goodwill to men, and make them do the washing up.” – Wendy Cope

 

“It’s all fun and games until Santa checks the Naughty List”. – Anon

 

“Christmas: the only time of year that you can sit in front of a dead tree eating candy from socks”. – Anonymous

 

“Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money.” – Unknown

 

“Three phrases that sum up Christmas are: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not Included.” – Unknown

“The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn’t for any religious reasons. They couldn’t find three wise men”. – Jay leno

 

“I set a personal record on Christmas. I got my shopping done three weeks ahead of time. I had all the presents back at my apartment, I was halfway through wrapping them, and I realized, ‘I used the wrong wrapping paper.’ The paper I used said, ‘Happy Birthday.’ I didn’t want to waste it, so I just wrote ‘Jesus’ on it.” – Demetri Martin

 

“People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.” – Unknown

 

“Christmas is a magical time of year… I just watched all my money magically disappear.” – Unknown

 

“Even before Christmas has said Hello, it’s saying ‘Buy Buy’.” – Robert Paul

 

“Anyone who believes that men are the equal of women has never seen a man trying to wrap a Christmas present.” – Unknown

 

“You know you are getting old, when Santa starts looking younger”. – Bart Simpson

 

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly”. – Andy Rooney

 

“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall”. – Larry Wilde

 

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. But if the white runs out I’ll drink the red”.  – Unknown

 

“Three Wise WOMEN would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, bought practical gifts, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and there would be peace on earth”!

– Anonymous

———————-

“At Christmas, all roads lead home”. – Marjorie Holmes

Worldwide Traditions of Christmas

brown and red pinecone christmas decoration
Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

We as Americans know the customs of Christmas here in the United States…but have you ever wondered what some of the traditions of Christmas are like in other parts of the world? Well, sit back and discover some short, interesting facts, how other people from around the globe celebrate Christmas. 

Belgian

The children there believe it is kindly Saint Nicholas who brings them their presents. They also believe he rides a horse so they leave him hay and carrots and water for the horse just outside the house on December 6.

Canada/U.S.

Christmas trees are decorated and stockings are hung on the fireplace for Santa Claus to fill with gifts. Cards and gifts are exchanged with friends and relatives. Children put on pageants and go caroling.

China

The Christians in China light their homes with beautiful paper lanterns. Santa is called Dun Che Lao Ren. The children hang stockings just as we do.

Czechs

They serve a very large and delicious dinner with many courses. Courses are like a appetizer, followed by soup, then a salad, then maybe the first meat dishes, and so on till the dessert is served. They serve this meal on Christmas Eve and it does not matter how big the family is, there is always a place set at the table that is set for the Christ Child.

Denmark

Santa is known as Julemanden and he arrives in a sleigh pulled by reindeer with a sack full of gifts. Danish children know the elves as Juul Nisse, and believe that they live in the attics of their homes. Instead of cookies and glasses of milk, they leave rice pudding and saucers of milk out for them.

England

From England we have acquired several customs. The first is the use of Christmas trees. This was made popular during the rein of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Prince Albert came from the country of Germany and missed his native practice of bringing in trees to place on the tables in the house, therefore one Christmas the royal couple brought a tree inside the Palace and decorated it with apples and other pretty items.

The second custom is what is known as Boxing Day. It is celebrated the first weekday after Christmas. What this means is that small wrapped boxes with food and sweets, or small gifts, or coins are given to anyone who comes calling that day.

Santa is known as Father Christmas, wearing long red robes and had sprigs of holly in his hair. Instead of mailing out their christmas list, children throw it into the fireplace and Father Christmas reads the smoke. England is also where the tradition of hanging stockings by the chimney began, due to the fact that Father Christmas once accidentally dropped some gold coins on his way down the chimney which got caught in a drying stocking. Another interesting thing is that instead of opening up their gifts as soon as they wake up, English children wait until the afternoon.

France

Santa is known as Pere Noel. He is accompanied by Pre Fouettard who keep track of who has been good or bad for Pere Noel. In some parts of France, Pere Noel brings small gifts in the beginning of December (Dec 6) and comes back to deliver more on Christmas. In France the children get to open their gifts on Christmas, but the parents and other adults have to wait until New Years. In France the children place there shoes by the fire place in hopes that le Pere Noel/Father Christmas of le Petit Jesus/Little Jesus will place gifts for them. They also have dinner at midnight on December 24 this is called Le Reveillon. They have a cake called La Buche de Noel that is served after the dinner.

Tiny clay figures are used in the Christmas Crèches, Mangers. These figures are most unique as they are dressed in what is popular in provincial clothing that year. The figures are Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the Wise Men, the Shepherds, and Angels.

Italy

It Italy, the main exchange of gift doesn’t occur until January 6th, the day traditionally believed that the Wise Men reached the baby Jesus. Italy has La Befana who brings gifts to for the good and punishment for the bad. She is the same character as Russia’s Babouschka who refused to give the Wise Men food and shelter. The nativity scene may have first been set up by Saint Francis of Assisi. This first one was set up in a cave outside of a village and the villagers were so impressed by the display that now many of the communities compete for the best nativity.

India

Houses are decorated with strings of mango leaves. Lights are place on the window sills and walls and a star is hung outside. A sweet holiday treat is made called thali and it is brought to neighbors and friends.

Japan

The Japanese decorate their stores and homes with greens. The only part of Christmas that they celebrate is the giving of gifts. HOTEIOSHA the priest is like our Santa Claus, and he brings the children their presents.

Mexico

Mexico calls Christmas Navidad. They celebrate Christmas for nine days with Las Pasdas. It is a time where people dress as Mary and Joseph, traveling from house to house asking if Mary may stay the night. They are told the is full. After which the door opens back up and all are invited in for a party with food, songs, and for the children a Pinata. The Pinata is made of paper mache and filled with all kinds of goodies. The object is to break it open with your eyes blindfolded. After which the children all dive for all the goodies they can pick up. On the ninth night they are told yes there is room for Mary in the stable and all come in for food and after all go to Church to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.

The Netherlands

Santa is known as Sinterklaas, and he came to Sweden originally by boat, setting out on December 6th from Spain. He makes his gift deliveries by horseback. The children leave their shoes out, filled with hay and sugar for Sinterklaas’ horse. In the morning they find their shoes filled with candy and nuts. When Sinterklaas appears to the children, he takes the form of their father or a favorite male relative.

North Pole

Santa and his helpers are getting ready to deliver gifts to the children of the world.

Poland

From Christmas to New Years the streets are lined with lovely stalls called, JOSELKI, each one is carefully painted with scenes from the Christmas story. The booths are elaborately decorated in tinsel and lighted candles.

Spain

The children of Spain leave their shoes on the windowsills filled with straw, carrots, and barley for the horses of the Wise Men, who they believe reenact their journey to Bethlehem every year. One of the wise men is called Balthazar, who leaves the children gifts. They call Christmas Eve Nochebuena, and families gather together to rejoice and share a meal around the Nativity scene.

Russia

Russia has someone named Babouschka, who would bring gifts for the children. The tradition says that she failed to give food and shelter to the three wise men and so she now searches the countryside searching for the baby Jesus, visiting all children giving gifts as she goes. Santa was known as Saint Nicholas but today is called Grandfather Frost, wearing a blue outfit instead of red.

The Russians use to celebrate Christmas with great joy and happiness before the Revaluation of 1917. They used to stroll up and down the streets with stars on the end of sticks that they called Stars of Bethlehem. The people went to church services and shared a special meal at home. After the Revaluation the Soviet Government banned Christmas. What the Russians do today is celebrate New Years Day with a special tree decorated like we do ours for Christmas and they have a New Years Day Children’s party. The children join hands and sing songs as they walk around the tree. They wait for DYET MOROZ Grandfather Frost, and his helper SYYEGORACHKA The Snow Maiden to bring them their gifts.

Switzerland

Santa Claus is called CHRISTKIND, the Christ Child coming to bring gifts to the children dressed in all white with a golden crown, He is helped by Saint Nicholas.

Uruguay and Argentina (Added From Blogger Amira)

In Uruguay and Argentina, children wait for January 6 to receive the big gifts that are brought by the 3 wise Magi : Balthazar of Arabia, Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar of India. Children leave their shoes outside and a bucket of water and hay for the camels. One of the 3 Magi usually leaves a handwritten personalized letter sealed with red wax, telling the children about how they behaved during the year. On Christmas Eve a dinner is shared with family and friends, and smaller gifts are left under the tree by Papa Noel. Usually a Nativity set is also placed near the Christmas tree, and the baby Jesus is added to the Nativity set on Christmas day.Special sweets are made for Christmas like “turron” ( a nougat confection, typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake), and “Pan Dulce” or “Sweet bread” which is made with nuts and dry fruits.
Some people go to the midnight mass. There are fireworks at midnight on Christmas Eve as well as in New Year’s eve. Feliz Navidad & Merry Christmas to all! Amira

_____________________

What is your favorite Christmas or Holiday tradition? Do you know of a tradition from another country that wasn’t mentioned? Please share your thoughts with us if you would like!

—————————-

Have an AWESOME Christmas and Holiday Season!

—————————

Source: portharbor.com

Worldwide Traditions of Christmas

Photo Credit: Beatnik Photos via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Beatnik Photos via CC Flickr

We as Americans know the customs of Christmas here in the United States…but have you ever wondered what some of the traditions of Christmas are like in other parts of the world? Well, sit back and discover some short, interesting facts, how other people from around the globe celebrate Christmas. 

Belgian

The children there believe it is kindly Saint Nicholas who brings them their presents. They also believe he rides a horse so they leave him hay and carrots and water for the horse just outside the house on December 6.

Canada/U.S.

Christmas trees are decorated and stockings are hung on the fireplace for Santa Claus to fill with gifts. Cards and gifts are exchanged with friends and relatives. Children put on pageants and go caroling.

China

The Christians in China light their homes with beautiful paper lanterns. Santa is called Dun Che Lao Ren. The children hang stockings just as we do.

Czechs

They serve a very large and delicious dinner with many courses. Courses are like a appetizer, followed by soup, then a salad, then maybe the first meat dishes, and so on till the dessert is served. They serve this meal on Christmas Eve and it does not matter how big the family is, there is always a place set at the table that is set for the Christ Child.

Denmark

Santa is known as Julemanden and he arrives in a sleigh pulled by reindeer with a sack full of gifts. Danish children know the elves as Juul Nisse, and believe that they live in the attics of their homes. Instead of cookies and glasses of milk, they leave rice pudding and saucers of milk out for them.

England

From England we have acquired several customs. The first is the use of Christmas trees. This was made popular during the rein of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Prince Albert came from the country of Germany and missed his native practice of bringing in trees to place on the tables in the house, therefore one Christmas the royal couple brought a tree inside the Palace and decorated it with apples and other pretty items.

The second custom is what is known as Boxing Day. It is celebrated the first weekday after Christmas. What this means is that small wrapped boxes with food and sweets, or small gifts, or coins are given to anyone who comes calling that day.

Santa is known as Father Christmas, wearing long red robes and had sprigs of holly in his hair. Instead of mailing out their christmas list, children throw it into the fireplace and Father Christmas reads the smoke. England is also where the tradition of hanging stockings by the chimney began, due to the fact that Father Christmas once accidentally dropped some gold coins on his way down the chimney which got caught in a drying stocking. Another interesting thing is that instead of opening up their gifts as soon as they wake up, English children wait until the afternoon.

France

Santa is known as Pere Noel. He is accompanied by Pre Fouettard who keep track of who has been good or bad for Pere Noel. In some parts of France, Pere Noel brings small gifts in the beginning of December (Dec 6) and comes back to deliver more on Christmas. In France the children get to open their gifts on Christmas, but the parents and other adults have to wait until New Years. In France the children place there shoes by the fire place in hopes that le Pere Noel/Father Christmas of le Petit Jesus/Little Jesus will place gifts for them. They also have dinner at midnight on December 24 this is called Le Reveillon. They have a cake called La Buche de Noel that is served after the dinner.

Tiny clay figures are used in the Christmas Crèches, Mangers. These figures are most unique as they are dressed in what is popular in provincial clothing that year. The figures are Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the Wise Men, the Shepherds, and Angels.

Italy

It Italy, the main exchange of gift doesn’t occur until January 6th, the day traditionally believed that the Wise Men reached the baby Jesus. Italy has La Befana who brings gifts to for the good and punishment for the bad. She is the same character as Russia’s Babouschka who refused to give the Wise Men food and shelter. The nativity scene may have first been set up by Saint Francis of Assisi. This first one was set up in a cave outside of a village and the villagers were so impressed by the display that now many of the communities compete for the best nativity.

India

Houses are decorated with strings of mango leaves. Lights are place on the window sills and walls and a star is hung outside. A sweet holiday treat is made called thali and it is brought to neighbors and friends.

Japan

The Japanese decorate their stores and homes with greens. The only part of Christmas that they celebrate is the giving of gifts. HOTEIOSHA the priest is like our Santa Claus, and he brings the children their presents.

Mexico

Mexico calls Christmas Navidad. They celebrate Christmas for nine days with Las Pasdas. It is a time where people dress as Mary and Joseph, traveling from house to house asking if Mary may stay the night. They are told the is full. After which the door opens back up and all are invited in for a party with food, songs, and for the children a Pinata. The Pinata is made of paper mache and filled with all kinds of goodies. The object is to break it open with your eyes blindfolded. After which the children all dive for all the goodies they can pick up. On the ninth night they are told yes there is room for Mary in the stable and all come in for food and after all go to Church to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.

The Netherlands

Santa is known as Sinterklaas, and he came to Sweden originally by boat, setting out on December 6th from Spain. He makes his gift deliveries by horseback. The children leave their shoes out, filled with hay and sugar for Sinterklaas’ horse. In the morning they find their shoes filled with candy and nuts. When Sinterklaas appears to the children, he takes the form of their father or a favorite male relative.

North Pole

Santa and his helpers are getting ready to deliver gifts to the children of the world.

Poland

From Christmas to New Years the streets are lined with lovely stalls called, JOSELKI, each one is carefully painted with scenes from the Christmas story. The booths are elaborately decorated in tinsel and lighted candles.

Spain

The children of Spain leave their shoes on the windowsills filled with straw, carrots, and barley for the horses of the Wise Men, who they believe reenact their journey to Bethlehem every year. One of the wise men is called Balthazar, who leaves the children gifts. They call Christmas Eve Nochebuena, and families gather together to rejoice and share a meal around the Nativity scene.

Russia

Russia has someone named Babouschka, who would bring gifts for the children. The tradition says that she failed to give food and shelter to the three wise men and so she now searches the countryside searching for the baby Jesus, visiting all children giving gifts as she goes. Santa was known as Saint Nicholas but today is called Grandfather Frost, wearing a blue outfit instead of red.

The Russians use to celebrate Christmas with great joy and happiness before the Revaluation of 1917. They used to stroll up and down the streets with stars on the end of sticks that they called Stars of Bethlehem. The people went to church services and shared a special meal at home. After the Revaluation the Soviet Government banned Christmas. What the Russians do today is celebrate New Years Day with a special tree decorated like we do ours for Christmas and they have a New Years Day Children’s party. The children join hands and sing songs as they walk around the tree. They wait for DYET MOROZ Grandfather Frost, and his helper SYYEGORACHKA The Snow Maiden to bring them their gifts.

Switzerland

Santa Claus is called CHRISTKIND, the Christ Child coming to bring gifts to the children dressed in all white with a golden crown, He is helped by Saint Nicholas.

—————————-

Have an AWESOME Christmas Season!

—————————

Source: portharbor.com

The Giggle of the Week

Photo Credit: gb_packards via Flickr
Photo Credit: gb_packards via Flickr

There are times in our lives when we can never win…

There was a man who worked for the Post Office whose job was to process all the mail that had illegible addresses.  One day, a letter came addressed in a shaky handwriting to God with no actual address.  He thought he should open it to see what it was about.  The letter read:

Dear God,

I am an 83 year old widow, living on a very small pension.  Yesterday someone stole my purse.   It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension payment.  Next Sunday is Christmas, and I had invited two of my friends.  Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with, have no family to turn to, and you are my only hope… Can you please help me?

Sincerely, Edna

The postal worker was touched.  He showed the letter to all the other workers. Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few dollars.  By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96, which they put into an envelope and sent to the woman.  The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Edna and the dinner she would be able to share with her friends.

Christmas came and went.

A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady to God. All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened.  It read:

Dear God,

How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me?  Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends.  We had a very nice day and I told my friends of your wonderful gift.

By the way, there was $4 missing.  I think it might have been those bastards at the post office.

Sincerely, Edna

Sometimes…you just can’t win!

My Favorite Times of the Christmas Season (by Fellow Bloggers)

Photo Credit: bradthunder.com
Photo Credit: bradthunder.com

The Christmas Season is a special time of year in which millions and millions around the world celebrate the birth of Christ. Peace and Hope are not only reasons to celebrate during this time of year but it is also a time to give gifts and demonstrate love and compassion to others.

A week or so ago, I put out a request to my friends around the WordPress universe and asked people to share with us what the Christmas Season meant to them. The following is a collection of their thoughts. I hope that you find them both encouraging and inspiring to your heart and soul!  

———-

My favorite part of Christmas is the generous loving spirit that envelops people. They are inspired to share with others and spread holiday cheer. ~ Toni ~ toniandrukaitis

———-

My favorite part of Christmas is having friends who have no local family at my house for dinner. They are my loving extended family every year. ~ http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com

———-

In the church at midnight on Christmas Eve, welcoming the Saviour. One year our house was gutted by fire and we spent Christmas in the little flat at the back of our Church. What a privilege to be there over that time… ~ Kiwissoar

———-

This Christmas will be particularly special for me since I´ll spend it i sitting next to my uncle who has been laying down on a hospital bed for over a month, dying, it´s his inevitable destiny. So I´ll be there holding his hand and making him laugh. ~ Crazy Life

———-

Sharing time with loved ones, “forcing” meeting with people you always say you will but never put aside time for them and using the opportunities to talk in a much lighter mood ~ Hunting for Growth

———-

Years ago my father showed us the true meaning of Christmas giving. As we getting ready to leave the house for midnight service at church on Christmas Eve, he received a phone call from someone who called and needed help. My father told us someone needed help and he had to go. My father drove this man that he didn’t know to a clinic and admitted him so he could kick alcoholism. The man has been sober 20 years now. This one act showed the entire family that we should always put the needs of others ahead of our own. Best Christmas ever! ~ Jay ~ Lincoln & Puppa

———-

My family has a tradition of going to the Christmas Eve Candlelight service at our church and this truly warms my heart each year. We watch a theatrical production of the Christmas story and sing Christmas songs. Then a candle is lit and it is passed on with each person lighting their neighbor’s candle. The sanctuary’s darkness is filled with light. ~ Mark ~ This Day With God

———-

My very favorite part of Christmas is the Reason for the Season–the birth of our precious savior. I love the time spent with family, spending the night at my son’s house so I can wake up on Christmas morning and open gifts with them. My other special thing to do at Christmas is to surprise someone who has done a random act of kindness for me or others and buy or make them a special gift, ~ Elaine ~ Elaine’s Random Thoughts

———-

To me is that special stillness that the season brings despite the craziness going around you. It is almost as being in two worlds at once, time for reflection, and time to rejoice with loved ones. ~ Inkspear

———-

You mean after the greatest gift ever given by the most loving creator of all, who changes the world and my inner being? THE MUSIC!!!!! I don’t even get tired of hearing it in the stores while I’m shopping. It makes my heart sing. ~ Jo Bower (Randall) ~ Jo Bower’s Blog

———-

My favorite part of Christmas is beginning each morning sitting in the dark, beside a live tree, sparkling beautifully with highlighted tinsel. This ritual gifts me a inexpressible stillness and contentment. ~ Wendy ~ Live Life in Crescendo

———-

Christmas? A baby was born. Sins forgiven. Christmas lights and nativity scenes. Fun food, good friends and caroling. For me it goes much deeper. Christmas inundates my emotions with the newness of shiny Christmas ornaments, the night lit up with Christmas lights and Christmas movies telling us it’s ok to dream, to hope, to believe for the miracle that will heal our broken hearts and broken relationships. Christmas is the promise of a future and an offer of reconciliation by the father to his prodigal sons and daughters. Christmas is fulfilled on a cross. ~ Ana Perry ~ Jubilee Journey

Saying Goodbye to Mom and the Christmas Miracle

Photo Credit: jandmranch.com
Photo Credit: jandmranch.com

It was a week before Christmas and my dearly beloved mother was in a coma. She was dying of cancer and had been unconscious since early that afternoon. It was the third night in a row that my wife and I had made our two hour trip to come to my mother’s house to say  ”goodbye” to her.

The hospice doctor had told me three days earlier that he believed that mom would pass away at any time and that we should visit her to be with her when she passed. So, for those three nights, we would make our trip to be with her and wait for the dreaded moment to come.

Leaving her house each night was very heart wrenching because I was never sure if it would be the last time that I would see her alive. I had always made it a point to tell her that I loved her each time I left her, so that I could always say, that that would be the last thing I told her on this earth if she passed away.

Like I said earlier, it was the third and last night we were with her and she was just in a deep, deep sleep. It was such a strange and surreal feeling, standing their watching my mom take in very slow breathes with her oxygen mask on her face. All of her hair was gone and she was just a shell of the beautiful and delightful woman that was my mother.

As the night wore on and the time got later and later, I grew more and more saddened by the fact that we would have to leave to return home. Finally, around midnight, we decided that it was time to go home. We had to be home for our two little boys in the morning.

I remember thinking that I wanted to SAY goodbye to my mom just one more time but I knew that I could but she would never hear it. So, with a heavy heart, I leaned over my mom, placed a gentle kiss on her forehead and said, “I love you mom.” Then I whispered to her, in almost a prayer-type request, “come on mom…wake up one more time. Please? Just once more?” But my request fell upon deaf ears and she never woke up. My wife then sat on the side of her bed, held hand ever so gently and began to say her goodbyes.

Suddenly, my mother opened her eyes, took off her air mask and said, with a voice as clear as could be, “what is everyone doing here? I am fine! I have just been sleeping. I am going to be fine.” It was simply fascinating experience. Here was my mother who had talked, just the day before, with a weak, raspy voice that was caused by constantly having the mask on and inhaling the oxygen 24 hours a day, and now she was totally awake and not only sounded like she was totally healthy but acted like it as well.

I stood there mesmerized and the sudden turn of events but I was also so very thankful…I could now SAY goodbye to my mother and share my feelings and last thoughts with her! After telling her the things that I wanted to tell her, giving her one last kiss goodbye and telling her how much I loved her and for being such a terrific mom, we got ready to leave. I felt truly blessed and thankful that my “whispered prayer” was answered. My heart was filled with joy knowing that God had given us a Christmas miracle…my mom.

Soon after we left, she went back to sleep and never woke up again. Later the next day, surrounded by friends along with her childhood best friend, she quietly passed on from this world and touched the face of God.

Wanted: Stories For A Christmas Season Project!

This invitation goes out to any bloggers out there who would like to write in a sentence or two….WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS SEASON?

I will then collect the thoughts that people share and create a blog. If you leave your name and blog site, I will give you and your site recognition.(like I did in my blog “Words of Thanksgiving From My WordPress and Personal Friends.:” https://goodtimestories.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/words-of-thanksgiving-from-my-wordpress-and-personal-friends/

So, I invite you to take a few moments and share your thoughts now 🙂 I thank everyone on advance for sharing your stories with me (and soon to be…other people:)

A Christmas Story: The Man Who Hated Christmas

Photo Credit: Pitsk via Flickr
Photo Credit: Pitsk via Flickr

The short, inspirational Christmas story below was originally published in the December 14, 1982 issue of Woman’s Day magazine. This moving story inspired the creation of The White Envelope Project, a caring nonprofit organization dedicated to developing the next generation of givers, civic leaders, and philanthropists. May this inspirational story remind us all of the true meaning of Christmas and giving during the holidays and throughout the year. The story was written by Nancy W. Gavin.

———————————
It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it – overspending and the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma – the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was on the wrestling team at the school he attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.

As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.

Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids – all kids. He so enjoyed coaching little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came.

That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes, and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed a small, white envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done, and that this was his gift from me.

Mike’s smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year. And that same bright smile lit up succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition – one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The white envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children – ignoring their new toys – would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the small, white envelope never lost its allure.

The story doesn’t end there. You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree. And the next morning, I found it was magically joined by three more. Unbeknownst to the others, each of our three children had for the first time placed a white envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down that special envelope.

Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: