Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas on a shoestring

My Holiday Reminiscences
Our Christmas tree was real, as lush as we could afford, at least 5 feet tall, and endowed with the most wonderful aroma. There was no such thing as an artificial Christmas tree until after I was grown. By then these "manufactured by humans" tree came in metal or plastic versions. The metal ones were silver or gold. The plastic came in good-weather green. But by then you could also get your real evergreens artificially "flocked" to look snowy-white.
Most of the decorations we hung on my childhood trees were homemade. The "garlands" were made of onstruction paper strips circled into multicolored chains. They also included stringed popcorn. At school we made ornaments as class projects, and Mama hung every one, ugly or beautiful.
Presents were sometimes homemade, sometimes ordered out of the Montgomery Ward "Christmas" catalog. Re-gifting, however, was verboten with my mother. Our parents saw to it that each child's was of equal monetary value, as nearly as possible. We got one main gift each, as much as the folks could afford that year.
Food was always delicious, and never felt anything less than special. It was not the cost, it was the care with which it was prepared. The Christmas day menu might include ham, turkey or roast hen with bread dressing. Side dishes were mashed potatotoes, candies sweet potatoes, gravy, green peas, homemade cranberry sauce, and yeast rolls. Desserts would be fruitcake, or coconut cake, mincemeat pie and homemade fudge and fondant candy. Christmas Eve's menu was always oyster stew with little round soda crackers.
To summarize - now I know they were on a shoestring. But I never felt this as a child. Our Christmases were celebrated together with much attention, tradition and with love. We looked forward to Christmas Eve and to the day itself when we got to open our presents. And we felt rich.
My topical post today at South by Southwest is about Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.