The Christmas Holiday – Many Holiday Traditions

The Christmas Holiday – Many Holiday Traditions

Christmas is a yearly holiday when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus and many families exchange Christmas gifts. It is celebrated on December 25th.

There are many holiday traditions including Christmas dinner, sending Christmas cards, visiting Santa, baking Christmas cookies and making homemade Christmas candies. Homes are decorated inside and out with colorful lights and holiday decorations. People are encouraged to spread goodwill, compassion and peace during the Christmas holiday season.

Many Christians believe the holiday has become too secular and it is common to hear cries of “getting back to the true meaning of Christmas” around the holidays.  Unfortunately, the “true meaning of Christmas” doesn’t bear close scrutiny from an overall historical perspective.  The “Reason for the Season” is actually the axial tilt of the planet and how pre-Christian European cultures celebrated the Winter Solstice.  The long history of the holiday season is one of pagan orgies, human sacrifice, medieval hooliganism and the early church’s rather sordid attempt to corner the societal market by co-opting existing winter celebrations and hijacking symbolism from religions such as Mithraism that were in direct competition with early Christianity and posed a threat of taking hold as the preferred religion at the time.  It is best to celebrate what the holiday has come to represent to modern Christians and leave the “real meaning of Christmas” on the shelf as an interesting intellectual exercise.

Some countries celebrate on Christmas Eve, other on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day, while other countries celebrate Boxing Day on December 26th. One church, the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas on January 6th. Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas on January 7th. The date is just a tradition and is not considered to be Jesus’ actual birth date.  In fact, while December 25th is not Biblically identified as the date of Christ’s birth and is actually refuted as a potential birth date by way of the Gospel stories of the shepherds watching their flocks by night, a number of gods who would have been popularly worshipped at the time of the early Church did specifically have their birthdays on December 25th.  Among them are Mithras, Dionyssus, Horus, Attis, Thammuz, Baal, Krishna…

The word “Christmas” actually comes from two words: Christ’s mass. Many of the seasons decorations lead back to Christ’s birth such as Nativity managers, star ornaments and the giving of gifts.

Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on Christmas Day in 800. King William I of England chose Christmas Day to be crowned king in 1066.  Christmas day during the Middle ages was more of a festival and maintained features of ancient Solstice celebrations such as Saturnalia.  The holiday was a social pressure valve allowing the peasantry to lord it over the nobility under the Lord of Misrule.  The antics were rather more like a raucous Halloween than what we would think of as Christmas nowadays.

During the Reformation, Protestants condemned the celebration of Christmas as mere trappings, while Catholics promoted the festival as a religious event.  Colonial America saw the Puritans disapproving of the trappings of the Christmas celebration and it was outlawed in Boston in 1659 to 1681. However Christian residents of Virginia and New York celebrated the holiday.

Charles Dickens’ book “A Christmas Carol”, published in 1843 did much to revive and redefine the holiday as an opportunity to instill goodwill and compassion. Washington Irving also wrote short stories about Christmas and “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” better known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore helped to cement the image of Santa Claus in the modern conception of the holiday.  In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant declared Christmas a legal holiday in the United States of America.

There was great controversy in the 20th century over the nature of Christmas (was it a religious holiday or was it a secular holiday). The issue was brought to trial several times to decide because of the view that a federal holiday was a violation of separation of church and state. On December 6th, 1999, the verdict for Ganulin vs. United States declared that “the establishment of Christmas Day as “a legal public holiday does not violate the Establishment Clause because it has a secular purpose.” This decision was later upheld on December 19, 2000 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Take a look at this interesting video about the history and origins of Christmas:

Elf Chow

Elf Chow

Ingredients:Who doesn't like cherries?

  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 small jar of green maraschino cherries
  • 1 small package chopped pecans
  • 1/2 bag of miniature marshmallows
  • 1 container of whip topping, thawed

Instructions:

Step 1 - Place cherry pie filling in a mixing bowl

Step 1 – Place cherry pie filling in a mixing bowl

Step 2 - Mix in green maraschino cherries.

Step 2 – Mix in green maraschino cherries.

Step 3 - Add pecans and marshmallows

Step 3 – Add pecans and marshmallows

Step 4 - Fold in whip topping being sure to mix well so all ingredients are incorporated together

Step 4 – Fold in whip topping being sure to mix well so all ingredients are incorporated together

Step 5 - Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve

Step 5 – Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve

Step 6 - Find some festive cups or bowls to portion this treat out for hungry munchkins

Step 6 – Find some festive cups or bowls to portion this treat out for hungry munchkins

Okay, the word is in!  We did some shopping.  We did some preparing.  We did some eating.

This recipe is kid tested and elf approved!

This recipe is kid tested and elf approved! If you don’t mind getting your crew all sugared up, it’s a mighty fine treat!

When elves get all jazzed up on sugar we convert that energy into a sing-along so here’s a carol of unknown origin that you can sing with us:

The Cherry Tree Carol

First Verse

JOSEPH was an old man, and an old man was he, when he wedded Mary in the land of Galilee. Joseph and Mary walk’d through an orchard good, where was cherries and berries so red as any blood. Joseph and Mary walk’d through an orchard green, where was berries and cherries as thick as might be seen. O then bespoke Mary, so meek and so mild, ‘Pluck me one cherry, Joseph, for I am with child.’ O then bespoke Joseph with words so unkind, ‘Let him pluck thee a cherry that brought thee with child.’ O then bespoke the babe within his mother’s womb, ‘Bow down then the tallest tree for my mother to have some.’ Then bow’d down the highest tree unto his mother’s hand: when she cried, ‘See, Joseph, I have cherries at command!’ O then bespake Joseph— ‘I have done Mary wrong; but cheer up, my dearest, and be not cast down. ‘O eat your cherries, Mary, o eat your cherries now; o eat your cherries, Mary, that grow upon the bough.’ Then Mary pluck’d a cherry as red as the blood; then Mary went home with her heavy load.

Second verse

As Joseph was a-walking, he heard an angel sing: ‘This night shall be born our heavenly King. ‘He neither shall be born in housen nor in hall, nor in the place of Paradise, but in an ox’s stall. ‘He neither shall be clothéd in purple nor in pall, but all in fair linen, as were babies all. ‘He neither shall be rock’d in silver nor in gold, but in a wooden cradle that rocks on the mould. He neither shall be christen’d in white wine nor red, but with fair spring water with which we were christenéd.

Third verse

Then Mary took her young son and set him on her knee; ‘I pray thee now, dear child, tell how this world shall be.’— ‘O I shall be as dead, mother, as the stones in the wall; o the stones in the street, mother, shall mourn for me all. ‘And upon a Wednesday my vow I will make, and upon Good Friday my death I will take. ‘Upon Easter-day, mother, my uprising shall be; o the sun and the moon, mother, shall both rise with me!’

50’s Diner™ from Step2

50’s Diner™ from Step2 Step2.com

50’s Diner™ from Step 2 | Play Kitchen | Discounted Toy from Amazon.com
Kids sure love to play make believe. Watch children play together for a few minutes and you’re likely to see them playing ‘house’ or any number of imaginary games that their innocent minds can come up with. It’s important to help foster that imagination in young children and that’s why you should get 50’s Diner™ from Step 2 for your children for Christmas this year.

50’s Diner™ from Step 2 is a stylized version of a real 50’s style diner, complete with all of the features your children need to play restaurant in their very own home! This complete set includes a kitchen on one side of the 50’s Diner™ from Step 2 set and a dining area on the other side, complete with booth-style seating.
Your children will thoroughly enjoy all of the accessories that come along with the 50’s Diner™ from Step 2. They will have everything they need to create and serve (pretend) 50’s style meals to their friends! Some of the accessories that come along with the 50’s Diner™ from Step 2 include:

  • A full kitchen, with a grill, oven, fryer, sink and freezer
  • Full service dining area booth-style seating
  • A metallic window that separates the kitchen and dining area
  • An electronic bell to let the ‘ wait staff’ know that the food is ready
  • Retro jukebox that features 50’s style music for the children to enjoy
  • Food to prepare meals with like hot dogs, burgers, fries, pie and ice cream

Along with growing their imaginations, children will learn to work together in order to prepare and serve the food while playing with their 50’s Diner™ from Step 2. These are important skill that children need to learn to be successful adults. By getting your children the 50’s Diner™ from Step 2, you are helping them to learn these skills at an early age which will help them as they grow.

50’s Diner™ from Step 2

Watch this product video from Amazon.com

Help your children learn and grow while having fun at the same time! Get them the 50’s Diner™ from Step 2 and let them make you delicious ‘meals’ for once!

Product Details

Awards:
Awards for 50’s Diner™ from Step 2

  • T.O.Y. (Toy of the Year) Awards, Family Fun Magazine
  • Best Toys of the Year, Parents Magazine
  • All-Star Holiday Toys, Toy Wishes Magazine
  • Recommended Toys, Parents Choice Foundation
  • 3-Star (highest) Rating, Canadian Toy Testing Council

Recommended Age: 2 and up
Product Number: 882100
Dimensions: 39″ High 25″ Wide 37″ Deep
Weight: 30.00 lbs
Made in USA of US and imported parts

Amazon Affiliate Disclaimer FTC Disclosure
Christmas All The Time is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. FTC Required Website Disclosure: You should assume that the Owner of this Website has an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection to the providers of goods and services mentioned in this website and may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services online. The Owner does not accept payment or merchandise in exchange for the reviews themselves. They are written objectively and with honesty.

Alternatives to Gift Baskets

Alternatives To Gift Baskets

Gift Basket - Courtesy of Lori Lee~Ray aka BasketOfCandles on FlikrWhen searching for the perfect gift for one of your family members or even one of your friends there is usually a whole lot of pressure to buy the right thing simply because you don’t want to disappoint anyone. There are times when you just don’t know what to buy, and everyone has those experiences as well. Some people choose to take their time when buying gifts while others like to get it done as quickly as possible. One route that many people take when they find that buying gifts is too difficult is to purchase gift baskets for their friends and families. Gift baskets can be good gifts for multiple reasons; one of them being that the recipient will receive a whole plethora of smaller gifts instead of one.

However, some people may consider gift baskets to be some of the most impersonal gifts they could ever get (even less so than cash!) just because it shows that the person who’s buying it doesn’t really know him or her at all. Of course, this doesn’t go for gift baskets that have a theme running through them, like sports memorabilia and the like. But simply because gift baskets can be seen as impersonal means that if you aren’t sure what to get for your close friends or family then maybe it’s time to finally ask them what they’ve always wanted. Until you know that piece of information, though, here are some ideas to check out that can be used as alternatives to gift baskets:

Board GamesBoard Game - Courtesy of viZZZual.com on Flikr

Unless you know the person really well and know that he or she doesn’t like the thought of board games, buying a board game usually always is something that plenty of people enjoy. Whether it’s buying a relatively older game with a new twist, such as a new version of Monopoly, or buying one of the latest games on the market that is also fun, such as Mad Gab, there are plenty of choices in retail stores that you’ll have to make. Nevertheless, though, hopefully you can see how board games can be used as alternative gifts to gift baskets!

Gift Cards

Gift Cards - Courtesy of 401(K) 2012 on FlikrEven though gift cards are essentially a trade of cash, buying gift cards for your friends and family can be a unique thing to do. Of course this requires knowing exactly where the recipient likes to shop, but these are the perfect alternative to a gift basket. Instead of putting your money into one large basket that may contain a bunch of things that your friends and family dislike, placing all of the money that you’d be spending on the individual on a store gift card is a great idea! Of course, you may just want to include a little bit more money on the gift card than you would have actually spent, but buying a gift cards is a great present for someone whom you don’t know what to buy.

Of course, there are plenty of other perfect gifts that are great ideas and alternatives to gift baskets. Oftentimes gift baskets come in big, bulky packages anyway so buying something that is less cumbersome is a good idea!  As they say, good things come in small packages…

Good things come in small packages! Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Christmas Decoration Ideas for Kids

Christmas Decoration Ideas for Kids

Are you a parent? If so, you already know how much kids love the holidays. That is why you should seriously consider letting your children help you decorate for Christmas.Kids certainly do love the Holiday Season In fact, in addition to just letting them help you hang Christmas decorations, you can let them make their own handmade Christmas decorations. There are a number of benefits to doing so, and you will also find that there are a number of fun and exciting Christmas decorations that they can easily make.  Handmade keepsakes from your child will be a lifelong treasure.  Why, I made a papier-mache planet in elementary school with a yarn ring that my parents refer to as “the blue bomb”.  Their tree isn’t officially decorated until it’s on there.

Most every family that celebrates Christmas has a Christmas tree; therefore, there is a good chance that your family will have one. One fun and exciting Christmas craft project that your children could do involves making their own Christmas ornaments. Christmas ornaments can be made from regular paper or any other type of material. In fact, you can purchase a number of Christmas ornament cutouts or guides from your local craft store. These ornament pieces are likely plain, but already shaped like something, such as a star or a cross. It would be up to your child to paint their ornament. This type of Christmas decoration craft project is great for small children or those who may be making their own Christmas decorations for the first time.  Another excellent ornament that children can help you with is the permanent cookie.  We’ll post a set of directions for these in an upcoming article.

In addition to Christmas trees, a large number of families have small Christmas signs or pictures throughout their home. These signs and pictures often state a Christmas message or have a picture of Santa. Your children could easily make their own paintings or drawings, often with the supplies that can already be found inside your home. Your child’s picture would likely look great on your refrigerator or you could even frame the picture and hang it up somewhere else inside your home. This type of Christmas decoration craft project is ideal for children of any age and, as previously mentioned, is a great way to save money since you likely already have all of the needed supplies.

Kids can bring something to the table besides an appetite if you let themAnother fun Christmas decoration that your children could do is make a centerpiece for your dinning room table. In fact, you may also want to use that centerpiece for your Christmas dinner. If you are looking for a somewhat elegant centerpiece, you could easily have your children make their own. You can do this by purchasing artificial flowers, a large bowl or vase, as well as other decorative items. Your children can easily arrange these items to create their own unique centerpieces for your dinning room table. It may also be a good idea to let them be crafty. Your child may also be able to create a centerpiece in the shape of Santa or a Christmas tree by using construction paper and a few other small supplies.

The above mentioned Christmas craft decoration ideas for kids are just a few of the many that exist. In addition to using your own craft ideas, you can also find a number of other fun Christmas craft projects for kids online. You can find a collection of ideas by performing a standard internet search. Also, in your local library or at one of your local book stores, you may also be able to find a collection of Christmas craft books for children. These books tend to outline the supplies needed, as well as give detailed directions on how to make Christmas decorations. These decorations may include Christmas drawings or paintings, tree ornaments, table centerpieces, and much more.

Kids will enjoy the tree even more if you let them help to decorate it

Regardless of which type of Christmas decorations you allow your child or children to make, they will likely enjoy the experience, especially if you participate as well. For a child, there is nothing like seeing their Christmas drawings hanging on the walls or their Christmas ornaments hanging on the tree. That is why you are advised to let your children make their own Christmas decorations. As mentioned above, there are a number of decorations that they can easily create; decorations that may require little time and money.

All Aboard

All Aboard!

For many people, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a model train around the tree.  Whether you have room for a simple loop around the tree or whether you have a section of your basement dedicated to it or even if you have a whole facility like Roadside America, a model train can take you to a magical world of your own creation.  If you have an interest, there is likely a train just for you.  You can find indoor trains or outdoor trains.  You can find stylistically toyish trains or photorealistic trains.  If you’re a real fanatic, you can even find a job ‘workin’ on the railway‘.  Let’s talk about some of the variations.

Common Model Train Gauges

G is for Garden

With a 1 3/4″ wide track, it is easy to see why this type of train is considered a garden train.  Few people have room for a train set of this magnitude in their houses.  However, if you have a tree with a fairly high clearance under the bottom branches, the approximately 4′ diameter of a G gauge train’s minimum diameter will still fit comfortably under a typical 5 or 6 foot tree.  Despite being a bit pricey, the G is a popular gauge for children due to the stout construction and large pieces.  Another advantage of this size is that the scale is 1:32 which is approximately the same as typical mass market army men.  A typical starter set runs in the neighborhood of $100, but  the manufacturers have come up with some popular branding for the kids such as Hershey’s (who doesn’t love chocolate?), Polar Express and even Harry Potter.  Needless to say, I’m drawn to the Lionel Lines Christmas Train Set for both the theme and the price!

O & O27 – The classic three rail Lionel

With a nod to nostalgia and no points for realism, we consider the O gauge train a little bit more space efficient but still big enough to be thought of as a kid’s train.  The minimum diameter of 27-36″ is still decent for a small tree but you’ll need to keep those branches up to ensure that the train clears.  The trains and their accessories have a cool, retro style that makes you feel like you’ve borrowed it from Beaver Cleaver.  The odd scale of 1:48 is matched by some specialty miniatures, but you’re generally stuck in Plasticville or DIY modeling territory.

HO is Half the size of O but considerably more popular

This is where the rubber meets the road.  Possibly the most versatile and well stocked of the train scales, HO is the industry leader.  Strangely, the minimum diameter for circular track of 30″ is not dissimilar to the room required for the double-sized O gauge train.  In my experience this is because of the difference in the tracks.  The scaled realism of HO leaves you with a realistic looking track that results in the train and its cars being rather top-heavy for a sharp curve where the O gauge train has the triple track that has an unrealistically high profile that allows the train and cars to maintain a better grip on the tight turns.  The scale of 1:87 is also not largely in keeping with most non-train oriented miniatures, but in the case of HO that needn’t be a deterrent.  The HO market is stocked to the gills with amazingly lifelike and exquisitely detailed accessories.  There are a lot of reasonably priced starter sets available in HO in either the realistic or character themed varieties.  Again, I’m a fan of the Christmas set.

N is the next smaller size

A close second in popularity and in availability of quality, realistic accessories is N gauge.  This 1:160 scale train has a minimum circle radius of 17″ which allows for a much more complex and decorative diorama in the same space required for an HO layout of basic complexity.  This scale is suitable for a small tabletop tree display as well.  If you get the bug for set design, they have starter sets in the realistic, character themed and (of course) Christmas themed varieties.

Z is your world in a briefcase

I have seen these tiny wonders and if you have such a hankering for trains that you’re willing to have a train set in a brief case, this is an option for you.  The Z scale has an 11″ diameter circle and stand at a 1:220 scale ratio of actual train size.  They’re a bit of a specialty item but you can find sets for sale on eBay or from specialty vendors.  Even at this tiny scale they have Christmas themed sets.

Santa's Work Train from Micro-Trains Line, Co.

Gateway to a lifelong hobby

Oh sure, you start off with a loop around the Christmas tree but soon the enchantment takes hold.  You’re struck with the urge to turn some corner of your home into a permanent diorama.  But how to get started?  Dude, where are you right now?  Look it up for pity’s sake.  You’ve got the endless wealth of knowledge known as the Internet right here at your disposal.  You can get fantastic tips from any number of helpful sites such as the Model Trains blog at About.com or from vendors such as Lionel and Bachmann.  There are any number of wonderful books on the topic if you need to get your hands on the material in order to wrap your head around it.  Here’s an interesting course on model trains for beginners and enthusiasts.

Let’s get real

Okay, let’s just say for the sake of argument that you’ve gone completely around the bend and you’ve got choo-choo on the brain.  Here’s an offer to help you land your dream job on the railroad.  Say, you’ve got to pay for all of this track and rolling stock somehow, right?

Picture courtesy of Jon Worth at Flickr

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little jaunt down the tracks and learned a little bit about the different kinds of model railroads.  Please share your own memories and tips with us!

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Christmas All The Time is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. FTC Required Website Disclosure: You should assume that the Owner of this Website has an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection to the providers of goods and services mentioned in this website and may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services online. The Owner does not accept payment or merchandise in exchange for the reviews themselves. They are written objectively and with honesty.

Snowflake Oldies Dance

Adults 21+ are invited to St. Jerome’s

Snowflake Oldies Dance

Saturday, December 8, 2012
8:00 PM ~ 11:00 PM
St. Jerome Regional School Auditorium
250 W. Broad Street, Tamaqua, PA

Dancing DJ – Ed Zelonis
60’s, 70’s, 80’s and by request
(non-alcoholic event)

Dress to Impress

Tickets: $10.00/person in advance
$12.00/person at the door

Tickets available after weekend Masses
Weekdays at the Rectory Office, 9:00 – 4:00 PM
or by contacting The Office of Adult Formation:
570-624-9181 or adultformation@hotmail.com

Dress to impress

We’re going to have a blast!

Snowflake Oldies Dance

Advent Wreath Making

Advent Wreath Making

You are Invited to the 3rd Annual Advent Wreath Making Session

A great activity for one or for the entire family!

To be held in the St. Jerome Regional School Gym on Saturday, December 1

Doors open from 11:00 am – 2:30 pm

Cost: $10.00

Pay at the door

Kit includes base, candles and ribbons

Please bring clipping sheers and live greenery to share.

Sign up in the back of Church or contact The Office of Adult Formation at 570-624-9181 or adultformation@hotmail.com by Sunday, November 25

Wreathes will be blessed at the weekend Masses and can be taken home after Mass.

Hope to see you there!

Advent Wreath Bulletin Insert 2012

St. Jerome’s Catholic Church
266 W. Broad St.
Tamaqua, PA 18252
(570) 668-2301
Fax: (570) 668-4406
St. Jerome Regional School
250 W. Broad Street
Tamaqua, PA 18252
(570)-668-2757
Fax -(570)-668-6101

What Makes Christmas So Magical

What Makes Christmas So Magical?

Christmas time is here / Happiness and Cheer

Fun for all that children call / Their favorite time of year

Snowflakes in the air / Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes / Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air / Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside / And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here / Families drawing here
Oh, that we could always see / Such spirit through the year
~ from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” December 9th, 1965
Lyrics by Diana Krall – Performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio

Here, here! This charming little tune sums up a number of things that I love about the holiday season. First and foremost is the sense of hopeful anticipation. One is led to expect any number of miracles. Peace on Earth. Reconciliation with those who have wronged us or who we have wronged. A visit or card from distant friends and relatives. A special gift from a special someone or even just a taste of a favorite holiday treat. Some miracles are life changing and profound while some are life affirming and sublime.

From the first hint of the Christmas season, our minds are set on a magical journey of hope and nostalgia. We look forward to hearing our favorite songs and maybe finding some new ones. We look forward to treating others to a surprise and recall our own delightful Christmas mornings.

Every sense we have is acutely conditioned to anticipate another Christmas miracle. The smell of pine. The sumptuous flavors of Christmas cookies. The familiar charm of our favorite holiday songs. The glamor and dazzle of gifts in their paper and ribbons. The cathartic crunch and crinkle as we unwrap them. The magic of Christmas pervades our very being.

Inside our hearts and outside on the streets of town, Christmas magic is everywhere. Just as the plain workaday streets are transformed into a glistening fairyland with the stringing of a few lights, so too are our careworn and heavily laden hearts lifted out of glum daily reality on a magical sleigh ride through enchanted forests of Christmas trees and ‘candy canes and silver lanes aglow’. Funny what a little tinsel and some lights can do to lift even the heaviest hearts in the deepening dark of late Autumn.

Perhaps the most magical thing about Christmas is how it is expressed in nature without respect to either religion or commercialism. Long before there were strings of lights, tinsel or glitter, there was the magical twinkle of moonlight on snow-covered branches. There is not greater decorator of our world or our hearts than the one who put it all in motion and keeps the magic of Christmas alive year after year. If we can take the time to see and admire the miracles in every moment of our lives, then it can truly be Christmas All The Time.

What do you want for Christmas?

It’s a common enough question, particularly in the holiday season.  Parents ask their children.  Lovers ask their special someone.  Even Mall Santas ask this question.

That’s all well and good for them.  There is no obligation to deliver on their part.  However, where there is a relationship, there is some glimmer of hope that what is asked for may be delivered.  Therein lies the peril of this question.

What if you ask this question and their honest answer is well beyond your ability deliver?  Is it any wonder that the holidays are a key time frame for anxiety and depression?  Is it a surprise that most people believe that episodes of depression and suicide increase in yuletide (though, thankfully, this has been disproved)?

Let not your heart be troubled!  That is the magical thing about wish lists.  Nobody actually expects a wish to come true.  If you ask for something and you get it, YEA!!!  If you ask for something and you don’t get it, unless you are amazingly narcissistic you conclude that it was just too much to expect and moderate future wishes accordingly.

So  it is with optimistic trepidation that I ask you, What Do You Want For Christmas?  What drew you to this place and what would make it a place you want to visit time and again?  Are you looking for recipes?  Decorating ideas?  Nostalgia?  The latest tech?  Share your ideas.  Express your hopes.  Join the Celebration!