Tag Archives: merry christmas

We wish you a merry Christmas by Sheila Deeth


Tree rings cry
for history and mystery inside;
The tree lays flat to die.
Trailer’s rings all jangling metal, dangling chains reply
So low, once high.
Road is ringed with winter’s cold, its shoulder iced with snow.
This tree can’t fly.
But now the crane is lifting, tree is gifted with new life—
A hopeful sight with silver rings, now lighted bright
against the star
struck night.
The tree stands proud and high.
Then tree of Christmas rings its bell
For history and mystery inside.


After selling copies of Divide by Zero and Infinite Sum at the Oregon Historical Society Holiday Cheer event, and enjoying the company of writers, I headed home with my husband and a friend, past Portland’s Pioneer Square where the Christmas tree, as always on this day, was surrounded by beer tents. Cheers! And Merry Christmas! May you too find the history and mystery inside.

Sheila Deeth’s novels, Divide by Zero and Infinite Sum, are both published by Indigo Sea Press. Meet the artist whose red and black painting hide red and black secrets from her childhood, and learn how life’s infinite sum of memories can raise a survivor up instead of weighing her down.


Filed under musings, Sheila Deeth, writing

Happy Christmas to All

Xmas card

You heard Paul exclaim on his blog post that night
Merry Christmas to all and a year of Happy delight!

 Mele Kalikimaka
Merry Christmas

Hau`oli Makahiki Hou
Happy New Year

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A Time Ago by John E. Stack

Season’s Greetings and Merry Christmas.  This is a time of good cheer and celebration.  We plan for parties and we shop looking for just the right gift.  We often spend too much money on people we really don’t even like. I often think of years gone by.  A simpler time.  A simpler life.

I grew up in the 50’s and I think of the gifts that we received.  Many of the toys we received came from a small hardware store called Renegar’s Hardware.  If we really wanted to be overwhelmed,  we traveled to downtown Winston-Salem to the Sears on 4th Street.  It was huge and every year they decorated the balconies on the front of the store with a full size manger scene with camels, wise men, shepherds and angels.  They carried everything.

Renegar’s was a small shop located on the south side of Winston-Salem.  They carried toys year round but at Christmas you couldn’t find the  hardware due to all the toys.  They had wagons (Radio Flyers), bikes, sleds, Lincoln Logs, dolls, toy soldiers, baseball bats and all kinds of balls.  The only electronics you might find were compact am radios.  We didn’t have ipods, ipads color tv, or smart phones.  My friends and I would spend hours there just looking.

Another big treat would be about a week before Christmas.  Our church would have a Christmas program.  After all the singing we would adjourn to the church basement for a visit from Santa.  After talking to Santa or even if you were too big to sit on Santa’s lap each child received a small paper bag that contained an apple, a couple of oranges, a handful of mixed nuts and some hard Christmas candy. We were thankful for the things we received.

Today’s kids would be offended if they didn’t receive what they asked for.  A six year old doesn’t need an ipad or a cell phone no matter how badly they want one.  They need to build their imagination and their ability to read.

I encourage you to give your kids things they need not necessarily the things they want.  Teach them to be thankful for the things they do get and spend time helping others.  While you are at it reach out and help someone else have a more enjoyable Christmas.  If it is within your means, buy gifts for someone less fortunate or donate a meal.  Let’s go back to a simpler time and celebrate the spirit of giving – the spirit of Christmas.  It’s not how much you spend, it’s what you are willing to give.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo, Olivia’s Sweet Adventure, and Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo.

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How to Ease Your Holiday Anxiety

A while back, I wrote a blog entitled, The Hurrier I Go, the Behinder I Get. Does that sound like you? Especially during this holiday season? There are so many things that must be done in such a short amount of time. Cleaning and decorating alone, can be very time consuming. Writing and sending cards, planning parties, meals, preparing for visitors, gift buying/making, wrapping, sending/giving, the list goes on. And it seems there is always something that will put us behind schedule, an illness or accident, for instance. Unexpected “somethings” abound. Eeeeeeek!

I’m going to play “mommy” for a minute and remind you of something you already know. Obstacles are going to bar your way. It’s how you handle them that helps you keep your sanity. That’s a short sentence, but it’s packed with importance.  And worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace. Here are a few pointers I’d like to share that just might ease your emotional load.

First of all, this is a season that reminds us to be peaceful and to love others and enjoy this time. With that in mind, I find it helpful to have holiday music playing while I attempt some of the chores ahead. Making a short list of three or four items and checking them off as I progress, and then making another short list on another piece of paper underneath the first one keeps me from being overwhelmed and checking off items makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere. It helps being determined not to let frustrations enter my mind by making an adventure out of some tasks that would ordinarily be mundane or even aggravating. Treating myself  to a cup of hot chocolate, apple cider or special tea, boosts my spirit and reminds me why I am toiling away, to make this holiday special for someone else, and has the benefit of making the holiday special for me, as well.

If you have family members to whom you can delegate, let them help you. Note: They may not do things exactly as you would, but if they are willing to help, let them do things their way and be grateful for that help. Perfection should NOT be insisted upon. Praise them for their efforts. (I’ve seen arguments develop over this tip.)

If you are still having anxiety, put everything in perspective. In your mind ask these questions. A year from now, will I, or anyone else, remember how stressed out I was during this season? Is that a good thing? In five years, will I, or anyone else remember how stressed out I was during this season? In ten years, will I, or anyone else remember? In thirty years, will I even be here? Will anyone even remember ME? If so, how will they remember me? If you are a young person, you can extend this perspective example.

If all else fails and everything threatens to be too much, simplify. Take a deep breath. Try to relax. Remember the reason for the season, and with love in your heart, have a Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year!


Filed under How To, life, musings

I Hear Christmas by J J Dare

Christmas is only a few days away. A barrage of holidays sights, smells and sounds remind us that we are in the last leg of the Christmas Preakness. Turn the television on, walk into a store, pass a whistling stranger on the street and the Christmas tunes you hear take on a frantic tempo. If you haven’t finished your gift list and you plan on waiting until the last minute to shop, you are nuttier than Aunt Mable’s fruitcake.

Hi. My name is Jan and I’m nuttier than Aunt Mable’s fruitcake. Yes, I haven’t finished shopping. Over the past five or so years, I’ve become lazier and lazier when it comes to gift shopping. At times my family has received gift cards or cash in lieu of presents because their mother had not reached the level of craziness needed to fight through the last-minute shopping crowds at the mall.

This year was supposed to be different. I bought gifts around the first of December. However, as the holiday creeps closer and closer, I keep thinking of things I’d like others to have. Christmas craziness is invading my mind. Maybe the malls won’t be that crowded. Maybe the lines won’t be that long. Maybe Santa won’t smell like roasted pork and Old Forester. Maybe I’ll find a parking space right up front. Maybe it will snow candy flakes. Maybe I’ll score an elf to do my shopping.

Typically by this time so close to the holiday, I’d just hand out gift cards with a “buy it yourself” note attached. But, I’m trying to overcome my usual Grinchy attitude. I’m trying to hold tight to the joys the season brings. I’m trying to keep the sadness of the second Christmas without my partner at bay. I’m trying not to cry when I think this will be the first Christmas in my life without my mother.

My withouts are heavy, but I’m able to share the burden of their weight. For some people, the holidays are not bearable. They are alone and the depth of their loneliness is too much to bear. I am fortunate because I don’t carry my sadness by myself.

My house is filling with the elements of joy. Presents are piling up. Christmas cards I’ve received are full of hope and rejoicing. Friends and family will start to fill my house as the weekend approaches. There will no time for silent sadness. For just a few days, there will be no room for withouts. There will only be room for withs.

My wish for you on Christmas is to embrace this time for fellowship with family and friends. Hear the joy and let it wrap you tight in its melodic arms. The link below is a video Christmas card I received from a friend. Let its message of peace embrace you.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and thirty-plus works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

Facebook addiction


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