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Random Thoughts: Happy, Merry Christmas!

As a child I used to say, “Happy Merry Christmas” because I got “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year” mixed up, and why not wish people to be happy and merry? Then I heard people from the UK say “Happy Christmas” and thought, well I was only half wrong.

A few rambling/random thoughts as I count down the days to when everything is wrapped, and the fruitcake tin is getting lighter….

The holidays are a delight for many people, but not for everyone. Every year life and the world seem to conspire more to wipe that smile off our faces. So especially at the holidays I try to at least make eye contact with and smile at people. Also, I haven’t given up on trying to get into Heaven.

It used to be that when we lost a loved one, we didn’t put up a tree or any decorations that year. Then people we love started dying at an increased rate, so now we do. Especially when you’re sad, the lights and ornaments are so cheerful. And as much as I complain while putting it all together – imagine someone who gets paid by the curse – I’m always glad when it’s up.

Next year, I vow not to watch the home shopping networks from Labor Day until Thanksgiving, otherwise I’ll get Christmas overload. The only good things about watching these shows are that (1) you can get tree decorating ideas, and (2) they have good discounts on things nobody will ever use.

I keep trying various color schemes for Christmas – gold and silver, red and green, blue and white, all pink, all red – but always come back to using every single color that was ever created. As I’ve said before, there are no tacky or inelegant Christmas color schemes, although black ornaments might seem a little out there.

When we eat cookies, cakes, pies, etc. standing up, we are eating. It counts. The calories do not know we are standing.

Every Christmas Eve I still listen for sleigh bells – you never know. The NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) Santa Tracker is as much fun for me as the children. Click here on Christmas Eve to follow Santa’s progress around the world. Click here to hear a Norwegian scientist explain the physics around how Santa can deliver billions of toys in one night. (He also says Santa lives in Norway.)

My Santa list gets more basic every year, which is good because it lets me feel like I can be just a little naughty sometimes. This year I discovered the wonders of hospital socks and am hoping Santa brings me a bunch. I have enough jewelry and scarves and shoes and clothes and everything else. I just want things that make me feel cozy, like socks, hand creams, books and lip balms.

I’ve worn pretty much the same Christmas Eve ensemble for so many years, I wouldn’t be offended if you greeted me by saying “Merry Christmas, vintage Ralph Lauren gold Lurex turtleneck” but in my defense I only wear it that one day. It glitters and glows something beautiful. But it itches like hell.

I hosted our extended family for Christmas Eve off and on for about two decades, and then schedules got complicated and children had sporting events, so for the past few years a group of us have gone to a local restaurant beautifully decorated and festive. And it’s great because everyone can order what they like instead of eating my set-in-stone Christmas menu yet again. And it’s close enough that I can have my annual cocktail and walk home.

Every year we all say the same thing, that we’ll spread out the 5 weeks of holiday socializing over the year but of course we never do. But being part of all the rushed holiday cheer and celebrations in such a short amount of time is good for us, really, because it puts us in the spirit, and then we can use the first 10 months of the new year to recover.

I wish you and everyone you love and like a very happy, merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and bright new year.

XOXO Brenda

P.S. The Christmas sweaters painting, which now resides in the home of his Godmother in Miami where they think having to wear sweaters is romantic, is by my beloved late brother Brian.

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Sheila Hamwey
Sheila Hamwey
5 months ago

Love your random thoughts articles. Taking a stroll down memory lane puts such a warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart. Makes me smile. Merry Happy to you. And I’m still not counting calories if I’m standing up! 🎄❄️🎅🏼

Bev Dow
Bev Dow
5 months ago

Brenda, I always love reading your thoughts! Beautiful, thoughtful, loving thoughts and memories!! thank you. ❤️🎅🏻❤️

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