Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve at The Conners

Every year I think that the kids will feel like they're too old and won't want to act out the Christmas story. This year I even decided to just have everyone read the different parts in kind of a reader's theater--I'm so glad that I was wrong. I'm the narrator because Casey has always been the donkey--well, since Mal's been gone anyway! This time I got laughing a little because in my peripheral vision I could see Alexa frantically signaling to the angel to get back up in the sky....We enjoy this tradition so much and an informal poll tells me that Christmas Eve is the favorite over Christmas Day (although they REALLY like the presents).

Before performing the Nativity, we have a simple, traditional candlelit dinner of oyster stew, fruit salad, homemade crescent rolls, and punch. After the play, we have pavlova and the kids sometimes watch a movie while we wrap the gifts that I have put off doing--pretty much all of them! This is the first year that I was unable to find pomegranates to decorate the pavlova and add to the fruit salad--ah well.

I probably write pretty much the same thing every year, but I love Christmas Eve--the world seems quiet and serene. It feels lovely.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good People

Listening to the news and reading the paper, we sometimes forget that the world is full of them--and this one's from Maine! This came in an email from my cousin--it's worth reading.
Arlington�National Cemetery

Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell...

Readers may be interested to know that these wreaths -- some 5,000 -- are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine . The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He's done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one the poorest parts of the state.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Boogie-Woogie Jake!

Sorry about all the laughing in the background...I couldn't help it....

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Forgive Me My Debts

It was my father's rock-solid creed--DON'T SPEND MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE PERIOD THE END. But, at least in the U.S., it isn't that way. It's one thing to go into debt for a house or an education--it's quite another to go into debt for Christmas presents--ahem, ahem--or (out here where we live) christenings and birthday parties. The reality is that millions of Americans do it on a regular basis, and if they ever get out of the debt, many of them turn right around and do it again! And we blame the politicians, the media, the banks, the people who have big families, the town drunk, but please, please don't put this on our doorstep--oh no! And, oh yeah, would you hurry up and fix this bank thing so I can get on with the American dream--which USED to be that hard work and persistence equalled self-reliance, but NOW it's that I am "entitled" to whatever I decide I'm entitled to. (OK, I have to stop now because the cynical evil twin has taken over....)