Christmas Photo A Day, 12/9/15


My grandmother’s nativity, with the addition of an angel from my step-daughter, Michelle.

#TSO tonight! The true meaning of Christmas, in this one song, Old City Bar, so an extra edition of holiday caroling.


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Christmas Photo a Day, December 24, 2014


The child said, “I’ve noticed, if one could be home, they’d be already there.”

OLD CITY BAR, Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Click above to get to video if it doesn’t show up for you!

…the spirit of the holiday season. Take a few minutes….

In an old city bar
That’s never too far
From the places that gather
The dreams that have been

In the safety of night
With its old neon light
It beckons to strangers
And they always come in

And the snow it was falling
Neon was calling
The music was low
And the night Christmas Eve

And here was the danger
That even with strangers
Inside of this night
It’s easier to believe

Then the door opened wide
And a child came inside
That no one in the bar
Had seen there before

And he asked did we know
That outside in the snow
That someone was lost
Standing outside our door

Then the bartender gazed
Through the smoke and the haze
Through the window and ice
To that corner streetlight

Where standing alone
By a broken pay phone
Was a girl, the child said
Could no longer get home

And the snow it was falling
Neon was calling
Bartender turned and said, “Not that I care
But how would you know this?”
The child said, “I’ve noticed
If one could be home, they’d be already there”

Then the bartender came out, from behind the bar
And in all of his life, was never that far
And he did something else that he thought no one saw
When he took all the cash from the register drawer

Then he followed the child to the girl across the street
And we watched from the bar as they started to speak
Then he called for a cab then he said, “J.F.K.”
Put the girl in the cab and the cab drove away
And we saw in his hand, that the cash was all gone
From the light that she had wished upon

If you want to arrange it
This world you can change it
If we could somehow make this
Christmas thing last

By helping’ a neighbor
Even a stranger
To know who needs help
You need only just ask

Then he looked for the child
But the child wasn’t there
Just the wind and the snow
Waltzing dreams through the air

So he walked back inside
Somehow different, I think
For the rest of the night
No one paid for a drink

And the cynics will say
That some neighborhood kid
Wandered in on some bums
In the world where they hid

But they weren’t there
So they couldn’t see
By an old neon star
On that night, Christmas Eve

When the snow it was falling
And neon was calling
In case you should wonder
In case you should care

Why we on our own
Never went home?
On that night of all nights
We were already there

May your journey be safe, and may you find yourself, tonight, HOME.

img_3104 My nativity has found a new home this year. It belonged to my grandmother; my brother and I broke the ears off more than one of the animals and the shepherd has a pretty shoddy patch job after a fall, oh, 35 years ago. For decades it adorned the dining room credenza, and for the past 12 years the entire scene was crowded onto the top of a small encyclopedia bookshelf that belonged to my great grandmother.

This Christmas, however, the nativity, and all the little additions I have added over the years, have found a new home on this lovely chest of drawers that my hubby gave me for Christmas! (next to the neighboring subdivision of Snowmen).



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December 24…The word is –“Thanks”

Tonight, tomorrow, over the next few days– people are going to be exposed to family members they may not care for. They are going to receive gifts that may not knock their socks off. They are going to find themselves in social situations that they may not be accustomed to or would prefer to skip.

So, as you are loading the kiddo’s and the gifts into the car for the trip over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house (‘whose house smells like an old lady and she always pinches my cheeks and doesn’t have internet or cable TV and its so boring!’) take the time to go over the following:

The word is “Thanks.” Have them practice it, with a smile in their voice, even as they pretend to open up boxes of ugly scarves, or socks or another hand made sweater. Have them learn to resist the urge to grimace or to say, “I HATE orange; or I NEVER shop at this store” when they open up an envelope with a gift card.

Have them think of different ways to NOT show that they are less than pleased with their gift. Have them repeat, over hill and dale, until it means something, “It’s the thought that counts.”  Have them think of three gifts that Mary and Joseph might have preferred for the infant Jesus, rather than gold, frankincense and myrrh, but to also think about whether or not they thanked the three wise men anyway… (I bet their responses will be funny! I would LOVE to hear them)

2010 dec24

My grandmother’s nativity, with an addition of the lovely Christmas tree candle in the same creamy white—a Christmas gift from Arlie last year (thanks, sweetie!!!)

Tell them they can, on the ride home, politely suggest someone else they can give the orange sweater to, but first, Grandma is to see them button up and pose for a photo with her, SMILING.

(While you are at it, task them with talking to every adult person in the room BEFORE making a bee-line to see which presents are for them. Not only is it simply respect for the adult members of the family, but it is the the opportunity to make familial connections between the generations, and to create Christmas memories.)

And if this reminder is something that you needed as well— well then, “You’re welcome!” Winking smile

Oh, and Merry Christmas! THANK YOU for your comments over the course of the month, I hope my photos I have brought you some memories and some joy!

May you create countless new memories of your own!