Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Putting away Christmas...

Christmas decorations are still up around our house and it is December 28th. I’ve been under the weather (and the bedcovers) since Christmas morning with fever and all that goes with it. But even without the sickness, our decorations would still be up.

When do you take down all the trees, wreathes and such?

My mother-in-law would always leave her decorations up through Epiphany. That's what her mother did, too. Lots of people do that. As a girl, I remember my mother leaving up the decor until after our family Christmas which was usually on New Year's Day. We had it then because my older brothers and their families were making their own my parents, my sister and I would have the normal Christmas morning, then a week later we’d do it all again!

Our little family celebrates on Christmas Eve morning...and have for 37 years. Christmas Eve services would keep us tied up all evening on the 24th. And then we were always on the road either through the night or first thing on Christmas morning as we’d head to Appalachia, Virginia (for what will always be some of the best holiday memories I will ever have). Most of my Ohio family members were in the ministry, too, so we usually didn’t have a Christmas celebration together after my sister and I left home.

Our daughter is now married and they join us on Christmas Eve morning for breakfast and opening presents. Again this year we enjoyed a relaxing time with our kids. Joe and I would have driven to Virginia on Sunday afternoon to celebrate Christmas with the Greens, but when I woke up feeling puny with a fever, those plans went in the dumpster.

There’s always something a little sad to me about putting away Christmas. And here is the point in the blog where I should come up with something inspirational, like, “don’t put away Christmas in your hearts...keep it all year long!” And we should! Or I could focus on the real reason a Christmas even exists in the first place. “Jesus is the reason for the season” is not just a neat little phrase. It’s truth. Period. ‘Nuff said. But I'm not the preacher in the I'll leave that to the professionals and just try to live what I believe. Jesus loves me and I love Him. I'm so glad God sent His Son and I want that to show in my life every single day in one way or another!

But when all the carols have been sung...the Advent candles put out one last wrap has been recycled...cookies have been consumed...the date on the eggnog carton has expired...heavyweight fruitcakes have been put out for the birds (unless it’s a Texas Fruitcake from Collin St. Bakery)...and my jeans are a little tighter from all of the parties, fellowship and food....I must admit that I get a little sad.

I enjoy coming home at the end of the day and turning on the lights on five of our six trees. it would defeat the whole purpose if I were to put lights on the Charlie Brown tree!

Plus, I don’t like to haul out all the boxes and start putting things away because I can never get it done and re-packed into the closet in one day. Of course, I never get it decorated in a day either and the boxes are everywhere then, too. It’s just different somehow when it’s over...

But I will pack it all away and reclaim my house. My green plants who love the sunlight will be back in the bay window and we will once again have a normal traffic pattern to walk through the house. And when the trees are boxed up, my hubby will roll his eyes when I suggest rearranging some of our furniture. I LOVE to rearrange rooms! (You know those little glider-thingies that help you slide your heavy furniture around more easily? I found out those are awesome!!!)

When I put away Christmas, not only will I reclaim my house, I’ll get a head-start on the new year’s resolutions: a place for everything, and everything in it’s sewing room is my ‘go-to’ place every single day, whether I have an appointment with the sewing machine or not...and my diet, that four-letter word.

Ah, yes. My diet. I got a head-start on that, too! I’ve lost seven pounds in four days while I’ve been sick. Some way to do it, huh!?!

Well, I’ll close for now. It’s time for more crackers and a cup of tea in my favorite mug. (My favorite mug reads: “If there is chocolate melted all over your hands, you’re eating it too slowly.”)

Blessings to you for a wonderful 2012...Happy New Year!

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bathroom Scales

I’ve read that it takes 21 consecutive times of doing a task to make it into a habit.

I weigh myself nearly every day. It’s a habit. Some will say it isn’t good to weigh every day, but it keeps me honest. So I strip off my gown and stand on the scales ‘nekked as a jaybird’ so as not to add a single ounce to the already too high number.

This is part of my ritual that comes just after getting out of the bed each morning and making it up (including all the unnecessary pillows) before I make my short trip into the little room. Making your bed when you REALLY have to go to the little room speeds things up immensely! Of course, in the little room, I do the most important thing first…again, so as not to add a single ounce to the already high number.

Then I step onto the scale. I either celebrate with a little happy giggle or step down and shove it back under the chair so I don’t have to be reminded of its report for that particular day.

But this morning I realized that I do something while I’m standing on the scale that makes no sense. I don’t even think about it. I hold in my stomach! I do!

Why would I do such a stupid thing?
Am I thinking it will cause me to weigh less when I do that?!?
Will it somehow magically decrease that number that shows up in the little window?

No…I’ve realized the ugly truth. I hold in my stomach simply to be able to see the numbers.

What is silly about all this is that I’ve had eight abdominal surgeries and I can’t really hold in my stomach at all! It is actually a ‘holding-attempt’ on my part, which is pathetic at best!

One thing I will never own is a “Garfield-scale!” You know the one that makes snide remarks when he steps onto it? I don’t ever want to hear my scale tell me things like:
• “One at a time, buddy! One at a time!”
• “If you’d go on a diet, two underdeveloped nations would have enough to eat.”
• “Good news. Herman Melville wants to write a book about you.”

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose…so make your life count!