Ho! Ho! Ho!

I think I’ve had a smile on my face most of today.

The day started with my favorite morning radio station taking phone calls as people called in for the “airing of grievances” in celebration of Festivus. Frankly, I think it’s a good tradition. Time could be set aside once a year for just as much griping and complaining as we have energy, then go into the new year refreshed and ready to be thankful, hopeful and not carrying any old baggage.

My son and daughter-in-law came for dinner. I haven’t seen them since early November, so this was a treat as well. Another reason to smile.

Then tonight, December 23rd,  another annual tradition that brings out the kid in each of us was a cause for celebration of another kind.

We waited for Santa. And he didn’t disappoint!




The humorous part of the evening involves the many times we run outdoors thinking “He’s here! He’s here!” only to discover he’s nearby, but not on our street. Sound travels on a cold, clear night.  A couple of years ago when the little girls were babies, Aimee and I came close to frightening them with our exuberance. If you want to read about the “bath tub incident” you can read about it HERE.

It’s fun to be outdoors with the neighbors waving and calling “Merry Christmas” as the line of emergency vehicles passes by and we tap into our inner child.  Karina, however, wasn’t too impressed. She’s been leaving long, very personal notes to Santa for several days now. My favorite included her wishes that she might see him in person someday, “not on my computer,” and so, as she reminded me, tonight’s Santa is NOT the REAL santa.

I still believe. And I also believe that somehow little elves may come in tonight and finish up all my gift wrapping while also somehow managing to package up all the baking I plan to deliver tomorrow.

I hope you’re enjoying this very special season with the traditions that mean the most to you. I know the holidays are very hard for some people, but maybe the focus will be on how close we are to a new year, and we’ll all charge ahead into that together.

Peace to each of you,

Your friend, Debra



45 thoughts on “Ho! Ho! Ho!

  1. Happy holidays Debra! I heard a great one the other day – the current season referred to as the “Festilities”! Festivities + Hostilities! Perfect!

    • “Festilities,” Mary! That is perfect. lOL! Let’s really hope the new year ushers in a season of tranquility. Somehow we need to find that and hold on tight! I do hope 2016 brings some unexpected joy! I have my fingers crossed! ox

    • Isn’t the funniest thing to see how the weather patterns have changed so much this year? We have been reading that we are currently colder here in Southern California than New York! How in the world can that be? I think Mr. El Niño has us all upside down. Thank you for such a lovely Christmas and New Year blessing, Colleen. I look forward to the same for you. You have such positive messages shared from your heart and as we move into 2016 it’s the peace and positivity that I want to drink in. We can do that together. ox

      • Yes, Mr. Nino (I have no idea how to put the wiggle atop) has sure messed us up here. We have had a week of solid rain. Ugh. And now a roof leaks. Double ugh.

        Thank you for the kind and heartfelt words Debra. They come at a moment when I can use them. I will drink in the goodness of people like yourself, gladly and gladly again!


        • Oh dear, Colleen? A leaky roof! Not an easy expense right at the beginning of a new year! We went through that a few years ago, and we still laugh, because we finally had no option but to get a new roof. We’d put it off too long and we had some ceiling damage. We got the new roof just in time for the drought. Every time we talk about the expected rain I hear my husband say out loud, “Well, at least we have a new roof.” Hahaha! I hope yours can be managed with a good patch! ox

          • Criminy, I forgot I already told you about the roof (I just replied to another comment and retold you!) 😉

            Sad part about the roof is, when we first moved in, we considered a new roof. Had companies come out and give estimates. They all said we didn’t need one. We had been considering it for the cosmetic, IF the roof needed work. It didn’t. Now, five years later….it does. Sigh on top of sigh.

            I like your husband’s humor about it.

    • Thank you so much, Frank. We have had a lovely couple of days and now I’m ready to just rest! I think adrenaline gets pumping pretty hard with the “pre-event” preparation, and once we get through the 25th, I am ready for nice long rest! I think I earned it. 🙂 But we did have a good family time and once it’s over I do hate to say goodbye to those that traveled in for the festivities and need to go home. I hope you had a lovely day as well. I need to make my “rounds” and see if you’ve shared how you spent your day. 🙂

  2. Merry Christmas, Debra! Hope Karina finds great joy even if she doesn’t see Santa exactly when or how she’d prefer. 😉

    (I also like the idea of Festivus. I’d heard the word many times previous years, but only actually heard about its origin and purpose on a radio station yesterday. It made me laugh. Yep, there’s room for that clearing way at least once a year!)

    • I hope you and your family and a wonderful Christmas, Deborah. And I’m so glad you now know the origins of Festivus. You must see that Seinfeld episode sometime. It’s definitely a classic. Because we live in the same general vicinity, I’m quite sure you and I were listening to the same radio station the other day. LOL! And my son-in-law brought a “Festivus pole” to our Christmas breakfast. We laughed so hard as we passed it from person to person and let go of a few pent-up negative emotions. I think we did find a new tradition. 🙂

  3. It’s a time to hold family close and to contemplate the big family of all creatures, great and small, as we hurtle through space on our ship of water and rock. I wish the best to you and those you love.

    • I hope you and Laura enjoyed time with your children, friends and loved ones, too, Jim. I am very moved by the beauty of your words and how you best express what I have been feeling this year. It feels important to me to value the connectedness of “creatures great and small” and as a cry of my heart I realize that I can’t mandate that acceptance, but I can prioritize being in the company of others who feel the same, and that gentle coalition could start a mini-movement in the new year. 🙂 And I’m very excited for you and the “soon release” of “Ochoco Reach.” I’m looking forward to reading it!

    • Thank you, Kristy! We had a lovely, peaceful Christmas, but I must admit I’m tired. I think it’s just the natural let down, so I’m going to sit back and be quiet for a day or two. But I’m smiling. 🙂 I hope your Christmas was just wonderful. With all you have planned for 2016 I can only imagine how exciting it must be when you get together with family and friends. You probably field a lot of questions and i hope you have tons of support for such a daring adventure. I continue to be so impressed with all you have planned! ox

      • Thank you Debra. Your Christmas sounds about like ours. Peaceful and lovely. And today we did absolutely nothing. I can’t remember the last time we did that. I hope you got to do the same. Cheers to a happy New Year too. 🙂

    • You just have to love Festivus, don’t you Kate? I laugh every time I think of it. At our breakfast table Christmas morning my son-in-law went and got the long pole we use to pull down an attic ladder, and announced that he thought it was time for us to share our grievances. We laughed and laughed…and did a fair amount of complaining once we got started! 🙂 Hope yours was delightful (or cathartic) as well! LOL!

  4. Erik just reminded me of the Santa parade on his birthday (12/20). Thank you and Aimee for sharing. We sure miss the wonderful Pine St. family. Merry Christmas to you all.

    • This has been a hard year for your sweet family, Mimi, and I hope that 2016 brings refreshment. We think of you SO often, and we just must have a little Pine Street reunion! I am delighted that Erik has memories of our little Santa tradition! Warm hugs to you and the boys! ox

    • We had a lovely Christmas, Nancy, but now I’m looking forward to a little quiet and rest! i am looking forward to making “rounds” and seeing what you’ve been doing, too! I hope all is well and that you have enjoyed the holidays as well! ox

  5. Funny Debra– I did too!! We have such a wacky sense of humor!! I loved it when Bill H once again lost it – big surprise! “This is why we don’t take calls!! This is not going the way I thought it would!” Ha! A new grievance for sure!! Much Love my Friend & Soul Sister!! See you soon! Beth

    Sent from my iPhone


    • I look forward to many good laughs together in the new year, my dear friend, Beth! I’m briefly “in recovery” from too many dinners (and too much egg nog?) but I’ll resurface soon and we can share our grievances…with a smile, I hope. LOL! ox

  6. A BAD place to come when I’m so hungry 🙂 My son’s in the kitchen cooking his first ever meal for us, Debbie, and the smells are wonderful. My turn tomorrow of course and I still have veg to prep but there’s always time for a Christmas smile! 🙂 Have a lovely one!

    • I hope that your Christmas was just wonderful, Jo. How delightful to have your son home to cook a meal and share that part of his creativity to gift you! We had a delightful Christmas, and I’m feeling the physical effects of “let down” today–quite exhausted. Now it’s time to look ahead to the new year. I truly hope yours is filled with more family warmth and love and many of your wonderful adventures! 🙂

  7. Christmas has arrived here in Bavaria, with the celebrations with food and gifts starting on Christmas Eve. So now I can breathe lighter and look forward to my trip to England in a couple of days – a week of being cosseted by my family! Have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones Debra. And a very happy and peaceful new year. xx

    • I’m sorry I didn’t get the opportunity to respond before Christmas, Cathy, but I hope that even as I send this reply to you you are already in England with your family! How wonderful it must be to have that reunion at this special time of year, and to reconnect to your British Christmas foods and traditions. Of course, being with your family must be just wonderful after a period of separation. Let’s really hope that 2016 ushers in a long period of gentleness and peace. xx

      • Thank you Debra! Yes, I arrived in the UK last night (one of my bumpiest landings ever in their windy wet weather!) and am now looking forward to some pampering by Mum. 😉 All good wishes for the rest of the holidays Debra, and a very happy and peaceful 2016! xx

    • Hi dear Stacey! I had every intention of reaching you before now and wishing you a happy first wedding anniversary! Your first anniversary, your fist married Christmas…I will get caught up with you soon and I’d love to hear all about your special “firsts.” We had a very lovely Christmas, but as happens almost every year, the day after I just about fall apart! I do it to myself every year, so it’s apparently a traditional part of Christmas in our household. Love you! ox

  8. Merry Christmas, Debra.
    I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to stop by and am hoping your Christmas was merry. I love the way Santa comes to your town and all the exuberance and excitement it brings. How sweet Karina is – I still believe 🙂 and am pretty sure I saw him early Christmas morn. 🙂

    • I am right there with you in the busy, Penny! We have undoubtedly both been serving family–happily–but now the fatigue sets in. 🙂 I haven’t been able to check in with you either, so I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas. If you had your family with you then I know it was special!! ox

  9. How very special to have Santa appear in your street in such a sparkling vehicle. Any child would be so excited to see such a sight. I do hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas xx

    • We did have a delightful Christmas, Charlie. Our daughter’s birthday is Christmas Eve, too, so there is a lot of happy exhaustion today! I do hope that you, too, had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope you’ll have a very happy, healthy and “accident free” New Year! ox

    • Thank you, Karen. It was a lovely holiday period. All that anticipation and it is “spent” quickly, isn’t it? Happiest of wishes for the new year, my friend.

  10. Making the rounds, though a little late. (I wouldn’t make a good Santa!)
    Love the fire engine and can only imagine how excited the little ones would get seeing it come down their street. I hope you holidays were beautiful, Debra, and may 2016 be filled with much joy.

    • Happy New Year to you, John. I am finding it hard to “make the rounds” lately, too. I am hoping to be a little more attentive in this new year. I’ve taken several things off my weekly “to do” list in a move to reorganize and prioritize differently and we are two days into the new year and so far so good! LOL! Christmas was a lovely time with family. I don’t see my son and daughter-n-law as often as I’d like, so having them in town really was special. Back to work Monday! 🙂 I hope you had wonderful times as well. May 2016 be good for you and I think of your dear Zia in that blessing.

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