“Do It Now!”

If you were raised like me, you will understand the “do it now” princible. In my home, “do it now” meant just that; stop what you’re doing and do what you’ve been asked to do pronto. I’ll finally admit that it is an efficient way to go; doing it right away means that the chore you dread won’t be hanging over your head for hours, days, weeks…

The good thing about doing it now means that you can relax after getting things done; you can relax because you did it right away. Even when I lived on my own, I was so used to the “do it now” system that my home was clean and tidy all the time.

However, once I married the Crankee Yankee things definitely changed. Don’t get me wrong, the Crankee Yankee is the love of my life. However, he is not a “do it now” guy by any means. The Crankee Yankee has many admirable qualities, such as being loving and kind to our cats (indoor and outdoor), keeping the house up and running, plus he is very good-looking as well. But the “do it now” doesn’t sit with him. At all.

Oh well, things could be worse. What I’ve learned (the hard way) is that not everyone is exactly like us with our exact little plans and how-tos and whatnots. You can be a bully about doing it now, or you can take the soft approach and do it yourself. That way you not only have that smug feeling of accomplishment, and no one gets yelled at.

Trust me: I’ve learned this the hard way. Don’t be the kind of idiot I was; truthfully, even if you end up doing it all yourself, you can still have that smug feeling of accomplishment and no blood was drawn.

If anyone is now feverishly scribbling down New Year’s resolutions, add this to your list: remember that you are you and those around you are not you. Trust me, that one has been on my New Year’s list each and every year!

 

Oh, The Mistakes I’ve Made!

Seeing that the end of 2019 is coming fast, it’s a time to remember everything that happened during the year. For me, it’s always about the mistakes I’ve made. I get it—we’re all human and we all make mistakes, but still I wish I’d spent this year with more gratitude and less mistakes.

At this time of year I always find myself wincing about this, that or the other thing I should have done but didn’t. You know how it is; the old “shoulda, coulda, woulda.” We always are our worst enemies and don’t always give ourselves the credit we deserve. We are not always the bad guy, so at the end of this year it’s a good time to remember all the good things that we said or did.

Believe me, if you just look back, you’ll find things that you did that were good. You didn’t always make mistakes, you weren’t always wrong, and you were always too hard on yourself. It’s perfectly ok to pat yourself on the back now and then. I’ve learned the hard way to accept my mistakes and try not to make them again.

That said, a new year is coming soon. I gave up making a list of things I should do in the new year; let’s face it: every single day is a new day. We can decide to do better, be better, forgive ourselves and forgive others. The new mantra I myself have for this new year is this: “I’m not perfect, but I’m not bad, either. I’m doing all I can to be kind, to put myself in the other person’s shoes, and to forgive and most of all; forget.

No matter how many mistakes we’ve made, we are still good people. Let’s not forget that, and let’s forgive ourselves before we forgive others. My own hope and prayer for this coming year is this:

  • less talking, more listening
  • less blaming, and more forgiving
  • more laughter and less tears
  • more kindness and less blaming
  • more love and less finger-pointing
  • less trying to make people think what we think
  • more acceptance
  • more smiling

And the list can go on and on. My wish and my prayer for this coming new year is that we at least try to see the other person’s point of view. We don’t have to agree with them, but we don’t have to argue or fight with them, either. I remember reading some good wisdom about arguing or fighting: “To avoid arguing or fighting, keep your tongue pressed firmly againt the roof of your mouth.”

It couldn’t hurt.

 

Hope For a Better New Year

This year has been one of rancor, distrust, hatred, senseless violence, fear and doubt. This isn’t all about politics, either. But this is all about a sad and terrible trend happening in way too many towns and states. Worst of all, even children are participating in violence and sometimes murder.

The worst of it all is that there seems to be no exact reason for these all-too-often killings and violence. How many times this year have we heard of more violence toward Jews? How many times this year have we heard more violence toward school children? How many times this year have we heard more violence toward innocent people going about their business in a store?

Each and every day the news is filled with robberies, gang violence, murder, shooting in public places, kidnapping and more. The “good” news is pretty thin on the ground these days, but thankfully, there still is some good here and there.

Here is where the “good” comes in: many of our children are practicing kindness, whether they know it or not. They see a shy kid at lunch time and invite him or her to their table. They help others where they can. They are generous and kind, and are being raised to accept difference and to put themselves in another person’s shoes. How many times do we hear of one child saving up his/her allowance to buy toys for other kids at Christmas? And there are so many more acts of kindness and love.

This is EXACTLY how we change the climate of hatred. It’s awfully hard to hate someone who is kind to you. Just a small bit of kindness makes an enormous change in peoples’ hearts and minds. For this coming new year, 2020, I hope that there is positive change in our hearts and minds. I hope for more love and less hate, for more kindness and less selfishness, for more forgiveness than anger and fear.

My own New Year’s resolution is pretty simple: to practice kindness, forgiveness and love. Wish me luck, and good luck to us all in this coming year.

 

 

 

Living in a Cold Climate

I wrote this a few years back, and the cold climate I live in is just the same.

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Here in the North East we are used to the cold, which can be as mild as 35 degrees above zero, or 35 degrees below zero.  I was born in ME, but grew up in New Hampshire, and I have lived through more than my share of fair-to-middling cold, pretty darn cold, serious cold and wicked cold.

We learn early on in our lives to layer our clothing, keep our faces, ears, hands and feet warm at all costs, keep jumper cables and an emergency kit in our vehicles and what to do in case of a white-out. Most of us know someone who lost fingers or toes from frostbite, and we take it seriously.

Cabin fever is a real thing. In Northeast lore there are many stories of people who literally went mad cooped up all winter and did irrational things. (Read Jack London; he’s told some good stories about cabin fever.) When my mother compiled our genealogy, there were stories upon stories of what was also called ‘winter madness.’ Don’t think it can’t happen in these modern times, either. Best cures? Get out if you can, even for a few minutes. If your phone works, call someone and yak. If your computer works, well–that’s self-explanatory. Pets and people make good company, or a good hobby.

But most importantly, keep your mind working. Read, learn something new. Put a jigsaw puzzle together. Write something, anything; a letter, a poem, a story, a diary entry, etc.

Just as important, appreciate. As with so many things, attitude is everything. You can look out on a snowy day, with trees bowed down with ice and snow, and the only colors seem to be the dead black of naked branches, cold blue, gray and white, white, white. You can see all that and think, “Yuck! It’s cold, boring and colorless out there! I wish it were summer!”

Or you can look at the sheer stark beauty of those black branches against a breathtaking blue sky, see the constant glimmer and sparkle of the snow, and, if you look hard enough, you can discern subtle pinks and blues in the snow. It can be dazzling or boring; it’s up to your frame of mind.

Just remember, our perceptions can see the world around us as dull and lifeless, or amazing and full of color.

Listen as well. The moan of trees as they push back against the winter winds, the crackle and snap of constantly shifting ice in a pond, the sound that a dry leaf makes when the wind skates it across a frozen field–it’s a symphony like no other.

Enjoy the deep winter while we have it. When we are swearing and sweating in July, we can remember those cold, cold winter days and lower our internal thermometers. Enjoy it while we have it, everyone.

**A winter white-out happens when snow blows in all directions and you may not even be able to see your mittened hand in front of your face. If you are caught in one, your best bet is to stay put and hunker down until you can see again. Most of all, don’t panic!

Some Like It Hot

I wrote this back a few years ago, and I still say that black coffee is the best.

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I grew up in a household where Mom and Dad drank black coffee; no cream, no sugar. When I started drinking coffee myself, I flirted with milk and sugar and the occasional splurt of chocolate syrup, but that didn’t last long. I grew to love the bitter yet satisfying taste of strong hot black coffee. Fortunately, the Crankee Yankee likes it that way as well.

I don’t believe I ever went to a fancy-schmancy coffee shop before I moved to Texas in the early ’90s. At the time, I worked for a woman who adored a certain famous coffee house (hint: it rhymes with “Far Clucks”). I don’t remember that we ever went there without her spending at least $30 on coffee! Mind you, we are talking about TWO cups of coffee, not a few bags of coffee beans.

It made me think about flavored coffees in general. Personally, all I ever ask of a cup of coffee is that it be 1) very hot, 2) black, and 3) no one asking me what flavor I want. I want COFFEE flavored coffee. Period.

I am flabbergasted by coffee houses who routinely carry “additions” such as:

  • Madagascar cinnamon
  • chocolate: milk, dark, white, marbled
  • flavored syrups; caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, etc.
  • milk; soy, coconut, almond, cashew, macadamia, etc.

…and who knows what all else can be had there. No doubt they also carry shavings from moon rocks, petrified alien vomit, powdered rhino horn, pixie dust, plutonium and antimatter; for a nominal fee, of course.

Right now, the only people I know who drink black coffee is the Crankee Yankee and me. When we travel and stop at any of the ubiquitous rest stops along the way, there is always a fancy coffee bar. Always. Even the truckers now appear to love “foo-foo” coffee these days.

I thought I had heard everything ridiculous about high-priced coffee until I heard about “*kopi luwak” coffee. Read on:

*From http://www.most-expensive.coffee/:

“Kopi luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee. The main factor of it’s high price is the uncommon method of producing such a coffee. It has been produced from the coffee beans which have been digested by a certain Indonesian cat-like animal called the palm civet or also civet cat. This is the reason kopi luwak is also called cat poop coffee or civet cat coffee. The feces of this cat will be collected, finished and sold as kopi luwak. ….The short supply, in comparison with the high demand, the different taste and the uncommon production methods define the value of kopi luwak – the most expensive coffee in the world.”

Get this: a cup of this coffee can go anywhere from $35 to $100 per cup! Shoot, I could have any one of our five cats poop in my coffee for FREE!

Ah well, I have no doubt that hundreds of thousands of people are thoroughly enjoying their foo-foo coffee everywhere. More power to them, I say. For now, I am very happy to be sipping my second black coffee this morning; civet cat poop-free.

Lazy Christmas Day

The Crankee Yankee and I had a wonderful lazy Christmas day. We exchanged gifts, all the cats got new toys to play with, and we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon, and some sinfully delicious cinnamon rolls. Our family in Maine are visiting relatives for the next couple of weeks, so we decided to just lie around like happy slugs and spent the morning in our pajamas.

What a wonderful thing it is not to have any “how to’s” or “must do’s” now and then. We were far too lazy to prepare a traditional Christmas dinner, so we went out for Chinese food. Surprisingly, there were lots of folks there who did the exact same thing. It’s fun to shake things up now and then.

Once home we puttered around the house and later on binge-watched a new series on TV we had missed out on before. It was an absolutely wonderful day; no hurry, no worry. Sometimes I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to do what we feel are the “right things.” However, the older I get I feel that it’s perfectly ok to just wing it now and then.

Even the cats picked up on the lazy vibe; after they finished chasing their new toys, some sprawled out on our bed, others stretched out on the couch, and the last one hogged the Crankee Yankee’s recliner. Of course they woke up for lunch, and, as cats do, had some serious grooming, and then settled back in for another nap.

As with many things, Christmas is as Christmas does—ours was a doozy! Hope yours was as well.

 

What Do You Remember Most About Christmas?

When I was in what is now called “middle school,” I was embarrassed about my breasts. I didn’t have enough for a proper bra, but going without some support was even worse. However, my mom, who in my mind, could do anything, found me the right size “junior bra.” Amazingly, it fit well and kept my adolescent boobs from bouncing around.

That Christmas my first gift was a fancily wrapped box with a note in my mother’s handwriting; “How firm a foundation!” (Get it?) Of course, it was a box of several bras; the one I liked best was an orange and white striped one. Now I had all the bras I needed for every day of the week! Trust my mom to make this new “development” both fun and comfortable.

My grandmother was the one who always gave me that one special thing I hungered for; one year, my very own sewing machine. All that year she had taught me how to make simple skirts and dresses on her sewing machine, and I loved it. Another year it was the very fashionable clock necklace. It was on a gold chain, and the little clock actually worked.

One year my dad gave Mom and I skis and ski poles. He was an ski instructor at our local ski slope, and it looked like so much fun. He taught me how to ski, and from then on, I was hooked; I went skiing every chance I could. Mom gave it the good old college try, but she just wasn’t interested. She didn’t like being cold, and she didn’t like how easy it was to go too fast or to fall. But I skiied all I could, and loved it.

I could go on and on about the gifts, the food, the company and so on; but it’s Christmas itself that means so much. It’s about love, kindness, forgiveness, joy and gratitude. Every Christmas Eve we go to Doug’s brother, David, and his wife, Jan, who has been my best friend since we were little girls. We eat and exchange gifts and laugh and talk. It’s a tradition we cherish.

Today is not only a day for presents and great meals; it’s for remembering those who are no longer at our table, and those who are still with us. Merry Christmas!

Another Christmas Story

Samuel’s Star

Note: This is a one-act Christmas play I wrote years ago for a Christmas pageant. It is to be read aloud by three people; the narrator, Joshua the innkeeper and Abigail, his wife. Joshua was the one who gave Joseph and Mary room in his stable as there was no room for them in the inn.

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NARRATOR: The birth of Jesus Christ happened this way, as found in Luke 2:1, 3-4: “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed…And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David.)”

By this time, Joseph and Mary were married and were preparing to travel to Bethlehem. Joseph and Mary’s family feared for her safety as she was heavily pregnant and traveling so close to her time. But Mary calmly reminded them all that God had promised to be with them through everything. She looked shyly up at Joseph, and with his help confidently mounted their little gray donkey. Waving their goodbyes, they headed for Bethlehem.

Every innkeeper in Bethlehem was overjoyed by the prospect of so many coming into the city. More visitors meant more money, and each tried to make the most of the space they had, so as to fit more people in. Joshua, an innkeeper close to the city, made his rooms as clean as possible, and made sure that there was plenty of food prepared ahead of time, His wife, Abigail, bustled through the back door with her apron full of fresh bread.

Abigail: “I’ll say one thing about this taxation foolishness—every inn in the city will make lots of money. And if I have anything to say about it, ours will make the most.”

Joshua: Now Abby dear, you can’t make people come here. Our rooms will be filled, I have no doubt…..I’ll leave you to finish up in here, and I’ll go put fresh straw in the beds.”

Abigail: “What for? The straw already in the beds is good enough. People don’t care as long as they have a place to lay their heads!”

Joshua: “I care, Abby. Most of them will have come a great distance and we can at least make them comfortable.”

Abigail: Comfortable?!” We’ll never see them again!”

NARRATOR: Joshua looked at her sadly, and left. Although he loved his wife dearly, it hurt him to see how hard she had become following the the death of their only son, Samuel. Sometimes he felt it was as if Samuel had taken all the light and happiness out of their lives when he died.

Born to them after nearly ten years of marriage, he was their most precious treasure. He was full of mischief and joy, and kept the house filled with laughter and boyish mayhem. How many times had he smuggled a chicken or a small piglet into his bed at night, thrusting it up at Abigail when she went in to kiss him good night?

Joshua smiled to himself, remembering the inevitable chase that followed—-the frantic squawking chicken or the squealing piglet running for the door, with Samuel close behind, followed by a red-faced and shouting Abigail, trying hard not to laugh.

Samuel also loved to help Joshua feed the animals in the stable. Even when he was a little boy, he demanded to help milk the cows and comb burrs out of the horse’s tail.

All that had ended much too soon when Samuel died suddenly of an infection from a small cut on his foot. Abigail, skilled in gathering and using herbs for healing, could do little for him but ease his pain. Even as he weakened, he knew them both, smiling at them and telling them not to be sad. He told them that he knew where he was going and was happy. He also said that he knew he would see them again someday.

Even in the crushing grief that followed, Joshua remembered those words and was comforted by them. But Abigail would not be comforted. She blamed herself for not being able to heal her son, and before long became embittered and sarcastic. The only times she smiled now was when they stood a chance to make more money, as with the taxation.

Bethlehem was rapidly filling with new people coming into the city. As dusk came, latecomers went from inn to inn, desperate for rooms. One of these was Joseph. He and Mary had had to travel slowly, for, although Mary wouldn’t complain, he could tell by her white face that each joggling step of their little donkey hurt her. He took off his cloak and put it on the grass near a tree and made her sit down and rest while he hunted for a place to stay for the night. So far, he had been turned away four times. With a heavy heart, he walked into Joshua’s inn.

Abigail was sitting at the long table by the door, tying off bundles of fragrant herbs. She looked up quickly at Joseph as he entered; noticed his poor clothing and looked pointedly at her husband.

Joshua: “Welcome, friend! Are you here for the taxation?”

NARRATOR: Joseph nodded and smiled wearily as he introduced himself. “I hope you have a room left,” he said. “My wife is expecting our first child soon and is very uncomfortable. If you can find a space for her I’ll gladly sleep outside.”

Joshua’s face fell, because he knew that they had just filled their last room.

Joshua: “I’m so sorry, but we have no more rooms at all. Every bed I have is taken; in fact, there are even people sleeping on the roof! Your first child, did you say?”

NARRATOR: Joseph smiled and said, “yes; we’re very happy about it, but we’ve been traveling for a long time, and it’s been hard on my wife, Mary.”

He looked down at his dusty feet in their tattered sandals and said, “I’ve never been a father before, and it’s, well—do you have children?”

Abigail drew in her breath sharply, and abruptly left the room.

Joshua: “You’ll have to excuse Abigail, my wife. Yes, we had a son, Samuel, our only child. We lost him last year.”

NARRATOR: “I’m sorry,” Joseph said, his kind face sad.

Joshua: “He was fourteen, and so full of life! The stories I could tell you…he was fishing with his friends, and cut his foot on a shell. By the time he came home, his foot was red and swollen. Abby knows how to use herbs for healing, and she did everything she could for him. I never saw her sleep for three days. I know that she still blames herself because she couldn’t save him.

“But you know, something strange happened the night he died. I’ve never told anyone this, not even Abby. She had gone to get more water, and I was holding Samuel, singing a little song he liked. Suddently he sat straight up in my arms, looked at a spot over my head, and said ‘Father!’

But there was nothing there. He face literally lit up with joy; and then he was gone. I wish I knew—”

NARRATOR: There was a sharp cry from outside, and Joseph startled. “It’s Mary! I must go!”

Joshua: “Wait—take your wife into our stable. It’s clean and warm and the animals have been fed and will be quiet. I’d be glad to have you stay there.”

NARRATOR: Joseph thanked him and ran out. Joshua knew his stable was well kept and snug, and would at least be shelter from the wind. He remembered well the night that Samuel was born. When he picked up his new son from a peaceful and smiling Abigail, he felt as if he held the world in his hands. That sweet, fresh new baby smell! The silky golden-brown hair, already curling into ringlets, and eyes the color of seawater that seemed to take in everything, looking into his father’s eyes.

Joshua’s eyes filled with tears, but his grief was mingled with joy at the thought of Joseph and Mary, about to experience all this for themselves. Abigail came in, and Joshua told her about the coming baby, and where the little family was staying.

Abigail: “Well? I hope you charged them.”

Joshua: “Abby, their baby may be coming right now! You could help her; you know what to do.”

NARRATOR: At this point, Joseph ran in, shouting for Joshua. “The baby’s coming—I need help!” Joshua looked pleadingly at Abigail. She glared at him, then at Joseph.

Abigail: “You—go back to the stable. I’ll be there in a minute.” Joseph bowed to her, his eyes full of thanks.

Joshua: “Thank you for doing this. I know that this is hard for you, but I know you can help.”

NARRATOR: Joshua saw her face work as she bent to pick up the soft bag in which she carried her healing herbs. He put his arms around her and held her, and whispered in her ear.

Joshua: “Abby, my heart, my life—it was Samuel’s time to leave this earth. You could have done nothing to stop it, and you have to stop blaming yourself. But you can help this girl and her baby.”

NARRATOR: Abigail put her hand on his arm for an instant, and nodded her head as she went out into the night. As she walked toward the stable, her eyes were drawn upward to a soft light. It was an enormous star, right overhead! It glowed and danced and almost seemed to throw off sparks; she had to tear herself away from staring at it. She had work ahead of her, and opened the door to the stable.

Joshua too saw the star. It seemed to him as if it bathed the entire building and land around it with light. He remembered a night long ago when he and Samuel had sat on the roof of the inn, watching the stars and telling each other stories about them. Samuel had pointed to a large star that seemed to shimmer in the night sky.

“Father,” he said, “that star is special. It’s bigger and brighter than all the other stars, and it’s coming closer. In fact, one day it will sit right on our roof with us!”

Joshua began to chuckle at the memory. Samuel could make up the best stories—but wait! What of the star shining in the sky tonight? It couldn’t be—could it? He walked slowly outside and looked up. There it was—Samuel’s star! Shaking his head at the lurch in his heart, he slowly climbed up the ladder to the roof. The handful of travelers who had made their bed on the roof were looking up at the great star as well. Joshua could hear murmurs around him, but no one seemed alarmed or afraid. He felt strangely comforted by the sight of the big bright star above, and felt Samuel’s presence in his heart.

He and the other men began talking, and, as time passed, the star seemed to drift lower, closer to the roof as if to hear what they were saying.

Suddenly Joshua saw Abigail walk out of the stable. From his perch on the roof he could see that her step was light and her head was thrown back. He scrambled down the ladder and ran to her.

Joshua: “Abigail! Is the baby here? Is Mary all right?”

Abigail: “Yes, the baby’s here, and Mary is fine. I never saw a faster or easier birth. It’s a boy, and they have named him Jesus.”

NARRATOR: She wiped her eyes with a corner of her apron and turned to Joshua.

Abigail: “He’s beautiful, Joshua—you should see him. He looks so much like our Samuel when he was born. Do you remember? All that curly hair and the sweetest eyes—!”

NARRATOR: She began to cry, and Joshua held her close. Abigail felt the stone around her heart soften, and for a long moment the searing grief of losing Samuel took her breath away. Then, just as quickly, her heart was warmed with quiet comfort.

Suddenly they and all those within earshot heard a beautiful voice singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”

Joshua: “Angels! Look, the sky is filled with angels!”

NARRATOR: They fell to their knees, clutching each other, as their eyes took in the wonderful, impossible sight. The angels were indescribably lovely. They were afraid to look upon them, but they could not look away. The singing angel was in front of all the others; fair, with golden-brown curls and eyes the color of sea water. He looked straight at Joshua and Abigail as they crouched there on the ground, and he smiled at them.

Abigail: “Look! It’s Samuel! My boy!”

NARRATOR: Joshua saw that the singing angel was indeed his son—tall, strong and very much alive! As angels surrounded the stable, Samuel told them who the baby named Jesus was, and why He had come to earth. He told them that they, Joshua and Abigail, were an important part of this most holy of all nights, and that their life’s work was just beginning. Many would come, he said, who would want to hear the story of the birth of Jesus and record it for all time. They must remember, he said, all that they had seen and heard, and prepare for those pilgrims who would pass through their inn in the years to come.

Joshua and Abigail, still holding each other, heard the marvelous words and promises. The great star above now hung so close to the roof it seemed to perch there. The voices of the angels grew fainter as they began to drift toward the hills. Samuel smiled at his parents once more, then turned to go with the others. Abigail started to her feet, and put out her hand as if to stop him, but Joshua took her arm and pulled her back to him. Wordlessly, they clung to each other and wept tears of joy. Hand in hand, they walked to the stable.

As Joshua opened the door, they saw Mary peacefully resting in Joseph’s arms, and in her lap lay a tiny, perfect boy, his hands open like stars against her robe. All around the three was a soft golden light, and the various contented sounds of the animals in the stable made a counterpoint to the little tune Mary hummed to the baby.

She looked up as she saw Abigail, smiled and said, “How can I ever thank you? You’ve been like my own mother to me. Here, Abigail, hold him—he knows you.”

To Joshua’s great surprise and gratitude, Abigail took the baby from Mary and cuddled him close.

On that same night, in an uncharted land on the other side of the world from Bethlehem, Samuel and the angels appeared to others as foretold by the great prophets of that land. This event is recorded in Helaman 14:5-8: “And behold, there shall be a sign unto you. And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in Heaven. And it shall come to pass the whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life.”

May we all remember the reason for this season.

 

 

 

 

The Christmas Crunch

When the Christmas hustle-bustle

Makes every single nerve just rustle

And there isn’t time to make a list

To hold it tight within your fist—

Then take a breath and remember the reason for the season:

To love, to care, to share, to forgive, to help and to pray

That our foibles will be forgiven by the time our heads lay

Wearily upon our pillows, remembering our fears—

Remember this, and don’t be ashamed to show those tears;

They are the forgiveness we owe to ourselves

(With nothing at all to do with elves!)

Be at peace and know

That presents may come and presents may go—

It’s the people we love and who love us

That makes this Christmas the best with no fuss!