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Simple traditions

As most of you know this is my favorite time of year. It is a time when Christmas lights are visible around every corner, Christmas music is piped through every store, and the magic of giving is present under the tree. It is a time to get together with friends and family from near and far. To catch up over drinks and cookies. Oh how I love the smell of Christmas cookies and finding my one favorite still on the plate. It is also a time that I get to rock my Christmas pants and Santa poncho. I have enough Christmas pants to wear one or maybe even two every day until Christmas. It is also a time when some of my favorite things happen, the stories while decorating the Christmas tree, looking at all the lights, and sharing moments with friends and family but most of all finding that perfect gift for those I love.



Photo: me rocking my christmas pants with candy canes.  The spirit of Christmas is everywhere in the picture from my red believe shirt to my Santa poncho.
Rocking my Christmas pants

Hanging with my car buddy


In addition to the stories that we tell about the Christmas ornaments while decorating the tree inside, we put up blow-up decorations outside. I even have a snowman buddy for the car. Just recently he was my sounding board for my presentation. People must have thought I was nuts, talking to a blow-up snowman in my car.


Photo: me in the car sitting next to my blowup carbuddy snowman.  He has the biggest smile and is waving to all the passerby's spreading Christmas cheer.
Chillin in the car

Outside decorations


Every year we get a new blowup. This year's addition was Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus. I love it when mom pulls them all out and arranges them in their special place. We have Minnie and Mickey, Santa and his elves, a 7-foot unicorn, Snoopy, Olaf, and Kevin, the 10-foot minion.


Photo: colorful display of my Christmas blowups outside my house.  First there is Olaf, my very first, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus (they are 7 foot tall),  Snoopy waving his cChristmas cheer.  Santa and his eleves wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Micky and Minnie standing in front of a 7 foot pink Unicorn.
Merry Christmas from my house to yours

Hi Kevin


I love the moment when mom turns on all the blowups and our yard comes to life. It's funny cause Mom sends Dad out to buy me a new one every year so it is always a surprise the following year what he was able to find. That’s how I got the unicorn and minion. There is never a rhyme or reason, it is whatever he finds.


Photo: Kevin the 10 foot Minion.  In this picture it looks like he is staring right at you as if he is posing for the camera.
Dad, His name is Kevin!

Rocking out in the car


As soon as Halloween is over, I put my Christmas CD in the car. It is like visiting an old friend. I sing the songs at the top of my lungs. This CD is not your typical Christmas CD, it is Now That's what I call Christmas. There are three CDs in the collection but honestly, I have never listened to the other two CDs. Every year I say I will listen to them but somehow I never get around to listening to them. Maybe this will be the year. Who knows, stranger things have happened. I don’t think though Dad will tolerate listening to the same CD for our annual trek to Nana’s. But he does like one of the songs. Every time he hears it he says it sounds like an Irish tune, it's called The Fairytale of New York, that he should know it. Like he somehow knows all the Irish songs.


Photo: of the CD Jacket cover.  Inside there are two unlistened to CDs.  Says NOW That's what I call Christmas.
I think this will be the year to listen to the other two CDs

What is your tradition?


I enjoy learning about what other people do for their traditions. Lisa and her family have Christmas crackers. These are not the kind you eat but they look like little presents with a joke, crown, and trinket. They pop, like a firecracker when you open them. For years I was doing it all wrong and only recently found out that you are supposed to open the cracker with a friend. You each take and end and pull. The person holding the largest end gets the prize. This continues until everyone has a prize and is wearing their crown. Another friend buys nutcrackers and Christmas mugs for her three boys. I think it was her way to share her love of nutcrakers with her boys so that they too would have a tradition that they could continue with their families.


Photo: me pulling the Christmas Cracker form England.  I am holding the larger piece which means I won the trinket inside.
The prize is mine!

Gather at Nana's


Many years ago when my Nana lived closer we would gather on Christmas Eve at her house. The house would be full of Christmas cheer, food, and cookies. It was an open house of sorts. Their friends would stop by and we would get to chat and meet these people who were important in their daily lives. We would catch up and make promises to keep in touch. The best part though was we got to open one present from under the tree on Christmas Eve. I love getting together with family during the holidays. Now we go to Nans's house in Florida. Turns out my mom always went to her grandma's house for Christmas. I guess you could say we are keeping the tradition alive!


Photo: this is an old photo from around 1975.  It is Christmas at my great Grandmothers house..  My mom was about 12 years old.  All my aunts and uncles are gathered around the Christmas tree.
Christmas Past! This is my mom (can you find her?), aunts and uncles. At Grandma's house.

It's hard to shop blind!


The hardest part for me is shopping. You may think what are you crazy, you shop all the time. Yes, I love shopping but it is so much easier when the person that is shopping with you buys what they need or want. There have been many Christmases where I missed the mark. I remember one year Mom told me about this black and white sweater with swirly lines on it that she liked. She carefully explained where in the store it was located so that when I went shopping with my assistant I could find it. Well, I found what I thought was the right sweater, It was black and white with stripes but it turned out it was not the one she wanted. It is so frustrating to not be able to see. I figured out that everyone has different ideas of what they think is a beautiful sweater. To avoid that problem, Mom takes a picture for me to show whoever is with me to shop to make sure that I get what she wants. Every year though she tells me I don’t have to get her anything that I am her present. But it always feels weird to have so many thoughtful gifts under the tree and not have anything for her. Dad says the same thing but this year I thought I would give him exactly what he wants—an empty box filled with nothing.


Photo: my dad in his JETS santa hat and me decked out from head to toe in red Christmas dress with faux white fur on the sleeves and at the hem.  We are standing in front of the Christmas tree.
He just wants the JETS to win! Maybe next year!

Believe



It doesn’t matter what your tradition is or even if you don’t have one. What is important is that you allow the magic of Christmas to fill your heart and enjoy the simple things of family, friends, and Christmas lights. I would love to hear about some of your traditions. and to remind everyone it is the simple things that make Christmas magical. I will leave you with another of my favorite traditions and that is the reading or watching of the Polar Express. "Seeing Is Believing, But, Sometimes, The Most Real Things In The World Are The Things We Can't See."


Photo: Where it all started, my first Christmas.  I am smilling from ear to ear with a twinkle in my eyes.  I aam wearing a red and green plaid dress with velvet collar and ribbing.
My first Christmas!


Thank you for reading until the end!


This is the view from my wheelchair, where miracles can make a difference. Always Strive for the Impossible. Come back next week to hear about my Christmas gift suggestions and how my BIG presentation went and The View From My Wheelchair.


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