Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I hope you all are enjoying the holidays whether it is Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas or another holiday. As we move into a New Year, I find it is always a time to sit back and reflect. What did I accomplish this year? Am I on track for my personal or professional goals going forward? Have I made a difference this year?

In that spirit, I share a few things both serious and lighthearted:

  1. Regardless of how you feel about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the reality is that we have real people working on behalf of us to defend our country. These soldiers are away from their families and loved ones sacrificing to do what they believe will keep us safe. In that spirit, I recently adopted a soldier so that I could hopefully let them know that we are thinking about them. Here is a good local site for that –http://cornbread.wil92.com/adoptsoldier.
  2. And, here is a great story about a bank that gave their employees $1,000 to “pay-it-forward” and do something good for someone else. They received video cameras to record the event and to share with their colleagues. What a great, creative idea for the holidays. One company and 500+ people making a difference.
  3. My uncle recently e-mailed this to me (so I can’t validate its legitimacy, but it makes a good story) and in the spirit of the holidays, I share it. It is the translation of the famous song about the 12 days of Christmas. (If it’s not true, it’s very creative.)

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: The surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

  • The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
  • Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
  • Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
  • The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
  • The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
  • The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
  • Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit-Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
  • The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
  • Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
  • The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
  • The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
  • The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.
  • To stay lighthearted for a minute (and as a parent), I also got a smile out of this letter to Santa that someone sent me.

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good mom all year. I’ve fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor’s office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son’s red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I’ll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I’d like a pair of legs that don’t ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don’t hurt, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

If you’re hauling big ticket items this year I’d like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn’t broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, “Yes, Mommy” to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don’t fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting “Don’t eat in the living room” and “Take your hands off your brother,” because my voice seems to be just out of my children’s hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it’s too late to find any of these products, I’d settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don’t mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back.

Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don’t catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don’t eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,
MOM

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