Good grief, it’s almost Christmas


  “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?  Aaaaahhhhhh.” ~ Charlie Brown


 This photo may be a crude interpretation of a ping-pong table, but this is my creation for my mom’s memorial Charlie Brown Christmas tree this year.  As part of our new traditions, my brother, his family and I agreed to either make or buy an ornament that reminds us of a funny story of my mom.  Because this is the first Christmas without her, we will keep those funny memories alive by telling the story behind the ornament as we hang it on the tree.  I’m sure Charlie Brown would be proud.

Charlie Brown was determined to find the true meaning of Christmas and, after being dismayed by all the commercialism surrounding the holiday, he discovered that it is not about the presents.  Christmas isn’t a gift that you can unwrap, it’s a feeling that embraces you and warms you.   Christmas is sharing your heart with others and remembering those who cannot be with you.

This year, this is one of the many ways we will remember my mom.  This ornament reminds me of some of the best parts of my mother – her carefree attitude, her sense of humor and her zest for life, along with her quest to take ping-pong to a whole new level.  Although my heart may feel empty now, I know as we share some love and laughter during the holidays, my heart will once again be filled with joy and the spirit of the holiday.

My wish for all of you this holiday season is to find the same joy and happiness that I know I will find being with family and friends.  Christmas is about presence, not presents.  The spirit of the holiday is about spending time with the ones you love and allowing yourself to be cloaked in their hugs and saturated by their laughter.

The best of the holiday to all of you.

A Christmas Present for myself


I have reached an age that family, friends and I agree that spending a lot of money on each other at Christmas is no longer necessary.  The true spirit of the approaching holiday is about spending time together and not reaching too far into that budget to pay money for things that we don’t need.  We have adhered to that rule and the only money that exits my bank account over the festive season is for my nephews.

This year I blurred the lines a little and bought myself a gift.  It really has been a while since I splurged on something that may seem frivolous, but something I have wanted for quite some time.  So I opened the purse strings, threw caution to the wind and pressed that magical button on my computer screen.  What happened afterwards reminded me of how I felt as a child when I got that gift I had put at the top of my list for Santa.  In less than a month, I will be sitting 10 rows back from the stage to see The Tenors perform live.


(image credit:

If you are familiar with my blog, you will know how deeply I care about music.  I have eclectic tastes when it comes to my collection of tunes, but I am always drawn back to these voices.  The song they are singing in that video was co-written by my dear friend Kenny Munshaw, another very talented artist and songwriter, and the song was written to raise money for the Big Brothers / Big Sisters organization.  If you care to purchase the song on iTunes, fifty cents from each download goes directly to the organization.

The cost of this ticket in regards to my budget made me second guess my decision, but only for a fleeting moment.  I was made painfully aware today how short life can be by hearing of tragedies befalling a few families I know.  This is an opportunity that I don’t want to regret by not taking.  I may even get a chance to make it backstage after the show to meet Remi, Clifton, Fraser and Victor (and Darryn Neville!) and that will be the gift that will keep on giving.

Santa, you can scratch me off whatever list you had me on…..this year I got everything I wanted!