Christmas Is Almost Here

As those of you who follow my blog know this is not my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving takes that honor.

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I suffer from inflated expectations that Christmas can usually not live up to. I guess I’m a victim of too many Christmas Holiday movies. I want Christmas in Connecticut in my own life. I did own and wear a pair of boots when I was in college exactly like the ones that Barbara Stanwick wore in the movie. When we downsized recently, I finally parted ways with the boots that had lived in the top of my closet for way too many years.

The other thing I suffer from at this time of year is the glaring differences between the haves and the have-nots. My family and I are blessed to be among the haves. But I see that gap and it makes me feel guilty. Oh, we give a substantial amount to charities, but that never quite assuages that guilt.

So no, this isn’t my favorite holiday.

Christmas is a religious holiday and that part is fine.

Just as Hanukkah is a religious holiday.thCV6ATN5Q

Over the years we’ve muddied the waters with all the secular part.

Kwanza is more of a secular holiday, but celebrates values we could all get behind.

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Occasionally, Ramadan falls at the same time as these other occasions. Personally, I love it when that happens. It’s like God is laughing at us for all our divisions. It’s like God is saying, ” See,I’m really in charge.”

Sometimes when your life is falling apart or your country is (thinking of those poor souls in Syria), finding your belief that God (in whatever way you think of God) is in charge must be terribly difficult.

What about the Jews during the Holocaust? Don’t you know they must have felt forsaken by God?

And then there are all the folks who’ve gone on and aren’t with us anymore. Yeah, the emotions just run too high and too close to the surface for my comfort.

You may think that’s a strange statement coming from a romantic suspense author, but I am a control freak and that includes my emotions. As an author, I’m the one in control, but Christmas plays havoc with that need for control.

I never know where I’m going when I start typing a blog. ( don’t pants my books, but I do this blog.) This one has turned a bit blue like the Elvis Presley carol, “It’ll Be a Blue Christmas Without You.” Christmas or whatever you celebrate this time of year is such a mixed bag of joy and sorrow.

Must turn to something more positive.

How about all the cookies? I love cookies. I usually make mincemeat cookies at Christmas using a recipe that’s based on one of my Grandmother Riegert’s. But I can never eat just one cookie. Since I started eating healthy again a week and a half ago (Thank you, God.), I’m not going to make them this year. Nor am I going to pursue finding the thin ribbon candy I remember Grandma having in her home. (Thanks to FB friends who pointed me to websites to find it.) Maybe next year, when I’ve lost weight again and have a better handle on healthy eating habits.

Grandma Riegert’s Hermits Cookies

¾ cup shortening (I use vegetable oil)

1 ½ cup Brown sugar

1 tsp salt

2 eggs 2 Tablespoons water

2/12 cups flour sifted with 1 tsp baking power & 1 tsp baking soda dissolved in    1/3 cup boing water

1/3 cup milk

1 cup chopped nut meats

I cup Raisins (I use 1 cup of Mincemeat)

Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-13 minutes

Here it is in her writing. Cool that I still have this.

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Somehow with all the hustle and bustle we need to find time to be good to ourselves. Cut ourselves some slack with our expectations. (I’m writing more about that on the SOS blog tomorrow.  https://sisterhoodofsuspense.com/blog/

So how about you. Is this your favorite holiday? What do you like best about it? Are you ready for this year’s holiday?

Next week we’ll talk about New Year’s resolutions and celebrations. I’d love to hear from you.

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7 responses to “Christmas Is Almost Here

  1. Hi Marsha, I enjoyed your thoughtful post. It makes a refreshing change to stop pretending that Christmas is a time of unalloyed joy. There’s so much that can go wrong – overspending, over-eating, drinking too much around family members you hardly ever see (because that’s the only way to cope with them 🙂 ) And remembering Christmases past that you spent with people who are no longer here is very, very hard.
    In general, though, I like the actual day (not so much the build up) and I love Boxing Day. That for me is a great day to relax and enjoy being with my family.
    Wishing you and your family a very happy and peaceful Christmas x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Helena. I just heard an explanation of Boxing Day. Was it on your blog? Anyway, I thought it was interesting that AFTER Christmas the lords of the manner gave gifts to the servants. We still carry on that concept with giving extra money to service people who help us, but usually before. Unless we get too busy and it happens after. Loved your comment about drinking to cope with some family members. I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and fun Boxing Day. Love those after Christmas sales. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Susan. Sorry if I depressed you. 😦 I just find Christmas a bit angsty, Check out my post on the SOS blog tomorrow. It’s a tad uplifting. Wishing you and your beautiful family a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for always being here for me.

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  2. Hi, Marsha! Christmas is my favorite holiday. I find hostessing Thanksgiving angsty even with help. This year, 27 people came. And we’d been at the company conference the week before. Therefore, this Christmas, I left out some decorating. Not my usual operandi, but letting go of that small bit was quite relieving. Next year will be better. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Vicki, Good grief! 27 people! Wow that’s more than a houseful!! No wonder it’s a bit angst-making. Glad you cut back on the Christmas decorating. That’s what I talk about on our SOS blog tomorrow. Important to cut yourself some slack. Thanks so much for stopping by. Hugs back.

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  3. Well-said. The truth. I think we get all caught up in the busyness and forget what the meaning of Christmas is. I believe God sent Jesus to us to teach us about His love and forgiveness. It’s too bad all the fal-de-ral (commercialism) has to surround and often smother that act of love for us. So glad the Christmas Eve services put things in perspective. (I liked your line about God laughing about how each religion celebrates their own way. I wish we could each learn more about the other’s ways so we could come together and be more tolerant). Christmas is a bittersweet time with the feeling of loss, but also the joy of having those special folks in our lives. Wishing you the joy, peace, love and hope of the Christmas season and in the New Year!

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