Posted in christmas, Faith, family, Uncategorized

Happy Holidays

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s not surprising to see Christmas decorations going up in stores. While I think it’s a little too early, it has its intended affect on me. I start to get excited. And for young children and many adults, a long period of preparation and build up only leads to disappointment. So here are a few things that might help.

1. Find a good Advent reading guide and spend 10-15 minutes each evening reading Scripture as a family.

2. Discover Christmas traditions from other countries and pick one to try.

3. Find out how to say Merry Christmas in 10 other languages.

4. Look up where the word holiday (holy day) and Christmas (Christ mass) come from and discuss their meaning.

5. Learn one new Christmas Carol. Here is a link to my favorite new one. It’s especially poignant since my divorce. That’s Christmas to Me

6. With older kids, decide on one way to contribute to those in need not just at Christmas but all year long. Suggestions include tutoring younger kids, reading at the local library or to seniors.

7. Wrap baby Jesus from the nativity and unwrap him Christmas Eve while reading the Christmas Story. Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-14, Luke 2:15-20, Matthew 2:1-12, Luke 2:14

8. Start a tradition of playing your favorite game on the Saturday nights in December.

9. Bake cookies, make fudge, a cake, a pie whatever reminds you the most of your own childhood Christmas and pass it on.

10. Invite “strays” for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner. There any many people, including me, who may have nowhere to go to celebrate.

11. Write down a blessing each day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Each family member). Place them in a jar and read them on January 1st.

12. Find and go to a holiday concert or play. Many high schools have free concerts and community theaters may offer a low cost alternative to seeing a professional production. There are also community orchestras which are less expensive.

13. Find the best Christmas light displays in your community and make a photo scrapbook.

14. Hold a potluck and invite your friends to a Christmas Carol sing-a-long.

Whatever you do, share it with those you love and most importantly know this: it’s not how many gifts your children receive or how expensive they are. What they will remember are the memories you make together.

My girls in 1991 in dresses I made for them.

Posted in communication, Experience, family, Fun, Goal, Uncategorized, words, Writing

3rd Time the Charm?

camera

I signed up for informal education at UT. The beginning DSLR photography class began last Monday. The class isn’t too large but except for me and one man, no one in the class is over 30. I definitely felt singled out due to age. The instructor kept asking me if I was of understanding the technology. I realize I do remember things that most of the class have never even used. (cassette tapes, instamatic cameras, VHS tapes, phone book etc.) When the instructor mentioned ISO just the two of us had any idea what it was and how it was used. I always had ISO 100, 200 and 400 film on hand. I have a large box of negatives and boxes of photos.

I commented that with digital photography, I rarely have photos printed and because of that, I never really look at any of the memories I captured. My daughter did find a great app called Artifact Uprising. It is an easy to use app that allows you to upload photos of your choice and make great photo books. I’ve used one of the better known sites but I like the look and feel of the Artifact Uprising book better. I ordered a 5.5 x 5.5 soft cover photo book. I had photos from my three months in Tours, France but I wasn’t enjoying them because they were on my computer. I did it all from my Iphone too. You can go to their website Artifact Uprising Now I can enjoy my photos.

Since I titled this 3rd times the charm, it is because this is the 3rd time I’ve taken beginning DSLR photography. I hope this time it sinks in and I take the time to record memories and moments through pictures. Because when I am long gone, they will remain as a doorway into my life for future generations.

toursbook