Gratitude Sunday: Keeping The Magic In Christmas

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.


Sunday Haiku
Pure, white, clean, changes
how everything looks, hides some
imperfections now.

Sunday Musings
Yup! Next Sunday is the big day at our house and I’m not ready. The Sunday after that is the family party and I’m not ready for that either. One of the stories of my life: I’m not ready. And that’s despite trying.

I’m not good at following rules. I’m really good at questioning authority. Whatever label you put on that combination they haven’t helped much in meeting a minimum standard of living. Couple that with generational poverty and the societal barriers of trying to achieve a middle-class existence. I was flattered this week when an adviser told me I already live a frugal life and would be hard pressed to find more corners to cut. She also showed me other financial news I was expecting but did not want to face. The truth is for the rest of my life it is doubtful I will make ends meet and retirement “security” is even more elusive. That’s not to mean I still can’t make something happen to change that picture. As the adviser said, “You had a great plan.” So there it is: plans change and it’s time to come up with another great plan.

My default mechanism is whining and complaining, topped with moaning and groaning, and a fair piece of kicking and screaming. Often that’s how I find a solution, it’s just not a very cheery path. Since this is a cheery time of year, I have to be careful how I talk to people. I’ve taken a long time to learn mostly it’s better to keep my mouth shut. I don’t know if that is betraying my true self, but I think I’m getting old enough not to care much either way any more.

I am at a complete loss for ideas for gifts for my guys. Usually by this time in the season I at least have some idea and a plan for the shopping part if necessary. This year? No such luck. And you know I hate to shop just to shop. We aren’t a BIG gift household anyway so it looks like I am going to have to get really creative. I’ll figure out how to make some kind of magic happen and the deadline is upon me. Perhaps I will stick a bow on my head and sleep under the Christmas tree, so in the morning I will be the gift I give to my family. I think they are pretty lucky to have me. I’m sure glad to have them.

To complicate the gift challenge the Portland Metro area keeps having snowy, icy, and cold weather events. Valley Oregonians do not do snow well. One and a half inches of snow can cause a city-wide gridlock, even with 4 wheel drive rigs and chained tires. I don’t go out in it if I can avoid it.

I take advantage of the cold days by bundling up and buckling down. I need some kind of part time income and with my physical challenges I have to be creative on producing that income. As long as I have any kick left to me I will have to do work of some sort to get one end somewhere near the other, at least near enough they can wave at each other. No life of luxury, no retirement in ease for this old girl. Creativity might become my other middle name.

How blessed are people for whom all those good plans work. The ones America was made for. The opportunists and hard workers whose choices click and give them profit and success. I am grateful it works for some of us. I am sad it does not work for all of us. I am sad America doesn’t have social policy to help the ones who experience challenges despite good choices and best efforts. I get tired of having to think all the time (especially when I’m already tired from pain and illness) about money: how to make it and the most frugal ways to use it. I don’t mind being frugal, I’ve lived a simple lifestyle (read: low-income level according to American standards) for many years. I would just rather be able to save some of it. In this society you always need money. The future is only going to cost us more. And living is about so much more than money.

I have a week. Somehow I will make Christmas happen. Santa and women make magic from energy. There will be packages under the tree. Santa will come sometime in the middle of the night Christmas Eve and fill those medium sized stockings with all manner of neat stuff and yummy candy. There will be paper ripping and ribbon tossing and thank yous all around. It’s a woman thing; we make the magic happen. Especially when we put ribbons in our hair and sleep under the tree.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – It’s mostly white around here this week. Fat fluffly flakes layer frozen white lace on backyard trees. dscn9661 Neighbor’s shed roof makes a clean white slate ripe for snow art. dscn9739 Thaw and freeze, thaw and freeze, dimples like wind on sand. dscn0390

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Season 2 of Gotham (2015, TV series rated TV-14), an intense version of the teen-aged Bruce Wayne, before he becomes Batman. * In the spirit of the season: White Christmas (1954, not rated) the classic with Bing and Danny and Rosemary, the colorized one. I remember watching it when I was a kid after they put it on TV on the old black and white TV set Dad had. He wouldn’t watch it with us. * Christmas with the Kranks (2004, rated PG), with Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, from the novel Skipping Christmas (2001, fiction) by John Grisham. The Kranks cancel Christmas, then have to hustle when it is suddenly back on at the last minute. Mayhem and hilarity.


Currently ReadingThe Snow Child (2012, fiction), by Eowyn Ivey, is a story of loss set in 1920s Alaska, then odd events begin to happen. * Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die: Death Stories of Tibetan, Hindu, and Zen Masters (1997, Buddhism) by Sushila Blackman. Interesting what people say and what others record when one is at death’s door.


This week I have been grateful for:

  • Having no appointments to keep or cancel when the snow arrived.
  • Being inside and warm when the temperatures dipped.
  • Warm sweaters, thick socks, and fat blankets.
  • Hot cocoa and buttered toast.
  • The pretty little bird who danced around in the snow on the front deck eating the seeds from the weedheads poking above the snow. Little moments of natural joy.
  • The brain still working a bit.
  • Waking up every day.
  • Looking forward to the solstice this week and the return of the sun.
  • Remembering simple is often better.
  • No damage during the recent weather event.
  • The deep cold we are having and hoping it lasts just long enough to kill the bugs that have wintered over the last several years, especially the ants.
  • Leftovers, for lazy days.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.


Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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2 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: Keeping The Magic In Christmas

  1. piratesorka says:

    I have been housebound since last Wednesday first due to snow and ice ( I was dismayed to discover I forgot my old boots were tossed out a year or so ago) Saturday and Sunday found me housebound because I have pulled a serious muscle or such in my left cheek (and I do not mean my face) Now I hobble about like Baba Yaga. OY! Such pain I have! Oy Vey! So like yourself I have no idea what I am doing about Christmas gifts and zilch idea when I will be mobile enough to walk the distance from my door to my car… Good thing I see my doc tomorrow!


  2. sassy kas says:

    Good luck with it all, my friend. Don’t take chances. Christmas isn’t worth falling and causing more damage. I am well versed in that pain in the patootie you are experiencing, mine never goes away any more, despite the exercises, hot packs, and ibuprofen. I get the joy of both sides hurting from the sciatic nerve damage. Every step in pain signifies still being alive!


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