Category Archives: Holidays

Portland Gay Pride Parade 09

Gay Pride 09

Gay Pride 09

Gay Pride 09

Gay Pride 09

Gay Pride 09

Gay Pride 09

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Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday?

As Christmas draws near and I see the decorations, watch people frantically buying gifts, and hear the special music that is played only at this time of year, I realize once again that Christmas is really just a big birthday party. It is a celebration of the birth of Jesus where everyone gets gifts.

It reminds me of the passage in the book and movie Having Our Say: The Delaney Sister’s First 100 Years. There is a part in this true story where the sisters, who are over 100 years old, invite family and friends over every year and have a birthday party for their papa even though he passed away decades ago. They make his favorite dishes and sit around the table reminiscing about their papa and how much he meant to them. It is a way of keeping papa alive in their hearts and minds, and it is also a way to pass down their papa’s teaching and life lessons to future generations of Delaneys.

In a way, Christmas is like the Delaney’s Birthday Party. We come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus and hopefully take some time during Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to reflect on what he means to us and how his teachings and life lessons impact our lives. It is also a day to eat, dance, sing, and just have a great big party.

If you read the New Testament, you will definitely see that Jesus loved to socialize, and he appreciated a good party. All those somber drawings of Jesus don’t really tell the whole story of his life. Let’s see the drawings of him dancing during the wedding feast at Cana or enjoying a good dinner at the home of Peter’s mom. I want to see the drawings of Jesus being athletic and having boat races with his apostles on the lake. I want to see drawings that not only show Jesus’ godliness, but also his humanity.

Ok, that is enough religious stuff for now. Hey, it is Christmas, and I’m allowed to go into religion a little bit on this day. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday!

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Traditions

I’ve been thinking about all of the rituals or traditions that my family keeps during the holidays. While growing up we always opened our presents on Christmas Eve. Mom would make a nice roast, and after dinner we would gather around the Christmas tree and listen to dad read the Christmas story out of the bible. As a kid I really didn’t pay much attention to the story because I was more curious about how many of those boxes under the tree were mine and what they had in them. After opening presents we were allowed to play for a little while until we had to go to bed and take a nap before midnight mass. Around 11:00 our sleep would be promptly interrupted, and we would dress in our finest clothes in order to head to church for the midnight mass that would last for at least an hour, if not two.

Christmas morning brought with it a flurry of activity. I come from a large family of five where I was the youngest, so on holidays everyone would come home with their kids in tow. Grandma and grandpa would come and bring a great big plate of homemade cookies and fudge. This plate would include fig pinwheels, divinity, and peanut clusters. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We would have a couple different meats to choose from, mom’s famous homemade rolls, and lots of pies and cakes for dessert. After lunch we would go for a walk or play some type of sport in the yard with the nieces and nephews. At dinner we would snack on leftovers and lounge around the living room or den.

Why am I blogging about this? Because it has been on my mind. Last night I heard a guy talk about a New Year’s Day tradition and it got me to thinking about all the different holidays and all the different traditions that I hold dear. I think we need holidays to look forward to in life. Holidays mean something special and something different. Holidays give us an excuse to stop focusing on the everyday things of life and for a brief time focus on family and refocus on what is important in life. They bring with them different decorations for the house, different social events, and different foods. I think we need holidays, and they are an essential part of a healthy life. Happy Holidays!

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Thanksgiving

After several days of rain and gloomy weather, the sun decided to make an appearance this morning. I am outside on the deck writing this because I don’t want to miss any opportunity to soak up the rays. The sky is clear, and the temperature is mild. I would head out to the beach but the news says that the highways headed that way are closed because of water and mud slides. Maybe I will take a trek toward Mt. Hood.

It is hard to feel down and depressed these days because of the weather or the fact that I don’t have a job yet. I feel so blessed and fortunate this year that I don’t really concentrate on the couple of things I don’t have. I’m not meaning to brag, but I do feel fortunate this year because of the following reasons:

1. Boyfriend. My boyfriend is the best boyfriend ever. We connect on several different levels, and I think he would agree that it just feels and is right. I have searched a long time for him, and I appreciate him a lot.

2. House. I closed on my house in Tulsa on August 5th, just a month and a half before the market went bust. I got a really good price for my house. Yeaaa!

3. Northwest. I’m living in the Pacific Northwest, how incredibly cool is that. I never thought I’d live on the West Coast, and now here I am. Wow!

4. Portland. I not only live in the Pacific Northwest, but in Portland. I live a little over an hour from the beach, a little over an hour from skiing, I have huge parks full of hiking trails, tons of stores and events. Yep, Portland is very nice.

5. Exercise. I am getting a fair amount of exercise living in Portland. We bike all around Portland, and I have made a commitment to do Yoga at least once a week. I’m toning up and feeling better. Life is good.

Well, that is the short list of the things I am thankful for as I head into the Thanksgiving season. Yep, I don’t have a job and the weather can be dreary. Honestly, it is just a matter of time for me to get a job, and the weather every once in a while gives us a very sunny day like today. All and all, I am very happy. Life is for the living, so I better get off this computer and go find me some living to do today.

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