Last Weekend Open Comments

We are into the home stretch before crossing into 2014. I’m not one for navel gazing and looking longingly over the past year to review my wins and losses. I’d rather just walk casually across the line and begin the new year. The biggest concessions I make for the new year is to not go out into the madness known as New Year’s Eve, move out my last year’s files and put in the new year’s files, and I make a dinner that might be a little more geared toward the traditional New Year’s meal. I have a ham that needs to be thawed, and I plan on getting cabbage. I detest black-eyed peas, so I don’t fix those.

But in the theme of “last weekend,” why don’t we discuss “last things” in our lives. Nope, not what we are planning at the time of our demise, nor the world’s end times, but things we did for the last time. What things have you done for the last time? Why won’t you do it again?

I’ll start it off – when I was about 13, I took a drag off of my father’s discarded cigarette butt. That was the last time I EVER wanted to do that! It tasted disgusting.

So…I open the door, welcome you onto the Couch. Barf Kitty is happily sitting on her gallon size hot water bottle, and I’ll make tea if’n y’all so desire.

Friday Open Comments

I am amazed, yet again, by the whininess of our society. We have become so accustomed to having what we want, when we want, that when Christmas presents aren’t delivered on time it throws everyone into a tizzy.

Holy moley, people, your kids don’t get their gifts on time? Then teach your children how to handle disappointment. Explain how the world works. Tell them Santa got overloaded, and that magic only works so far.

I was having a conversation recently about the days after Ike, when we had an unseasonably cool front move through. Instead of stultifying humidity and heat, we had lovely cool nights and very comfortable days and families were checking into hotels because they had no electricity. I believe it’s because their darling’s little video devices wouldn’t work, and they had never learned how to entertain themselves.

What does it say about us when we are unable to have patience with life’s events? When “going with the flow” and “having patience” are just slogans and not skills?

Maybe if we taught our kids to turn off the screens, disconnect from the internet, and learn how to be by and with themselves, they’ll be better able to handle real life situations.

Maybe.

Merry Christmas

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Christmas Eve Open Comments

He stood alone,
Arms in hand,
With his brothers
In a foreign land,
‘Twas frosty and cold
This winter’s night
He stepped away,
Away into the night.

Crouching down
He bowed his head,
Gave thanks to God,
Then prayed for the dead,
His fallen buddies,
No longer around,
He wiped a small tear,
Then tried to calm down.

He looked to the sky
And found a bright star.
He smiled a small smile
And missed his guitar.
He used to play songs
To his children at home,
On this night of nights,
When he wasn’t alone.

Back at home his wife sang,
Put the children to bed,
Despite eager young eyes
And three stories read.
She sighed ever so softly
As the door closed,
She laid her head gently
Her emotions composed.

She stepped out of the house,
Away from the light,
And gazed longingly
Into the night.
There it was- the bright star!
It drew her bright eye
And imagined her loved one
Also watching the sky.

He missing her,
And she missing him,
But somehow they found a way
To be together again.
Love spans the miles,
On a magical night,
When the Savior was born,
And the star shone so bright.

His love unabounding,
He shares with us all,
Keep all in your prayers,
And heed Love’s great call.
The babe that was born
On Christmas Day,
Is the source of our life,
And keeps hate at bay.

Remember the loved ones,
Who are so far away,
Bless all those families
On whom burdens lay,
Share season’s spirit –
It’s not just the glitz
It’s the love that we share,
It’s the greatest of gifts.

Weekend Pre-Christmas Open Comments

Christmas is only a few days away, and I’m sure some of us on The Couch have yet to finish our shopping. Hubby’s finished his, since he relies on me to do the shopping for both of us.

He will be SOOOO screwed if I die. He might have to shop. Maybe. He’ll probably just give cash or gift cards. This is because he has no idea how to give gifts. The death threat I thought I had received my senior year of high school, while he was in college, was actually his attempt to send me flowers. I thought the three dead roses in a plain box was a message, but it was only his way of showing his love. /facepalm His mother sorely neglected his upbringing.

I’ve heard several radio shows talking about worst Christmas gifts. I must say, Hubby has had his share:

One year he was very pleased and excited to gift me with a garbage disposal. He thought I’d be very excited about it, because it was “top of the line”. I tried very hard to tone down my overwhelming elation. I believe I succeeded.

The next year, a huge box appeared next to the tree about two weeks prior to The Big Day. Hubby kept saying over and over how much I was going to love this gift. I will admit, the size of the box intrigued me. When Christmas morning arrived, he proudly pushed it over to me and I ripped it open to find….towels! A huge stack of bath towels. As Hubby delighted over them, I pulled them out one by one, thinking “More laundry, more laundry, more laundry…”

Knowing how close he’d come to certain death after the towels, he decided to play it safe the next year and ask me what I wanted. I didn’t want to know what I was getting, so I handed him a list of potential gifts from a catalog, telling him to pick one or two items and I’d be happy. I was quite taken aback when I found that he had purchased every item on the list. We couldn’t afford that. We really couldn’t. He thought he was playing it safe, but I spent months juggling bills so I could pay for that Christmas.

So, what were your worst Christmas gifts or experiences? You know, so the men bad shoppers on The Couch will have some hints about what NOT to do!

Christmas Song Graphic

The people at Time created this nifty graphic of Christmas songs.

(Graphic is interactive at the Time site)

The biggest quibble I have is that they seem to have gotten confused over Joy to the World, which is sung in just about every Catholic church as the recessional for Christmas mass. They either outsourced the graphic production to some exotic foreign land or were thinking about Jeremiah the bullfrog, who incidentally, was a good friend of mine although he was hard to understand.