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To All My Christian And non-Christian Friends...

Tradition does not mean that the living are dead, it means that the dead are living." - Harold Macmillan

Tradition simply means that we need to end what began well and continue what is worth continuing” - Jose Bergamin

I heard the bells on Christmas Day; their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the word repeat of peace on earth, good-will to men!” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I was over at a friend's place the other day for supper, and we were doing some Christmas decorating. I had never thought of this before (strange as that may sound!), but it suddenly struck me that I have always "decorated" the way our family has traditionally decorated, and he wasn't doing it "my" way, curse him all to heck! Here was my epiphany, though. Not everyone decorates the way I do!! (duh!). I had to chuckle to myself when I realized what a simplistic and basic assumption that is, and how long it's lasted.

So, my friends, I hope you have a holiday period with traditions that you have shared with families and friends over the years, even though for a lot of them, probably no one knows or even cares how they started. Maybe you might start a new one or two of your own...who knows? It occurred to me that we stick to tradition, in a sense, out of a gentle stubborness. It "connects" this special season to all the ones that have gone before, and all the generations yet to follow, and so they become a part of this year's celebrations and memories.
I'll be alone most of the day on the 25th, but I have been invited out for supper. And you know, this year that doesn't bother me one whit, whereas it has in the past (The old "woe is me" routine). This year, because I'm going to be much more conscious of our "traditions", my forebearers, their neighbours, my neighbours and friends, whoever, will be joining me because of the candles, the lights and decorations, and toddy by the fire Christmas Eve (as soon as I finish this!). I look forward to it with as much anticipation this year as I used to have as a small kid who simply couldn't wait for Christmas!
Please understand, I don't mean this next part to be a downer...quite the opposite, although it easily could have been. What amazes and intrigues me now is that it was just about two or three months ago that I was very seriously and sincerely considering committing suicide (hence, partly, the drop-off in my blogs). Timing has a way of "interfering" (some call it "divine intervention"....I don't, but I understand why they do). Sometimes it's just karma or serendipity. Time to regain balance.
And so, here we are, my extended "family". For those who base your direction and belief structure on your religion, my thought for you is:

May God Grant You Peace And Grace This Season, And Through The New Year.

Curiously enough, it just so happens that is also exactly the same thought I offer everyone else too. I've discovered that you don't have to "believe" in God, or be "religious" in order to allow yourself the occasional prayer or two when necessary. He's an understanding guy, after all!

Moving on, the pictures that follow are some that I took around my house (inside and out). Just wanted to share some of them with you. (Left click on pic to see it in a decent size)

First of all, some inside pics:

My tree, and the Bethlehem star on the wall (you can't see it, but there's a creche on a shelf under the star, and also my cat is perched on the arm of the chesterfield beside the tree. She loves it there.)

Here's a better shot of the creche I was talking about, the tree is to the immediate left. Actually, it's three trees: two form a kind of archway in my front picture window, and then I shoved the "traditional" tree into the arch, making it look like one humungous tree.

A small table decoration, with the red tablecloth that only comes out for Christmas!

Do a 180 turn from the picture above, and this is what you'll see. It doesn't show very well, but there's a (huge!) garland on the railing, intertwined with mini-lights, and in case your curious, the "golden" wall with the picture is beside a half staircase leading to the family room with TV, stereo, fireplace, patio exit, etc.

My best "furry" friend in the whole world, perched on my polar bearskin rug, mesmerized by the fire. She loves it! She's in the family room that I mentioned above.

Sorry......I couldn't resist!!!

.......and now for a few outdoor shots:
Showing the outdoor lights and decorations (fairly standard, except tons of them...they don't nearly all show here!)

A closeup of the sign I have attached on the front of my house, to one side of my garage door...you can sort of make it out in the picture above. It can clearly be seen from the street, and I have a spotlight shining on it too, just in case! I just finished painting it today! While putting it up, three people stopped who were driving by, and two pedestrians, and said essentially "Thanks for the reminder. That's really what modern Christmas should be about" (my words...but the general gist of the conversations. It made me feel great!)

I thought this was a bit of an "artsy-fartsy" picture, looking at my inside tree while standing beside/under a humungous evergreen in my front yard. That's its trunk on the left.

This one doesn't show up too well, but in the lower right you can see the front concrete steps to my house. The star (huge, of course!) is hanging on the garage wall, the lights on the right are twisted around the porch railing, and you can't see it here, but there's a lit wreath hanging on the front door as well. (I don't want to see my power bill this month!)

........and, of course, what would one of my blogs be without my standard "sign-off"?

PEACE, my friends, now......throughout next year.....and forever.
"All we are saying is....
Give Peace A Chance."
-John Lennon

Great pictures! (I love your cat! :)) It's funny how important those holiday traditions become -- our house is up for sale this year, and our realtor told us to keep it free of clutter for showings. That has meant no decorations, no tree, no candles -- none of the things I usually look forward to bringing out this time of year. And I really miss them all!

I wish you peace and contentment... Merry Christmas, and I hope you enjoy your supper tonight! :)

Merry Christmas Rick!
I love your sign!!!!!!!!
Hmmmmm.....do you believe that immitation is the sincerest form of flattery?
Because I would relayy like to flatter you next year:)
Much love to you Rick & may 2008 be your best year yet!

Merry Christmas Rick & a Happy New Year!
I love your sign...I wish I would have thought of it first.
You did a wonderful job decorating! The fireplace looks so inviting!
I wish you peace and love this coming year...as long as health & prosperity.
I'm so glad I had the opportunity of adding you to my blog roll this year...and I look forward to a long blogging relationship. Blog on, Rick and Cheers from cold Canada!

Just dropped by to wish you well and hope that you're feeling okay.

Happy New Year Rick! I hope it finds you well..... :)

Come out...come out..wherever you are. Just let us know you're Okay...

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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