Goodbye Christmas

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If you visit you’d find no Christmas decorations, cookies, holiday songs in the background, and peppermint scent. (I feel bad for peppermint, since its only time to really shine is December.) If you turn on your radio, you won’t hear Christmas music. After listening for weeks they suddenly cut you off. Personally, I think they should gradually stop the songs. Perhaps just a few Christmas songs every hour.

We spend weeks or maybe months for some individuals preparing for the holidays. We plan meals and return to stores for ingredients we forgot the first time. We hope our best clothes or that ugly Christmas sweater looks presentable. There’s debate about who should get what. Perhaps even family arguments and conflicts occur with those you hardly see. (We secretly wish they’d perhaps leave the gathering sooner.) Christmas decorations are hung and they soon look part of the room. And the actual event takes place for just a few days.

Most people have traditions during the holiday season whether they realize it or not. Perhaps you spend a weekend picking the perfect Christmas tree in the woods. (I’ve never done that. I’m always reminded of the scene in the movie Christmas Vacation.) Maybe you view Christmas lights all over town. Maybe you cook certain foods only during the holiday. Our hearts pour out with goodness as we donate, share, and give.  Traditions and the it’s-Christmas-so-I-must-be-kind feeling makes everything special. The season may be over, but hopefully that cheer and goodness carries throughout the year.

Even though the season may be over, there’s still positive aspects. You can easily get a parking spot and won’t be waiting in long lines at the store. Those annoying Christmas songs vanish. Our schedules are back to normal. There’s no more delicious food to tease us, which we know shouldn’t be eaten.

We may say goodbye to Christmas, but keep that holiday spirit within you throughout the year. If you need a refresher, don’t be afraid to enjoy Christmas music anytime of the year. If you’re lucky maybe you’ve even saved holiday treats in the freezer. It comes just once a year, so hopefully yours was memorable.

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.

― Charles Dickens

Thankful Thoughts: Memories

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It’s approaching the holiday season and I think back to family traditions during this time. Today’s thankful thought is how wonderful it is to remember memories both good and bad. For some reason, the terrible moments at the time turn out to be the best memories. I still remember a family vacation at the ocean and it rained buckets. Thankfully, we weren’t camping and getting drenched. (Although, that happened before.) We sure got on each other’s nerves being in a tight cabin, but it still makes me smile as I watch past videos. I’ll share a memory from that experience.

We were staying in the Olympic National Park region, which is actually a temperate rain forest. It now makes sense with the raining buckets. We were at the stage of getting bored and crazy since we were in a small space. Oh, and there was no television to just pop in a video and pass the time until the rain stopped. So, my family decided to visit the Big Cedar Tree. Yes, there’s even a highway sign that states Big Cedar Tree. So of course we had to check this out and it turned into our activity for the day. We bundled up into our rain gear and ran to the automobile. We arrived at the Big Cedar Tree and my sisters and I huddled inside the tree  from getting wet. Overall, it was a fun family outing. It’s now the family joke to mention to others to visit the Big Cedar Tree if they’re near the location.

This photo shows somewhat of the tight cabin space.

Here are some photos at Kalaloch Beach. Of course, these photos are an example of  wonderful weather. Although, even stormy and windy weather can be fun…watching from a distance and inside where it’s warm.