UPDATE December 14, 2016 LIfelong arts and response work with red cross and others, my experience of Operation Hope Shelter for Homeless, in Fairfield Connecticut USA was unique.
Among other things, at the end of my involvement there, there was this quilt: made from "Bits and Pieces" of fabrics used to decorate the place, to alter clothing for residents needing to look good on job interviews etc... Lives whole again, once bits and pieces - as life will do- it's symbolism and being were so intense that only Monday, TWENTY years later, did it find it's home as a gift to the founders of the project. READ ON:
Freezing - just freezing - and we were delighted! Soon it would be 1966, temps around 30 with significant wind chill that year, made no impression on us!
We two were in love! We laughed, thrilled with any excuse to hug close. And so the weather was our friend, as we emerged from the parking garage. The weather only added to the excitement of the evening and the thrill of being in New York City's Times Square for New Years Eve!
Peter Hollen and Jackie Evancho sing a pretty a capella version of Leonard Cohen's iconic "Hallelujah" - this year at YouTube for the holidays ......find it if you can. I think I wrote this "Variation on the Theme" for a memorial to the author's passing this November 7th
Controversy over the origin of the Famous Winter Holiday Song
By RUSS BYNUM, Associated Press Writer
- Dashing in the sun, through oaks and Spanish moss. Sleigh riding's no fun, when there's no snow to cross. Could "Jingle Bells" really be a song of the South? It's not hard to see why balmy Savannah has a tough time selling the Christmas carol as a native creation. Or why the claim makes folks in Medford, Mass. _ hometown of the song's composer _ cry humbug.
The historic old church's Nativity Scene was brought out to be set up for its fiftieth Christmas,but the group was very worn-looking and needed repair and restoration. Most Certainly! It was clear that the group was much loved by the people and so I just loved it, too. Later that year came the easy opening to ask Father if I might restore the figures, to say thank you for the community support for me while healing from an injury. I had the interest and love and skills.
You're all familiar with the Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" I think. To most it's a delightful nonsense rhyme set to music. But it had a quite serious purpose when it was written. It is a good deal more than just a repetitious melody with pretty phrases and a list of unique gifts.
Written in 2002, this little true story recalls earlier days:
Christmas at our childhood home, in the 50's and 60's was always filled with love and energy, church and community, and special family experience. Mother's eleven siblings, Father's seven...family visits took all twelve days! Both loved all the traditions and observances, especially at the Winter Holidays. And one that made history.
Ohhhh! the preparations might have eclipsed the actual events, but never did - not once.
The Krustiki-making at Holidays! The heavenly sweet wafer crisps! The image on this page is of the irons used to make them - passed to me from my Mother, from her Mother, and one day to my daughter. It's not just a treat - it's a life thing and for the love.
No matter how much we love the Winter Holidays with all the trimmings, there is the validity of Christmas 'stocking stuffers' - a refreshing escape from the "too-much-ness" of things. Stocking stuffers and similar "little-gift" observances renew the awareness that the true holiday spirit is a small and shining moment that connects people in light ! A funny little thing can be like that!
True family winter story - first published in 2004
Both of our two childhood homes and neighborhoods were classic: this one, in 1959, was part of my Mother's inheritance from her Father. In happy and prosperous times, she and my Father remodeled it completely, and he carved her name in a heart on the foundation. Respectable property with vegetable garden, iconic local flowers and fruit trees, and , on the fence Mother and neighbor Julia Mills grew concord grapes and there was jam-making every summer! There were huge maples and oak with a swing always tied to its branches, and evergreens to tantalize us with promise of Christmas, all year long!
Growing up with seven Irish uncles , one dolly auntie, "The Chief" their Da and his Else our Grammie, who was the true power, there was exultation in the popularity of Bing Crosby and several others of the Irish persuasion and their take on the winter holidays - "White Christmas", "Christmas in Connecticut" , "Christmas in Killarney" and more shared the grand heart with our fine-hearted family. Sharing here, once more in their memory.
Legend - fable - fiction - 2006 - from "A Christmas Stocking" by Louise Betts Egan
On that first Christmas, it is said, the night was wrapped in a bitter chill. The small fire in the stable was nearly out, Joseph had gone for food and the new Mother Mary worried that her baby would be cold. She turned to the animals about her and asked them for help.
On Christmas Eve, at our home in the 50s and 60s, holiday preparations focused on the Nativity Scene arranged atop the shiny mahogany music center top - sight and sounds of recorded or radio holiday music, glows in memory even 50 years later. How we teamed well for a change, to help set it all up, with Mother in charge: cotton mat for snow and the wooden stable, with the lighted star at top; the icons in plaster and paint, with all but one of the figures set. For days, we'd visited the scene with a prayer and anticipation, gazing longingly at the empty manger like the Mary and Joseph and all the other figures .