Tag Archives: Christmas

While time stands still

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still.” — Rachel Cohn As I write this, snow is covering the ground for the second time in the past month. Two snows BEFORE Christmas? Unprecedented in the life of this southern woman. And very unusual for northern …

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A little at a time

“I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year.” — Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)  Even more than last …

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Like of each thing, 2016

This seems a most fitting post for me to re-blog, as I try to see through tear-dimmed eyes whatever gifts are there for me in this season of my life. Ann, the photo of Pasha is for you!  And Happy Birthday to my dear friend Nancy, whose home was always open to Jeff and me …

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The gift not yet opened, 2016

Hello everyone. Since I won’t be doing a Christmas tree this year, I thought I’d feature a photo of one from past years. If you have decorated a tree this year, feel free to send a photo to defeatdespair@verizon.net, and I’ll post it here. I hope you are finding some moments to enjoy this festive season. …

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The keeping-place

“Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.” — Joan Mills I couldn’t find anything about who Joan Mills was, but she must have had memories of Christmas that were similar to my own.  For me, no other time of year brings as deep a connection to childhood. Perhaps it’s the combination of scents, sights …

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Love, not money

“The Christmas tree is a symbol of love, not money. There’s a kind of glory to them when they’re all lit up that exceeds anything all the money in the world could buy.” ― Andy Rooney OK, for those of you who don’t already know it, I confess that our Christmas tree is WAY, way overdone.  I always …

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Gifts of time and love

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” — Peg Bracken I love Christmas!  But it can be exhausting and stressful, particularly when invitations, intentions and demands are far greater than the time (and maybe also the money) to fulfill them.  In recent years I have reminded myself to focus on the basic …

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The genial flame

“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. ”― Washington Irving Those who have been following this blog for over two years now will know that our family has so much for which to feel grateful this Christmas.  But there also have …

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Saving graces

“I can understand people simply fleeing the mountainous effort Christmas has become. But there are always a few saving graces and finally they make up for all the bother and distress.” — May Sarton If you’ve ever been to Rockefeller Center at Christmas, you know how magical it can be. Even if you don’t catch …

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Softer and more beautiful

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ” ― Norman Vincent Peale When you think of the holiday season, what words come to mind?  I’m afraid that too often, we think of words such as busy, excited, rushed, tired, pressured.  But no matter how many activities …

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So much happiness (2014 version)

“He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted the children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of homes, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk– …

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Better throughout the year

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder Do you have any favorite childhood memories of Christmas that bring you joy to this day?  I do, and I hope you do …

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Charity that returned

“All my life I have written letters – to our mother, our relatives, a wide circle of friends and acquaintance, to my husband, to you. Correspondence has always been as necessary to my happiness as a well-cooked dinner, and I’ve found it more sustaining for its generosity: an act of charity that returned to me …

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Let us remember

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms …

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In the company of children

“Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become entirely alive.” ― Robert Lynd This quote sounds charming, but I couldn’t help but laugh a little to recall how exhausted Jeff and I used to be during the years when Santa would visit our sons.  It always …

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An act of recollection

“The Polar Express was the easiest of my picture book manuscripts to write… Once I realized the train was going to the North Pole, finding the story seemed less like a creative effort than an act of recollection. I felt, like the story’s narrator, that I was remembering something, not making it up.” — Chris …

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Deep in December

“Deep in December it’s nice to remember Although you know the snow will follow Deep in December it’s nice to remember Without a hurt the heart is hollow…” — (Lyricist) Tom Jones, from The Fantasticks I grew up listening to this lovely song, and Jeff and I saw the staged musical on one of our …

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Sensations more painful

“There are few sensations more painful, than, in the midst of deep grief, to know that the season which we have always associated with mirth and rejoicing is at hand.” — Sarah Josepha Hale This week, a dear friend of ours lost her close and steadfast friend of over 37 years, after a courageous battle …

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All is bright

“All is calm, all is bright.” — Fr. Joseph Mohr, as translated by John F. Young Today I’m having to keep telling myself to take a few deep breaths and stay calm. Being so far behind on household tasks such as cleaning and bill paying, as well as trying to enjoy at least some of …

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A state of mind

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” ― Calvin Coolidge Now that Jeff is home, my days and hours are engulfed in happy busyness.  I can’t seem to let a day …

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Home for the holidays

“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays…” — Al Stillman As of last night, we are HOME.  Though we are exhausted, I can’t remember a time when we’ve been happier to be here!  Thanks for being here with us! One year ago today Like of each thing

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The summer of the soul

“A part of childhood we’ll always remember It is the summer of the soul in December…” —Paul Williams, from the song “It Feels Like Christmas” There’s a persistent misunderstanding that adults with autism or intellectual disabilities remain children all of their lives.  This is a convenient but often demeaning illusion for those who have a …

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So much happiness

“He went to the church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted the children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of homes, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any …

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This is where

This is the bright home in which I live, this is where I ask my friends to come, this is where I want to love all the things it has taken me so long to learn to love. This is the temple of my adult aloneness and I belong to that aloneness as I belong …

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Share to the full

“Let the children have their night of fun and laughter. Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play. Let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us…”  — Winston Churchill, in his Christmas Eve message of …

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