Tag Archives: holidays

A song for all the years

“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. Even though you grew up and found you could never quite bring back the magic feeling of this night, …

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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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Much is taken, much abides

“Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” — …

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To the sender

“While we tend to focus on the benefits of cards and letters to those who receive them, possibly the greatest benefit is to the sender…As I address and sign cards, I take a few moments to remember people who have played some role in my life, major or minor. I call to mind memories of …

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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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Substantive heroism

“Resilience, inventiveness, and survivorship– qualities often ascribed to great physicians– are reflected qualities, emanating first from those who struggle with illness and only then mirrored by those who treat them. If the history of medicine is told through the stories of doctors, it is because their contributions stand in place of the more substantive heroism …

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A festival season

Just after the death of the flowers, And before they are buried in snow, There comes a festival season, When nature is all aglow— Aglow with a mystical splendour That rivals the brightness of spring, Aglow with a beauty more tender Than aught which fair summer could bring…. (attributed to Emeline B. Smith, about whom …

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A logic all their own

“Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me…they made me want to believe.”  — Benjamin Alire Sáenz As incredible as it seems to me, the summer is already beginning to wind down.  The days are getting shorter and there have been a few touches of cool weather here …

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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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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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A slightly sour sweet

“Halloween wraps fear in innocence, As though it were a slightly sour sweet. Let terror, then, be turned into a treat…”  — Nicholas Gordon I’ve always wondered what it is in us that finds a small dose of fright so appealing.  Most of us don’t like truly horrifying or gory fare, but even little ones …

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Like poignant land mines

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell…Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years.  Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once.  A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.” — Diane Ackerman Tangerines smell like Christmas to me, just as onions sauteed …

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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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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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Joy is what happens

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” ― Marianne Williamson We don’t tend to think of airports as comfortable or happy places, but this video might change your mind.  During my years with USAir, I often thought how the airport gates were a setting that …

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Consolation brought me joy

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” — Psalm 94:19 Here in the northern hemisphere, December is the month of consolation, when the cold and decay of nature’s landscape are offset by the joys of celebration and gratitude.  Today we thank you for the cheer and solace of your kind thoughts, …

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Only with gratitude

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer Have you ever had a friend who seemed to give you much more than you gave her or him?  At times, we feel helpless ever …

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A child in every one

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight make me a child again just for to-night! ~ Elizabeth Akers Allen There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.— Robert Brault Perhaps no holiday brings back more childhood memories than Halloween.  The festivities of …

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A harmony in autumn

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!” — Percy Bysshe Shelley If I was absolutely forced to choose a favorite season, it would be autumn.  Even its name is more …

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Give freely and abundantly

“Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.” — Annie Dillard  Don’t count me among the cynics who think the holiday season is primarily a commercial enterprise.  I love the way people give each other gifts at this time of year.  Yes, there are too many …

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