Tag Archives: Christmas

Merry Christmas All and To All a Good Night~ Elvis Has Left the Building

26 Dec

“Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it — you feel it. You know it. You believe it.”

~Kevin Alan Milne


The house is always joyous and exciting on Christmas morning when there are little ones. The girls slept a little less ne’er than usual this morning, mostly because they both did some crying, and waking during the night. Everyone is still sick. This includes Gamma.

But, we all managed to open mounds of presents and throw wrapping paper all around. This is my beautiful family. I am truly blessed.

We all went to lunch at a local Chinese restaurant as per tradition.

” Where’s the food, folks! I’m getting hungry.”

After lunch, it was a perfect day for a walk. Who would ever think that the Chicago area would be sunny and in the 50’s on Christmas Day? I don’t think anyone was disappointed that there was no white Christmas.

We spent a couple of hours making Christmas cookies. There’s a funny story that goes along with that. I’ll have to save that for tomorrow.

Now, the children are nestled and snug in their beds while the grown ups are watching tv and shaking their heads, “All this commotion for one day?” Yes, and making new memories and following old traditions,

Back to the real world. And, I guess my last day of Elvis on the Shelvis.

Elvis has left the building. Merry Christmas from Elvis on the Shelvis…

Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Night

26 Dec

“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 Christmastime.”

― Laura Ingalls Wilder


Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful day. I spent the day with my family. It was so fun to watch Belle open her presents and drive in her Little Tykes car. I got to hold the baby and enjoy a lot of quality Gamma time.

Montage Merry Christmas Monday:) A Week In A Peek

26 Dec

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

~Andy Rooney


Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. I hope your Christmas was merry and bright. Mine was.

Another wonderful week with friends and family, baking, cooking, and crafting. A week of kissing babies, and hugging family, unwrapping presents and thanking God for His blessings.

Sunday Sermon and a Merry Christmas~ a Good Way to Start Your Day 

26 Dec

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”


Christmas morning was very special to me, not because of piles of presents, lights, and decorations, but because of family. I spent Christmas Eve and day with my two sons, daughter-in-law, and our new tiny member, my first grand-daughter. 

This morning, my son, Joe, said that we could go to an early Mass at St. Norbert. He is up at 5 or 6 a.m. anyway. With a new baby and feedings and fussing every three hours or so, we went to 7:30 Mass. I assumed we needed to get there very early because it was Christmas morning. 

We were one of the first to arrive around 7. This gave us time to light the first candle in the dimly lit church. A candle of thanks for special blessings and gratitude for answered prayers. 

The Gospel, of course, was about the birth of Christ. Thus, the term Christmas. I won’t recount the story. It was a beautiful service with singing of all the well known Christmas songs. Merry Christmas. 

We stopped to pick up donuts and came back to a still quiet house. Presents were not opened until Lindsay’s mom arrived in the afternoon. The presents were mostly baby gifts, but the grandmas received beautiful framed photos.

The best Christmas present ever was being together with my family and endless hours holding my beautiful baby Belle. 

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”

Saturday:) Celebrating on the Square~ Home For the Holidays

27 Nov

“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


The city of McKinney puts on an amazing Home for the Holidays festival. Yesterday was the tree lighting ceremony. I didn’t make it out for that, but I went down to the square tonight. It’s always great bumping into friends, watching the families laughing and celebrating, everyone in a festive holiday spirit. Arriving in the late afternoon, I was able to watch the sun set, changing the daytime mood into a nighttime festive glow.

    Who’s that with the Grinch?

    Bumped into friends Kelle, Lynda and Mary.

    My friend Brad Donaldson was showing his wonderful work in front of LAST Gallery.

    Kelle and I stopped at Sweet Spot Bakery for some hot chocolate and coffee. It was so busy, I barely had a minute to say hi to Kathy and Elizabeth.

    I’ll just share a few pictures.

    Nighttime magic.

    McKinney does it right, day and night. A fun day on the square.

    Friday:) Finally Christmas Day

    26 Dec

    Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


    The cookies are all baked and dispensed, (except for a few dozen that mysteriously disappeared inside my tummy) the dust bowl of flour and sugars and chaos that was my kitchen is straightened up, and the very best part of all…I picked Matt up from the airport late last night. Now, my Christmas is perfect. 

    I went for a quick walk this morning and the sun was warm and the skies were crystal blue. Matt and I went to see STAR WARS at noon. We expected a long line and a packed theatre, but neither happened. Good movie, no spoiler alerts, but there a few corny jokes and comments.
    Selfie at the theatre. Matt thinks I’m a nut, but that’s ok, because I am. 

    It was a beautiful afternoon, so Matt went for a run and I took another walk. We are just sitting around watching TV, chatting, and eating snacks. I opened my presents that Joe and Lindsay sent, and the box from Lin with fun personalized gifts. I always like to wait for Christmas Day to open presents.


    Lin is always so thoughtful. Now I can see her cute face when I drink my tea every morning.

    A new Notre Dame sweatshirt and other goodies from Joe and Lindsay.

    And the best gift of all, my son Matt sitting next to me on Christmas Day.

    My 12 Days of Christmas “Pay it Forward” challenge is over, but you know me, I’ll continue to pay it forward and do random acts of kindness all year round. I had some wonderful experiences and made a lot of people smile. It isn’t always about expensive gifts and things that come from the store. Just like the Grinch said…

    Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” 

    ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

    Theme Song Thursday: Merry Christmas

    26 Dec

    “Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.”
    ― Margaret Thatcher
    Here’s hoping that you are having a Merry Little Christmas!

    This is a special Christmas Day for me. My sons, Joe and Matt, and Joe’s fiancée Lindsay are here spending the holidays with me. We opened presents this morning, but the greatest gift is just having them here. I’m getting settled in my new house, and it feels wonderful to have children sprawled around the family room, watching old movies, and eating scandalous amounts of food and snacks, just like the old days. They may be in their thirties, but they are still my babies.

    We went to a movie this afternoon, “Exodus.” Pretty good, but it was the family togetherness and tradition that made it wonderful. Even though torn apart and incomplete, the loving people that really matter, that’s what makes a family.

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, too. Feliz Navidad, y’all!





    Montage Monday: A week in a Peek

    23 Dec

    “Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. ”
    ― Mary Ellen Chase
    Sitting around by the television, watching old movies, after shopping and lunch, that’s what makes the holidays memorable. It’s not a bunch of fancy gifts, expensive vacations, or elaborate meals. It’s family. My boys, Joe and Matt are here, and Joe’s fiancée, Lindsay. Life is good!

    A week in a peek…



    A Special Saturday:Sharing A Special Tree For Christmas

    20 Jan

    I shared this special story with my Facebook friends at Christmas, and thought I’d share it with my new blogger friends. Perhaps you have a “Pay It Forward” story that you’d like to share. I’d love to hear it.


    It is believed that the tradition of the Christmas tree spread across America during the 1800s with the arrival of German immigrants, a reminder that the dark grey of Winter would soon bring the green renewal of Spring.The Germans would bake fancy ornaments for their trees and then eat the decorations when the trees were taken down. Fruits, nuts, flowers and lighted candles also adorned the first American Christmas trees, but only the strongest could support the weight without drooping. So, German glassblowers began producing lightweight glass balls to replace heavier, natural decorations. These lights and decorations were representations of the joy and light of Christmas, with the star on top of the tree a symbol for the “Star in the East.”

    This is such a wonderful American tradition, but what about those who don’t have a Christmas tree, ornaments, toys and freshly baked cookies? The thing I love about America, Texas and the marvelous city of McKinney is, when there is a need, there is a way to fill that need.

    One of my own personal holiday traditions is giving my hand-painted ornaments to friends, neighbors, and family along with homemade cookies, cupcakes or brownies, because “nothin’ says lovin’ like homemade.” This week, when I stopped at my neighborhood McKinney Fire Station 5 with my ornament and a dozen chocolate cupcakes, as I have for the past eight years, I was greeted with the usual smiles and appreciation.

    As I was escorted back to the kitchen, I asked, “Can I see your Christmas tree?” I remembered how beautiful the tree was last year, and how all my ornaments from the previous years were carefully displayed on the branches. The young firefighter just smiled and said, “Well, it’s not much of a tree, but come on in.” He turned on the light in the dimly lit space, and there to my amazement was a bare five foot metal pole with a red light on top.

    I asked, “Where is your Christmas tree?”

    “This is it,” was the only response.

    I knew there had been a big change in personnel this past year when the new fire chief took over, and a lot of the guys relocated to other stations, but I didn’t think that would effect Christmas. I asked, “Where is your beautiful tree and all your ornaments? I’ve been bringing ornaments for years.”

    The perplexed fireman responded, “I don’t know. Maybe they took them over to the other station.”

    I shook hands with everyone on shift that afternoon and wished them a Merry Christmas, walking out with an unsettled sadness. Not quite the feeling I was expecting.

    When I got home, I went to my handy iPad and posted a picture on Facebook of the ornament and cupcakes that I had taken to the fire station. My message retold the story of the sad looking “Festivus” looking metal pole that took the place of a traditional Christmas tree at the fire station.

    To might delight, when I checked my page an hour later, there were so many comments from friends and neighbors appalled at the situation. There were several offers of Christmas trees from neighbors. My friend, Kim McCraw, said her son Shane was working at Christmas Traditions on US75 and they said that they would drop off a freshly cut evergreen tree the next day. Wow!

    Saturday afternoon, I drove over to Station 5 with a box of newly purchased blue ornaments for our friends in blue and their new tree. When I arrived with my gift, a gorgeous nine or ten foot tree adorned the space where a sad metal pole stood the previous day. I explained that I was “the ornament lady” from yesterday, and that I had posted on Facebook that Station 5 didn’t have a Christmas tree this year. They were all smiling and honored when I told them that just one Facebook post had inspired a dozen offers of trees and goodies to brighten their holiday.

    When I looked at the beautiful tree, there was a single ornament on a branch, and it was one of mine from 2008. They were waiting to decorate the tree until they purchased some new lights. Off to the side was a box with decorations and ornaments that they must have found in a storage room somewhere, many of which I recognized from my signature matching hand-painted boxes. I was delighted, humbled and grateful. The old “Festivus” metal pole was off in a dark corner. What could have been a dreary space for a group of gallant firefighters, was now a bright and cheery room better suited for a group of kind men and women who are always nearby to serve and protect.

    I returned New Year’s Day and found a beautifully decorated tree. Fire fighter David Crump, wife Barbara, and young son Coleman were enjoying some family time at the station. I asked if I might take a picture, and they happily obliged.

    The tradition of the Christmas tree is alive and well in McKinney. “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”