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Christmas evolution

All-in-all, Thanksgiving and its weekend were kind to us.  We did things we wanted to do, got a few things that needed to be done accomplished (including a new schemata of our fuse box, but that’s a long story), Mythankfulboy got a pair of sneakers (a Thanksgiving weekend tradition, complete with shopping at the mall on Black Friday), we shopped with J & V for our Christmas tree, and we got about 2/3rds of the tree decorated (long electrical story linked to the fuse box).  Along the way we were thankful for new shoes, Christmas lights, J & V, and UU resources online.

I had my annual holiday struggle with my mother and sister, this year over whether or not to do gifts (my not wanting to and their wanting to).  My mother tried to draw a distinction between giving gifts and giving money (she wanted to do the latter), and she and I got very frustrated and upset.  Finally she said, “It’s what Christians do at Christmas, Lynn”, and it suddenly and completely made sense to me that my discord with my family at Christmas has a lot to do with my being secular, or at least not traditionally Christian, about the holiday, and I realized for the first time the degree of discomfort I have always had because I feel like I’m intruding on a very precious time for them.  This caused me considerable angst, and I spent a good deal of time examining more closely my relationship with Christmas.

Meanwhile, when B was small, someone gave him an Advent calendar with candy tied to each day.  I had always been ambivalent about it, given that Advent was meant to be a period of deprivation and reflection, not another opportunity for a gift.  Last year, to try to make it more meaningful, I asked him to retrieve (along with his candy) a small piece of paper with an instruction for a mini-reflection of one sort or another each day (e.g., Advent is a time of waiting.  What is something you wait for eagerly?;  What does kindness look like?)  My questions were adapted from something posted on Childrenchalice.wordpress.com last year (sorry – I can’t find the exact link).  I revived the practice this year, and I’ll be excited to see how his answers have changed from the answers of a 13-year-old.

So, last night at the chalice lighting we read about the origins of Advent, and talked about how our tradition is both a departure from and an embracing of the Christian tradition.  We lit the candles of a small Christmas pyramid (German spinning toy), and we read the following prayer by UU minister David Breeden, the first of a series of prayers, one for each Sunday of Advent:

In this holiday season,
May we find the patience
To forgive ourselves;
To forgive those who do not do as we wish;
May we find patience.
May we find the wisdom
To let be.

And so, I am very thankful for UU resources online, and for these words, in particular, to help me with my relationship with Christmas, and, by extension, with my family.  I’m thankful to B for listening as I struggle with these questions.  Last night, at the Advent chalice lighting, he was thankful for the tree, and for the holiday weekend.  I was thankful for time together.

Amen.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Snow prayers and Star Wars

Mythankfulboy’s and my evening thankfulness ritual is settling back into routine.  We always do it, no matter where we are or what’s going on (except some nights when he’s at his dad’s), but it’s nice to get back to the routine of our chalice and our house after the winter holidays.

Feels funny to say “winter holidays”.  There’s been no winter!  It’s January 12th, and we’ve only had a few cold days and no snow.  Apparently there was a 20-minute snow squall today, but I missed it.  Sigh.

Lately, B has been thankful a lot for family, for technology, and for homecoming.  One night we were both thankful for the Star Wars movies, although he has only seen the latest (and this only under the threat of not being allowed to play the new Star Wars game for Xbox One until he had seen at least one of the movies).  Nothing like a flick about good old-fashioned Good versus Evil.

Before closing, the dog required a trip outside, and what did I find when I opened the door but SNOW.  Sparkly, swirling snow coming down like it meant it, even though I’m pretty sure it’s just another squall.

Thankful, thankful for the answering of the snow prayers of a Southern girl.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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The family you choose

Thank you, KBG, for telling me what I needed to do to get WordPress up and running again!  I haven’t been able to blog because I missed some updates on my computer, and it made WordPress wonky.  I’m glad it’s resolved.

This weekend was Easter, and we left town to see our friends J,M,S and Mo, which was so nice on so many levels.  We decided a Jamaican Easter would be our theme, so we wore Rasta wigs and bunny ears and ate Jamaican chicken curry, plantains, meat pies, and mango peach salsa.  Amazing.  M spontaneously picked up an egg we had painted earlier in the day which was done in yellow red and green, and offered up her thanks for those gathered and the meal before us.  She ended with “yah mahn”, which we all adopted as the day’s “Amen”.  Mythankfulboy ate pizza, because that’s the kind of eater he is, but he participated in every other way.  He loves his “aunties”, “uncle”, and “cousin” (you know, the family you choose…).   For days before we left he was thankful that we were going.  Last night he was thankful we had been there, as was I.

Today was B’s last day of spring break, and I had to work.  His friend’s dad texted mid-day to see if he could pick B up to go to the gym with them, and then took him and another friend back to their house until I got home.  There they gamed a little and then studied for a test they will have tomorrow.  Tonight, at our evening chalice lighting, B was thankful for his friend O for being a good study partner, and to his friend A for giving him a chocolate kiss.  I told him he was easily bought.  He said, yeah, he knew that.  He said he was also thankful for A’s parents and for O’s parents, for being so good to him.  He said, “I bet that’s what you’re thankful for, too, isn’t it?”

“You know it”, I answered, realizing, happily, that our family is expanding.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Get over yourself

It has been days since I have taken adequate time to find peace, and with it, deep, rich gratitude. And sometimes
I can almost fall into a trap of bigger is better, and think that the little things I’m thankful for through the day aren’t weighty enough, or fanciful enough to bring to our chalice lighting. Then I remember to say “Get over yourself!”

This long weekend (Monday included) involved 3 baseball playoff games and a party (second place!), a visit from my sweet southern aunt & uncle with my cousin, who lives closer to me, house and yard work in preparation for their visit, a vet appointment, and 15 hours of work at all hours of the day and night. Monday, was B’s first day of summer, during which I drug him from place to place while I worked. At about 6pm, as we were leaving a coffee shop after a 2 1/2 hour stay, he said “I’m having a great summer already!” Bless his great big, flexible, sugared-up, heart.

Last night, he was thankful for one of the iPad games that got him through his first day of summer – Ninja Fishing (the night before having been grateful for Zombie Farm 2). I was thankful for his patience, his ability to entertain himself, and his willingness to put off fun things so I could get what needed to be done, done. He said “You’re welcome”, with an air of “The pleasure’s all mine. The night before I had been thankful for a chance to have my extended family at my home, and the chance to get to know my cousin a little better. Now those aren’t small things, after all.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Outside

Last night B was thankful for everyone he is related to, especially Grampy, and for baseball.  His game had been rained out, but he and his dad had managed to play catch twice that day.  B made the observation that his dad liked to be outside — that he thought he avoided being inside.  I am glad to see that his dad is so interested in being involved in sports with B, since he wasn’t much of an athlete as a kid, or even as a young adult.  Last night, though, I was thankful for art, and the ways it makes my life better.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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A list

Last night’s list: everyone in my family, the dog (is he part of the family? I guess…), doors, fans, beds, saxaphones (his new instrument), pianos, pillows, sleep.

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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