Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving - Day Two

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The pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving with a multi-day feast, so why shouldn't we? Day two was at my cousin's house and featured pigs in the blankets, a roaring fire, sing-alongs around the player piano, old home movies, and lots of great company.

Fun at the Rochester Museum & Science Center

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Instead of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving we headed to the Rochester Museum & Science Center with friends and cousins (okay, one of the friends did hit some early sales first).

We were at the museum for seven hours, mainly enjoying hands on exhibits. We also got to see a visiting Titanic Exhibition which was very interesting. They give you a boarding pass with information about a particular passenger - at the end you find out if your person survived or not. I think the only one in our group who had the card of a survivor was my daughter. It's a very sobering experience.

Most of the time at the museum, though, was spent 'doing' things, including digging for dinosaur bones, scaling a rock wall and learning how things like combination locks work.

Thanksgiving - The Aftermath

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Ah, a good time was apparently had by all, and now the kids have collapsed on their cousin. The sure sign of a successful day!

Ordinary Time and Advent

About a year ago I had an idea of making table runners that would correspond to the liturgical year. I finally got around to making the first one about a week ago.

One side is green - to correspond with Ordinary Time.
Today I got to turn it over to the purple side, because Advent starts today!
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

That Holiday Time of the Year

It's getting to be that time of year. It's The Holidays. Actually, if you look at sales fliers the entire year is some sort of Holiday season - there always seems to be some reason to have a sale. But the big Holidays, the one that get an entire season named after them are the winter holidays.

Honestly it seems as if it starts with Halloween - anything after that is part of the Holiday Season. And there are a lot of different holidays: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali and of course Christmas and New Years.

Because of the variety of holidays and the various cultural traditions I don't have a big problem when people say "Happy Holidays" to kind of incorporate the whole season. Especially in an area like ours where you can never be too certain which holiday people are celebrating - if any at all.

I do have one complaint though. And that is when the generic use of Holiday is used not in a way that incorporates all of the seasonal holidays, but to replace the word Christmas.

Holiday cookies? I don't know, I guess the other holidays can all benefit from some cookies, but I don't know how many of them traditionally have lots of baked goods as part of their celebrations.

Holiday lights? That one actually works for a bunch of holidays - especially Diwali and Hanukkah.

But a Holiday Tree? Come on. It's a Christmas Tree. Really. Just say it. Don't be afraid.

And on December 25tth. When the newspapers put a banner headline up above the title that says "Happy Holidays" I always feel a little cheated. Especially on a year when it does not over lap with another holiday, we all know what "Holiday" is being celebrated. Just go ahead and say it already.

Now, I'm not going to boycott stores who say "Happy Holidays". After all - Holiday does come from "Holy Days" but I do feel that if you're going to make a lot of money when people buy stuff for Christmas, you could at least call the giant candy canes and decorated trees Christmas decorations.

Two thoughts in passing to end this mini-rant.

1) One time the Jehovah Witnesses stopped by our house shortly before Christmas. As they were leaving I wished them a Merry Christmas. The cold look they gave me reminded me that not everyone celebrates Christmas - and some are rather strict about that non-celebration. (oops - any insult was totally unintentional.)

2) Once during the "Holiday season" I was in a store and heard a woman complain - and I quote: "I hate when they shove all this religion into Christmas."

I didn't say anything to her, because my brain didn't work fast enough to come up with something, and I doubt it would have made a difference anyway. But I do try to remember that while the people I know might decry the commercialization and secularization of Christmas, there are always people who hold quite different views. I hope they all have a very Happy Holiday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 11

I'm thankful for our veterans: people who are willing to put their lives on the line to help preserve our way of life. Even if they never saw combat, they were still willing and that makes them special.

Ninety-one years ago, at the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month the armistice was signed that ended the "War to end all Wars." Would that it had really ended all wars, but I'm not sure anything will actually do that. And because war continues, we continue to have veterans.

And I will continue to be grateful to them and their service to this country.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 6

I'm thankful that it's Friday.

Is that corny and trite? Who cares. I'm still thankful that tomorrow is the weekend and my husband won't be at work and everyone will be healthy and things can get back to normal.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 5

It's not that I wasn't thankful for things on the 3rd and 4th of this month, but I find myself much more open to being thankful now that my fever is gone (and I'm able to stay awake past 8 pm), and my son's fever seems to be on the way out.

So, what am I thankful for? Recuperation. I'm thankful for returned health. And I'm also thankful for the fact that the biggest worries we tend to have health-wise are the occasional bad cold and other run of the mill sicknesses - even if that does sometimes knock me for a loop.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 2

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I am thankful that my kids still enjoy playing with toys we've owned for going on seven years. On their day off today, after doing the computer thing and x-box thing they opted to get out the trains and play with that. I love to see their imaginations at work when they play with this.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 1

A couple of years ago I did a post a day for the month of November, highlighting something I was thankful for.

I'll see if I can do it again.

I have lots to be thankful for - but sometimes it just gets a little lost in the day to day craziness of life.

So, today - November 1, I'm thankful for kids who love to read.

When they're caught up in a book, nothing else matters. And they quote from books, and like to share parts of books with each other, and share book recommendations with each other. It's a great thing!