Guest Post: Santa and Me…by Linda McQuinn Carlblom

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Guest Post: Santa and Me…by Linda McQuinn Carlblom

This article first appeared last year on Parenting With a Smile.

Though I titled this post Santa and me, I’m not sure we actually have a relationship. Sorry. Santa and I have had an on again, off again relationship most of my life. More off than on, really. I don’t have any ill feelings toward the jolly old elf, but I was never enamored with him like some kids are.

While growing up, my parents always taught us that Christmas was Jesus’ birthday and that’s why we celebrate. I never once felt like I missed out by not being fed the whole Santa Claus story. I still got gifts, but they were from people I loved like my parents, siblings, and grandparents. To me, that was more special than getting them from someone I didn’t know who dressed in a funny red suit.

I never had to go through the trauma of learning that Santa wasn’t real. I’d never believed in him to begin with. It wasn’t that my parents bad-mouthed the guy or said we couldn’t believe in him. It just wasn’t our focus. He was just another decoration, like Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph. Jesus was the real deal and our attention was on Him.

As a child, I loved babies. I loved the Bible story of baby Moses being hidden in the reeds and guarded by his big sister, Miriam. My love of babies also extended to the baby Jesus figurine in our nativity set. He was so cute! I loved him before I understood the significance of who He was.

And maybe that’s the point. Decorations like the nativity scene silently point families to Jesus, the reason for our Christmas celebration. They cultivate something deep in a child (and adults!) that gives them hope. This hope isn’t just for Christmas morning like the kind Santa offers. It’s hope that lasts through all of life and its crazy ups and downs. It hands out love like the gift it is, wrapped in a swaddling cloth, lying in a manger.

Santa is jolly, Jesus is joy. Santa is temporary, Jesus is forever. Santa keeps a list of our wrongs, Jesus wiped them away on the cross. Santa rides in a reindeer-pulled sleigh, Jesus will one day return on a cloud, no vehicle required.

So Santa and me? I’m so over him. But Jesus and me? Yeah. We’re a forever thing.

Where do things stand between you and Santa? More importantly, where do things stand with you and Jesus? 

Linda

Video of the Week #76: I Wish I Could Improvise Like This

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Video of the Week #76: I Wish I Could Improvise Like This

Wordless Wednesday: Rudi

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Wordless Wednesday: Rudi

One of my first photos using my new camera.img_0002

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rock Paper Scissors

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rock Paper Scissors

In Arizona, rocks are a major landscaping feature. My entry for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week:img_0038img_0026img_0016

Photos by ARHuelsenbeck.

What Does your Christmas Wreath Say about You? by Andrea R Huelsenbeck

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What Does your Christmas Wreath Say about You? by Andrea R Huelsenbeck

This article first appeared on Doing Life Together.

Doing Life Together

Many years ago, I bought a couple of horns at the craft store and dolled them up with ribbons and jingle bells and floral picks. I reasoned they would be perfect for a musician’s home.

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I love looking at Christmas decorations. I think they reflect the people who put them up. Sometimes I wonder what those people are really like.

Here are some Christmas wreaths I found on Pinterest recently. I’ve linked them back to their original articles. Sometimes directions are included–hey, there’s still time to make some these!

Santa Tulle Wreath

Santa Tulle Wreath

Hide and Seek Wreath

door-pretty-hide-seek-wreath2Yarn Wreath

4-yarn-wreathRed and White Bow Wreath

DIY-Christmas-Wreath-3Christmas Card Wreath

Christmas card display wreathCandy Cane Wreath

Candy Cane WreathWood Slice Wreath

Wood Slice WreathCork Wreath

Cork WreathChristmas Ornament Wreath

Ornament WreathPinecone and Berry Wreath

Pinecone and Berry WreathNightmare Before Christmas Wreath

Nightmare Before Christmas Wreath

Do you have a wreath displayed at your house? Why did you choose that particular wreath? Share with us in the comments.

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Monday Morning Wisdom #79

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Monday Morning Wisdom #79

Found on Twitter:

Kubrick

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Musical Chairs

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Musical Chairs

You may have seen some of these the other day, in my article about the Tempe Festival of the Arts, but I couldn’t resist entering them in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week, with the prompt: Musical Chairs.

Photos © by ARHuelsenbeck.

From the Creator’s Heart #75

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From the Creator’s Heart #75

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. – Psalm 45:1 (NIV)

Snippet #31 of The Unicornologist

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Snippet #31 of The Unicornologist

Every Sunday, the Weekend Writing Warriors share 8-10-sentence snippets from their works-in-progress on their blogs for others to read and comment on. Join the fun! Click on the link to see the full list.

Hillary’s dad and his new wife are leaving on a belated honeymoon this morning. Hillary, in an effort to get them out of the house as quickly as possible (so she can go camping in the woods all by herself, unbeknownst to them), is preparing a send-off breakfast. Meanwhile, she’s remembering what life was like before her step-mom moved in. I’m trying to differentiate what’s happening now (not in italics) with what happened after her mother died (in italics). Is it clear? Did I pull it off? [Note: this excerpt is creatively edited to fit the length restrictions.]

She remembered the day after her mother’s funeral, the day she and her father had to start living daily life alone together, the day they had to learn to face the new normal. Dad had instructed her in the fine art of cracking eggs so that little pieces of shell didn’t defile them.

With a wooden spoon, she stirred the eggs just a little. Soon, she was so skilled at making scrambled eggs that it became their Saturday morning ritual. Why did she ever stop? She set the table and stirred the eggs some more while the aroma of the coffee wafted upward.

Hearing her parents stirring upstairs, she put two pieces of hot toast in the bread basket and stuck two more uncooked slices in the toaster. Then she remembered: she stopped making breakfast when Dad married Kate. The first Saturday she lived with them, Kate just made breakfast herself, like that was what she was supposed to do. Without even asking, she started replacing Hillary in Dad’s life, just like she replaced Mommy. 

I know it’s short (the limit is ten sentences), but what do you think of this small excerpt from Chapter 18? Any suggestions on how I can make it better? Please comment below.

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 48

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Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 48

For Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: palm branches–one dying, one dead.

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Photographs by ARHuelsenbeck.