The True Meaning of Christmas

Last night, I got the best Christmas gift ever.

My wife and I hosted our family Christmas party, and it was simply fantastic. All three of our kids, their partners and three of our four Grandchildren all got together to celebrate the season.

The food we shared consisted of stuffed shells, spaghetti and meatballs, prime rib, and M&M’s. The first two my wife cooked, my son cooked the meat, and the M&M’s were my idea. That should explain an awful lot about my cooking expertise.

10 with 10
10 with 10

After our meal, we all gathered ’round the Christmas Tree, going through our stockings, opening gifts, laughing and enjoying the company. Our 10-year-old and 2-year-old Granddaughters kept each other busy, while our families newest addition (at all of 10 days old!) mostly slept and ate a little. Nothing says Peace and Joy more than a newborn baby. What better gift can a Grandfather get than to feed his Grandson while sitting around a Christmas Tree, surrounded by family, and then have his Grandson throw up baby spit all over both shoulders!

That should definitely explain to all of you just how proud I am of all my children and Grandchildren.

Today, of course, is Christmas Eve. Most of our family will get together at church tonight, where we will all celebrate and be reminded of who we are truly celebrating. It is the season of giving, and my profound wish to you, dear reader, is that you are able to give to your family and friends much more than you could ever receive, and that the love that you get back from them, be they in their senior years, or 10 years old, or just 10 days old, mean more to you than you could ever repay.

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Thanksgiving Day 2017

It’s Thanksgiving Day 2017. Time to take a look back at the past year, get together with friends and family, over eat, watch parades and football, and go spend time shopping for deals.

Of course, here in the Great State of Maine, we get to take a nap before we can go shopping. Way back when, Maine (as well as many other states, especially in New England) had “Blue Laws”, which restricted things like store openings and alcohol sales. Maine was the last New England state that finally allowed big department store to be open on Sundays. That was back in 1990. Car dealerships are still not able to be open on Sunday in Maine, but we are not alone in that prohibition.

However, major holidays, like Thanksgiving, large store in Maine are still not allowed to be open. Many of us are OK with that, as we would prefer to be with family, as well as enjoy the effects of tryptophan. That is the the amino acid found in turkey that makes you sleepy.

So we still have to gather outside of big box stores late Thanksgiving Day, in the cold and dark of night, and wait until 12:01 AM for the doors to open. Yes, the doors can not open at the stroke of midnight. We have to wait a full sixty seconds into Friday morning before making a mad dash out of the cold.

Normally, there isn’t anything I just have to have that will make me go out into the cold at “oh-dark-thirty”. Oh, I have done the midnight madness years ago, but I have way too much stuff in my house anyway. I have no place to put much more.

I do need a new color printer, though. Maybe…

For those who have been following my blog, you know how 2017 has not exactly been a banner year for me and my family. But I have things to be thankful for also.

Both my mother-in-law and my Dad are out of pain. That is a good thing. Would I rather be able to spend another Holiday Season with them? Of course I would. But that would mean much more pain for them, and I am not that selfish.

Both my father-in-law and my Mom are doing good. So, too, are the rest of my immediate family. My youngest granddaughter is off visiting family somewhere down in the mid-Atlantic states, and my eldest granddaughter has just recently joined the local Y swim team. She participated in her first swim meet this past weekend. All three of my children were members of the Y and High School swim teams. They did not, however, get the swimming gene from me!

The job search continues. Hopefully, that will soon come to a successful conclusion.

The turkey is thawed. Soon, it will be stuffed. My wife’s family has a great stuffing recipe, and when we get together (or my wife cooks up a turkey) extra stuffing is always made. Usually enough is made to last a day or two, but I don’t believe we’ve ever made it completely through the Thanksgiving weekend with stuffing left over.

According to AAA, there will be an estimated 51 million Americans traveling this long Thanksgiving weekend. Please stay safe. Please stay aware. And please enjoy whatever your plans call for.