“It seems that some creatives will only
know glory at a distance; yet they experience nothing closer
than the very presence of God.”
Before I share my little story with you, I would like to thank Audra for inviting me to be a guest blogger. I am very honored to have this opportunity.
The Christmas Season is upon us once again. It is only two short weeks until Christmas Eve. The hustle and bustle of Christmas is all around us as we hurry and scurry about to finish our shopping and plan for all the usual celebrations. I want to draw from some precious memories to stress the importance of keeping the true meaning of Christmas alive as we come to the end of 2011. In order to do so, I am going to travel back into my own childhood and the memories that I cherish from so long ago.
When I was a young girl, Christmas was seldom about giving gifts. If I received one…it was usually an unwrapped and much needed article. I considered myself blessed to receive any present at all. The excitement mounted in our home regardless of the lack of presents. Christmas Eve was the start of the family celebratory season with a midnight church service followed by the special treats of homemade “tortiere”/ meat pie and other Christmas delights.
My siblings and I would tie our stockings to our wrought iron bed and wait for morning with eager anticipation. Sometime during the night, my dad would creep into our bedroom and quietly put one Christmas orange, a few peanuts in the shells, and some hard unwrapped candy at the bottom of our long stockings…stockings that we actually wore and only used in this manner once a year for this special occasion. Even when we were very young, we never talked about Santa Claus. We seemed to always know that it was my dad putting those few items in our stockings that we were so grateful to receive.
To me, Christmas Love is really about family but even more importantly, it is about celebrating the birth of Christ. In doing so, we are sharing in the joy of the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and that special birth of Our Savior that took place over 2000 years ago.
At times, it is apparent to me that society has taken the Christ out of Xmas and replaced it with many un-Christ-like substitutes…a multitude of X’s. There is much Xtravagance, many unrealistic Xpectations, too much Xtra spending, Xaggerated gift giving, Xcessive eating, Xhaustion, and too many other Xmas activities to mention. In order to truly experience the meaning of Christmas Love, it is necessary to get back to basics and keep Christ in our Christmas festivities by removing as many X’s as possible.
I also feel it is necessary to refocus and redefine what Christmas is all about and what we can personally do to recapture some of the love, joy, and peace of this wondrous season.
Therefore, on that note, I would like to wish each of you a Christmas Season filled…less with the Xploits of consumerism and…more with the Love of Christ. This is what Christmas Love is all about and why I think it is so precious. Wouldn’t you agree?
Thank you Dolores, I more than agree. Christmas is only about the love of Christ and how we can give it to others. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and blessings with us. To enjoy more writing by Dolores, connect with her at DoloresAyotte.com and also HERE.
This past Wednesday, marked two years since Patrick Swayze passed away. I thought of him and back to my 17th summer, the year Dirty Dancing came out. I saw it with my boyfriend’s family and was embarrassed by the sensuality, so I loudly announced I didn’t like it afterwards. Those very people are now my in-laws and we laugh because Dirty Dancing is one of my favorite movies of all time.
If you don’t know,
shame on you Patrick Swayze plays a character named Johnny Castle. He is a dance instructor at an affluent resort in the Catskills in the 60’s. Dirty Dancing is a coming of age movie where a teen girl played by Jennifer Grey, rebels by falling in love with Johnny, a working class entertainer. DD was the first film to sell over one million copies on VHS.
Everything you need to know, can be learned from Dirty Dancing and not from Kindergarten. But that’s for another series.
Today I give you 3 things from Johnny Castle which writers will do well to remember.
And it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t say:
Have the time of your life.
Today I’m over at a fantastic blog where my guest post Bed, Bath and Beyond Breakdown is featured. I know most of you have seen it, but making the quick trip over to my friend Floyd’s blog is well worth it. He is an excellent writer with a gift for relevant story telling. Poke around a little bit and then show him some comment love! I also would recommend subscribing to his blog “But for the Grace of God Go I…..Finding Floyd.” Post after post, he has some great reminders and just what I need. Click now! http://theregoi.com/finding-floyd
Most of my writing and speaking has been on the topic of abandonment.
As a teenager, my father left us on Father’s Day weekend. Overnight our world was shattered. I’ve experienced much abandonment since then. Grandparents and friends dying, broken relationships, extended family walking away and even abandoning myself at different times.
I creatively write to remind people of the truth.
Truth is, we all have an engaging, worthy story.
We would all do well, to remember that our story began long before we were abandoned.
Are you ever mired so deep that you can’t remember what life was like before you experienced abandonment? It’s easy to do.
What would your life look like if it wasn’t defined by abandonment?
I just returned from three weeks by the sea. Three weeks of relaxing like I haven’t since I was a child. Three weeks of minimal technology. It wasn’t announced or predicted. It just happened.
Sometimes in the path of social media, my thoughts are contained in a straight and narrow box. I have to busy my mind with trending topics, garnering invites to Google, forcing this square peg into new “circles” and keeping my thoughts to 140 characters. Unless I want others to share my thoughts, then I have to somehow keep them to 125 characters.
But a funny thing happens when your face isn’t updated every half hour in an electronic book and when you listen for live birds tweeting as they freely fly by.
Other thoughts have their way, and they simply come.
I’ve thought a lot about why I create, namely why I write. So I’m doing a series on the why behind the artist.
I write so people will abandon cultural beliefs, which carves out an honest space for simple truth and good living.
Why do you do what you do?
Now that May is almost over and summer has unofficially begun I thought it would be cool to go back and look at your favorite blog post that you wrote this Spring.
If you’re a blogger, leave a comment with a link to your favorite blog post that you wrote in March, April, or May. (If you’re not a blogger, leave a comment to your favorite blog post on someone else’s blog during the Spring.)
I’m so excited to read your favorites!
Welcome to my new home! I took on WordPress and WordPress almost won, but the good guys scored enough points and here I am. I plan to be very happy here. Gonna bloom where I’m planted. I feel smarter than a blog host.
And then there is the old saying, “Pride goeth before a blog fall.”
Hoping it won’t be so.
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Scroll down to the bottom and add your email so you won’t miss a thing.
I box to be a better writer.
For most, writing is very emotional. Sometimes I have so much feeling, that it prohibits good writing.
When we were young, we were taught to punch a pillow when we got angry. I thought that sounded stupid. Now I wish I'd tried it.
Kicking and punching the heavy bag brings out emotions I didn't know I had. After burning 600 calories in 30 minutes, you feel depleted on every level, everything is stripped away.
When I'm down to the bare bones, it's time to write. I still have the emotions fresh on my mind, but because I have dealt with them, my craftsmanship can come through. I use my experiences to carefully construct meaningful dialogue with a powerful takeaway.
Boxing allows me to get out of myself, which puts my focus where it should be.
On you, the reader.
Teachable aside: if you want to laugh your you-know-what off and need humorous material for your column, drop by the gym and you'll see a spaz trying not to bite someone's ear off.
I never said it was pretty.