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Christmas

KN, p. 160 “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays for All”

 

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2015 has been a year of challenges for most of the world, with violence at home and abroad in the news every day. If it’s not about international military and/or political power struggles, the media is probably telling us about government conflict or sadly, the latest shooting perpetrated by a disturbed individual. I can’t remember the last time when so many people were so angry about so many aspects of the world in which we live.

 

And yet, if you ask how they are, how the family is, nothing much has changed. Friends and family members may get sick, lose a loved one, have trouble at work or experience a bump in the financial road, but most would say they are happy overall – that they live a life that’s good.

 

We may not be able to control what happens outside our circle, but we can control our reaction to it. And we can certainly control our reaction to the events inside our personal world.

During this Christmas, and whatever your holiday season, let’s all promise to:

  • Be kinder to each other, including Uncle Tim who tells the same stories every holiday. You’ll miss those stories when he’s gone.
  • Be gentler in our responses to each other, even when Auntie May spills her coffee again. You’ll need help someday, too.
  • Be less critical of each other. Your way may not be the only way to get the job done.
  • Hug a friend. Hugs are full of comfort.
  • Smile. Often. You’ll feel better.
  • Call a relative or friend that doesn’t get out anymore. Five minutes. That’s all it takes to change a person’s day.
  • Give the gift of time. Stop texting and talk to your friends and family face-to-face. Memories are made when people laugh and giggle together.
  • Give the gift of forgiveness. Soften your heart and forget the small stuff before it gets to be the big stuff.
  • Write a letter and snail mail it to the older people in your life. Not everybody has email.
  • Make every day count. Volunteer, serve, donate. Make someone’s life easier.
  • Give the gift of love. It means the world.

 

Above all, have a wonderful Christmas/holiday season and a slam dunk great 2016!

 

The Kerrians will be back in January with Charlie’s New Year’s Resolutions. 🙂

 

*Photo by Patti Phillips – Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal, Canada

 

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KN, p. 131 “It looks a lot like Christmas!”

 

 

Sheila and I share Christmas duties. She bakes while I set up the tree and get the lights ready. I had to replace a few strands on the tree after Hammett accidentally knocked it over and got tangled in it, so Sheila is baking even more cookies than ever. That’s okay, because there is no such thing as too many cookies in the Kerrian house. (My diet is suspended during the holidays…isn’t yours?)

 

The vet said that Hammett is fine, but kept him overnight. I think that Sheila slipped the Doc a $20. just to make sure he would.

 

The tree looks a little worse for wear, though.

 

The cards are done and mailed. This time I made a separate trip to the Post Office so that they would not get lost in the car like last year.

 

“Handel’s Messiah” is playing in the background and “The Nutcracker” is up next. We love the big sounds of Christmas.

 

We started a snowman collection to add to the Angels and Santas, so things are looking pretty festive in most of the house.

 

No snow to shovel this year, but I almost wish there was. We really enjoyed the white Christmas last year and took lots of pictures to share with the Texas branch of the family. If someone else did the shoveling, I wouldn’t mind if it snowed from Thanksgiving right through New Year’s.

 

No homicide cases to investigate, and that’s a great thing for once.

 

Merry Christmas to everyone, and have a peaceful New Year!

 

 

 

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KN, p. 129 “Christmas Shopping and Home Safety”

 

 

‘Tis the season for shopping, shopping and more shopping! Even with Black Friday, online stores and Cyber Monday thrown into the mix, the malls are still more crowded at this time of year than at any other.

 

Elbow to elbow, crowded.

Squeeze past the moms and dads in line for pictures with Santa, crowded.

Wait 30 minutes for a cold cup of coffee in the mall, crowded.

So much noise that you can’t hear the Muzak, crowded.

 

Unfortunately with the crowds, come a few pickpockets and pocketbook snatchers and package thieves. So, what can you do to cut down on the chances of getting robbed after you’ve slaved at your job to earn the Christmas money? Here are a few easy tips.

 

  • Gals, I know this is a tough one, but if you can…leave the pocketbook at home. If that can’t be worked out, take a pocketbook that can be worn with the strap across your body. Under no circumstances should you carry a pocketbook dangling from your hand while walking through the mall. At the very least, use a shoulder bag and rest the straps on your shoulder while holding onto it securely.

 

  • Guys, don’t put your wallet in your back pocket. That’s a pickpocket’s dream.

 

  • Don’t leave the cash register until you have put your cash and/or credit cards away. People behind you in a rush? Too bad. Give ‘em a big smile and let ‘em wait until you have put the money stuff away and your pocketbook is closed.

 

  • Try to do your shopping during the day – lunch hours are good and the stores are less crowded. If you are shopping after dark, go with a pal.

 

  • If you are buying lots of gifts and need to make trips to the car to unload packages, put them in the trunk. Bags in the backseat are an open invitation for a thief.

 

  • Use the restrooms in the stores where you are shopping (and have bought something). Much safer.

 

  • Stay off the cellphone in the parking lots. You need to stay alert to people that might be following you. If someone is following you, head straight back to the closest mall entrance and report the incident.

 

  • Park as close as possible to the well-lit entrances of the stores. If it’s after dark when you leave, ask a security guard to walk you to your car. Once you’re in the car, lock it right away and leave.

 

You’re done shopping and you’re home. What should you do to reduce the chances of getting burglarized?

 

  • Don’t put your Christmas tree in the front window for all to see. At least turn off the Christmas lights and close the curtains when you’re not home. Burglars case the neighborhoods this time of year for likely targets.

 

  • If you’re going skiing or to a beach for the holiday, cancel the paper and the mail. Either one of those piling up is a clear signal that nobody is home.

 

  • Contact the police department and let them know you’ll be away on vacation. Many towns have a neighborhood watch program and a patrol officer might check on the house while you’re gone.

 

  • Don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges.

 

  • Don’t post information about your trip on Facebook or Twitter or any other Social Media site until after you return. We’d love to see your photos of the trip, not the photos of the missing new TV and the burglarized house.

 

Above all, use common sense, stay safe, and enjoy the holidays!

 

*Photo by Patti Phillips

 

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