About Me

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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.


Monday, December 1, 2014


We've started our Christmas rituals:  the decorating of the outside of the house; the family's going together to the tree farm to chop down the tree; the finding of said tree on the farthest corner of the farm and down the steepest hill (which, of course, means dragging it back up the hill).  When Poppy lay down on the ground to cut the tree, two-year old Tyler plopped down on top of him declaring, "I help Poppy."  I couldn't tell if Poppy was laughing or gasping for breath.

We don't have many plans for the holidays.  In the past we'd been invited to cocktail parties -- even at a few of the embassies -- and parties that friends have had.  Seems there aren't many parties being had this year.  (Of course there's always the possibility that there ARE, and we've not been invited.  You dance once with a lampshade on your head...)  I wonder if F. Scott and Zelda were aware they had become pariahs??))  Richard and I have talked about cocktail parties and while we love getting together with friends, neither of us enjoy attending large functions where we know no one.  Making small talk   is just not fun to me anymore.

I'm not planning on throwing anything grand, either.  So far, it's just the two of us.  We'll take the grands to the Middleburg, VA parade, to the Hampden neighborhood in Baltimore to see the lights, Richard and I will go to Mt. Vernon for a Christmas tour and dinner, but no parties...no extravaganzas.

So why decorate and why write Christmas cards, even to folks we don't hear from or with whom we have lost touch ?  We don't expect cards in return.  This is our way of letting folks know we are thinking of them:  the joy is in us.  The tree, the lights, the candles, the cards are our joy.  

Furthermore, what a perfect time to remind ourselves that there is magic in the goodness and kindness we all show one another.   And in this troubled world, where we have all learned too well not to look for sadness or controversy, the season is a welcome excuse for joy, for quiet altruism, for love.  Even for just a short time.


Dave Peterson said...

Well said. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy - and peaceful! - holiday season.

Kimberly said...

I hope your holidays are wonderfully filled with friends, family, peace, and love.

Linda Reeder said...

Thank you. We are in the midst of decoration-inside and out. We do it up big, but we no longer have big gatherings. Most likely we will have actual Christmas at our daughter's house with the two grand kids, who now want to be in their home for Christmas. it's as it should be. so why decorate? You have given me the answer I needed to have expressed - Because it is our joy. We do it because we love it and the magic of the season.
So, thank you. I get it.

Linda Reeder said...

Thank you for this post. We too decorate inside and out. we send cards. We bake cookies. We no longer have big gatherings here. We will spend the actual day at our daughter's house with our two grandkids. So why? You said it so well - for the joy of it. It is our joy, too.
Thank you. I get it.

Retired English Teacher said...

I think you have captured the essence of why I also do Christmas. I do it for my joy. (My husband really doesn't care about all the decorating.) I never know if any of the kids will be here or not. I get the house all decorated anyway.

I also send out cards. I find few send cards these days. I miss receiving cards. I guess I should start sending cards to my blogging friends. ;)

Tabor said...

You are like me in that I no longer enjoy parties with people whom I have not seen in a long time and with whom there is no common ground anymore. Perhaps, it is I who is less interesting? I will send cards and expect none in return..except if I know they send cards to others and not to me, I will drop them from my list so they feel lest guilty. Thanks for commenting on my blog.

Kay said...

We've let the holiday pass us by this year just because we had too many things happening in our family with the sudden death of a cousin. Still we have had some parties to go to and my children and grandchild refuse to let us miss Christmas. You're right. It's good to take the time to find the cheer in the season and to think about others.

gracejones said...

Be mindful, slow down, stop and smell ...at this time of year...the pine boughs. I enjoyed what you wrote and it helped me calm down.

Briefly :-)