Category Archives: Christmas

Black Friday


Black Friday

Overwhelmed by shopping, I stay sealed up in my house.
When it comes to competition, I’m as timid as a mouse.
The melody of shopping ads swirl around my head,
but it’s a dubious offering. I’d rather stay in bed.

First stores opened at 9 a.m., then opened up at 6.
Shoppers camped outside all night to have the choicest picks.
When Kohl’s, Macy’s and Best Buy decided to open earlier,
Full of turkey, deprived of sleep, the crowds got even surlier.

Midnight is no time, my friend, to be out and shopping.
After feasting all Thanksgiving day, it’s time for rest and stopping.
Instead, the minute the bird’s picked clean,
they start the “Holiday” machine.

Shoppers trip over display elves
to get to fully-laden shelves.
Christmas trees drop balls and sway,
unequal to this shopping fray.

In a season meant to swell the heart,
good bargains may be ripped apart
by buyers intent on competing—
herds of sheep milling and bleating.

On Thursday, we give thanks for all
we’ve been given, then have the gall
at midnight, to swarm out the door
to hit the mall and buy some more!

You can hear the fuss and roar
the minute you approach each store.
Shoving, elbowing and gripping.
You can hear the garments ripping!

But I remember days of yore
long before the blood and gore,
when Christmas “giving” was more laid back—
a doll for Jill, a train for Jack

purchased from Sear’s catalogue,
or “Monkey Wards.” Perhaps a dog
or kitten in a wiggling box.
Perfume for Mom. For Dad? Some sox.

And it was done. No buying fury.
No fuss or bother, strain or hurry.
“Good will to men” the Christmas reason
before big stores usurped the season!

Steve Cutts has made a wonderful animated film that perfect illustrates this poem.  You can see it HERE.

The prompt words today were shop, melody, dubious and overwhelm.  Somehow they seemed to want to come together to produce this poem. Here are the links. Tell us what they say to you!

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/rdp-friday-shop/
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/11/23/fowc-with-fandango-melody/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/dubious/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/your-daily-word-prompt-overwhelm-November-23-2018/

Christmas Gifts

Click on first photo to increase the size of all and to read captions.

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My mother was the hero of Christmas. Decorated waste paper baskets from the church bazaar, that “Skunk” game I’d been begging for, played once and never again, that one last doll when I was eleven, purchased more for her own nostalgia than my need. The tree went up as the orange and brown of Thanksgiving was disposed of, and the jubilation of Christmas stretched on until New Years, when the tree came down.

For my dad, however, the end of Christmas was never quick enough. The tree lights hurt his eyes, he said, but I always wondered if there was more to it than that: some sparsity of the Christmases of his past that had broken its spirit in the heart of a young boy raised on a South Dakota prairie that furnished few rewards, let alone extravagent Christmases, but still expecting more, perhaps, than an orange in the toe of his sock. A pony, maybe, or a stick of hard candy, a jaunty new blue winter stocking cap or simply a mother  more given to Christmas than his own busy midwife of a mother, always off to somewhere else.

In our mad months of enthusiasm over tinsel, ornaments resurrected from the attic and the mystery of wrapped boxes, we overlooked the remnants of that little boy’s pain, but some part of each of us, detecting it by some subconscious radar, never gave up trying to heal those hurts of former Christmases with tiny Black Hills Gold tie tacks, new wallets and papier-mâché sculptures meant to prod him from his apathy. It never quite worked, except for that sculpture, ugly in its craziness, laughed and pondered over, then left to age and weather on their unroofed patio until its demise, giving one small hope of reviving a small boy’s wonder over Christmas and the unexpected. His forbearance over the years made him, perhaps, another subtler hero of Christmas, just in his putting up with it.

The prompt words for today are orange, game, hero, jubilation and quick.  Here are the links:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/rdp-tuesday-prompt-orange/
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/09/11/fowc-with-fandango-game/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/hero/
https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/09/09/daily-addictions-2018-week-36/jubilation
https://dversepoets.com/2018/09/10/quadrille-64-quickwrite-something/

Why I (Thought I) Slept in Today but Probably Didn’t

I won’t relate the horrors of Guadalajara traffic and why it took me ten and a half hours to get there, do my business, and get home again yesterday. That isn’t the reason I slept in until what I thought was ten thirty today. But, as I look at my alarm clock, I see it is still ten thirty even hours after I woke up and realize the battery must have gone dead, so perhaps I didn’t get as much sleep as I thought, since my computer says 10:34 and I’ve already located two more emergency presents and creative last-minute wrapping materials, posted a blog and chatted several times with Yolanda, so I have no idea how long I slept last night.  I do know that I wrapped gifts for Yolanda and Pasiano’s families until 4:49 a.m. I also put together two framed photo collages for two of their gifts and although I bought Xmas wrap, discovered I had no ribbon, so I engineered  ribbons by cutting up old cloth belts and used egg carton flowers for bows.  I used photos for tags so non-readers could find their own gifts. Where there is a will, there’s a way.  Some of my late-night inventions: (If you are viewing from Facebook, click on the URL or you won’t see all the photos.  Then click on first photo to enlarge all photos and view as slide show.)

 

Nacimientos

In Mexico, the word nacimiento, which means “nativity,” has been expanded to cover the hundreds of little painted clay statues that flesh out a Mexican nativity scene.  There are Egyptians, camels, tents, volcanoes, various devils hiding in the background, butchers, bakers, campfires complete with roasting meat, children in trees, women vending bread, making bread, carrying water, fishermen complete with nets and too many other characters to list.  Here are a few photos of my nacimiento scenes from former years.  This year the figures will remain safe in their boxes on high shelves, safe from the paws of inquisitive cats. (To see the photos in detail, click on first photo to enlarge all.)

These photos perhaps represent the prompt of “jolly” better than my post about how I’m celebrating Christmas this year.

Christmas Morning Tradition

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Christmas Morning Tradition

Every child in the county
will soon approach their Christmas bounty,
transformed from box-shaker and gaper
into a dervish, tearing paper.
Opening tablets, games and dolls,
jumping ropes and basketballs,
until that ultimate stage is reached—
that final Christmas custom breached.
Each child will have the astounding gall
of querying with, “Is that all?”

The prompt today was “bounty.”

“Seasonal” Sunday Trees, Dec. 18, 2016

It seemed fitting that the mountain goat would be at the top of the tree. Click on first photo to enlarge all.

 

https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/sunday-trees-266

No Time for Moody

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What me, moody?  No time to be so.  Spent four hours decorating the Christmas tree last night.  Unfortunately, seems as though when Yolanda packed up the ornaments for me last year—very carefully, wrapping each one (but neglecting to put them in their regular boxes so I had two large cartons of empty boxes as well as one large carton of neatly wrapped ornaments) she also just cut the hanging loops off with the result that none of the 200 or more ornaments had anything to hang them from.  Plus, she seems to have thrown away the wire hangers the loops hung from, so not only did I need to cut and form 200 hangers from wire, but also figure out how to attach them!  I did so appreciate her untrimming the tree last year, but this year I think I’ll just cover it with plastic and store it in the laundry room!  Save hours next year.  (I didn’t mention untangling 4 long strands of Xmas lights to discover only one worked.)

But I’m not moody.  No time to be so.  Especially since after two days of painting the bathroom I discovered that the cement window frame I’d worked hours on to gouge out and sand away all the salitre, treat with vinegar, dry with fans, treat with Sin Salitre, dry overnight with fans, then fill with white cement, had one problem.  The day after I completed this three day process (due to need to dry completely,) when I ran a cloth over the job, it came off covered with powder.  I then used my hand.  Covered with white powder.  Commenced coughing coughing coughing from the dust.

Then a light bulb went on over my head.  I must have filled the holes with grout rather than cement!  They look exactly the same, and when Pasiano neglected to find the white cement for me, I went to find it myself in the garage and got a bag of grout instead.  Damn.  This would mean sanding it out, more dust, more coughing.  So, I found a bottle of grout sealant and  painted it on.  When it dries, I’m going to go ahead and paint over it anyway.  If it doesn’t work, I’ll do the job right after Xmas

My best friends will arrive to spend Xmas with me in 3 days.  28 people coming for a Xmas day potluck, need to visit Guadalajara to buy the ham and rolls and other party fare. Still need to find a place for all the retablos still residing on my dining room table.  Carpenter came today to take my kitchen island to fix so all of it’s drawers residing in different places on my counter top and dining room floor.  Two more boxes of Xmas decorations to find and no idea where they are hiding out, bathroom to finish painting, spare room full of material that was put upstairs during retiling and that needs to be put away. Lights and papel picado to string up, Nacimientos to set out, manger to assemble.

But moody?  No way.  I have no time to be moody.  Above is the Xmas tree I decorated last night.  It’s beginning to feel a lot like Xmas.  I did Aguinaldos (Christmas Bonuses) and gifts for Pasiano and Yolanda, wrapped up a Hello Kitty notebook for Yoli and a new laptop computer for Oscar, filled Xmas stockings for Marti and Patty, my looooooong time  friends who are visiting . (So excited they’ll be here for Xmas.)  Yes.  definitely, Xmas is in the air, as full of dust as it may be, as cluttered and stacked up and makeshift as it may be.  In three days all will be perfect.  And it is also perfect that all this activity leaves no room for moodiness.  Moody? Me? Never.

 

 

The prompt today is “moody.”