ST. NICHOLAS SHARING

The holidays tend to bring out the best and the worst in me.  When I do something good, I like to make it a holiday tradition when I can.

A church I attended years ago had a St. Nicholas program that I loved.  I adopted the program for myself and each year I pick a person or family to share the magic of the holidays.  Each Sunday in Advent, you are supposed to leave a surprise at their door and then the last week you reveal that you are St. Nick. 

The premise is to keep it simple but I try to tailor it to the person/family I am treating.  It is so much fun for me, trying to sneak in and out without getting caught.  One time the family dog was outside barking at me when I was trying to get to the front door undiscovered.  I was shooing it away and praying the neighbors didn’t call and warn them of the nut outside.  Another time they were in the living room and I was crawling under the front window to get to the door undiscovered. 

Most people do not get the concept until week three and then they start asking questions.  I try not to tell anyone about it so that loose lips don’t spoil the fun.

The kind of gifts I leave depends on the family involved.  I usually know them pretty well which makes it easier.  One week I might leave cinnamon rolls or coffee cake and Christmas coffee.  (If I know they will be home and the bugs won’t get in it!)  Another week, popcorn and a holiday movie is fun.  I have given holiday socks for everyone in the family or if a single person, Christmas towels for the kitchen or bathroom.  Most of this stuff is on sale during the month of December so it is not really expensive; the idea is fun not expense.  I always leave the gift with a card or tag from St. Nick.

Over the years I have learned that making people feel special never fails.  If I know of a family going through a hard time they are usually my pick   It helps put them in the holiday spirit when they really don’t feel it.  Sometimes everyone isn’t “merry” and I have certainly been there myself.  I am not trying to make them feel what they don’t but I also can give them a reason to focus on something positive.  It is about “them” and I get some joy myself.

I have my family picked out for this year.  They are not blog readers so I won’t be blowing the surprise.  The first Sunday in Advent is November 28th this year. I hope some of you will give this a try.  It is a nice way to share the holidays with a new neighbor or someone having a sad holiday.  It strengthens friendships or shows forgiveness.  Isn’t that what the holidays should be?

P.S.  I would love to hear your holiday traditions and how they started.

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THE SILLY SEASON

It is hard to believe that the silly season is upon us again. I am determined to take care of myself this season and enjoy time relaxing with my family.  In order to do that, I have to be aware of the pitfalls that sneak up on me.

I have worked so hard to lose weight, 20 pounds since July.  I know full well that it is possible to gain it all back in a month and a half so staying focused is a priority.  If January arrives and I have not gained I will be thrilled.  I must have realistic expectations and understand that I may not lose anything during the holidays. I have to allow that to be acceptable.  As my family plans our Thanksgiving celebration I am already feeling the pull of special holiday treats.  I don’t have to say no to everything but I do have to plan and limit them.  This weight loss journey is going to be around for another year, I have to get used to it and keep my eye on the prize.

I do not do well when I am hungry or overtired.  I can be overly emotional and I know this about myself.  Other people can be the same way.  Hungry Angry Lonely Tired (HALT) is a rule for me to follow.  If I am already overwhelmed, staying away from people, places and things that increase my anxiety is a very good idea.  I also must make time for myself.  Sometimes I get so involved in pleasing everyone else I forget to take care of myself.  That spells DOOM for me. 

Taking care of me involves eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, remembering to do my daily meditation, laughing, being grateful and staying connected to positive influences.  When I lose track of this I feel like I am walking around with one shoe on and one shoe off.  Then I am headed for trouble. 

I tend to make snap decisions and others may not immediately share my enthusiasm or ideas. Many people in my life need to process their decision making.  I sometimes take that as not being supportive.  (see HALT above!)  There are very few plans that cannot be changed and very few issues that are going to be important in a week.  I don’t need to be over serious; I can relax and take each day as it comes.  I tend to plan every minute and then feel overwhelmed trying to accomplish everything. 

Now that I recognize all these behaviors do you think for one minute I will be able to stick to the plan?  Probably not completely, but at least I have a plan.  When I acknowledge my defects it helps me to let go.  I am not in control, never have been. I think I should remember that one too!

ROSIE POLSON

Hi everyone!  My name is Rosie, Rosie Polson to be exact.  My birthday is 4-5-6, which makes me 4 ½ years old.  I am a Boston terrier and I live in Orlando, Florida.  Even though a girl isn’t supposed to tell her weight, I weigh 27 pounds and I am all muscle.  Doc Brown told me so.  I have one brown eye and one blue eye and everyone thinks that is cool.  My tail doesn’t curl very well but that is ok, it makes me special.  My Mommy told me I could be a “guest blogger” today and talk about a day in my life.

Every morning Mom wakes up at 6:30 and takes me for a two mile walk in the park.  This is my favorite time of day.  Mom likes to walk pretty fast and I do my best to stay ahead of her for protection.  Some days I am not in the mood and I like to walk slowly.  I sniff the grass and see if any new dogs have visited.  The park is the most fun when other people bring their dogs too.  I have some friends that I see every day, especially Molly and Jake.  We like to sniff each other and growl a little bit. 

When we get home, Mom takes a shower and gets ready for work.  I play with Dad now.  He especially likes it when I play with him while he reads the paper. 

When Mom leaves for work I go to sleep.  I usually sleep all day so I am well rested when Mom comes home.  Sometimes Dad takes me for a car ride; that is a real special treat.  I love to go in the car and I sit in the seat like a big girl and behave.  Sometimes I stick my head out the window.  We go to Dad’s church camp and then I can run and play with the other dogs.  I come home really tired when we go to camp, there is a lot to do there.

Mom comes home from work about 5:30 and then it is time for dinner.  Mom always fixes my dinner because if Dad does it I won’t eat.  One time a month I get a special Heartworm chewable pill that I don’t like.  When I spit it out, mom wraps it with cheese.  I eat all the cheese and spit out the pill.  Then mom wraps it up in peanut butter.  I lick all the peanut butter off and spit it out again.  I am very smart; how else am I going to get cheese and peanut butter?  One time mom cut the pill up in real tiny pieces and mixed it in with my dog food.  I spit every piece back out too.   I remember mom talking about how much she hates mushrooms and how she picked them out of Papa’s food so I decided to do the same thing.  Mom was real frustrated over that. 

I jump on people and Mom yells at me when I do.  I can’t help it though, I am really happy to see everyone.  I don’t want to scare them, I want to play.  Sometimes Mom gives people a piece of newspaper to hold and that is mean, I don’t like newspaper.  I go lie down when that happens.

I like to play ball, so when Mom and Dad are watching TV, they throw the ball for me.  I would go get it for hours but they get tired and quit.  It really makes me sad.  I like to chew bones too. I have many bones so I don’t get bored.  There is nothing like a good bone to chew.

After we play ball for a while, I go for a short walk around the block one more time.  I have to make sure everything is safe before we retire for the evening.

My bedtime is 9:00 and if Mom isn’t paying attention I have to remind her.  I kiss her face all over until she looks at the clock and takes me out one more time.  Then I get in my crate and mom gives me a puperoni and tells me night night. 

I snore a lot when I sleep and Daddy sticks his fingers on my nose when I get really loud.  And I cry in my sleep too when I am dreaming.  It makes Mom and Dad laugh.  If I hear an odd noise I growl.  I mean business then.  This is my most important job and I try really hard to do it right.

I am a really blessed dog.  Some people say I am spoiled but I think God gave me the perfect Mom and Dad.

I hope you liked my blog today.  If you want to be a guest blogger I am sure Mom would let you try.  Just ask!