A different kind of Christmas.

Photo credit: Seasonchristmas.com

Photo credit: Seasonchristmas.com

With my Advent calendar at an end today, I wanted to do something special on here, before I pop off for Christmas.
So, I have asked Colleen Chesebro, who blogs at Silver Threading to do a guest post, which she has very kindly done.
Colleen began her blog around the same time as me and has come on in leaps and bounds. I always enjoy reading her posts, which cover a variety of topics. She also hosts a Writer’s Quote Wednesday feature, which you may have noticed I have recently started participating in. It’s good fun to join in, if you ever fancy a go.
So, I was thrilled to bits when Colleen said she would write a post for me about why she doesn’t celebrate Christmas. I’ll let her introduce herself and her post.
My friend Dorne, from Write Dorne asked me to do a guest post about why I do not celebrate Christmas.  Thank you for having me in for a visit Dorne.  I really would like to try your mince pies and sherry.  Now, that would be a celebration! The reason we do not celebrate Christmas is because both my husband and I are Buddhist.  Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.  In the past, when all our children were home with us, we celebrated a combined Christmas with a tree and all trimmings for the children.  At the same time, I paid homage to Buddha and our ancestors by lighting incense and saying special prayers.         2014-12-21 10.25.03
This is our home altar for Buddha
I light three incense as a woman, (men can light one) one for Buddha, the next for the Dharma, and the last for the Sangha.  I have candles that I light also.  I try to meditate at least twice a week near my altar.  I feel refreshed after my contemplation. Inside the cabinet are pictures of our deceased parents and siblings, and deceased pets.  I have pictures of my husband and myself, our children and grandchildren in there too.  I say special prayers for all of our family and friends. I ask for protection from the evils of the world.

Grandkids 2013From Left to Right: Savanna, Alexandria, and Steven

Last year, was the first year that we saw our grandchildren at Christmas.  We are an Air Force family and our children and grandchildren are spread far and wide throughout the United States and overseas.  We have two other grandchildren that we have not seen for a few years, Maleah and Arianna.  The fact that we live far apart is normal to us.  Our children chose their paths in life much the same way we chose ours.  Military families are used to being apart.  You don’t always like it, but you do accept it.

This Christmas, my husband and I will celebrate with a wonderful meal.  We will not have any family with us this year, so we tend to keep things simple and more for us.  We have surf and turf (steaks, shrimp, and halibut) planned as the weather here in Florida promises to be beautiful.  I have made chocolate chip cookies which I will take to some of my neighbors, wishing them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

2014-11-28 07.29.13Our driftwood Christmas Tree – our new Florida Tradition

This time will be spent doing the things we enjoy, listening to music, sharing some drinks, playing Wii, barbecuing, and just being together.  The funny thing is, we do this all the time, not just because it is a holiday.  That is the essence of what Christmas really is about I think – living a good life by helping others, and by being good to each other, and enjoying each other’s company.  Not just because it is a holiday, but because it is the way you live.

How will you celebrate Christmas with your family?

Thanks again to Dorne for having me visit her wonderful blog.  I enjoyed meeting all of you.

BlessingsBlessings of Peace and Happiness to you all.

~Silver Threading~

I hope you enjoyed that inspiring piece of writing from Colleen: check out her blog sometime. I think it’s important to not lose track of the fact that not everyone will be celebrating Christmas. Each of us, in our own way will find some way to enjoy this season.

So, thanks Colleen.

I’m taking a few days break now; to chill out, catch up with my favourite bloggers and tidy my blog up. I’d heard on the grapevine that things quieten down a bit now, so it’s an ideal time to work on stuff behind the scenes. Like that ghost story that needs to be finished off. Will it be ready for New Year’s Eve? We’ll see.

Finally, to all of my readers and followers I say a BIG THANK YOU !  You have truly amazed me, with your support and comments and inspired me to improve my blog. It hasn’t happened yet, but we live in hope…LOL!  It’s great to be a part of this big blogging family, whether you blog, or not, thanks for reading me.


And a special thought for those who have recently being bereaved, who are living in war zones, or sleeping rough. For all of those who are suffering, may they find some peace as well.

I’ll be back later on in the week.

Until the next time.

Owner: Pacific Software

Owner: Pacific Software

A guest post from Hugh.

Today I have a treat for you…some decent writing. No, I haven’t turned over a new leaf…Hugh Roberts, who blogs at Hugh’s Views and News  http://hughsviewsandnews.wordpress.com has very kindly done a guest post for me and I’ve done one for him…poor boy!.

I love reading Hugh’s writing…his descriptions of things conjure up crystal clear images in my mind and I can usually relate to where he’s coming from.

Have a read and enjoy his recollections of his first memory. It’s my betting that he’ll take you down memory lane as well.


Mum and gran

Mum and gran

My First Memory
I’ve never been asked to do a guest post before.  When Dorne and I decided to write a guest post for each others blog, I had no idea what to write about.  Then I went back to the very beginning of my own blog and saw that all I wanted to write about life.  What a great subject I thought and one which I should also write about as a guest blogger.
Ever since I can remember, I have always been a great lover of life.  Yes, it’s thrown many bad things at me and said “here, deal with that”, but my love affair with life has never ended or been anywhere near ending.  I could simply ‘like’ life but, no, I have always adored life and will do so until my ‘sell by date’ comes along.
The other day I was thinking about my life so far and reliving some memories and I then tried to remember what my first ever memory of life was.  A few memories came to the forefront of my mind and by working out the dates of these memories, I was able to remember what my very first memory of my life was.  So, let me take you back to that very day I can remember and tell you what I can remember.
I’m sat on the floor in the huge living room of our house.  In front of me is a big high dark wooden table and on top of that table I can just make out the brightly coloured yellow truck I had been given that day.  The colour fascinated me and yellow became my favourite colour up until about twenty years ago when Blue took over.
Sat at one end of the table, to my right, is my Grandmother.  She looks down at me and smiles.  She has thick black rimmed spectacles which make her eyes look huge.  She’s wearing a green ‘pork pie’ style hat, which has two red cherries stuck to the side and is dressed in a velvet green two piece jacket and skirt.  Underneath the jacket I can see a cream cardigan which is helping her keep warm and she wears some white pearls around her neck.  Her lips are painted a bright red and she has on a pair of black flat shoes and beige coloured stockings.  She’s quite a chubby lady and adores me as I am her first Grandchild.
To my left is the kitchen and in there I can see the back of my mother.  She’s busy peeling sprouts and I wonder why she makes a little cross on the bottom of each sprout with the knife.  I only know she is doing this because my Grandmother has told her to remember to cross the sprouts at the base.  I can see lots of steam coming off various pots boiling away on the stove and the house is smelling of a roast dinner.  My mother is wearing a green flowery dress and has on a new pair of slippers which are tartan green in colour and have a cream coloured fur inside of them.  She talks to my Grandmother about how long it will be before the men come back from the pub.
Behind me I can hear a baby stir, it’s my baby sister.  I look behind me and over in the corner is a small artificial Christmas Tree which is lit up in colourful Victorian looking lanterns.  I love looking at the red, green, blue and yellow bright lights.  The tree is up on a small table to prevent me getting my hands on the chocolates which hang from some of its branches.  There are no presents under the tree for everything has been opened, most of which is scattered across the living room floor.
The baby starts to cry and my Grandmother gets up and takes a peek inside the carrycot while my mother continues to peel sprouts.  Besides me I notice a few selection boxes, one of which is opened.  On the front of each selection box is a picture of Father Christmas in his sleigh being pulled by some reindeer over some snowy roofs and chimney pots of houses.  Pictures of the various chocolate bars and sweets inside the box are also displayed on the front of each box.  I’ve eaten most of the content of the open box to the dismay of my Grandmother who has told my mother that I won’t be wanting to eat my Christmas dinner.
Up on the ceiling are pinned two colourful paper bells, one just above me and the other down the far end of the room.  When taken down, unclipped, and closed up in a few weeks time, I remember how they both look like the shape of a boot, the type my mother would wear when going out.  When taking them down my father would say how the shape reminded him of a country called Italy and that one day he would like to take us all there for a holiday.
The date is 25th December 1966.
IMG_1812 Hugh and Toby
So there you have the details I remember of my very first memory of life.  What about you?  What is the first memory of your life, where were you, who were you with and what was going on?
I want to thank Dorne so much for asking me to write a guest post.  She has a great sense of humour and her posts always bring a smile to my face, which is infectious. We both seem to like the odd glass of wine every now and again and I can’t imagine what it would be like if we were both sat around a table with a bottle or two of wine on the go, talking about life.  I think it would be priceless.
Thanks Dorne, it’s been a real privilege writing for you.
Thanks Hugh, I loved that. My granny had a pork pie hat and hat pins in it , as well. She always smelt of lavender water. Such memories!
I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for visiting.
I’ll be back later on, with today’s advent calendar. Bet you can’t wait!
Until the next time.
Check out Hugh’s blog at http://www.hughsviewsandnews.wordpress.com

Hugh Roberts