Archives For christmas

Drunk clockHere I am, once again, the day before Christmas wondering how I seemed to have missed the month of December. Where did that month that seemed to go on forever as a kid go? Why does it seem to get shorter every year? Is it just me?

Time gets talked about a lot during the holidays. As the year winds down, it seems fitting to take stock of what has passed. In the days of yore we had to rely on our own memories to form those images. This year we have Facebook to thank for scraping together the highlights of our past year and putting our lives into a nice photo album for us. We are now as Facebook thinks we are. <sigh> Continue Reading…

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Burn Bright, My Friend

joe —  Tue 24-Dec-13 — Leave a comment

Star trek lightsEight years ago I made one of the best decisions of my life. That was the year I stopped putting up outdoor Christmas lights.

What first started out as a few multi-colored lights around our shrubs, progressed to lighting all the trees, the eaves, and visions of interactive audio and video dancing in my head. I had to – the neighbors were keeping up.

Every year I had to keep adding more lights so that I wasn’t the lamest looking display in the neighborhood. Each ensuing year became more stressful than the previous year. The setup time went from hours, to days, to weekends. The dread of having the post Christmas blues combined with the increasing manual labor required to take the decorations down became too much. For such a happy time of the year, I was miserable Continue Reading…

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The Story in Our Eyes

joe —  Mon 24-Dec-12 — 1 Comment

Deck the HallsI love a great story. Stories capture our senses. We see pictures painted that we’ve never experienced in person. We hear sounds that may have only passed our ears years ago. We smell a lingering memory of growing up. A great story excites the soul.

But not all stories capture our attention. It’s hard to relate to a story that we can’t picture ourselves somehow inserted into the scenery. I love the thought of my family dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh. It makes the story come to life. It’s why Disney scored with tales of princesses and sword battles. We all have a little Walter Mitty in us.

It’s also why the senseless death of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown this month reverberates louder than the loss of 15,000 in a Bangladesh storm in 2007. Many of us hugged our kids extra hard the night of December 14th because we, but for a fleeting moment, dared to imagine ourselves in that situation. There but for the grace of God go I.

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I Am the Sandman

joe —  Sat 15-Dec-12 — Leave a comment

Dear SantaPanic started to sit in as Thanksgiving weekend passed without single idea of what our kids wanted for Christmas. Being college freshman, I would think their list would be endless. I remember the expressions on their faces when we sat down to try and figure out their lists. You would have thought that they were having that dream where they show up to class realizing that there’s a Physics final and they forgot to study.

It wasn’t until an Aha! moment with our son, Jared, that I realized the gift they both needed but neither would think to ask for. Continue Reading…

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Hope is More Than a Strategy

joe —  Fri 23-Dec-11 — 1 Comment

Hope One WayAs this year closes out I have a very simple wish for each of you. I pray that you may have hope. Great hopes. The kind that you can’t tell anyone for fear of sounding like some kind of nut job.

I am not praying that you get what you want. Looking back there are a lot of things that I wanted that I am glad I never received. I want you to have more.

I want you to believe in something; to have hope that something that seems so far fetched right now is possible.

I wish for you a drive to do the unexplainable in the name of the impossible.

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Merry Christmas, Steve Gray

joe —  Fri 24-Dec-10 — 9 Comments

Downpour.jpgOn the day before many of us celebrate the anniversary of the greatest gift given to mankind it dawned on me that my greatest gift may have come when I failed to give one.

Five years ago my wife and I were on our way to church during a very heavy downpour, the cats and dogs kind of rain. Along the way we noticed a woman standing at a bus stop without an umbrella desperately trying to pull her coat over her head. She was on the other side of the median divided road looking quite miserable.

Just as we passed, Beth and I looked at each other and knew we were thinking the same thing. “We should U turn around and give her our umbrella.”

We didn’t.
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