Tag Archives: holiday

Holiday Magic


This post was inspired by Patience Brewster, a designer of adorable, whimsical Christmas ornaments and gifts, to reflect on my favorite holiday memory.

Twinkling lights

Festive carols

Cheerful smiles

Savory scents

Winter wonderlands

The magic of the holidays is something that can hardly be described adequately.  In fact, the pure magic and wonder of the Christmas season is something my family looks forward to every year.  With that anticipation comes our family traditions…

Ever since my sister and I were little girls, my family has put up the Christmas tree and decorated it the day after Thanksgiving.  On that Friday night, my parents would pull out the boxes of decorations and tree ornaments, my sister and me leaning over them to peek at the colorful treasures inside.  Mom and Dad would sit side-by-side on the couch, and Tracy and I would wait eagerly as they would hand us each one ornament at a time.  We would take each one and find the perfect spot for it on the lit tree.  As it got fuller with bulbs, bells, and little snowmen and Santas, we would study every empty branch for just the right spot for the next ornament until the entire tree was full of hanging memories.  It was then that my dad would take the star out of the box and, with perfect care, place it atop the glowing tree.  Tracy and I would “ooh” and “ahh” and stare at the beautiful tree until we would go to bed and eagerly count down the days until Santa’s visit.

Tracy (right) and me circa 1987

Now, my own kids toss and turn with excitement in the nights leading up to Christmas, but not until after they carry on our family’s tradition of decorating our tree the day after Thanksgiving.  After we go and pick out the perfect tree and wrap it in shimmering lights, Eugene and I sit beside each other on the couch, and Gerald, Ronald, Jeremy, and Emma take turns placing each ornament in its ideal spot on the tree.  Emma and Jeremy are in charge of the bottom branches since they’re too short to reach the top, and Ronald is in charge of the top.  Gerald, my perfectionist mini-me, is in charge of rearranging the bulbs and ornaments so they’re evenly spaced out and no one area of branches has more than another!  All four munchkins beg to eat “just one candy cane” each as they place them on the tree.  Finally, once all the decorations are on the tree, Eugene puts our beautiful angel on the top.  Just like Tracy and I did, our kids stare in wide-eyed awe at the finished product and begin their countdown until Christmas!

Do you and your loved ones have any holiday traditions?  How did your traditions begin?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my internet friends and family!  This year, and always, please remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.  Love to you all.  xoxo

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“Man, we lit up your world like the 4th of July…” ~Toby Keith


Today is my favorite day of the year – July 4th…  A day where our pride as Americans is just tangible.

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those nerds who still has to hold back tears every time I hear the National Anthem, even though I’ve now heard it approximately 1,568 times.

Source: ESPN

Source: ESPN

Every time I see an old man, I get emotional.  Not sad emotional, but proud emotional.  As I watch them walk down the street or through the grocery store, I wonder about how they defended our Country for us.  Which wars have they fought in?  What do they think about how much our society has changed over the years?  Are they proud of what they see around them now, or are they ashamed?

Source: DoDLive

Source: DoDLive

I get choked up a little every time I see a soldier.  I am so thankful for the men and women who fight for our freedoms… the very freedoms I take advantage of every day.  While I’m at home complaining that we can’t go outside and swim because it’s raining again, these brave heroes are sleeping in a place that’s not their home – on something that can barely be called a bed – in a place that’s sweltering with no A/C – with no real food for months at a time – away from their spouses and children and parents.  Who the heck am I to complain about anything?

Source: Prinze Charming

Source: Prinze Charming

Every time I hear Toby, I stand up a little straighter.  “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” reminds me every time I hear it that we, as Americans, can sleep at night without fear thanks to the heroes who have busted their asses for us since 9/11.

Source: Pop Dust

Source: Pop Dust

Each time I see fireworks, I stare in complete awe, thinking of the work our Founding Fathers put forth in paving the way for us as citizens of the best country on Earth.

Source: Progressive Libertarianism

Source: Progressive Libertarianism

At every baseball game I attend, I sit and close my eyes for a few seconds, taking in the sounds and smells around me.  It truly is America’s pastime.

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

Every time I see the New York skyline, I think about how we Americans destroyed all boundaries and prejudices, at least temporarily, in order to stand together, in unity, for our Country.  It consistently reminds me that we are, in fact, the world’s greatest.

Source: America 911

Source: America 911

Every time I go to vote, I say a silent prayer of thanks that I live in a Democratic society where I am free to choose what I think is best for our nation.  While my opinion may not always be the winning opinion, at least I can have my say.  It is our civic duty to go out and vote.  If you don’t already, I urge you to in our next election.  Use your voice that our soldiers are fighting to allow us to keep.

Every time I publish a new post on my blog, I’m grateful that I live in America – a place where I am free to speak my mind, even if others don’t like what I have to say.

Source: The Core Message

Source: The Core Message

Each time I stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance, I stop to actually consider the words I’m saying.  ONE NATION.  UNDER GOD.  You’re damn right…

Source: Mitt Romney Central

Source: Mitt Romney Central

To sum all this up, I’m proud to be an American.  I understand what some are giving up so that I can continue to be safe, free, and selfish.  Freedom is most certainly not free.

Photo by QT Luong

Photo by QT Luong

Thank you.  Thank you to all those who are fighting, and have fought, for my family, friends, and me.  You are my real-life superheroes.

Source: Freedom Trail Run

Source: Freedom Trail Run

Happy 4th of July!


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