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Christmas Is On Its Way!!

It may seem hard to believe, but it seemed like only yesterday when it was Easter. Now it is the last day of November; tomorrow starts the first of December, and we are already staring down into the barrel of Christmas. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now the stores are full of shoppers, and Christmas and holiday decorations can be found everywhere you happen to look.

This is Barbara. I am sorry if I haven't written in a while, but I have been unbelievably busy. Between going to school and doing homework assignments, spending time with Kevin (my new boyfriend; my old boyfriend, Trent, and I have since broke up; he and I got into a major fight--his fault--, and he decided that he needed someone else; it was a very rough time for me, and I am still not quite over it), spending time with my family, going to concerts, looking for part-time work (I AM nearly sixteen now; I'll be 16 in March!), and learning to drive (YES, I, Barbara, am learning how to DRIVE!!), I just don't have much free time anymore. I figured once football season was overwith and done, I'd have at least SOME of my social life back, but seems that I am busier than ever!

But I am glad that the holidays are here. We just had a blast over Thanksgiving: we had my oldest sisters come home from college or from places like Louisiana and Colorado; and my oldest sister, Lightning, brought her husband, Darnell, and her kids, Jamee, LeAndre', Daniel, and the new twins (Tyreese and Tyrell; they are almost five months old now, and they are both little cuties!), and we also had company from Texas (the Pearson family; their two daughters, Hanh Ly and Linn Chan, were foster kids that stayed with us for a time over the Christmas holidays last year; it was soo nice to see them again!), California (the Williams family, which is made up of single parent Kendra and her 12 adopted daughters who range in age from two and a half on up to 14), and Alaska (our friends Jenna Aurora and her husband Michael--their last name is Doucet--, and Sikik Grace Eegeesiak). We had a housefull a lot of the time, and we spent Thanksgiving going out to eat at the Golden Corral (they were open), and then watching the Dallas Cowboys make mincemeat out of the Chicago Bears; it was a very good game, so exciting to watch! We had lots of turkey and all the "trimmin's", and we all laughed and had a very good time!

Now the Thanksgiving end of the holidays are over, and now we are approaaching Christmas. Thank GOD we are about done with our shopping; we only have a few "minor" purchases to make, and we spent a good part of Friday at the malls, hitting all the sales on toys, clothes, and stuff; and the younger kids were happy that they got to talk to Santa Claus and give him their Christmas wishes; and they also had their pictures made with Santa. We also had our Christmas family portraits done, and we are waiting for those; then we can do our cards and get them out of the mail while the stamps are still at the current price. We also have been practicing for our upcoming Cantata at our church, and we kids have been practicing for our upcoming Christmas programs at our respective schools. We have also been ringing the bells for the Salvation Army and donating old clothes and "slightly used toys" for the needy adults and kids, and we have been making Christmas cookies to hand out to the veterans for when we go to the Veterans' Hospital sometime next week, to let them know that we are thinking of them this holiday season. We are also going to go out caroling one day, and so, as you can see, we are plenty busy.

But I still love the holidays: I love all of the magical, wonderful sights, sounds, and smells that tell us that it is soon to be Christmas, and I love looking at all the twinkling lights and seeing all the lush greenery festooned from light posts, buildings, and whatnot. I have always loved Christmas, ever since I was a small child back in my native Louisiana: I still remember the excitement and anticipation of waiting for Santa Claus to make his yearly journey from the North Pole to deliver presents to all the good little boys and girls, and the yearly Christmas specials that still hold a place in my heart: I grew up watching "Frosty the Snowman", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Twas The Night Before Christmas", "A Charlie Brown Christmas", and my personal favorite, "How The Grinch Stole Christmas". I still love those shows today, and I also love the annual holiday specials from Washington DC and Nashville (we go to that every year).

If I could, I wish it would be Christmas 365 days a year (366 on leap years!); I love the "spirit of goodwill" and the freshly scrubbed, happy faces of the children and the smiles that wreath the faces of adults as they tarry about and go about their business of shopping for friends and family, and also love the sweet, sugary, spicy, taste-tempting smells of freshly-made, hot cider, Christmas cookies sprinkled with colored sugar, and spiced, hot tea, and the rich, piney smell of the evergreens. I also love the cold snap that is now so prevelent in the air, and the tickle of the first tiny snowflakes that gently float down from a leaden, grey wintery sky, and the cozy feel of warm coats, hats, scarves, mittens, and boots, to protect our shivering bodies from the cold. Christmas is indeed a special time, and I always enjoy the holy hymns of "Silent Night", "Joy To The World", "O, Holy Night", "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear", "God Bless Ye Merry Gentlemen", and other classics that spell out the TRUE meaning of why we celebrate Christmas: the Birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (they say He was actually born in the fall sometime, but still, it is nice to celebrate in the cold of winter and have something special and meaningful to celebrate!).
Unlucky Fish
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