A Christmas to Remember

The Christmas holidays this year were different for me in that I was not with my family in San Antonio.  Prior to my being home for Thanksgiving, we had decided it would be fun for my parents, sisters, niece and nephews would visit me for Christmas.  My parents had wanted to see my new house so this was a great opportunity.  I kept telling myself that I needed to just get through Christmas Day and then I’d be fine.  I decided to attend church on Christmas Eve.  I first attempted to make it to one church’s service at 5:00.  I arrived with only 10 minutes or so to spare and found no parking….well, I could’ve parked across the street but then figured there would be no seating inside the church.  Alrighty, Plan B.  I stopped at the grocery store, grabbed some milk, pizza, spaghetti, sauce and chips…clearly essentials for snow storm.  I drove home, put the groceries away and got back into the car so I was sure to make the next service.  The entryway of St. Thomas More was already crowded. I spotted a seat on one of benches and quickly snagged it.  As I began looking around, I realized this was the children’s pageant mass.  Little ones decked out in their adorable holiday clothes kept the atrium area a buzz with activity.  A few minutes later, the children began lining up to take their place.  Angels, various animals and alike were chattering amongst themselves. 

A Call to Serve

Thanks to the tweet from Ann Curry, I felt called to volunteer to help serve dinner at the Norman Community Dinner on Christmas Day.  I was scheduled to be a back-up but then got the call that someone had cancelled.  I left early in case it took me a while to get to Norman High School.  I parked and carefully walked up the ramp.  As I looked around the cafeteria, I couldn’t help but smile.  Families and individuals enjoying a delicious holiday meal.  After getting my instructions, I was assigned my post.  I am finding out how small of a world Norman is as I ended up meeting two ladies who used to work where I work now.  As I was saying my goodbyes to the gentleman in charge of the event an hour or so later, I said I would get in touch with him earlier next year so I could sign up in advance. 

Through the slosh and over the ice we go

        christmas 2012 2

 

 christmas 2012

The reports that came in early on Tuesday were not encouraging for my being able to travel to my friend’s house for dinner.  Text messages were exchanged and after looking at updates online, I decided to head north.  Getting out of my neighborhood seemed to be the most difficult.  Fast forward a couple of hours and I returned home from a delicious meal with friends.  We ate, watched the Thunder game, opened presents and just hung out. 

In my eyes, that was a good Christmas.  As I write this, it is two days until my family gets to Norman.  I can’t wait….

Sincerely,
Enjoying the holidays in Norman

Advertisements

Are You In?

One week has passed since the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  Though we as a society may never understand the “why” behind what happened, we have had a week to go through the various emotions of anger, sadness, frustration, shock.  One emotion many have embraced, thanks to the prodding from Ann Curry, is love.  Thanks to Curry’s push for random acts of kindness via Twitter using the hash tag #26Acts, the country and even beyond, have reached out to do good for others…maybe friends, random strangers or even organizations.  Just as Maya Angelou states, “When we know better, we do better.”  This is so true…..when we know of what needs to be done, we do it and we feel great about it.  I know when I do a nice gesture for others, my spirits are immediately lifted.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have loved hearing about the stories and following the tweets on Twitter….but what scares me is that these good deeds will have an expiration date.  Think about this for a minute…September 11th, 2001 for example.  Following that horrific tragedy, America became more, well American.  We all went out and bought flags to fly outside our houses, we cherished our families and appeared more patriotic than ever.  Why do we as Americans not sustain this need to do good all year?  Why does it take a tragedy like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting for us to commit ourselves to doing 26 acts like Ann Curry suggests?  If you simply look around, there are ample opportunities to share your time and money year round….wouldn’t it feel great to have done a random act of kindness every day?  This doesn’t have to involve money either.  Soon, many will go back to our normal day-to-day activities taking care of ourselves and occasionally thinking of others.  We don’t set out our days with the intention of “what can I do for someone else today?”  Why not? 

My hope is that this time around, our mindset changes.  Wouldn’t it be a great way to honor the 26 children and adults who lost their lives just a week ago?  Children eager to learn and make their mark on the world…adults who chose a profession not for the pay, but to make a difference.  Let’s make them proud and continue that effort.  One last note…many people no doubt have blogged and written on this topic but I would suggest you taking another minute to read my friend’s posting on taking responsibility and stepping up.  Thanks, Carmen!

What will your #26Acts be?  We have today…make it count.

Sincerely,
“I’m in” in Norman