The tree we decorate in our home is a Christmas tree. I call it a Christmas tree, not a solstice tree or a holiday tree. I call it a Christmas tree because my family's roots are in Christianity. I've called it a Christmas tree since my youth. However, my leanings are pagan and because of this my tree is semi-traditional. The ornaments adorning my Christmas tree reflect a variety of different belief systems. Its branches are loaded with angel ornaments which reflect spiritual beings. There are also ornaments shaped as hearts and doves. The tree is also adorned with twelve beautiful golden ornaments that depict the zodiac signs. There is treasured fat jolly santa ornament. And there is a joyously happy fat-bellied Buddha ornament as well. A favorite trimming is a tiny white mouse made from felt my grandmother hand sewed with a bright red bead she stitched onto it for its eye. It rests quietly atop a lower branch keeping a watch over the packages placed underneath. The mouse that didn't stir on Christmas eve... I suppose.
Click here for my holiday greeting from me to you! - a Jacquie Lawson animated greeting card
My husband and I celebrated Winter Solstice evening in Rochester, Minnesota. There is a lot more snow on the ground in Minnesota than we currently have in southeastern Iowa. I'm not particularly fond of the cold white stuff, but I must admit that the countryside across northern Iowa and into Minnesota was very beautiful with its snow cover. Viewing scenic farmlands with snowy laden fields made the drive enjoyable. The white fields made me very reminiscent of tobogganing down slippery slopes in my teens. I spotted a pheasant and kept my eyes open for more wildlife but no other animal totem revealed itself to me.
The reason we traveled to Rochester was because my DH (dear husband) was scheduled for a consult with his cardiologist at the Mayo Clinics on Dec 22. His heart evaluation was satisfactory -- a good report that he considers his "best Christmas gift" for this season. He has been asked to keep watch for signs of problems, and to continue with periodic testing. He had a mitral valve repair done there in 1999 and since then his heart has been routinely monitored for any changes.
About Heart Disease and Cardiology
Lisa Trifone, One Girl's Impression writes a thoughtful review of my all-time favorite Christmas movie It's A Wonderful Life. I wouldn't get through each holiday season without watching this film at least once. I can never choose who I love most, George or Clarence. They are both such lovable characters. This Christmas we've been given a new version of this classic movie--It's a Wonderful Internet.
Coaster Girl admits to being cold and lonely and in need of a magical Christmas in her Countdown to Christmas post dated December 20th.
Jodie Foster, Intuitive Innovations, posts A Return to Joy offering her discovery during her college days of the strong connection between grief and joy. Jodie writes:
- What I came to know and understand during that time was something I had known in 'theory', but evidently not experientially, was that joy & grief/sorrow, both reside in the heart chakra. They are two sides of the same coin. In order for me to get to the joy, I needed to go through the grief, feel the sorrow and release what I had been holding in my heart.
If you are truly a lover of Christmas I know that you would really like to own a copy of a new Christmas book published this year by Pelican Publishers. Christmas Past written by Barbara Hallman Kissinger, ISBN - 1589803566. I know the author personally. Barb is my sister's mother-in-law. She even looks a bit like Mrs. Claus. I visited her home this afternoon and got my copy of her book autographed and also picked up a second copy to give as a Christmas gift. Her book is totally delightful. Book description from Amazon booksellers:
- This unforgettable collection of nostalgic images and entertaining lore celebrates the many ways of commemorating the birth of the Christ child. More than two hundred colorful illustrations, dating from the Victorian age through the early-twentieth century, portray Christmas traditions of years gone by. Nostalgic images of angels, St. Lucia, Yule logs, and wassailing are only some of the treasures selected from the more than thirteen hundred items in the author’s own collection of vintage Christmas books and ephemera. The beautiful artwork, which originally appeared in magazines, newspapers, advertisements, and greeting cards from across the United States and Europe, recalls the wholesome holidays of simpler times.
Accompanying these fantastic images is a text full of holiday history. Author and Christmas historian Barbara Hallman Kissinger explores the long-ago origins of the Christian world’s most celebrated holiday, from the Norse tradition of the Yule month to the story of the real St. Nicholas. She also includes the many fascinating variations of gift-giving, tree-decorating, and carol-singing traditions practiced by families across Europe.
Evelyn Rodriguez, Tsunami survivor, began her Tsunami Anniversary Trek. This is a very personal journey she has undertaken, returning to the site of the WAVE that crashed her Christmas (and countless others) last year. She is seeing first hand the "good, the bad, and the ugly" parts of disaster relief. Keep an eye on her blog for Tsunami Anniversary updates. Evelyn is one of our treasured carnival hosts. We wish her the merriest of Christmases.
muse, me-ander, posts Refuah Shleimah, A Full Healing, to the Victims of Terror Attacks citing that prayers do make a difference in "cure rates" and shares a bit of knowlege about Jewish prayer traditions.
Looking back: Last week's carnival was hosted at Intuitive Living Blog
Looking ahead: I wish to extend a special invitation for everyone to put on their party hats and attend the New Year's Eve Carnival of Healing. I'll be hosting it at my personal blog Spiral Visions on December 31.
Thanks to all you bloggers for your wonderful healing-related blog submissions!
Check the Carnival of Healing hosting schedule to see who is hosting the carnival in upcoming weeks. Also, if you are interested in hosting the carnival at your blog please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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