Thursday, December 23, 2010

'Tis the season...

You better not pout, you better not cry. No matter how much the traffic and the mean people at the malls make you want to. At the very least you can read the stories in this post and maybe feel a little more jolly and a little less stabby.

If you're a parent, you're jumping for joy these days. It's the one time of the year children behave without being told to. :) The ever-powerful naughty or nice list has been looking over their heads for quite some time now, thanks to retailers starting the Christmas season in September. If you need a little reassurance that you're receiving something other than coal in your stocking this year, you can check Santa's Naughty or Nice List for yourself.

One of the traditions of Christmas is the annual tree hunt. When I was younger it used to include traipsing all over kingdom come to find the perfect tree. Lately, it involves my parents and a race to see if they can beat their time from last year. I believe they are down to 10 minutes, parking lot to tree to parking lot again. One of my favorite authors has this to say about her tree-hunting experience. Compare and contrast.

The Guardian reported a trend in the UK of purchasing replantable trees, calling them a "surprise hit." In fact, the demand has been so high, grocery market giant (and tree supplier) Tesco had to order more after running out the first week of December. The article touts their green and green-saving credentials.

Today is a big day around the country for office Christmas parties (or so the DJ on the radio told me this morning). Office Secret Santas are usually a yearly nightmare. Drawing names; landing someone you don't know, or worse, don't like; and then having to find that person a gift. But Yahoo! posted a story on the type of Secret Santa you can really get behind. An anonymous man in Kansas City had, at the time of the article, given away $10,000 in hundred-dollar bills to needy strangers - a police officer with terminal cancer, a homeless man, a woman who couldn't afford presents for her 27 grandchildren, and a woman who'd lost her entire family in the course of two years among others. The nameless giver doesn't talk about his own finances but expects to give away around $40,000 this year.

MSNBC had a story on a similar situation. A six year-old little girl in southwest Florida wrote a letter to Santa asking for just one present. Her family had been hit hard by the recession and, in an aborted attempted to find a job in New Jersey, had sold or given away nearly everything they owned. Postal workers were touched by the little girl's note and decided to provide a trimmed tree, presents and furniture to the family.

And finally, I was late with my Hanukkah presents to Jewish friends this year, so it follows I'm late posting a story about what one rabbi is calling a Hanukkah miracle. The Palm Beach Daily News wrote a story on the reunion of two women, old friends from neighboring Polish towns who had survived the Holocaust and subsequently lost touch for 65 years. The nephew of one of the women unknowingly attended the same temple as the other woman, and after a chance gift of a book to the temple's rabbi by that nephew, the two women reconnected.

I hope every has or has had a wonderful holiday! As a little gift to myself, I'm taking next week off from the blog and will return in the new year. So happy new year too!!

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