Visions of Sugar Plums

Strolling through a Marienplatz market in Munich yesterday, I was reminded why so many of the Christmas traditions at my house come from our German roots.  The Germans really know how to do Christmas!  I can not imagine what it must be like to be a child at Christmas in Germany.  Visions of sugar plums truly must dance in their heads.

brioches sugarplums sugarplums st. nicholas chocolates chocolates chocolate santas fancy cake christmas cakes

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TToT:Christmas Magic

flying santaI was standing on a street corner in the Altstadt district of Munich today when I noticed a cheesy Santa Claus with a step stool in front of the church across the street.  I watched him fuss with the ladder and some sort of tool while I was thinking he was going to need some kind of magic to convince anyone he was the real Santa.  I got distracted by a poor soul who thought I might be able to help her find her way around the city.  When I looked back, the old guy was flying and the step ladder was gone.  The church wall is a good two feet behind him.  I see a little something funky going on with the arm and suspect there is a little extra something circling his waist, but as far as the feet go I can only be certain there are a pair of dark sneakers under that robe.  And I thought Santa left the flying to the reindeer!

Ten Things of Christmas Magic That Make Me Thankful:

The sense of wonder that Santa brings

The manger, the baby, the wonder of the star and those determined enough to follow it to the King

Good will towards others

Twinkling lights

Surprising others

The urge to give

Memories of those I love

#881-890  of my 1000 gifts



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Ideal Christmas


Mama Kat question of the week: How would you spend your dream Christmas if money was no issue?


Leg Lamp

The leg lamp from A Christmas Story has resurfaced in Georgetown, TX.

With or without money I wouldn’t change a single thing about the way my family celebrates Christmas.  We are together Christmas Eve through all of Christmas Day relaxing, baking, eating, laughing and enjoying one another’s company.  There is always someone one of us knows through work or school who we have noticed needs a little extra encouragement at Christmas time.  We prepare gifts and then scheme ways to deliver them to our chosen person or family without getting caught.  During quiet moments on Christmas Day, I wonder how those folks may have felt about their unexpected good fortune this year.

Nothing stays the same forever.  It won’t  be long before our Christmas celebrations are shortened or changed to accommodate spouses and in-laws.  Any number of unforeseen circumstances could impact our ability to be together in the way we are now.  It isn’t an elaborate Christmas Day I dream of, and I have no particular need for it to be white; instead I pray for another Christmas observed in the same simple way that has made us happy in the past.

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Mutterday: Cloudy

mutterday buttonA view of Europe (by son) and America (by mutter).

Click the globe to visit his blog.

fireplace1 By the light of the fire in Topeka, KS, USA
Mutterday 12.8.14
A cloudy day in Strasbourg, France

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TToT: Thanksgiving Leftovers


I’m still on a high from our Thanksgiving celebration, so I am qualifying my list as Thanksgiving leftovers.

I’ve been thankful for the literal leftovers that made it possible for me to whip up several dinners with very little fuss–including this pot of homemade turkey noodle soup.  There are few things in the kitchen easier than homemade noodles, yet lots of people think you are quite accomplished if you can pull them off.  I am at least a little thankful for that too, because my actual culinary talents are sparse.

I’m thankful for a whole lot of safe travel for those I love within the past month.  I am hopeful this safety surrounds the next wave of travelers as well.

The holidays trigger melt-downs in many of the families and students I work with.  I’m grateful for work that allows me to help–whether it is finding resources for families or helping set the stage for a healing conversation, I am forever grateful for work that has meaning.

I am thankful beyond measure for parenting that built me up, and a family where I never felt unsafe or unloved.  I am thankful for adult siblings who remain connected despite our parents no longer being here as our common bond.

As I have recently been reminded, I feel a sense of appreciation for pie.

Respite.  The time away from work was good.

I am thankful for the stillness of a winter night and the way that sound travels over cold air, amplifying it, making it seem note worthy.  The world seems slower, more manageable on these crisp nights leaving me with a sense of peace.


#869-880 of my One Thousand Gifts


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