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Random Dozen: More Linkin’ Around the Christmas Tree

It’s that time again! Lidna over at 2nd Cup of Coffee has come up with 12 more questions. This is her 15th Dozen. I just love her memes. They make me think!

1. Gingerbread: For or against? Discuss.
For — warm from the oven with whipped cream, please.

2. Is it important to you to always stay (live) close to family?
For years I have lived very far from my family. The last time I went home I realized the elders are elderly and the “youngers” aren’t so young any more. We are in the processes of moving closer to home and I must say that it is much more important to me than I anticipated.

3. Which holiday pretend character do you wish really existed?
You know, since I am pretty grounded in the difference between fantasy and reality, I never gave this much thought. I suppose, if I had to come up with an answer then I would say Clarence, from “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The world could use more compassionate angels.

4. Which holiday movie best represents how you feel about Christmas or life?
A Charlie Brown Christmas.

5. Is there a particular Christmas song that you’re enjoying now? Any that you’re tired of?

Enjoying this:

Not tired of anything.

6. What is your favorite way to remember those less fortunate at Christmastime?
We don’t restrict our remembering those less fortunate to Christmas time, but I do make a point to drop money in the Salvation Army red buckets, donate to the food bank and provide something for Toys 4 Tots of a similar program.

7. Does it upset you to see “Xmas” instead of Christmas? How about “Happy Holidays” etc., instead of “Merry Christmas?”
I have enough friends of other faiths that I have no problem with Happy Holidays. Also, it takes less energy to write Happy Holidays than it does to write Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Xmas I do dislike — and I’ve heard the argument that the X is supposed to be the cross, but I just think the X is at best laziness and at worst has removed Christ from the holiday.

8. How many Christmas programs are you attending this month?
LOL! Amoeba belongs to three different bands, they each have several Christmas gigs, plus the multitude put on by our own church — I can’t count them all but so far we’ve attended 7 and we have two this coming weekend.

9. Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Any chance of that dream becoming a reality?
White is my least favorite weather color. I’m in Honolulu, Hawaii, so if it snows here you are certain to hear about it.

10. Tell me about a Christmas present you received as a child. Pics are always nice.
Preface: I lived with my Gram because my mother had died and my dad lived in a logging camp.

When I was nine there was a dress I wanted for Christmas. Gram said, no. My heart broke. It was a beautiful red velvet tube dress with white satin skirt and I wanted very much to wear it to the school program. The afternoon of the school program I came home from school to find a wrapped present from my father. Gram told me I could open it there and then. It was my dress! I was so excited I wanted to put it on immediately but of course Gram made me wait until after dinner and my bath.

I was wearing my dress and waiting by the door when a rig pulled up. It was my dad! I was doubly excited then. When I called and asked him to come to my program all he had said was “We’ll see.” When he came through the door I did a little pirouette and told him I loved my new dress. He said, “Yes, it’s very pretty” and I knew from his voice that he had never seen the dress before. He knew from my face that he’d said the wrong thing. He looked at Gram. She said, “I bought this dress with the Christmas money you sent.”

My dad looked horribly embarrassed and somehow I knew he hadn’t sent me any Christmas money either. Later I asked Gram about all the other presents I had received from my dad over the years. She assured me they were from him but to this day I am not certain that was true. I do know that was the last time I ever received a present from my father that he didn’t personally hand me.

11. How many Christmas parties are you attending this month?
So far I have been to three and two more are on our schedule.

12. How do you keep yourself centered on the significance of Christmas?
No Christmas Tree. No exchange of gifts. We will attend both Christmas Eve services (Amoeba is part of the music program and I am a reader in both services). Christmas Day we will enjoy a quiet day together and a nice meal. We will call our families and we will be thankful for our blessings.


  1. That story about your dress made me sad. It makes me wonder why men/fathers don´t or maybe can´t get the spirit of gift giving?

    1. Betty — I think many fathers are less tuned in to the everyday wants of their family than moms are. And single fathers are often intimidated when it comes to buying gifts for their daughters. Dads don’t want to fail. It is easier not to try.

  2. Praise the Lord for your Gram! She knew how to make you feel loved and your dad feel connected – even if his timing wasn’t perfect. From what I’ve read earlier in your blog, he was probably doing the best he could under the circumstances!

    And I love your answer to #2 — just keep your expectations realistic. Sometimes moving back is more exciting to the mover than the one who hasn’t moved in years. 😉

    Now go link up!

    1. Kelley — I know I won’t see my family on a regular basis. We will still be over 6 hours away in GOOD weather conditions. Good weather conditions are a Seattle staple. 😉 Still, I will likely see them more often than once every two or three years.

  3. That is a poignant story about your Gram, your father, and you.

    Charlie Brown Christmas is one of my all-time favorites because it distills the message down to the simple, basic truth.

    I look forward to moving home in another 19 months. My husband keeps looking up houses on the internet.

    1. Karen — where is it you are thinking of moving to? Back to Washington State? Which part? Does hubby have a potential job lined up or is he retiring, transferring, etc. (I am NOT nosey.) 😉

  4. Yea… I love Charlie Brown Christmas too. I didn’t even think of human characters in #3 — my head just went straight to cartoons. I think Clarence exists in to a degree in most of us… some more than others! 🙂

    I knew your numbers would be high on the events and parties! LOL! Enjoy!

    Your Gram was such a special lady! And your Dad… was not so very different from full time Dad’s who live with their kids! Not ALL — but some… I know… up close and personally.

    1. Melli — the only cartoon I could think of was Charlie Brown, and I think for his sake it is better to leave him a cartoon.

      And yeah, my dad pretty much left the gift choosing to others. I actually received very few gifts from my father and only one I clearly remember — a pair of cordovan brown buckle shoes. I know Gram told him which pair to buy, what size and where to get them. That didn’t matter. In fact the gifts didn’t matter. He came so seldom that what was most important to me was that he showed up at all.

  5. How blessed you were to have your Gram. But my heart aches for what you experienced. I’m glad the event precipitated a change in your dad’s behavior.

    A White Christmas in Hawaii — that would be something!

    1. Linda — parts of Hawaii always have a white Christmas — just not the part I live in!

      And my dad wasn’t as wonderful as some, but he was much better than others. He didn’t always know the right way to be a dad, but he loved me.

  6. These are sooooo good. We deserve a BAKER’S DOZEN on your twelve.

    I don’t blame you for not liking that song. I shut it down after four seconds. That was all the faster I could hit the ‘pause’ button.

    1. Jim — I said I LIKED that song and there weren’t any I don’t like. Sorry it wasn’t to your taste. Digitalized music isn’t for everyone.

  7. Enjoyed reading your answers to this one. The lights on that house…OMG! That was amazing. Makes me wonder how often the neighbors get treated to that little show?

  8. What a powerful story about your Gram (I love her!) and you and your Dad. So often this year I’ve been reading poignant stories and blog posts about when kids stopped believing in Santa and Christmas lost its magic; well, then there’s yours…. wow. Being loved like that is a gift that lasts a whole lifetime.

    Charlie Brown, best ever for me too!
    Have fun at all those Christmas parties!
    And you do gingerbread *right* LOL

    I always love what you do with these Dozens.

  9. My father wasn’t very good with gifts. My step-father did remember us with gift cards for a few years after my mom died, and I did appreciate that he did even that. But it makes me appreciate that my husband is an active art of our gift-giving.

    That was sweet or your grandma to step in and help in that way.

    I agree about “X-mas.”

  10. I’ll have to work on this. Maybe by next Christmas I will figure it out. When you are not used to someone else’s computer (laptop) it is easy to get distracted and hard to pay attention. Especially when some people are used to using a mouse on a laptop, that would be me. I get annoyed very easily… But at least I am enjoying the read. Now if I could just figure out how to work without my mouse. Sigh by the time I figure this out, I’ll be 105.

    1. Jill — this is a super fun meme and lots of really neat people participate. We’ll look foprward to you joining us as soon as you get that computer licked!

  11. your dozens are always a treat to read and the christmass dress story is a jewel. your grandmother must have been an awesome woman and dad appears to have loved you in spite of everything. i wish i could say the same about mine… *sigh*

  12. I saw that video on you-tube! I just love the lights!

    You are one popular person being invited to 5 Christmas parties! I have been to none :0(
    but, will be attending one huge New Year party!

    Sounds like your Gram was a sweet and caring lady.

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