Monday, December 14, 2015

The Joy of Christmas

                It’s time for the Christmas Joy Blog Hop! I’m excited to be hosting today and I would like to thank those of you who shared my sign-up post on your pages! I would also like to thank the participants, it wouldn’t be a blog hop without all of you and I look forward to reading your posts :)


                Christmas was a very special time when I was a kid. I would get so excited about opening presents on Christmas Eve at home and then waking up early the next morning to drive two hours to Grandma’s house to open more presents. I did not realize the true value of those moments until after my grandma died. My mom, dad, brother, and I moved to Oklahoma about a year after Grandma passed away and the next few Christmases seemed very sad and lonely with just the four of us. I have longed for another big family Christmas since then. I cannot believe that this Christmas will mark 20 years since the last time my mother’s side of the family all gathered together at Grandma’s house. Over the years, I have realized that the presents were only a small part of the joy of spending the holiday with family, and my small family has started our own traditions to celebrate each year. We started using stockings at some point when I was in high school, we had a few Christmas dinners with friends from the church, my brother and I have taken care of Christmas dinner for the past couple years, and my dad likes to read the story of Christ’s birth from the Bible on Christmas day. Christmas has become special for me again, and it has nothing to do with what I receive. I enjoy seeing someone’s face light up when I finally find the right gift for him/her. I enjoy hearing about how God sent His son to the earth as a little baby in Bethlehem and all the beautiful songs about Him, like this one:

                Christmas, especially this year in light of recent world events, reminds me that we still have hope in Christ. When life looks bleak, I think of the genuine, innocent joy of a child watching Christmas lights. In the midst of bad news, I am grateful to find stories of good Samaritans who help the poor, weary, wounded, and brave. As the Bible says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time for mourning and sorrow, but there is also a time for joy and laughter. I find joy in Christmas when I seek time to fellowship with family and friends throughout the month of December.


And now, here is a quick list of a few of my favorite things:

Christmas food: decorated sugar cookies

Beverage: Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks
Decoration: My snow globe collection
Songs: O Come, O Come Emmanuel and What Child is This?
Tradition: driving or walking through Christmas light displays

Party: my church’s young adult Christmas party is usually the most fun

TV Episode: Garfield's Christmas Special
Movie: White Christmas

Speaking of a white Christmas, I also really enjoy seeing snow on the ground on Christmas day and I hope to see some this year.
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!


I will be taking a break from posting for the rest of the month, so I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! If you would like some more Christmas cheer, please visit the other participants below. The sign-up will remain open until 11:59pm CST if anyone else wants to join in!
Christmas Joy Blog Hop Participants:
10. Birgit

Monday, December 7, 2015

December Question of the Month

                The Question of the Month is a bloghop that occurs the first Monday of each month and it is hosted by Michael G D'Agostino from A Life Examined.

December’s question is: Which one social convention would you get rid of?

                This feels like a follow-up to last month’s question about whether you are introverted or extroverted. As an introvert, there are many social conventions I don’t understand, some I feel awkward with, and probably more I don’t even know about. I narrowed them down to small talk, which in and of itself is hard for me, but it is even harder when I feel obligated to chat with either some person I’ve only met once or twice (i.e. a customer at work), or someone I have not seen or kept in touch with for years (i.e. a high school classmate). I feel like I have a somewhat awkward grasp of a few things, but there are only so many weather-related things I can discuss before I start sounding nerdy:

Small Talker: How about this weather?
Me (contemplating): Did you think those clouds after the snow were cirrocumulus or altostratus?
Small Talker (look of bewilderment): Huh?
I know it’s the polite thing to do, but it would be easier and less awkward if mere acquaintances could just avoid eye contact and move along our way unless we have something significant to discuss.

Do you understand the art of small talk? What social conventions would you rather do without?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December IWSG

            Time for another posting with the Insecure Writers Support Group, where writers can share their insecurities and encourage one another. IWSG was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and we share our posts the first Wednesday of the month. The co-hosts for December are: Sandra Hoover, Mark Koopmans, Doreen McGettigan, Megan Morgan, and Melodie Campbell.

            There have been a few note-worthy milestones and accomplishments for me the last couple months:

·         I wrote and submitted my first 5000 word short story to the IWSG Anthology Contest
·         I actually have a potential follow-up and/or extension in mind for my short story
·         I shared an excerpt from one of my potential books on November 2
·         I published my 100th blog post on November 18th
·         To celebrate 100 posts, I created a Facebook fan page for my blog and writings, and someday I hope to change it to an author page
·         I also decided to host a blog hop!

Those last two points lead me to my insecurities. I feel like my promotional efforts are a bit inadequate. I am not always the most prompt, reliable commenter with my fellow bloggers. My pharmacy job (another insecurity I will not bring up here) has kept me busy and on edge for the past few months and I don’t always feel motivated to read and comment on the blogs I follow and those who leave comments on my posts. I eventually get around to many of you, especially those who visit, but I feel like I’m so late sometimes :( I apologize for my tardiness and I really do appreciate those of you who continue to follow my blog or visit and leave a comment. One day, I will find that window to escape my current job and embrace writing on a more full-time basis, but until then, I will still have those “off” weeks once in a while.

                I hope that I can still have a good turnout for my blog hop, so if you have some Christmas memories you would like to share on December 14, please feel free to sign up. I am reposting the linky list sign-up below. It’s called the Christmas Joy Blog Hop. Share your favorite Christmas memories and what makes Christmas special for you. We even have a nice badge that my brother made :) For more information visit my previous post. 

Have you ever had insecurities with staying connected?  
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