Santa is real to those who believe

“For those who believe (in God), no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible” – – Author Unknown

Christmas-TimeWith the first snowfall comes the eager anticipation of Christmas…at least here in Canada. Those of us with a wide range of ages in our children are familiar with the question that seems to pop up as early grade school “Is Santa real?”

When all my little ones were under the age of 6 years old, I never worried about such a thought. The questions back then we “Can Santa Claus bring me… (such and such)?” or “Please don’t tell Santa I did that bad thing…promise?” I think the best one was “Don’t worry mommy and daddy about getting a new car, I asked Santa and I just know he will bring one for you on Christmas!” (!! Love it!)

Then came grade school and with it a multitude of layers of belief and questioning attitudes.

Some 7-year-old at school is all the talk this year because she managed to pull the beard off the Santa at the local shopping mall. Therefore, exposing all of her grade two classmates to her discovery, there is no Santa. This is until the mom over here points out the facts…that all the 7-year-old knows for sure is that Santa’s beard, on that day, was detachable. Bad hair day…so what! Cartoon-Santa

A very nice child in grade six took it upon himself to let my 6-year-old know that Santa was “fake.” All this because he sat up all Christmas eve at his window, did not see a sleigh, or reindeer and the next morning did not get what he had wanted for Christmas. Mom over here was able to mention that any child who stays up ALL CHRISTMAS EVE will not see Santa and possibly will not get anything from him…or so the rules go. Nothing new discovered here either.

Candycane-North-Pole

Then I got teenagers. They think they have EVERYTHING figured out. Occasionally, to change the balance in a family dispute, the 13-year-old, in a moment of defiance might offer to tell his siblings that he KNOWS there is no Santa. Again, I am able to let the small fry realize that the older sibling is only trying to make himself feel better. As due to his poor  behaviour…he won’t be getting what he is hoping for and that does not in itself mean there is no Santa.

I still have very little ones here at home. Thanks to society (and occasionally their disgruntled older siblings), I often find myself being grilled by the toddlers and little kids (cross-examination-style questions) on the reality of Santa Claus. For me, this discussion is easy. Santa Claus is actually St. Nicholas, a Catholic saint with access to heavenly powers and lots of magic. (Any further questions?)

Magic-for-GGThe distribution question on how does one man, eight reindeer visit an entire world’s worth of children in less than 24 with gifts for everyone…is also easily answered. Many saints have been known to bi-locate and employ the help of angels and have access to supernatural powers.

When asked “is Santa Claus for real” …my favourite answer is “Santa is real to those who believe…and not real to those who do not!” Followed up by “Who here BELIEVES in Santa?”… (a big show of little hands) I thought so…

Believe-Christmas-Do-dec-2012-EDIT-JCA-GG-2014

Looking forward to another magical December 25th for kids big and small at my house!

The Garden Goat

One who believes in Santa Claus

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“Love is…” Valentines Day February 14th 2013

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always and perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

"Love is ..."

In honour of Valentine’s Day every single parent I know is living through a very busy the-night-before getting heart-shaped things ready for the school-aged crowd. Evidence of this celebration is everywhere. The 14th of February is the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (according to the Greeting Card Association) with an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards sent each year. Even one of the gals I work with spent time on the 13th getting Valentines for her children… 25 and 28-year-old sons and their wives/fiancés.

I got home from work and felt like someone a hundred years older than I am. Hundreds (nah just a half dozen or so) of children (granted …my own) met me at the door asking if I had their valentine cards and stuff for their classmates. Yep…I bought those months ago…except, sadly, I cannot remember the safe location I stored them in. Try and explain to a Grade One student how you cannot remember where you put an item when you have placed it “somewhere safe.” Thank goodness for the local dollar store. Dozens of red, heart shaped lollipops … (albeit a few bucks later) and my raging mid-forties Alzheimer symptoms can (hopefully) remain a secret for another year.

For many years I never celebrated Valentine’s Day as that was the day many moons ago a stranger asked me out for dinner and I turned him down. That particular day I had returned home from working all day, and getting ready to go out with a male friend for dinner and then on to a choir practice. The stranger (who had bumped into me a few times in the lobby of my apartment building) had knocked on my door that evening with card and chocolates in hand. Not being someone easily deterred the stranger persisted asking if I might be interested in “going for coffee” after the choir practice. Here comes the embarrassing part…I had to decline again because I had already accepted another invitation for just that (actually more “coffee & dessert”) with another boy I knew. Thinking that declining this guy’s advances not just once but twice would completely negate another request from this guy…but no, the stranger persisted. Was I doing anything at supper time the next night (Feb 15th)?  The stranger caught me off guard and I answered that I had nothing planned.

So I had dinner with the valentine-chocolate-bearing-stranger on February 15th and pretty much the rest is history. This summer we will be married 22 years! It is only in the last 3 years that we have celebrated Valentine’s Day on the 14th…most of my married life my husband has told everyone he refuses to celebrate Valentine’s Day as that was the day I spurned him!!

A person who truly loves you

You worked to restore the relationship and did not give up on people

Among the crowd I run with, this question was posed on Facebook recently ..  “why can love be like it was 50 years ago?”  I will leave it up to you to imagine the type of responses that question drew. Many answers were centered on a male-dominated world of yesteryear where women could not easily stand up to abusive men. Another answer was to say that overall empowerment women have today (as a whole) compared with the societal restrictions place on women (in general) half a century ago- have created a more balanced arena in which to play the dating game. I watched to see how the teenage /young adult crowd would answer.

One answer that stood out was “Because 50 years ago when things broke we fixed them!” So true…our relationships were mostly maintained by face-to-face time, phone calls and the occasional letter. If something “went down” (or was misinterpreted) it impacted your life immediately and had to be handled in person. You worked to restore the relationship and did not give up on people. Nowadays you can break up by text, email and Facebook and then block the person you want removed from your life. Next step is to find brand new people to fill the void left by the friend you have thrown out. Same thing with marriages, breakup, move on, shop for new relationship (wash, rinse and repeat).

Family isnt always blood

…”remember everyone in life we love.”

Valentine’s Day should be a day to remember everyone in life we love. Regardless of water under the bridge. If you truly love someone you will never give up on them no matter what happens or even if they give up on you. Love bears all things.

Goat Valentine love you

The Garden Goat

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…”

1 Corinthians 13:7-8

New Year 2013 …

…the Best Year Ever!

Everyone around the world seems to be making a New Year’s resolution list.

Find and use a magic wand

I would love to. Then I realized that what I wanted to have as resolutions involved resolutions I wanted to see the natives I preside over adopt. That list might look like this (not necessarily in this order):

  • Read more
  • Eat less junk (and NOT in the living room)
  • Listen to parents the FIRST time
  • Locate and USE a laundry basket for dirty laundry (especially socks)
  • Use respectful language (at least when in the earshot of the rest of us)
  • Watch TV only as a last resort (NO it is NOT as essential as breathing)
  • Make a mess of something….clean it up.
  • Spend more time in physical pursuits (even if only housework)
  • And for some that are of age…get a job!

Then after indulging myself in the notion that any of the inmates here might adopt any of these suggestions I come back to reality with a thud. Nah…it likely won’t happen. A few of the kids may make a few resolutions with the result that a few things may temporarily change for the better the week after New Years (or not)…and then forget it for the rest of the year.

The Garden Goat looking forward to the Best Year ever 2013!

Living with the gang I do here are some resolutions I SHOULD make:

  • Drink alcohol more often
  • Get sound proof headphones or turn the music up louder when the natives are squabbling
  • Better understanding that prescription medication is underrated and copious amounts should be further investigated (immediately)
  • Get better at appearing to be napping when my name is being hollered
  • Don’t be too quick to get out of bed…some days would be better if they just did not happen
  • When overwhelmed declare “Bedtime” even if the afternoon school bus has yet to arrive home
  • Work on perfecting “distracted” to better facilitate desired state of “denial”
  • Find and  then use a magic wand (or find a way to  let the kids think I have one that works)

This would be a great list if only I could remember what I was to be doing moment to moment. The only thing I really remember is the washing machine and when it is time to change over the load. I totally forget the rest as life races past in a blur. I kid you not…so far this week I have boiled 3 pots completely dry attempting to boil water for tea. I got distracted…somehow. I think the solution may be to switch to coffee and add Baileys!

In all seriousness I guess the only thing I can do is to change me.

So I BELIEVE that 2013 is going to be my best year ever.

Believe 2013

Everything will work out. I will work on me to live my best life ever. With that I hope to again see special friends I care about, get into better shape …oh and hopefully make a million dollars (for real). I need to try to drink less diet coke (did I write that? I think I meant put MORE rum in it) probably eat more chocolate (yes…go BACK to the gym and face the TREADMILL [link takes you to previous post on that]) drink more (yes I know what you are thinking but NO) water.  I will find the time to pray and read more. Another year yawns ahead of this goat and her journey over life’s mountains and molehills in 2013.

I hope all of you have a wonderful New Years and that 2013 is a memorable year for you and your family packed with an abundance of blessings.

The Garden Goat looking forward to the Best Year ever 2013!

Happy New Year 2013 from the Garden Goat

A Gift of Prayers

I had a great post all figured out mentioning the twelve days of Christmas decorated with some of the more stressful (and funny) attributes of family life as a light piece of entertainment. Then December 14th 2012 happened. Nothing seemed funny anymore. More importantly I no longer felt like being my sarcastic (and reportedly entertaining) self.

love and prayers to Sandy Hook school victims

..little tiny innocent children’s lives, taken by a brutal outburst of gunfire in the hands of a very sick individual.

I was online on Friday and suddenly everywhere there was news of what could not be real…little tiny innocent children’s lives, taken by a brutal outburst of gunfire in the hands of a very sick individual. Were these children somewhere dangerous when this happened? No, they were where they were supposed to be. These little ones were in their classrooms, the gym, hallways (and some were practicing their Christmas celebrations) of their primary school in the small, quiet town of Newtown, Connecticut.

Prior to the news announcement, the days leading up to this event (as we all know) were all about rushing and bustling looking everywhere for that perfect gift for each person on our Christmas list. Suddenly Christmas no longer matters. Presents, bought and wrapped for tiny kids still sit under trees in Connecticut and they will never be opened. There are so many questions and almost no answers.

I was asked on Saturday by my hairdresser if I had put any thought into the rampant idea circulating the globe that the world as we now know it could possibly end December 21st, 2012. My answer was that if the presence of extreme evil was to herald the coming of the end of the world …then this had already happened on Friday morning.

guardian_angel

My heart goes out to all the parents of those little angels that have gone on to Heaven.

I am sure that I am not alone as parents everywhere acknowledge their perfect gift is already present in their lives, those of us lucky enough to have our children still here on earth. My heart goes out to all the parents of those little angels that have gone on to Heaven as well as the other victims of this heinous crime. I cannot imagine how those parents must feel. Their lives and families changed irrevocably forever.

Our gift this Christmas is prayers for all the victim’s families as they try to carry on in their lives unable to make sense out of this horrific event. Some of the victims were adults and from all accounts much proof that angels do walk among us …some as Grade One teachers.

On Facebook I came across this cartoon …it seemed to say it all.

Santa sad about Sandy Hook School shooting

On Facebook I came across this cartoon …it seemed to say it all.

If there is one thing that is so important, it is to love whom you have in your life RIGHT NOW. Tomorrow is not promised. Hug and kiss your children. Ensure that they know how much they are truly loved.  Those of us who have our children here on earth already know that we have the greatest Christmas gift of all.

All love & prayers,

The Garden Goat xoxox