Monday, December 19, 2011

Liz's Lair: Christmas Confessions


Since this is the last time I will blog until after Christmas, I decided to talk about things I remember about this wonderful holiday. Like Scrooge, I have my Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas future.

For my Christmas past
the one story I remember very vividly involves Christmas presents. Now I'll bet this is going to surprise a lot of you, but I was a little devil, even back then. As number eight of nine children, I had brothers who were already out in the world when I was a teenager. Being poor, they would send us clothes that we would wear when we went to midnight mass. Since my younger sister, older sister and I wore the same size, my brothers would always get us identical gifts in different colors. Being the imp that I was, I would unwrap the presents, choose the color I liked, then re-wrap them, making sure my name was on the right package. To this day I still number my presents under the tree instead of putting labels with names for fear that my children will do the same thing. One year I lost my cheat sheet, but that's a whole other blog!!

Talk about sins of the mother.

For my Christmas Present
, I want to talk about things that make me feel good around the holidays. Every year I swear I'm not going to go overboard again with my grandchildren, and every year I make a liar out of myself. This year there's a huge Mini Cooper for my granddaughter and way too many toys for my grandsons under the tree.(Okay, the Mini Cooper is actually hidden in the closet upstairs.)My point is, there is nothing more fun than watching their faces as they tear into the packages.

Every Christmas I always try to do something for those less fortunate than me. This year for one of my Christmas Angels I bought the cutest pair of boots. She asked for shoes and I went big. But just in case she was thinking sneakers, I enclosed the gift receipt. My hope is that she is excited about those boots as I was.

Saturday night we went with my daughter and her kids to see Christmas lights. Before we ventured out we stopped at Olive Garden for dinner and were seated next to two young soldiers in camouflage uniforms who looked like they were 12. Immediately I said to hubby, "Don't let them pay their own bill." I wish you could've seen the look on their faces when he walked over and picked up their check. My daughter was so touched, she began to cry. I have to say, it was really a feel-good moment.

For my Christmas future
I wish everyone the joy that I have for life. It's been good to me, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. For what, you ask?

I am grateful to love and to be loved, grateful that the war is ending and our troops are coming home, grateful for the opportunity to share my words, and most grateful to the people in my life who I call friends.

And I would be remiss if I didn't say Happy Birthday to the baby who was born in that cold cold manger many many years ago. He's the reason for the season.

If any of you out there are reading this blog today, be sure and say hey and let me know your Christmas past, present, and future confessions.

Bah humbug, my butt!! Merry Christmas.

11 comments:

Anita Clenney said...

Liz, what an exceptional post, you little imp, you! I can't believe you switched colors, well, actually I can. :) That's just figgin' hilarious. But we know you aren't really selfish. Look what you did for those soldiers. That was a beautiful thing.

I'm also grateful for so many things. Family, love, and that baby in the manger are the very top. He is the reason for the season. I'm also so grateful that I'm able to write, to give someone a few hours of entertainment, that my family is supportive because it takes a lot out of me. And I'm so grateful to have met such wonderful people through writing, like you! And there are so many others. I'm especially thankful for all the readers for making my year so wonderful.

Lindsay said...

Liz, I'm not surprised that you and your husband picked up the check for the soldiers. That's just the kind of person you are.

KC Stone said...

First I must confess that I'm a bit of a scrooge.
But that said, I do use that to give. Huh? you say?
I volunteer to work on Christmas so those who want to be with their families, can be.
My favorite Christmas story was when I was on the receiving end of kindness.
As a manager for a car rental agency I had a company car. Said car broke down on Christmas Eve and left me miles from home. I stood at a bus stop and the first bus that came along said NOT in service but my brotherinlaw flagged him down and asked if he'd take me along, back to the bus yard as that would get me closer to the airport where I could get another car from the rental lot.
With a smile and nod the driver said yes.
I felt blessed by his kindness but then he shocked me further by driving that big City bus miles and at least one bridge off of his route to deliver me to the driveway of our parking lot.
I've never forgotten his kindness and always think of this stranger at Christmas time.

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, guys, it looks like only a couple of us are playing today!!

Anita, I agree we are so lucky that we can bring a smile to people's faces with our words. And as for meeting wonderful writers, oh my gosh! As much as I want to give up a few of my writing groups because they're getting pricey, I can't. I love the friends I have made.

Have a wonderful Christmas, my friend. I know the new year will bring you resolutions and peace of mind.

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, Lindsay, I knew you would be here. You are such a loyal reader and a personal friend. Thanks for the kind words, and you, too, have a great Christmas.

Vicki Batman said...

Ms. Liz: what a beautiful post!

Past: watching White Christmas with sissies and singing all the songs.
Present: my post at Plotting Princesses tomorrow -- I'm excited about it.
Future: I'm grateful for my family, for my friends, for my men, and my poos and scoo.

Thank you for supporting soldiers.

Liz Lipperman said...

KC, what an inspiring story. We have no idea when we do little things that we will affect people so tenderly. I remember once when hubby was based in Taiwan, and I had a baby there. When she was three days old, they discovered a heart murmur and decided to send the two of us to Okinawa to see a pediatric cardiologist. They sent us up on a navy airplane and told us we would come home that same night. So I took only what I needed for one day.

Five days later, they finally got us out of there. They put me up in the non-commissioned officers' guest house where there was only one other couple living there while they waited on base housing to open up. I can't even remember the young girl's name, but she had met and married her hubby in Italy and spoke little English. She made numerous trips to the base grocery store for formula and diapers for Nicole...and cooked every night for me. I still have her Italian rice recipe.

Anyway, I've wished so many times that I could let her know how very much her kindness meant to me, but unfortunately, I never got her name or followed up with her. So, if she's out there reading this--know that I will be forever grateful to you.

An ironic note to this story is that when I returned to Okinawa several weeks later for a follow up checkup for Nicole, I packed for a week ad came home that same night!!

Thanks for sharing, KC, and have a Merry Christmas.

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, Vicki, thanks for checking this out for me. I miss my own sisters, especially at this time of year, since we also sang together.

And I'll be sure and check out your blog tomorrow as all the readers here should.

Marry Christmas, GF.

Cassy Pickard said...

Liz: I love your post. It's wonderful. As I have mentioned before, this is the first year we'll be just the two of us for Christmas. On one hand I'm so sad to not watch my kids with the presents, the special meals, the fussing with each other and the warm sense that this is my family. On the other hand, I'm actually looking forward to a few quiet days. My darling husband has only requested one thing- no turkey. But, he hasn't told me what he would like instead. Guess I'll be in with the mass of crowds shopping for ingredients at the last minute- after he clues me in. Then again, I could give him my choices. Nah, it's much more fun to fix things for others.

One of my family's traditions is to make Christmas horns. They are a pastry. It turns out over the years my kids confessed they aren't that big on them. I have forged on making them, sending them to family members in plastic containers and heating them up while the stockings were opened. Yes, I thought! No kids this year, no horns. My husband left me a wonderful note (3 am) before he caught a plane this morning and reminded me it wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't make the horns.

Guess what I'm doing tomorrow?

hugs to you all, Cas

Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

Liz, I just love your posts. it's no wonder you are such a successful writer! Your posts are so honest really let the readers in on who you are. :-)

My new years resolution is to not miss out on any more posts by my M&M chicas!

Christmas is my favorite holiday. The decorations and traditions and most of all the feeling of love that I think people should keep with them year round. The gifts are fun, but the connection to family is the best gift of all.

Merry Christmas Liz and everyone! And as my mom says "it's a gradma's right to spoil those grandchildren!"

Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

Liz, I just love your posts. it's no wonder you are such a successful writer! Your posts are so honest really let the readers in on who you are. :-)

My new years resolution is to not miss out on any more posts by my M&M chicas!

Christmas is my favorite holiday. The decorations and traditions and most of all the feeling of love that I think people should keep with them year round. The gifts are fun, but the connection to family is the best gift of all.

Merry Christmas Liz and everyone! And as my mom says "it's a gradma's right to spoil those grandchildren!"