Are you ready?
Sunday, December 29
Wednesday, December 25
Tuesday, December 24
Monday, December 23
Sunday, December 22
I had no idea this was done.
I thought you might want to see.
These wreaths -- some 5,000 -- are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine. The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He's done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one the poorest parts of the state.
Morrill Worcester initially brought 4,000 surplus wreaths from the holiday decoration company he owns to adorn gravesites at Arlington in 1992. Every year since then he has set aside several thousand wreaths especially for that purpose, driving to Arlington in December with a trailer full of decorations and dozens of volunteers to distribute them throughout the cemetery. As Mr. Worcester told an Air Force reporter in 2005:
"We couldn't do anything in this country if it wasn't for the people who gave their lives to protect us. It's a great honor to be able to come here and pay our respects. That first year, there were just a few of us, and it took us five or six hours to get them placed. This year, we had extra help and got done in about an hour."
The lights, the glittery ornaments, the fancy cookies...all part of a holiday most cannot wait to celebrate. But while you are out shopping for your special ones, enjoying something warm in front of your fire or getting together with friends and neighbors, let's not forget the ones that make all of this possible. Please share this post with those that are meaningful to you...there were lots of people taking virtual Holiday Home Tours this week...ask them to stop by here, too.
As much as I love this time of year and all of the good things it brings, and even though I promise myself every year that I will be ready in plenty of time, it never works out that way. Shouldn't be all that hard...Christmas is the same date every year, the date doesn't change...don't know why I can't get it together.
But...beyond that, I am fine and I do so appreciate those that stay in touch and are keeping watch over me ;)
Holiday Hoopla: 12 Random Things About Me and Christmas.
1. The neighborhood I grew up in was a new neighborhood when we moved there and I was just 5 years old. The people next door became my second family and we did everything together, including holidays. They were (and still are) Jewish. One of my favorite memories is of the two boys coming over to help us decorate the tree. This was huge for them and we all had an exact number of ornaments to hang, and my Mom just let them do whatever they wanted. Then we always had some kind of cookies or cake and we would turn off all of the living room lights and just sit and look at the tree. She would usually re-do just about all of it (even mine) but for all of us, it meant the kick off of the Christmas season.
2. The story goes that when I was 3 years old, I woke Mommy & Daddy and told them that I had heard Santa's reindeer on the roof. Now, this has been repeated so many times that I am not sure if I actually remember this happening or not. But, to this day, my Mom will ask "Do you beleive in Santa?" and I will answer "No". "Then who was on the roof?" she asks....and I always answer "Santa". She loves it.
3. I have a pretty big Christmas pin collection. Most are handmade, but I've been lucky enough to score some wonderful vintage pins...and earrings to match. They are some of my favorite things.
4. From the time I was very small all the way through High School, we always went to Midnight Candlelight Service. They passed candles to everyone with those round paper holders to catch the dripping wax. I always wanted to sit in the balcony, so I could look down on the candles when they were lit. One year, my sister was in the Nativity Play and at the end when the kids were all singing she yelled out, "Happy Birthday, Jesus!". Amen.
5. There are so many great Christmas movies, but my absolute favorite (and it isn't Christmas 'til I get a chance to watch it) is the 1953 version of "A Christmas Carol" with Alistair Sim. Those old black & white movies with crappy special effects are magical to me.
6. When my daughter was in kindergarten, her very brave teacher put together a holiday program for the parents. Everyone was made to feel so special and given some very important job to do. The responsibility must have been too much for this one kid named Ryan...he went nuts at the end of the last song and knocked over the tree and kicked the head off of the snowman. This was a signal to all the rest of them to throw the cotton ball snow at each other and run all over the stage like maniacs.
7. I'm pretty sure everyone knows that we love Alaska. After our first trip, I just couldn't shut up about going again and The Hub gave me a Christmas surprise! He puts a stack of 4 boxes in front of me and says I must open them in that order. The first is a pair of ear-muffs. Now, I had also been yakking about a trip to New England so I thought those were a clue for that. The next box was an 8x10 picture of Mt. Mckinley, covered in snow and the words "We're Going Back!!" across the front. The next box was a small photo album with pictures of all the things that we were scheduled to do on our winter tour...see the Iditarod, ride in a sleigh, ride a snowmobile, stay in a log cabin etc. And, in the last box was a list of all of the clothes we needed to get together to accomodate -30 degree weather! Great surprise. Great trip. Great Hub.
8. When I was 8 years old, one of my gifts from Santa was a wedding dress and everything a bride needs to get married right away..including those high heel shoes that were made of some kind of glittery, clear plastic that clacked on the floor like real high heels and stayed on your feet with 2 elastic strips, like 2 big rubber bands. It just so happened that my best friend Judy also got the same set and we made a deal that we would both wear our new high heels to church. My Mom went along with stuff like that, but Judy's Mom didn't. Ah yes, I clacked all over the sanctuary...just me, not Judy. Just me.
9. I spent several Christmas holidays as a single Mom and lights and decorations are quite exciting to a little girl. The Daughter was about 3 years old and I was desperately searching for something to do that was close to home and didn't cost too much money. About 1/2 mile from our house was a very nice neighborhood that was always done up in tons of lights and each evening, cars would just be lining the streets to look at everything. It started as a drive by, but one night we stopped and got out to walk around and things were never the same. The owners would hand out candy canes and they had all kinds of moving decorations...way before anyone really did that kind of stuff. Anyway...we were there, just the two of us, every single night until they took the decorations down. And this became our tradition...we were there for the next 5 or 6 years each Thanksgiving night when they turned them on for the first time and every night after, until they took them down for the year.
10. One of my biggest dreams is to visit New York City at holiday time. I want to see the big tree, see the Rockette's, see the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center and see the department store windows. I can't explain my interest in all of this...but, it's something I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember.
11. My Dad passed away, very unexpectedly, a long time ago...29 years. Sometimes it seems like forever and sometimes it seems like last week. His favorite Christmas song was "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and it reduces me to tears every time I hear it. I was in the grocery store and it began to play and I began to cry. I miss him everyday but I really miss him at Christmas time.
12. And...my Dad loved to drive around and look at everyone's Christmas lights. I don't know if people that have snow do this, but here in the South, it used to be a very big deal. I mean we would even plan dinner so that we could be out in the car just after dark. He tried to drive in different areas, but he always included the 3-4 blocks closest to our house. We just drove very slowly and took it all in. I don't know of anyone that does this anymore.
Wishing all of my dear friends the Happiest of Holidays!