BEFORE IT IS CHRISTMAS MORN showcases my poem titled the same. Christmas season is upon us with all of its shiny and ornamental displays. I discuss how we honor Christmas. Find the balance between all of the commercialism and the true reason for the season. Please read the blog and share it with others. #blog #Christmas #poetry #love #life
There is still a lot of time before Christmas Morn and a lot of us have started decorating and getting into the spirit of Christmas. I wanted to share my poem and post from last year to remind us again of why we celebrate Christmas. Please enjoy the season but remember the reason. In the world today, people want to dismiss this is celebration for Christ’s birthday and not for all of the worldly manufactured persona. As long as we keep Christ at the forefront, Christmas is a day of the truest celebration.
Here is the original post from 2017:
This is another Christmas poem I have written and since I had posted some of my other poems, I thought I should add this one. One of the best compliments I receive is when a family member (my dear Sister this time) read the poem and didn’t realize that her sister had written it and thought it was beautiful. She read through to the end and was happy to see I was the author. My writings are not meant for commercialism but they are inspired and from my heart to your heart, I hope you enjoy this one too.
I finish with this little statement: If you are blessed with your parents and/or your children and other members of your family, please take the time to spend time with them. I spent all of the time I could manage to visit my Dad and his wife Martha and I made the blessing sacrifice of my weekends to spend with Momma. If I could, I would walk my Momma holding her hand and show her the Christmas decorations and see that lovely smile but she celebrates Our Savior’s birthday with Him in Heaven.
(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced if known to original location. Photos are not necessarily property of Sipping Cups unless stated.
GLITZ OR SIMPLICITY? At this time of year, we see expressions or maybe a better word, decorations to celebrate Christmas. I wrote a popular blog and I try to give equal time to whichever preference you may have. I am not saying which is best; we just consider both ways. For a few minutes read, you may never look at decorations the same. Please join me on the blog, comment on your personal preference, and share the blog with others. For me personally I like the simplicity of glittering things so figure that one out. #blog #christmas #decorations #holiday #life #glitz #simplicity
This post is a reprint of a post I wrote in 2016 and we are still decorating with a spark of glitz but more stately than rustic glitz. We don’t have as much as before, but we love the lights and the touch of glam. I am reposting not to apologize for my taste in decorations but applauding the memory of my Mother’s love for decorations to show her excitement for the birth of Christ. This is not a debate post but an agreement of expression of decor. Have fun with whatever and whichever way you choose to go but the most important part is however you celebrate the upcoming holiday season, do it with love and kindness.
Here is the original post:
IS SIMPLE BETTER THAN GLITZ? When I was young, several people stated I missed my calling and I should have been a lawyer since I could see both sides of any argument. I hoped that meant I was open minded and not tunnel visioned. This morning, you will see this side of me when I review the topic IS SIMPLE BETTER THAN GLITZ? I had a friend to say when I posted my Christmas decorations to say she prefers simple. This started my blogger mind to begin an internal debate about Simple or Glitz. Here is hoping that you will see both sides of this discussion but if not go with your instincts and choose whichever you prefer.
Let’s look at Simple first. The web definition of simple:
sim·ple[ sim-p uhl]
ADJECTIVE [SIM·PLER, SIM·PLEST.]1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.: a simple matter; simple tools.2. not elaborate or artificial; plain: a simple style.3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned: a simple gown.4. unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.5. not complicated: a simple design.
This sounds wonderful and uncomplicated and matches my friend’s personality. She seems to be a person who enjoys nature and I know her to be a person comfortable in simple surroundings. I enjoy seeing the pictures of their remodeled country home and all of their animals. It seems peaceful and unassuming. There is nothing wrong with having a simple life as long as it is a choice and not a result from fear from challenging oneself to set goals to improve a life. As long as the person chooses simplicity as a way of life, that life will be a happy one. I like the idea of simplicity but as I said before; I look at both sides so let’s look at glitz.
The Web gives us this description of GLITZ:
- extravagant but superficial display.”the glitz and sophisticated night life of Ibiza”verb\NORTH AMERICAN1. make (something) glamorous or showy.”we need to glitz up the program”
I would like to throw a monkey wrench into this definition. I rode through the country roads in route to my hometown. Every year at Christmas time and Easter, the yard of a mediocre home a “glitzy” display of blow up characters. I would think most of it came from Walmart or similar retailers. They might have been bought at yard sales. The source is not important except to express the monetary investment. You see glitz does not always have to be diamonds, gold, pearls, or gems. It can be a Simple Soul wanting to express their feelings or even an expression of “pay attention to me”. They may be saying “I may live a simple life but I count in this world.” I go back to the yard adventure. Year after year I would slow my vehicle down to see if they had a new piece and I realized they had caused me to pay attention and I felt a connection with a stranger’s home and felt excitement for them if a new piece of “glitz”.
GLITZ OR SIMPLICITY? Here are my feelings, mine only, and not to change or sway anyone’s thoughts. I think there is room in this world for both and I am not sure which, if any, is better. It is an individual decision and should be accepted. Because a person is drawn to the simpler things or if another is drawn to glitz, doesn’t negate or promote their worth. Both are expressing their individual preference. I only see a negative if either express a dislike of a person who is the opposite. Sometimes I love simple; other times I like a little glitz so maybe that is why I love both kinds of people.
An Additional Note from me: In the last few years, the glitz of the mediocre home disappeared and no more can I anticipate what will be in the yard. It has become simple and it made me sad. I wondered if the person who had lovingly blown up all those reindeer, Santa, candy canes, etc. as well as the big Easter Bunny with blow up colored eggs passed away and this thought brings me to a distinct conclusion.
Life, whether lived simply or extravagantly, ends for all of us. What we gathered, treasured, and adored in life will pass and will not be on display for others who have enjoyed our friendship, neighbor relationship, co-worker, church family, or even strangers who paid more attention to your simplicity or glitz. What is important is not things but how we chose to live and our reflection in the mirror. The acts of kindness and generosity and compassion will forever shine in honor of those who choose those above things, simple or glitzy.
LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by giving of yourself and sharing the gifts of simplicity or glitz with all those who are affected by you.
(C) Copyright Arline Miller 2012-2018 with rights and privileges reserved. Third party material sourced to original location if known. All photos are not property of Sipping Cups of Inspiration unless captioned.
With all of the hype about FREE this and FREE that, I thought I would focus on what the price of Free really is to all of us. SO YOU THINK FREE IS GOOD gets real and maybe it will be thought provoking to all of my readers. Thank you for “spending” time with me on the blog and for sharing the blog with others. #blog #amwriting #life #spending #freestuff
SO YOU THINK FREE IS GOOD? Today, I am addressing a popular concept and I want to apply it to all phases of our lives, not just the political consequences. Below, please find my back to work post on FB to kick off this thought process. I worry that a bait and switch swindle is being played on many young people and even some older folks that should know better. The phrase “No Such Thing as a Free Lunch” didn’t originate from nothing. Someone had found out the truth.
Back to work thought: I have seen all of the Socialist Democrats use the word “free” pretty freely, but as a hard working 69 year old I beg to differ. Let’s use an example of how nothing is “free”…..Think of the ads on facebook and other media outlets which say free this and free that or 2nd one free if you buy the first one at a low price, right? You know you have seen these free item ads. Ok, now the real truth, the “processing” fee is a cost. If you get the free item, you will find that a subscription, upgrade, shipping are all costs. When I was in the car business, it was a known fact and they even had a name for it “Bait and Switch” where you advertised the “deal of the century” which was a vehicle that barely had an engine and transmission knowing full well that the customer wanted and really needed more so you switched them when they came in asking for that car or truck that was advertised. I look at the Socialist concept the same way….there is no free health care, no income guarantee, no free education, and no free housing….Believe me, it costs so using the Bait and Switch Socialist concept, you use these “free” items (that the cost is passed on to the average tax payer who then can’t afford anything other than essentials and there goes the economy and stability for them to work) and then when you have been baited that this sounds like winning the lottery, they have you hooked so the only thing left to take is your freedom. To all of you that this “free concept” would be better off getting a job, working in a fairly taxed job, and have pride in taking care of your family instead of a government controlled environment. One final thought is how many of you think government takes care of the programs now? They spend foolishly and are thinking of what it means to their futures not ours……so what makes you want to put them in charge of everything you own or work for? Hmm??
Remember Bait and Switch is only meant to get you where they want you so they can switch your way of life and the payment is always higher than you planned on paying.
Sometimes, it is good to go back to a simpler time to appreciate what we have now. Today on the blog I pulled up a blog post to remind us those special Christmas times. I also offer an article that gives great advice on lessening stress during the holiday season. I should heed some of these ideas like minimal decorations (we will have to wait and see about that one). Please join me and share the blog with others. Happy Holidays Readers! #blog #Christmas #holidaystress #memories #love #life
Here is an article on How to Enjoy Christmas Without The Stress:
During fall it’s easy to tell yourself, I won’t get stressed about Christmas this year. Christmas stress? What’s that? Surrounded by pumpkin-everything, you’re in denial that Christmas is on its way.
But here’s the good news: If you start preparing now, you are almost guaranteed to have a very Merry Christmas without all that holiday stress.
Remember, this time of year should be joyful! But the more strain you put on yourself, your family, and your wallet, the less room you’ll have to truly enjoy the magic of the season. Don’t cave in to the hustle and bustle! Here are 12 ways to keep the “merry” in Christmas and enjoy a slow holiday you can savor.
1. Make a list and check it twice.
Maybe you have a mental list of everything you need to do and when you need to do it. But it helps to have a written list or calendar to see the big picture. If your shopping needs to be done by a certain date, write that down. If your neighbors have a yearly bash on the second Saturday of December, write that down.
The point of this is to see everything in one place so you can get an idea of what’s happening and when. Don’t like what you’re seeing? Reorganize your calendar and your to-do list to reflect the Christmas you want to have this year.
2. Do a little bit here and a little bit there.
Delaying something until the last minute is rarely a good idea. Christmas shopping is the perfect example of that! Many people wait until halfway through December and then dash to the malls in a panic to buy gifts. But the good news is, you’re starting early! Aren’t you feeling more relaxed already? You probably just added five years to your life!
Trying to do all your Christmas shopping or cooking in one weekend can push you over the edge. Instead, keep it simple! It might be easier to shop for one or two people on your list each day. The idea is to have fun buying gifts for others and not make it feel like a chore.
Make a Christmas bucket list and fill it with fun and festive things to do throughout the season. That way, you’re making Nana’s Christmas cookie recipe at the beginning of the month instead of trying to cram it in on Christmas Eve. You can even freeze cookie dough ahead of time and pull it out when you’re ready to bake it. Spacing things out during the season can help you stay in the spirit of things and keep the holiday stress low!
3. Shop at off-times.
Shop early, shop early, shop early. Since you started saving for Christmas early, you can shop early too. You’ll never have to worry about inventory being too low and stooping to tug of war with another desperate parent over the last Turbo Man action figure. Phew! You won’t have to worry about price gouging on popular items either.
If possible, take a couple hours off work on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning to do some Christmas shopping when there aren’t as many people cruising the mall. It’ll take less time and energy when there are no crowds to fight.
Or keep your holiday stress level at bay and do all your Christmas shopping online. There’s nothing wrong with that! Plus, being able to see the items in your cart can help keep you from overspending. And you’ll probably save a bundle with all those coupon codes offered online. Win-win! On top of that, you’ll have plenty of time for things to arrive at your front doorstep. No paying $45 for overnight shipping for you.
4. Don’t spend 40 hours a week on social media.
Stay away from the comparison trap, especially at Christmastime. Hide your eyes from the perfectly curated Instagram feeds and the DIY rabbit hole of Pinterest.
Don’t waste this joyous time of year apologizing to your friends and family because you didn’t bake every item from scratch or create an elaborate story each day for that pesky Elf on the Shelf! In Love Your Life, Not Theirs, Ramsey Personality Rachel Cruze said, “I’ve come to realize that when we start comparing ourselves to other people, we’re playing a game we’ll never win.”
5. Don’t overcommit and overextend yourself.
Most likely, your December schedule is sure to include party invitations out the chimney. But you don’t have to do everything on your calendar. You are in control! Remember, you can’t be everywhere at the same time. You can only attend so many family dinners, drive so far, and give so much. Just like with your money, you have limits with your time.
Be reasonable with what you can handle. Instead of going to five Christmas gatherings, pick one or two. You don’t want to burn out before Christmas Day even gets here! Prioritize your family’s time and only commit to what you want to do. It’s all about quality, not quantity.
6. Decorate like a minimalist.
We all like to be just as festive as the next guy—no one wants to be a Grinch. But don’t feel like you have to put up a Christmas tree in every room of your house. This isn’t Whoville.
Instead of decorating the entire house, keep it simple by decorating the tree and the mantel. Focus on your main living spaces where your family gathers most often. Take some of the pressure off yourself and ignore the urge to create a winter wonderland inside (or outside) your home this year.
7. Outsource to friends.
Some stuff just has to be done. You can’t get rid of everything on the list. But if you start feeling the pressure, consider enlisting some friends or family to help you out.
Maybe that’s trading off with a fellow parent to cart your kids to and from Christmas pageant rehearsals or asking your friends and family to bring side dishes to Christmas meals. Pay the kids some cash to wrap all your presents (well, the ones that aren’t theirs), or pick up store-bought cheesecake for your Christmas potluck at work. Whatever it is, just make sure it’s in your budget, and get ready to feel the holiday stress melt away.
8. Stick to your daily rituals.
Try to keep as much of your routine in place as you can during the scattered schedule of the Christmas season. If your average day starts with getting up, pouring yourself a cup of coffee, and reading the newspaper, don’t skip that. Having some normalcy can help keep you calm and focused on the day ahead. Plus, it’s a great way to keep your sanity . . . especially if your house is filled to the brim with guests for the holidays.
9. Don’t have too much of a good thing.
Yes, it’s true: “Stressed” spelled backward is “desserts.” If you cut back on all the holiday stress, then maybe your waistline will thank you too. You can still indulge in the sweet stuff while using moderation. Just don’t go overboard. At least try to eat a little better than Buddy the Elf’s diet of candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.
And don’t forget about exercise! It can help keep the Christmas pounds off and lower your holiday stress level. If you can’t make time to get to the gym, make time to move. Take the stairs at work, get up every hour or so and take a lap around the office, or lift small weights while you’re on the phone or watching television. You can even bundle up and go on your own Christmas lights walking tour. Maybe your exercise is just combining your Christmas shopping with walking in the mall. Anything is better than nothing!
10. Out with the old, in with the new.
No one wants to feel like their house is a cluttered mess with new gifts piled on top of old ones. This is a great time to sort through and organize your clothes, garage, and old toys. Sell or donate the stuff you know you don’t use anymore—or wrap some of it up for gag gift exchanges.
11. Make a Christmas budget.
You saw this one coming, right? No shocker here—we’re reminding you to do your Christmas budget, again. So, have you done it yet? Take some time to think about all your Christmas expenses and decide exactly how much you will spend.
Be sure to include all the parties you want to go to and the cost of gifts, food and decorations. Despite all of the holiday hoopla, stick to your plan no matter what! If you haven’t done your budget yet, what are you waiting for? Get our free budgeting tool EveryDollar! It can help you stay on track with meeting your goals this Christmas.
12. Remember what the Christmas season is about.
Christmastime is meant to be filled with joy, merriment and thankfulness. Carve out time with family and friends to reconnect with one another. You want to actually remember Christmas this year, right? The idea is to be intentional—don’t let the month go by in a total blur.
Slow down and think about what you really want to do this season. Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that you forget to enjoy the people you’re doing all this for. By starting early, you’ll be able to have a merry—and much slower—Christmas!
Want a great way to reduce stress, learn how to be content, and love your own life? Pick up Rachel Cruze’s New York Times best seller, Love Your Life, Not Theirs in hardcover and audiobook at a great low price.
FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Proverbs 19:17 ESV
(c) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to original location when known for credit reference.
Today on the blog I have written a Thanksgiving Tale .Happy Thanksgiving and think, The phrase Happy Thanksgiving can be broken down to say, We are happy when we give to others with thanks for having enough to share with others. #blog #life #thanksgiving #amwriting #love #sharing
This year, for the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I would share A THANKSGIVING TALE. As an author I get asked more frequently that I imagined where I come up with my book plots. I like to share life lesson messages but maybe once in a while I should share my writer’s imaginary journey.
In the small town of Misery, a young girl was walking down the dirt street that was considered Main Street. It was a blustery day and it was all Madilyn could do to remain upright from the gusts blowing her backwards. Her coat had been patched to prevent the wind from invading her body but she felt the chill. She tried to hurry to get to the mercantile and purchase the bread, milk, and cheese that her Mom needed to make their Thanksgiving meal. At the door of the store front, she paused looking at the old woman at the other end of the building. Madilyn saw the woman shivering and realized she only had a sweater wrapped as far as the too small sweater would stretch. Feeling the chill herself, she hurried into the store.
Mrs. Frankenton, the store owner spoke to Madilyn as she came in, “Little lady I wondered what was taking you so long before getting out of the wind.” As she spoke, she gave a gesture of shaking from a chill and rubbed her arms as if she needed to warm herself. Madilyn questioned the old lady’s motion as it was fairly warm in the store. She gave Mrs. Frankenton a smile but kept wondering why the woman outside didn’t come in herself.
“Did you see the lady outside shivering?” asked Madilyn. With this question, Mrs. Frankenton walked to the window and stretched to see who Madilyn was referring. The woman had backed up to the wall trying to cut the wind from hitting her fully in the face. It was easy to see how pale she was but her cheeks were almost a fiery red from blistering.
“Can you invite her to come in and get warm?” questioned the young girl. Madilyn knew she should hurry to gather the few items she had come in to buy, but it seemed necessary to help the woman even though she didn’t recognize her.
The store owner shrugged her shoulders and replied, “Well, the door isn’t locked and she could come in if she wanted, but maybe she doesn’t. Maybe, we need to mind our own business and leave her alone.”
Madilyn looked at Mrs. Frankenton with a look of confusion. Her family had shopped there since she could remember. Prices had always been fair and her family didn’t have a lot of money. It might be said they hardly had any money at all. They shared what they had with any of their neighbors even if it meant they weren’t full themselves. Her Dad had died and left them having to scrimp to get by. They continued to watch every penny but found others needed help too. Madilyn thought to herself, “Like this lady who is cold and probably hungry” and she picked up an extra loaf of bread.
As Madilyn paid for the essentials her Mom had sent her to the store, she didn’t have enough for the loaf of bread. Mrs. Frankenton looked at her expecting her to put the bread back on the shelf but Madilyn looked at her in a pleading way.
“How do you expect to pay for this bread?” she asked the young girl standing in front of her.
“You don’t have enough to pay for it, Madilyn and your Mom’s account has no extra credit,” asked the curious storekeeper.
“Mrs. Frankenton, I want to work for it as well as a cup of hot coffee for the woman at the end of the building. I will get her to come in to drink the coffee and eat some bread, if you have some floors that need sweeping or windows washed, boxes to be put on the shelves, or anything else I can do to earn enough money to provide this food for her.”
The storeowner looked at Madilyn and said, “That is a nice thought but Madilyn, your family is poor and all of you struggle and probably this bread you want to earn would help your family out instead of giving it to a stranger. Why do you want to do it?”
“It is simple. Mrs. Frankenton. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and even though we don’t have much, we are thankful to have a roof over our head, coats to keep us warm, a fire in our fireplace, each other to hold on in rough weather, and Mom can make any kind of food taste delicious. God has taken care of us and I think He wants me to take care of her so she will have something to be thankful for on this special time of year. You do understand since God has blessed you to have this store so that we can be thankful for you too.”
Mrs. Frankenton, looked at Madilyn and then turned to go to the door. She went out and touched the woman huddling in the corner on the arm and motioned for her to come inside. The woman looked at her but didn’t hesitate to follow her inside. As the coffee was poured and the loaf of bread given along with some butter, Madilyn asked her name and invited her to come home with her for a Thanksgiving meal and a bed to stay out of the weather. The woman looked at this young girl and asked her why she wanted to help her.
Madilyn looked at Mrs. Frankenton who had whispered in her ear not to worry about working for these items as she would give them to Madilyn’s guest. “Why, I have added many more reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving. I have met a new friend. I have learned to love Mrs. Frankenton for her generosity, and I can thank God for my Mom teaching me to share whatever we have with others, so I thank both of you for helping me have these things to add to my list of things to be thankful.
Note: Though this is a fictional story, it can be real for all of us who reach out to help others in need, share what we have even if it is minimal, love with God’s love, and be thankful for each breath and blessing given. Happy Thanksgiving and think, The phrase Happy Thanksgiving can be broken down to say, We are happy when we give to others with thanks for having enough to share with others…….Arline Miller, author and blogger of Sipping Cups of Inspiration
(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.