Dec 19, 2007

An Interactive Christmas Story . . .

Artella "Caroling" Kit 2007

Charisse held the gift in her palm uneasily. Her lack of emotion seemed so discordant with the thrill that had driven the hunt. After all, she had spent an exhausting three weeks pursuing what she believed to be the perfect Christmas gift. Now, as she wrapped her fingers around the prize, she sensed that there was something missing...


I am asking my blog friends to help me finish this story— one sentence at a time. Will you join me? The guidelines are below. The deadline for you submissions is: Sunday, December 23rd at Midnight PST. I will compile all of your sentences together, perhaps with minor editing, and publish the result!
  1. You may submit one sentence per post.
  2. Please wait for someone else to post before you add another sentence.
  3. Do your best to follow the flow of what each posting person has contributed.
  4. Use your imagination!
I can't wait to find out how the story ends!

Dec 18, 2007

Christmas Prayer


Oh, God...
help us rightly to remember
the birth of Jesus, that
we may share in the songs
of the angels, the gladness
of the shepherds, and the
worship of the wise men.

May the Christmas morning
make us happy
to be your children.

— Robert Louis Stevenson

Dec 17, 2007

Today's Bouquets

Artella "Caroling" Kit 2007

My holiday hurdles were lined up by priority and I started jumping! Now, as I come up for air, I marvel that it's behind me. With Divine assistance, I...
  • completed a course entitled EE through my church
  • filled the role of comic auctioneer for a prison ministry fund raiser
  • spoke for a women's ministry where I also sang and led worship with a wonderful singer-friend
  • performed in a 2-person sketch for a Christmas banquet
  • hosted a Christmas Showcase that featured my drama and voice students
  • acted as MC for a Christmas presentation
What an honor it is to be able to participate in so many positive and life-changing events!

"All is calm, all is bright."

Artella "Caroling" Kit 2007
My motto for Christmas is, "All is calm, all is bright." After a challenging year, my family is paring down our Christmas spending, pouring our efforts into handmade gifts and heart derived tributes. My daughter and I, especially, are approaching this with great enthusiasm.

Most of us don't need reminding as to how many days are left until Christmas. If you're done shopping and decorating, no worries. However, if you're like me and shopping is determined by cash flow and a busy event schedule, the ticking clock grows louder!

I recently discovered,
Organize, a sleek, somewhat sophisticated magazine proving that function and organization need not resemble a container store. Although the photos of people are a trifle staged, the magazine contains noteworthy information and elegant touches.
In my July 11th, 2007 post entitled, Gifts, I illuminated on gift giving and the dilemmas of clutter. One Organize magazine feature entitled Clutter Free Gifting* by Monica Ricci, coincides with my post! Although Monica has gone gift-free—much like a carnivore becoming a vegan—she realizes that most of us hold fast to our traditions. So, she offers a philosophy based on a thoughtful process of assessing a person's taste and interests, and then presenting something that won't contribute to clutter.

Monica divided Clutter Free Gifting into the following categories: financial or charitable gifts, consumable gifts, gifts of service, education, memberships or passes, technology, and gifts of experience or quality time. The specifics may be obtained from her featured article, but the gist is this: consider dust-free giving.

Well, I have a gift card to a local cafe to bestow upon our mail carrier. I better hurry before he gets here!

* Organize magazine,
(pages 74-81, November/December 2007)