Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Past and Present

One of the wonderful things about traditional celebrations is the way they are always changing. For instance, just when I think I've found the one house that goes over the top and decorates for the Apocalypse, I find another house the next year that does the one better. We celebrated Ugly Christmas Sweaters this year on Christmas Eve - and had a lot of time during the season considering going up to strangers and offering them $20 to give the "sweater off their backs" they were so ugly. We all hit Goodwill and Salvation Army and the Hospital Visiting Nurses Thrift stores, but in the end, most of us went online. Take a closer look at the sweaters below. My SILs won the prize (light blue one on the left). My DHs was runner up (navy one on right).

I'm writng this post the day after Christmas, in Windsor, California. I've just dropped off a package I left out on Christmas Day and found this morning. The local park is covered with little Christmas trees families could adopt. Each one is unique and has a different theme. The funds generated went to a local charity Charles Schulz, our local celebrity and hero for many years founded.

Charles Schulz used to put on a Christmas Ice Show every year we took the kids to when they were little. It was quite an extravaganza and attracted talent from all over the world. My kids would talk about it for weeks afterwards. My mom and dad loved accompanying them. We used to get a table on the ice so we could have hot chocolate served to us, and occasionally a celeb would come and sit with us for a minute or two.

Mr. Schulz had an office over the skating rink, and he used to draw some of his cartoon strips while watching kids learn to skate. All 4 of mine learned to ice skate there. Were they fodder for some of his content? I'd like to think so. Just think about the inspiration it is to watch little kids fall on the ice, all the dynamics of trying and failing, and the importance of keeping a stiff upper lip, even when you've just made a fool out of yourself. Life lessons, all of them.

I've been touched by all the posts from some of my fellow writing sisters, sharing their bit of family cheer of the season. Together we make a good quilt of different writers with different genres, but all chasing that elusive brass ring: write the best darned books we can, and get readers to notice them.

That in itself is a Christmas miracle. Most of us on this blog didn't know each other a year ago, even a few months ago, as the blog has changed, and has become stronger and stronger. But we share something identical: love of writing and love of readers. I think most of us would rather write than do anything else.

So back to my trees. Like these trees in the town square in Windsor, each of us decorates our posts with the things of our lives, of our characters, of our experiences and traditions. The sum of these parts is indeed not as great as the whole tapestry, that colorful living, breathing, ever-changing work of art that is this blog.

A special thanks to Danielle Ravencraft who has brought us all together. Happy New Year to all, but especially to Danielle.


kazza16 said...

Thank you Danielle for hosting this blog, and to Sharon for this fascinating story!

Sharon Hamilton said...

Thanks, Kazza16. It's early here in California, but I got up to make sure my post got online (now back to bed!). Welcome and come back and see us again soon...So glad you liked it and share in my thanks to Danielle for leading us.

Kay Dee Royal said...

Sharon - Charles Schulz was a big tradition at our house when the kids were growing up (the Charlie Brown Christmas specials) this day, my oldest daughter has a Charlie Brown Christmas tree on her table:) You know - one branch with one bulb and it plays the Charlie Brown song.

Yes - I'm forever grateful to Danielle...and to all the author friends at Ravencraft's:)

Charlene A. Wilson said...

Beautiful post, Sharon. And hilarious sweater. Lol. I've always loved Peanuts and the Charlie Brown Christmas trees. What a great idea for a charity!

I echo your words about the Realm, such a wonderful pattern we make together. Everyone a beautiful piece in themselves. Thank you Danielle. You're a doll.

Love all my sisters and the lovely readers we have visit us.

julie beasley said...

really enjoyed the blog, so pleased Sharon your sweater won! i love to reminisce about christmas pasts with different family members

Sharon Hamilton said...

Thanks Kay Dee, Charlene and Julie. So great that we all are together and share some fun. I agree, together we make quite a colorful tapestry of great writing, and memories.

seelk said...

Love those Christmas sweaters. Compared to some of others I've seen, they are not bad at all. Traditions are great to have and to be passed down to the next generations. They are our connection to the past and future. Wishing you all a Happy and prosperous New Year!

Sharon Hamilton said...

Thank you, Eniko. So happy to see you here today. Nice that you came to decorate our tapestry here today.

Danielle Ravencraft said...

Sharon, sorry I'm a little late to comment, but so glad I read this post. You're such a sweetheart, thanking me, and writing so beautifully about our blog. :) Yes, I am quite proud of what we've built here, but I couldn't have done it with out you ladies adding your own threads to the quilt. ;)

Love you all, and here's to an other fabulous year with all my Raven sisters!

Louisa Bacio said...

Late commenting myself, but really enjoyed your post, and especially the pictures of those trees! What great memories. Thank you for sharing.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Glad you enjoyed th epost. After I sat down to write them, I wished my camera skills were better...but I think everyone got the message.

Happy New Year, my friend.

Sharon Hamilton said...

I knew you'd read it eventually. LOL. Just wanted to sneak up and surprise you.

It has truly been a great 2012, made special by all your hard work. And I know it hasn't been always easy. But we keep growing and learning and that's what a vibrant, relevant blog is all about.

Happy New Year!