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Simple Christmas!

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  • Sheryl Simons
    The Simple Life By Sheryl Simons The happier you are with the simple things, the easier it is to be happy. Simple Christmas I can remember when I was a
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2006
      The Simple Life
      By Sheryl Simons

      "The happier you are with the simple things, the easier it is to be

      Simple Christmas

      I can remember when I was a child, making a list of
      Christmas gifts I'd like, sometime around Thanksgiving. Mostly the
      items on the list came from the Sears toy catalog, mailed to homes
      in November. If you've never seen a Sears Toy Catalog, imagine the
      toy castle of the world where each page was filled with unimaginably
      magical items, such as toy electric guitars, games, and the
      electrical gadgets of the time, such as the game "Operation" where
      you had to remove a body part carefully with small tweezers without
      setting off the buzzer if you so much as touched the metal around
      the edges. One of my friends had that game, that's how I know.
      Another friend had an Easy Bake oven, which baked very small cakes
      and cookies from the heat of a light bulb. I guess my parents
      thought that baking in our regular oven was practice enough.
      One thing I can thank my parents for, (I think) was not making
      a big deal about Santa Clause. We never truly believed in Santa,
      which would have only meant one more let down when we realized the
      truth. Our family put the emphasis on Jesus amazing birth, and we
      still read the real Christmas story every year sandwiched between
      dinner and gifts.
      The suspense of waiting all that time to see what would
      actually appear was awful. I knew nothing of Chinese torture, but
      Christmas torture couldn't have been any less severe. However, as
      good as the gifts were, they were mostly gifts like sweaters, new
      pants – you know mostly things I needed rather than wanted with
      something fun like a beautiful pair of ice skates I received one
      year. My parents had a slightly different view of Christmas, than
      the children in our family. `Practical' was the key word. Practical
      had a lot to do with not owing money after Christmas. (Smart idea,
      but not to a kid!)
      `Practical' was a hated word to any child. Even if my parents
      had stumbled across a winning lottery ticket, (if it had existed
      back then) they wouldn't have bought us everything we wanted,
      because it wouldn't be "good for us". "It wouldn't be good for you"
      was a key phrase in our household, as it was in most families I knew
      at the time. If it sounds like a conspiracy, it was. No, my
      parents were definitely not alone in their parenting philosophies of
      what was "good" for us.
      As a kid it seemed as if what was good for us, was an
      infinitely smaller range than what was not good for us. It was not
      good for us to be out after the streetlights came on, or to have a
      Saturday of freedom without chores. It was good for us to eat our
      vegetables, not be at a friend's home unless a parent was home, and
      wait an hour after eating before swimming. I can actually remember
      swimming after only a half-hour after lunch once, and wondering if I
      might just die, and when the hour passed thinking I had cheated
      death. I was still alive! (My mother and aunt had probably gotten
      tired of us asking if an hour was up every five minutes, and took
      the risk of losing us all just to have some peace and quiet.) None
      of us even got stomach cramps. Not too long ago they debunked that
      theory for good. Good thing. Now my grandkids will be able to swim
      right after eating – but don't go past your waist for an hour!
      When my kids were little, I hate to admit, I became a part
      of the conspiracy – but with a new twist. It would save my kids the
      terrible torture of Christmas – I would hide the Christmas Catalog!
      (Hey, I couldn't eliminate Christmas, but I did what I could!) I did
      it every year. Once when it came in the mail, they saw it before I
      could hide it. It mysteriously disappeared as soon as I could get
      my slippery little hands on it. I remember one of them looking all
      over for it, but I was a good hider of things. To this day, I don't
      know if it helped to hide the catalog, but I did my best to spare
      them. There were still TV ads to torture them!

      * * *

      Christmas is not in tinsel and lights and outward show. The secret
      lies in an inner glow. It's lighting a fire inside the heart. Good
      will and joy a vital part. It's higher thought and a greater plan.
      It's glorious dream in the soul of man. ~Wilfred A. Peterson

      The word did not become a philosophy, a theory, or a concept to be
      discussed, debated, or pondered. But the word became a person to be
      followed, enjoyed, and loved. – Roy Lessin

      1 pkg chocolate cake mix
      1 pkg instant chocolate pudding mix (4 serving size)
      1 pint sour cream
      ¾ cup oil
      4 eggs
      1 cup water
      1 cup chocolate chips
      1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
      Spray crockpot. Mix all ingredients and pour into crockpot. Cook on
      low setting for 5 hours. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

      Keeping it Simple,

      Please share recipes, questions, comments and simple living ideas
      that work for you. Email: thesimple_life@... Join the online
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