happy xmas

I have many thoughts circulating through my mind as I begin writing this. As I often do… Anyway, please do not allow yourself to become agitated by the term “xmas”. By using it in the title of this entry, I am not meaning to remove “Christ” from Christmas. Because let’s be real….Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. So if one removes Christ, he/she is not truly celebrating Christmas. It becomes something else entirely. Good, bad or indifferent. Secondly, if you are still prone to prefer the entire word….C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S, I suggest you research a bit and you’ll find utilizing an X is perfectly acceptable historically. 

I like to say “Happy Christmas”. I suppose to be different. Plus, please note the poem, Twas the Night Before Christmas. The last stanzas in the original are “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” Thanks, but no “merry”.

Now I feel as though I’m being defensive, which I have no intention of being. Just sharing why I titled this entry as such, I suppose. There’s also the song. Happy Xmas.

So this is Xmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Xmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

Alright….my Christmas this year included a journey. Where?

New York City.


My daughter is a student at NYU. We (meaning my kids and I) knew earlier in the semester she wouldn’t be done with final exams until December 19. My son, a student at the University of Louisville, was done about a week or so earlier. He had not been to New York City, so I had this idea back in the fall….

Why not drive up with him to pick her up? Instead of flying her home. Why not give him a couple days to explore NYC, with his sister as our tour guide? He liked the idea. His sister liked the idea. Because most of my ideas are good ideas……if only I could convince others of this….

So drive we did. All day Wednesday. Fortunately I have friends who live in New Jersey, not far outside of NYC. They agreed it was a good idea for us to leave our car at their house, and take the train into the city. If you’re counting…..yes, another good idea of mine.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
My people, on the Brooklyn Bridge.
I am a Wendell Berry fan so it was great to see a quote of his posted in NYC. He’s a Kentuckian, an author, and many other things as well.
My life motto is….any day I see a van Gogh in real life, is a good day. Actually, I do not have a life motto, but I do enjoy seeing van Goghs. This one’s at The Met.
Tree at The Met.
New York Stock Exchange.
Central Park.
Happy subway riders.
Harlem street art.
Record store in Greenwich Village.
Pretty cookies at Dean & DeLuca.
Look at all the cheese! Dean & DeLuca.
Book store in SOHO. Thank you, but I’d like to live here. Inside this store.
Street art in Greenwich Village.
Hi…that’s me. More street art…Greenwich Village.


This is not me. It’s James. Pointing at the painting.

Now, you might or might not be contemplating…..how does someone like her afford a trip to NYC? I know that I, whether it’s right or wrong, sometimes am curious as to how certain people come into certain things. Which is, of course, none of my concern but it doesn’t mean I don’t wonder nonetheless. Yes, this is the confession portion of today’s entry.

Anyway, back to how I afforded….. I worked an, I’m not sure what you’d call it….additional job (?) for three months. I saved some money from some extra happenings, aside from my usual work (nothing illegal or immoral, just so you know). So, in a not so round about way, I earned it. Which made the trip more enjoyable, actually.

I’ve recently felt it’s important to give others an experience. My kids. Other family members. People I care about. Instead of just handing them a gift. Or a gift card. Or a check. Not that I don’t appreciate those things when I receive them. And those things can go towards making an experience happen, for sure. But I, this year, truly wanted to give my kids something other than the usual all wrapped up under the tree. I wanted to take advantage of this stage of life. Before too much time and circumstance takes us to a different place. When we can, just the three of us, still enjoy a happening.

So we did.

And now I’m pretty much exhausted. We arrived back home late last night (Christmas Eve). And Christmas morning was different than in the past. But I believe it was all fabulous and worth it.

My Christmas experience has, for the most part as a grown up, always yielded a tinge of sadness. And different years have brought the sadness to light in different ways. This year I am happy for the most part.  Joyful to be with my children, to have spent time beforehand with friends. Yet, there is a curiosity. Lots of whys. A reflection back on the year. A look ahead at 2017. Those thoughts that pop in…..who knew ten years ago we’d be doing this today? Wow….wild! But I suppose no one really ever knows what’s ahead. Which, though I often place uncertainty on par with negativity…..is not always the case.

Happy Xmas 2016!

John Lennon wrote the above song. In case you didn’t know.




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