IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
Today, although being British by birth, my naturalised American self got to celebrate this holiday of Independence in the Town that I have called home for the last 16 years. The wonderful Town of Leesburg, in Loudoun County Virginia, is a lovely place to be. To celebrate with a parade is a quintessential and integral part of life here, as I am sure it is also in many Towns and of course Cities throughout America on this special day in their history. A reminder too I think of how far we have come, and that if we really try we can work together. At least that is my hope.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!
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Twenty One years ago, when I first came to live in America, to Connecticut in fact, I was assailed by many new sights, sounds, experiences and yes, smells. In the approach to my first Christmas in the USA, I wandered around the malls and grocery stores and my nostrils would fill with an aroma unlike anything I had ever experienced before. It practically made me want to gag, and upon investigation, I discovered the cinnamon scented pinecones that seemed to be so beloved, and seemingly a necessary part of the Christmas decor. It seems American's like Cinnamon a lot, they put it in their apple pies (my Mum could not believe this), and they love it in their Starbucks coffee drinks. Well, to me, at least back then, it was horrible, horrible, horrible!! But flash forward to today, now in Virginia, time has mellowed me, I have learnt to go with the American flow and somewhere along the way, I have come to quite like the pong. Today, I got my first whiff in the grocery store of the Cinnamon scented pinecones and I smiled. Christmas is coming. Still not bringing any home though.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE
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Well it's that time of year again, gift wrapping is going into overdrive. When it comes to gift wrapping for me, I am afraid it is a case of reuse and recycle.
Every year I go to the basement and bring up my Christmas gift wrapping storage boxes. One box contains my gift bags and gift boxes of various types and sizes, the other my tissue paper and santa hats. It always makes me smile when I look through the gift bags, because most of them are the ones we used last year (and possibly even the year before that) - some even have the gift tags to family members still attached! Crazy I know, but it always seem such a shame and such a waste to throw these bags and boxes away, so I always retrieve them after the opening frenzy on Christmas Day, and store them away again.
I think maybe this behavior is somewhat inherited from having a thrifty Mother. When I was a child, we would spend an afternoon after Christmas cutting up our Christmas cards, cutting around the images on the cards, such as Christmas trees, giant baubles and Santas of all sizes, making them into our own unique gift labels which we would then use the following Christmas. Tissue paper was smoothed out and reused, even wrapping paper if it could be saved would be folded and used the following year.
Although I look longingly and jealously at other people's beautifully wrapped packages and gifts, I guess I am my Mother's daughter after all.
Merry Christmas everyone and happy wrapping!
I love, love, love my Christmas pixie! He is my favorite tree ornament and has quite a history.
Here is how this little guy came into my life and why he holds such sentimental value for me.
Way back in the 1960's, my Dad took a job at Manchester Airport in the Northwest of the U.K. He started working for B.O.A.C as it was at the time, later it became British Airways. Dad was ground maintenance crew, so his job was the cleaning, re-fueling and towing of the British Airways aircraft coming and going from Manchester Airport. It was thanks to his job and his staff/virtually free/standby airline tickets (a perk of the job back then), that we got to experience amazing family holidays (Spain, Malta and Cyprus). Back in those days, not many people were taking holidays abroad so we were very lucky. To this day I still love flying, I have been doing it since I was 6 or 7 years old so it just feels like second nature to me.
Anyway, I digress - back to the Pixie. Sometimes travelers would unintentionally leave items behind on the planes. The cleaning crews would find all sorts of things and one day, in the early 1970's, my Dad found these two little Pixie's. If I recall correctly they were left on a flight that had come in from Scandinavia. Found items were put into the lost and found, if unclaimed after a period of time, the person who found them was able to keep them. Dad brought home these two little pixies and somehow they ended up on the Christmas tree. Every year when we were kids, my sister and I would put them on the tree.
The first Christmas I was married, in 1983, my Mum gave me one of the Pixies so I could put it on my own tree. My sister got the other one when she got married. Every year it is one of the first ornaments to go on my tree, and has been for the last 29 years!
My Dad ended up working for British Airways for over 30 years. He was one of the best. We lost him in 2003 and I think of him often, but never more so than when I put my special little Pixie on the Christmas tree. Nice find Dad!
Do you have any special Christmas traditions? If so I would love to hear about them.