Advent Calendar 2011 aka Blogging Bootcamp: What I’ve Learned

It occurred to me shortly into it that this Advent Calendar project would be more than just writing down stories.  I haven’t really had anything that spectacular to talk about but I’ve been finding something to fill the space each day so that I can attain my goal of completing the advent calendar. I figured out on the first day that it’s not as simple as it seems to “just do it”.  There’s a lot involved if one cares to at least make an attempt to do it with some semblance of quality control. Day 1.  I wanted to add a photo from my box of treasures.  That would have been simple if my Brother machine hadn’t been inoperable since switching internet providers a couple of months ago.  I spent about two hours and found a firewall issue.  Finally, pictures! Day 2. Neat!  I’ve got these pretty posts.  How does anyone see them?  Where do I get those buttons that everyone else has?  Widgets?  Mastered!  Subscription and sharing buttons added and Twitter and Google+ accounts revived.  I’m on a roll now! Day 3.  People are leaving me comments!  I need to learn how to approve their comments and I need to interact with these people.  Got it! Day 4.  I tend to be disorderly.  Very disorderly.  I’d better get a handle on this now.  Categories to the rescue!  All posts are now filed neatly where they belong. Day 5. I want to use a photo from the internet.  What are my options?  Creative Commons — that sounds interesting.  I’ll learn more about that.  Perfect!  Now to make a caption. Why do I get the...

Advent Calendar 2011 – Christmas Eve

Our family doesn’t really have a set Christmas Eve tradition.  When I was a teenager my mom let us open some presents on Christmas Eve so that we could sleep in on Christmas morning.  I have little kids now so it’s the other way around!  We have to try to get them to bed at a decent hour so that we can get some sleep to wake up with the crack of dawn! We enjoyed a nice dinner this afternoon around 3:00pm.  Everything is all cleaned up, kids are playing, and it’s a countdown to bedtime for Mom and Dad. This is the final entry for the GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.  The project came at just the right time to jump start my blog.  I am happy to have had the opportunity and also relieved that I am...

Advent Calendar 2011 – Christmas Sweetheart Memories

For ten or maybe closer to a dozen years, my sweetheart and I have not had any occasions to do anything really special with just the two of us around the holidays.  Even shopping has been a challenge for us in past years.  It’s not easy to sneak away when you have four kids!  Now that we have one of babysitting age, we were able to go out tonight and make a very nice memory.  We had a wonderful dinner, browsed around the mall, and then went to a late movie.  We really enjoyed watching everyone in the mall, knowing that we are all set and can enjoy each other and our family for the holidays without any...

Advent Calendar 2011 – Christmas Music

Today’s prompt asks about Christmas music and caroling.  When I was a kid, we went with Girl Scouts to the local nursing home.  At the end of our singing, we helped the people back to their rooms.  One year I had a woman who didn’t talk.  That wasn’t as bad as the next year.  That lady led me right to the front door!  I was probably about 10 years old and didn’t know what to do.  She begged me to take her home with me.  She said no one ever came to see her.  Needless to say, that was the last year I went caroling.  My daughter went for her first time last week and she really enjoyed it.  I don’t think they have kids help patients back to their rooms any more.  Good...

Advent Calendar 2011 – Christmas and Deceased Relatives

Every year I always make sure that there are flowers at the gravesite of my grandparents and my mother’s sister Kathy.  For the past couple of years my uncle has been putting them out because I live a lot farther away now. One year my younger son, then about 6 or 7, asked if we could put flowers for all of our dead people at Christmas.  I told him that we would have to win the lottery to afford so many flowers.  I think Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, CT would put me broke alone!...

Advent Calendar 2011 – The Spirit of Christmas

Our family believes that you don’t need to go to a church to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season.  We believe that it is something that you should show daily by your actions, your deeds, and your character, at Christmas and all the year through. Heraclitus pretty well summed it up when he said: “The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way.” At Christmas our thoughts go to helping others even more than usual.  This morning I was in a situation where I was able to help a stranger in need.  I feel so blessed to have found the opportunity to do something within my reach.  Such a small effort on my part made such a big impact for someone else.  My daughter Lillie talked about our new friend Charles a lot today.  I hope Charles and his grandson had a great time making their red velvet cake together.  It feels really good to do nice things.  If you don’t do it already, try it.  You will like it. P.S. Happy Birthday Lois....

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