2022 · Advent Adventures: 24 Doors of December

Advent Adventures: The Door to December Fourth, 2022

Door to December 4th, 2022

 

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Dear Fa-la-la-la-la’s,

I hope this post finds you well. Long before we could correspond with each other in an instant we used to engage in a remarkable practice of sending physical items to each other through a service called the postal service. Before telephones, faxes, email, instant-messaging, texts, and tweets we would sit down and take the time to write words onto a page and send them to someone that would read them. Then they would sometimes reply to that communication by sending words on a page back. Simpler times 😛 

What was remarkable about this exchange was the care that people took in sending regards. In my experience, this was most especially felt during the holiday season of Christmas. Families would mark this special time by sending news and developments that had occurred over the past year, and finally well wishes for an even better year the following year.

Making someone’s Christmas Card list was an honor and to receive tidings from them in December meant a great deal.

The custom we practiced was to pick the frame of one of the doors in our home and used tape to affix them around that frame. It added another level of cheer to our home, and it was a physical reminder to us during the holiday season how many people we cared about and thought well enough about us to send us a card.

Over the years as technology improved, Christmas Cards found new formats and expressions and we found visual scenes by Currier and Ives being replaced by photos of our family and friends. Whole companies and businesses appeared to ease the rush of the holiday season by creating your cards for you and printing them out in batches so all you would have to do was put it in a stamped and addressed envelope and send out to your list. Process streamlined even further by excel spreadsheets, label makers and printing out your postage for you, so you wouldn’t even have to interact with a postal worker at the post office when buying seasonal stamps.

Call me a curmudgeon, call me a Scrooge, but something is lost here. Something integral to the whole point of the gesture: the personal touch. The act of sitting down and writing Christmas Cards to a friend or a family member is a defiant one in some ways, because it bucks the trend of succumbing to the rush and just checking another box on a long list of things to do.

The act in and of itself is precious and it is an opportunity for us to reflect in a meaningful way upon those that matter most to us. Sitting down and being present while writing Christmas Cards is therapeutic. It calls on us to remember, actually remember and contemplate the ties and relationships in our lives. There is magic in reading the written words of someone in your life. It shows care. It shows love. It shows focus.

If there is something I could convince you of this holiday season it would be to go to the dollar store and pick up a box of Christmas Cards, then go home and pull your address book out (yes, even if it’s in your phone) and sit down and be present with the process of reaching out to folks in your life that you are quite fond of. Write words on the card, see them, feel them, think about what you write, and think about the person you are sending to; in these moments you are part of the spirit of Christmas. 

You won’t regret it, I promise. If living during a pandemic has taught me anything it has taught me that being present in the moment and valuing that time is a gift.

In fact, I have a humble request: send me a Christmas Card. Let me know if this post has impacted you. Let me know if you’ve sent any cards out to friends and family. I’ll promise to write you back. Also, when I amass the cards from family, friends, and you; I’ll arrange them around the frame of a door in my home and I’ll post a pic so that you can see one of the ways I celebrate Christmas.

My address:

ProCrasstheNation Blog

492 Pleasant Street

Malden, MA 02148

 

I look forward to turning back time and corresponding with you my Dear Readers

CPH

 

 

Open…

 

 

 

 

Visit me on Facebook here: Christopher Paul Hickey | Facebook

Check out a recent post here: Advent Adventures: The Door to December 3, 2022 – ProCrasstheNation

Also, for those looking for gift ideas for family and friends alike, please check out my brand-new holiday writing service…

 

Seasoned Greetings 25

Are you looking for the words to say, but can’t quite find them? Let us give you a hand during a busy Holiday Season. We specialize in writing Holiday themed poems, messages for your Christmas Cards, and even Holiday Toasts. We travel the road from holy to irreverent, but always tailor our content to meet your needs. Looking forward to helping spread some Holiday Cheer.
 seasonedgreetings25@gmail.com
Seasoned Greetings 25 – Price List
Holiday Poem – $5.00
Christmas Card Message – $5.00
Christmas Haiku – $2.50
Christmas Limerick – $2.50
Christmas Party Toast – $2.50
Festivus Grievance – $1.00
Festivus Frenemy Insult – $1.00
To order an original Seasoned Greeting, either email me @ seasonedgreetings25@gmail.com or DM me with a few details about the recipient to whom you’d like to send a Seasoned Greeting to.
I accept Venmo
May be an image of text that says '9:27 < Scan code Venmo me Show to pay Christopher Hickey @Christopher-Hickey-37 CH venmo'

 

2022 · Advent Adventures: 24 Doors of December

Advent Adventures: The Door to December 2nd, 2022

Door to December 2nd, 2022

 

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Welcome back Dearest Elves, Santa’s Helpers, and Giftee Giving Gifters,

I appreciate your patronage of my blog adventures. 

In a season of merriment and mirth, sometimes the dark days of winter turn gray and deliver you to memories that are lukewarm at best. Life is a balancing act and part of the fun is in sampling the range of emotions associated with living it. Sometimes disappointment rears its ugly head, but we must remember to make an effort to make the best of any situation we find ourselves in. In a season that is imbued with anticipation, it is fair to point out what The Rolling Stones knew all along: “You can’t always get what you want…”

CPH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open…

 

 

“Make a Wish Foundational”

“Wish Upon a Sky” © C.P. Hickey 2022

“Make a Wish Foundational”

My Mother once said…

“Every time you enter a new church, make a wish.”

Kneeling down in a pew

In a hushed voice before God

Giving trade secrets away

And I, kneeling before authority 

On all counts

Believing down deep in every atom

That I was allowed a loophole

Thinking for a short time…

That no one else knew.

Somehow able to make all the wishes

Over time, it stuck with me

Running in the background of my operating system

Year to year

New church to new church

All the wishes

Kneeling in countless pews

In a hushed whisper before God

Revealing my secret desires

Disappointed by authority

On all counts

Unfulfilled

 

Visit me on Facebook here: Christopher Paul Hickey | Facebook

Check out a recent poem here: “Seasoned Greetings” – ProCrasstheNation

 

Also, for those looking for gift ideas for family and friends alike, please check out my brand-new holiday writing service…

 

Seasoned Greetings 25

Are you looking for the words to say, but can’t quite find them? Let us give you a hand during a busy Holiday Season. We specialize in writing Holiday themed poems, messages for your Christmas Cards, and even Holiday Toasts. We travel the road from holy to irreverent, but always tailor our content to meet your needs. Looking forward to helping spread some Holiday Cheer.
 seasonedgreetings25@gmail.com
Seasoned Greetings 25 – Price List
Holiday Poem – $5.00
Christmas Card Message – $5.00
Christmas Haiku – $2.50
Christmas Limerick – $2.50
Christmas Party Toast – $2.50
Festivus Grievance – $1.00
Festivus Frenemy Insult – $1.00
To order an original Seasoned Greeting, either email me @ seasonedgreetings25@gmail.com or DM me with a few details about the recipient to whom you’d like to send a Seasoned Greeting to.
I accept Venmo
May be an image of text that says '9:27 < Scan code Venmo me Show to pay Christopher Hickey @Christopher-Hickey-37 CH venmo'
2022 · Advent Adventures: 24 Doors of December

Advent Adventures: The Door to December 1st, 2022

  Door to December 1st, 2022

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Dearest Friends,

Welcome to a month of merriment and mirth. A period of looking backward, looking forward, and every now and then just staying within the moment. I am happy to share my thoughts and feelings with all of you during this special time. I encourage you to poke around the site to see what treasures might be waiting for those of you so inclined to seek out nostalgia, irreverence, mischief, and the very gladdest of tidings.

Each day this month I want you to pass through a door and see what is on the other side. Doors are interesting things, aren’t they? They serve as points of entry, they keep out the terrors of ordinary life, and they preserve the many comforts of a home. You simply have to make the choice to open the door and step over the threshold to learn what is inside.

My hearth is warm and waiting for all to come sit nearby and share in the stories, the conversations, and the music of the season during our month of merriment and mirth.

CPH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open…

 

 

Doing something tonight that I haven’t done in a while.

Shhhhhhhh!

There, all the lights are out.

Except the Christmas Tree.

Magic lights, blinking dreams. Heart flutters and sugarplum fairies goading me to remember the short past or long past. It depends entirely on your perspective.

As a matter of convenience, I’ve located an app on my smart tv that plays Christmas Ditties. Years ago, it was cassette tapes, then it was CDs, then digital downloads. Now live streaming. Buffing along song to song, being carried down the stream of memories that connects me to this holiday season and all the holiday seasons that I’ve made my stake and found my joy within.

This is a truly magical time of year in my heart and in all of my actions. It always has been, as far back as I can remember.

I grew up in a standard household of four. Dad, Mom, Son, and Daughter. There was a dog (an Irish Setter, named Katie), multiple hamsters and goldfish which never lasted, and a two-bedroom second floor flat that held sway over my imagination over the formative years of my life.

We were poor but didn’t realize we were. That might have been the greatest gift of our childhood (of which we had many gifts). Running a house in today’s world gives me a respect for all that my parents sacrificed in order to provide so many good times, and great Christmases.

My Mom, after her mom, was the Major General of the production. It all started with her desire to create a happy holiday home. My cheeks turn red when thinking about all the things she lavished upon us. We were spoiled in these holiday moments, and graciously gifted many times over by two sets of grandparents and three doting uncles. We all lived within a square mile in those days, and the traipsing back and forth from home to home allowed for us to grow keen of different types of cooking at each home. as well as a nose for our favorites.

“288 Bunker Hill Street”

288 Bunker Hill was a home away from home. It was a respite from the limits of our second-floor apartment. It conveyed to us the idea that people did in fact live in structures of their own, with multiple rooms on multiple floors.

My cousin, Christy Merullo, once remarked after she purchased her first home, “I never knew what it was like to live in a house that wasn’t attached to someone else’s house.”

An idea I could definitely relate to but couldn’t articulate as well.

As I said, 288 Bunker Hill was a terrific fantasy and reality within the world of my childhood. We enjoyed my Grandmother Mary, in her glowing love, and we sat enraptured by the narrative voice of our Grandfather Al, as he held court. This was all punctuated by the mystery of our uncles moving in and out of the house filling their lives with the possibility of living. Visits from the Pearl Street Connolly’s widened our sphere and allowed us to understand that there were those that loved us outside of our immediate circle.

I’d be remiss if I forgot to mention how important the church was in our lives, our parish life.

All good things contained within the wilds of zip code 02129, “Chawles’town” to the locals. God, school, family, friends. Life! Holiday life!

My father, a fine accomplice in achieving my mother’s designs, was satisfied to use his artistic talents to create elaborate decorating schemes and turn our apartment into a Winter Wonderland. One year he used tin foil attached to the wall around the Christmas Tree to give the blinking lights an infinity effect, another year he made an entire village out of balsa wood to surround the train beneath the tree, and in yet another year he painstakingly carved snowflakes out of glossy white paper with an Exacto Knife and affixed glitter to them so they could be hung from our suspended ceiling by paper clips.

The magic was real. When the lights went out and the tree came on, we were transported to another world.

This was our normal. We didn’t know any better. We never knew of the amount of time and effort that was dedicated to achieving the proper effect. Halls decked.

Mom and Dad, a formidable Christmas Duo, raising bars and setting precedents that I still aspire to each and every Christmas.

The music continues to play, and each verse and chorus puts me in the frame of a wonderful memory.

Recounting is fun but remembering past warmth in the grinning comfort of a glowing Christmas Tree room is sublime.

I look forward to some deep dives back in time and to bringing some gems to the forefront. Keep measure in coming days, as I plan to elaborate on all that I found good, curious, and magical.

…soon it will be Christmas Day

Visit me on Facebook here: Christopher Paul Hickey | Facebook

Check out one of my recent Poems here: “The Pages Between” – ProCrasstheNation

 

Also, for those looking for gift ideas for family and friends alike, please check out my brand new holiday writing service…

 

Seasoned Greetings 25

Are you looking for the words to say, but can’t quite find them? Let us give you a hand during a busy Holiday Season. We specialize in writing Holiday themed poems, messages for your Christmas Cards, and even Holiday Toasts. We travel the road from holy to irreverent, but always tailor our content to meet your needs. Looking forward to helping spread some Holiday Cheer.
 seasonedgreetings25@gmail.com
Seasoned Greetings 25 – Price List
Holiday Poem – $5.00
Christmas Card Message – $5.00
Christmas Haiku – $2.50
Christmas Limerick – $2.50
Christmas Party Toast – $2.50
Festivus Grievance – $1.00
Festivus Frenemy Insult – $1.00
To order an original Seasoned Greeting, either email me @ seasonedgreetings25@gmail.com or DM me with a few details about the recipient to whom you’d like to send a Seasoned Greeting to.
I accept Venmo
May be an image of text that says '9:27 < Scan code Venmo me Show to pay Christopher Hickey @Christopher-Hickey-37 CH venmo'

 

 

2022

“Seasoned Greetings”

“Baby Cheeses” ©️C.P. Hickey 2022

“Seasoned Greetings”

Turkey is done

Pumpkin pie put down

Gingerbread emergent

Egg nog flowing rich

Roundish wreaths wrangled

Holly hoisted

Gifts gotten

Parties planned

Winter Solstice Sublime

Fogged windows

Haunted by Dickens

Still. Silent. Air.

Lights abound

Winter wind whipping

Lingering cozy covers

Visible breath plume vapors

Heat escaping hatless heads

Fireplace reveries

Christmas cards arrive

Feasting for days

Numb nose and fingertips

Street buskers bellow

The Spirit spreads swift

2021 · 2022 · Christmas 2021 · The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Eleventh Day of Christmas: January 4th

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, La Befana brought to me: good gifts and her own style of creepy.

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La Befana, Frizzy, Frizzy

La Befana, frizzy, frizzy,
In a puff of dust,
Goes to see if the children
Are good or bad.
One disobedient child,
Who never wanted to do anything,
La Befana takes him away
To La Befana’s land!

2021 · Christmas 2021 · The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Seventh Day of Christmas: December 31st

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, Rabbie Burns gave to me: 7 Auld Lang Synes

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Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

     Chorus: 
For auld lang syne, my dear,
     For auld lang syne.
     We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
     For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

     Chorus

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.

     Chorus

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.

     Chorus

And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

Bonus material: https://youtu.be/UrtlMyZc7HA