Opal Siren

My life in dreams

The Three Kings

The other day my husband and I had a special delivery. It was a 65 inch, flat screen television, complete with 3D capabilities. New year, new T.V. and a new job which I start tomorrow!!! Anyway, I was taken back when one of the men, who delivered our T.V., mentioned that we had not taken down our Christmas tree or decorations. I did not know there was a deadline to take holiday decorations down, but we are one of those people who put their tree up way too early in the holiday season and take it down way too late. We really enjoy the holidays, minus the gift-buying craze that goes along with it, and the decorations.

This holiday season was very special to my husband and myself. He had just returned from a very long deployment overseas. We got to celebrate Thanksgiving with a very romantic turkey dinner. We got to go to Florida to see our relatives. We even managed to celebrate New Years together. After spending so many holidays and birthdays apart, it was nice to be with each other when it mattered: Celebrating Christmas!

Yet, everyone is in such a hurry to take down decorations, put away the massive amounts of gadgets, toys, and items that will not get used, that they forget about Three King’s Day. I know it is not a major holiday here in the U.S., but in the Dominican Republic it is very much a HOLIDAY. It is the day that most children actually receive gifts from The Three Kings and not Santa. Children put out grass for the Kings’ camels, water, and food items similar to the Santa Claus tradition. The Santa Claus tradition did not start until more recent times in the D.R. and it is also celebrated with the exchange of small gifts. Three Kings Day, however, is a tradition that is based on the Bible. Imagine, a holiday that is based on gift-giving and it is actually religiously based on a sacred book, and yet no one seems to remember it or know about it!  So much for us being “Wise Men”.  This is the part of the holidays that is a huge turn off for me. Christmas is no longer about being with family, socializing, gathering and exchanging love. It is not even about what it was originally meant to represent: The birth and celebration of Christ! I mean, I celebrate and admire all cultures and religions, because somewhere in the mindset of every one of us there is the interchange of love, and we are all capable of it. But we should at least try to understand why or what we are celebrating even if we do not agree with it. You do not have to be religious, or even believe in anything, to take part in exchanging good vibes or love with family and friends during the holiday season. Love is the universal “religion”. And yet, we have manged to turn the holidays into such a spectacle to see who gets more gifts, that we completely miss the mark and do not even acknowledge what it is that we are celebrating. We are quick to take down the Christmas tree and the decorations to move on to the next holiday. So quickly we move on to the next thing, that we forget about the Three Wise Men or the Three Kings, and their visitation and presentation of gifts to Jesus. Again, you do not have to be religious or a believer to appreciate the story and the meaning behind their visitation, or the meaning of the holidays for that matter. However, it is part of history, folklore and culture, and that is something that deserves honor.

So for everyone out there who still appreciates a little culture, history, meaning, and spirituality: Happy Three King’s Day and Happy Reading!!!

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How many gifts does it take to make it through Christmas?

Every year during the holidays, my husband and I make a list of gifts to buy and their recipients. Most of the recipients are children like nieces and nephews and a few cousins. We also try to set a budget so we don’t go broke or into major debt. However, each year it gets harder and harder to buy gifts. The latest gadgets and toys that most children want are very pricey, and it is difficult to be fair with everyone.

One of the things my husband and I do is not exchange gifts with adults. We decided a long time ago that Christmas is really a time to bond and share with families, but the gifts are for the little ones. We do a small gift for our parents or for whoever is hosting Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day, and that is basically it! We also do Christmas cards for everyone else like grandparents, friends,etc…

The other thing my husband and I do is to cut off grown children, like certain 20-year-olds that should be working or attending school. This is a matter of choice of course and I am by no means telling anyone how to spend their money. But, once I was 16-17 I had a job and Santa stopped dropping gifts for me. Therefore, I do not understand why grown adults should be receiving gifts unless it is from a parent or spouse.

Although my husband and I do not have children and we try to stay within the above guidelines, I feel pressured each year to buy more and more gifts. I know that the parents of our nieces and nephews should be the ones purchasing most of the items for their children, but I still feel pressured into buying as much as the parents. Should I be feeling this way? Afterall, my nieces, nephews and the other kiddies in the family, seem to get so much for the holidays that at times it does seem excessive. So this year my husband and I opted for gift cards instead.

Also, I do not understand why children must have every single toy or item that is on their list or every item that is new on the market. As as child growing up in the Dominican Republic, I saw poverty first hand. There were times that I did not get gifts from Santa, and when I did I got maybe a nice big gift and maybe five or ten smaller ones. I remember feeling like it was a mountain of toys and feeling so happy and grateful. Never did I question how many things I should have gotten. My grandmother always made it a point that I donate what I was done using and she always dragged me to the poorest sites of the country, so that I saw first hand how other children lived. I always loved Christmas because of the trees and lights and all the donating we did at this time of the year. For me, Christmas was about being happy and with family and not so much about gifts. So for me, giving a child over 50 gifts just from the parents alone is a little much. So we only do one or two gifts per child, and yet I still feel like it is not enough or we are not doing enough.

I am not sure what my husband and I will do when we decide to have our own children, but I do know that I would like my children to be grateful for everything that they have. There will be trips to GoodWill and The Salvation Army to give donations, and I guess most of  Santa’s list will be covered as well 🙂

Happy Reading!!! 

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ALMOST there.

Don’t you wish at times that those moments when you are almost done with something, time would hurry up and you can be done with what you were doing? Especially if the thing that you are doing is unpleasant?

It seems that when you are almost there and done, you just have a few more steps to take or a few more rounds to make, time seems to slow down!!!!

So with my hectic schedule lately, I barely have had any time whatsoever to do anything. No time to wrap gifts, or write cards, or even take a breather. But, I have to keep telling myself “it is ALMOST OVER!”

I have to keep telling myself “soon I will be able to sit back and take a long deep breath!!!”

I have to keep thinking how I  have one more week, just one more, and I will be completely done with this semester at grad school.

I am so ready for it to be over. More than any other semester before. I have this pesky class that I cannot grasp, and at this point I just want it to be over so badly!

Unfortunately, with all of this thinking that time is ALMOST here, my christmas mojo has disappeared. I haven’t had any time to do much of anything else. It is as time is playing dirty tricks on me. It slows down when I want something to be over and done with, but it speeds up when I actually want to do things, like relax and write my Christmas cards!!!

So, with my Christmas cards barely completed, I thankfully have a SUPER NAVY SAILOR to help me!

Yeap! My wonderful hero came to the rescue and wrapped all of the gifts for me.

Thanks to him, I can continue to push forward to get to the end of the finish line.

I can continue to say “It is ALMOST time” . Soon this will all be behind me and I can celebrate with everyone else that this semester is finally over.

But the best part of it all, is that Christmas is also ALMOST here!!!

Happy Reading!!!

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