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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays…this is my seasonal bulletin board and seasonal card to you!

I remember too well the moment I entered my parents Christmas party to sing, Jingle Balls, Jingle balls, to a fit of laughing cocktail holding adults. This was to be my big debut (but why is this spelled like what it was for me?) Anyway, I was too young to take anything to heart, and I left knowing I sang the heck out of that song.

There were so many warm Christmas mornings at the Franquemont household on Long Island. I never lacked for anything; my eyes only looked out with hope, curiosity and with acceptance that I was given by my parents and siblings.  It was an easy breezy life as I ran down the stairs first in line ahead of my brother and sister to race to a present laden Christmas tree. Blocks, coloring books and rocket launchers were the stuff of Christmas. The stockings were stuffed with candy but for that one stupid apple Mom always put in the bottom. Then, I never understood that Mom had been raised on her father’s mission in Recife, Brazil,  and an apple was a treasure to hoard for her. Of course, I’d give anything to find an apple put there by Mom in my stocking now, but she is seven years gone. She’s a smile in the clouds, the rolling waves at any beach, the diamond stars up north at Lake Bonaparte on a clear, crisp night and the warmth of the beach sand that conforms to my body as seagulls call from above. She is so much of every Christmas.

I remember Dad torturing me by making my ten-year old hands shovel three feet deep to start a new garden. It seemed so wrong to be digging around Christmas, but now I’ve had gardens here in Florida for the past 40 years. And when I dig dad’s eyes are looking through mine and his voice rings my ears with, “That a boy.” I hear the eagle call from high above and I know he is there gliding, swooping, free.

Part of getting older is hording a ton of memories. Thoughts of years gone by and the people who stayed with them and left as well are a treasure chest buried deep within, one locked for safety by the heart. I’ve still journeys ahead, and so many behind. I’d like to think that I’ve grown wiser with the passing years–certainly I know Jingle Bells now. But, for whatever reason this Christmas day, I found myself walking through our garden and thinking about all the division the world over is experiencing today.

It may surprise you to know that I am several things beyond a library worker, a neighbor, a father, grandfather,gardener, writer of this glob and books on Kindle,a fisherman, builder, but also a minister who was lucky enough to perform the marriage of my niece.  I have a favorite passage in the Bible I try to follow,

Proverbs 3:6 Living Bible (TLB)

In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

If all of humanity were to take this message to heart the world would change. I’m certain it is in every  kind religious teachings; if only we could listen. I try to never forget these words as I thank God for every little thing I take time to notice as I go about my day.* Of course, I’ve fallen as short of this instruction as any could many times, but I try.

So this Christmas, the fertile garden, Mom’s gentle smile and Father’s certain voice led me to consider what my personal message might be this Christmas.

Here it is:

Being whatever gender or preference you are is a part of the natural passage of humans throughout our existence. We need to stop this fight of exclusion. This is Christmas, and it’s a great time for everyone to come to this realization. The stars remind us that the light is within us-if we’d only let it shine. Acceptance feels good; expressing hate or rejection is bad for the soul. We need to let people be.

Sometimes I think the worst word in our language is, ‘No.’ Using no is quick and sometimes needed, but often it is used when taking the time to teach proactively why whatever is being asked or done is not a good idea would otherwise move the mind forward. The best word in our language is, ‘Yes.’ I’m going to try to use it more in 2019. I hope you join me. Cast aside hate. Raise hope and acceptance.

Cheers… hugs, and Merry Christmas!

Franque23

  • I most concur with the, ‘God however known,’ concept.
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