“Happy Holidays!” Oops!


“What is your favorite Christmas song?”

Now there’s a question for which I never seem to have a good answer…

I love the sacred beauty of “O Holy Night” and “Gloria!” and the sentimentality of Nat King Cole’s version of “The Christmas Song” and Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”.

No song can put a smile on my face quite so quickly as Burl Ives “Holly Jolly Christmas.”

But I also feel (if I may paraphrase Scrooge) giddy as a school girl when I hear the opening strains of Bing Crosby’s “Happy Holiday”.

Happy holidays, happy holidays
While the merry bells keep ringing
May your every wish come true

“Wait, that song doesn’t say anything about Christmas!”

I can feel the entire Tea Party (who’s views I often reflect) and many like-minded friends and family preparing to furl their collective brow…

Yes, I admit it! I actually like when people take a moment out of their busy lives to wish me “Happy Holidays!”

I love this time of year!  I love Hanukkah, Advent and Christmas! If you celebrate Kwanza I’ll be happy to wish you greetings on that occasion too!

I’m one of those elusive (some will read crazy) conservative Christians who doesn’t mind at all when people wish me “Happy Holidays”.

Why should it bother me?

I know “holiday” is simply short-hand for “holy day”. There is no more holy day to celebrate than the day God robed himself in flesh and gave us the world’s greatest gift.

So…wish me Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays…it’s all the same to me.

All I hear is…

And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Until next time…Merry Christmas Today and Everyday!

Aunt Zip


“We Gather Together…”


The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is on the TV, Christmas Blend coffee in my cup, rosemary potatoes in the crock pot and brussel sprouts waiting patiently to be tossed in olive oil and cracked pepper and popped into the oven.

I didn’t wake up in my Grandparent’s house this morning. I didn’t draw my first breath to gather the intoxicating aroma of Grandma Helen’s succulent turkey- with dressing INSIDE. (I think I just drooled a little)

Nor will I be wedged like a sardine around the tiny table at Grandma Jack’s house surrounded by sisters and cousins and potato turkeys waiting for Grandma to yell at Pap to pass the salt.

It’s been nearly ten years since my Grandparents passed but that white block house on Pike Street is still the place I’d most like to be this morning… followed of course by a short jaunt to the Camel cigarette-smoke filled kitchen on Pennsylvania Avenue.

I didn’t wake up in my hometown this morning. I woke up in my own home with no wafting scent of roasting turkey, only the sight of a furry boy who is counting down the minutes til the Thanksgiving feast at ‘Uncle Shayne’s’ house.

With all the travel in the last month (Africa) I did not load up the SUV yesterday and head for the Burg. I will miss Joyce and Desmond’s first Thanksgiving with my big crazy family. I missed helping out at the Salvation Army this morning with my sisters and nieces and nephews -armed with Tim Horton’s coffee and very little sleep.

I will miss my Mom’s potato salad and fighting my Uncle Stoney for the last of the raw stuffing. Yes, I do know how gross that sounds…

But I will be spending this Thanksgiving with my second family. 

Someone once said “Friends are the family you choose.” No one believes this more than I. So, although the faces will be different I will be surrounded by people I love and I will give thanks for my ENTIRE family!

Happy Thanksgiving and as always… Merry Christmas Today and Every Day!

Aunt Zip

Miracle (or at least a little Christmas shopping) on 34th Street…

I remember the very first time I visited New York City. After years of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and countless movies featuring NYC at Christmas time, I was finally experiencing it first hand. I was truly like a kid in a candy store!

New York is an incredible place at any time of the year. The beautiful blooming flowers of the Spring and the vibrant colors of the Fall are spectacularly displayed in Central Park. Memorial Day Weekend has long been one of my favorite times to visit. This may or may not be because it generally coincides with Fleet Week. But… there is nothing like the city at Christmas time!

From the tree at Rockefeller Center to the amazing window displays on Fifth Avenue and ice-skating at Wollman’s Rink, there is just something magical about New York decked out in it’s Holiday finest.  It’s always an adventure visiting FAO Schwartz and dodging hundreds of children hopped up on Christmas candy and hot chocolate. I love just strolling through SoHo, visiting the Christmas market at Bryant Park or sipping a peppermint mocha in a cafe in the East Village. If it’s possible, the city somehow comes even more alive in December!

You could fill an itenerary with the things I just mentioned, but I can’t visit New York in December without going to Macy’s! The first time I walked into the iconic department store at the corner of 34th and 7th, I was mesmerized! I have seen plenty of beautiful Christmas decorations in my time. I’ve always looked forward to the time when stores and malls begin hanging tinsel and wreaths, but Macy’s takes Christmas Decorating to a whole other level! A trip to the 8th floor Santaland can instantly transport me back to my childhood.

Since it doesn’t look like I’m going to make it to New York this Holiday Season, I may just have to pull out “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Elf” in the near future!

Until next time… Merry Christmas Today and Everyday…

Aunt Zip