“Patty Heaton Is My BFF”


“Where has the year gone?”

How many times have you heard that said? Well, if you hang with the over 40 set, that number could be staggering.

Let me bump it up by one, by asking… where HAS the year gone?

I’m a huge fan of Patricia Heaton. My sister Wendy thinks that she and… oh whatever that Duggar woman’s name is… would be best friends if they ever met.

Can you keep a secret?

I think the same thing about me and Patty Heaton.

If you watched “Everybody Loves Raymond” and now watch “The Middle”, you understand the genius that is Patricia Heaton.

Two of my favorite episodes in both “Raymond” and “Middle” deal with a Christmas letter.

Debra (Raymond) AND Frankie (Middle) try, without success to write the perfect Christmas letter. A letter which conveys to the extended family and friends what an amazing year the family has had.

They both end is utter failure, but because it’s Patty Heaton…humorously so!

My new bff and I both understand the need to look back this time of year.

We want to take stock. We want to know that our lives have moved in a positive direction. We want to believe we have gained something other than extra pounds and a stronger addiction to fair trade coffee.

One thing I hope I have gained this year, is a greater understanding of the true meaning of Christmas.

I love having my house smell of pine and twinkle with lights. I love listening to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” and The Carpenter’s “Home for Christmas”.

I love crying through sappy Hallmark movies and curling up for the umpteenth reading of “A Christmas Carol”.

I love sitting in the family room at my Dad’s house singing Christmas songs with my sisters, nieces and nephews. I love watching the little ones tear into packages and hear the crackling fire in my Mom’s bonus room.

But, it all means nothing if I don’t take a little time to kneel before the King of Kings and offer Him a gift. The gift of me…

Until next time… Merry Christmas Today and Every Day!

Aunt Zip











“No More Sleeps!”

Christmas 012

Leona Lewis has a new Christmas record this year. If you haven’t heard it, it’s fantastic. There is a song on it called “One More Sleep”. I think we can nearly all relate to counting down the “sleeps” til Christmas!

I know I’ve been counting them down. As of this morning… NO more sleeps til I’m snug as a bug in my childhood home surrounded by, as Clark Griswold would say, “kith and kin”.

This morning I packed up my car and my furry little boy and headed…

HOME for Christmas!

I’m looking forward to seeing my nearly manic nieces and nephews dive head-long into the mounds of gifts and food tonight at our Christmas Eve celebration at Dad’s house. And then a very similar scene at my Mom’s house Christmas morning. I can’t wait to see my thirteen nieces and nephews open their gifts and against all odds, I may have even bought something my Dad will actually like this year! (Cue the fireworks and heavenly choir!)

In all the ear-splitting, mega-decibel craziness, it is truly heartwarming to know that my family will not forget the true meaning of this most beloved holiday. After we’ve cleared out the knee-high piles of torn wrapping paper and ribbon, we will once again join our voices and sing the traditional songs of the season.

In three (occasionally four) part family harmony, we will sing “Silent Night” and remember the birth of the God who robed himself in flesh.

Until next time…Merry Christmas Today and Every Day!

Aunt Zip

“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