Thursday, December 02, 2010

The holiday spirit

Catch the holiday spirit at the TCU Press Annual Autograph Extravaganza, Fri. Dec. 3, 5-8 p.m., the Kelly Alumni Center on Stadium Drive on the TCU campus. Thirty authors will sign their books, Jan Reid will talk about his new novel, Comanche Sundown, and there'll be refreshments (cash bar). It's always a lot of fun and you just might find yourself chatting with mystery author Deborah Crombie or Alex Lemon or Texas Poet Laureate Karla Morton or some of the ladies who wrote Grace & Gumption and its companion cookbook. Come, mingle, shop for books for Christmas gifts, and have a great time.
Santa is in full view at my house these days. No tree, but Santa everywhere--and manger scenes. I've decorated the dining table, buffet, library table and mantel.

 Last night I decided to put the finishing touches on the mantel by adding white lights. Lesson learned: put up lights before decorations (I know to do that on trees but didn't know it applied to the mantel). I knocked half the ornaments off (thank goodness not my mom's beloved Madonna and Child). I did knock off a wonderful creche scene in a gourd made in Central or South America and sent me by dear friends. Several of the figures came loose, but I repaired it with flour-and-water paste and toothpicks. Quite proud of myself, even if the Madonna's halo is a bit crooked--that's a tiny space for my big hands. I was creating (I hoped) a Mother and Child theme for the mantel--since I couldn't find the candlesticks that usually give it some sort of unity and organization. At the center is the nativity scene below, made by women in a South American village. They have completely rejuvenated the economy of their town with these manger scenes. My friend Linda, who owns Almost Heaven on the square in Granbury, gave me this several years ago, and I have since given several for gifts.

Not everyone has the holiday mood. A group called the Dallas Fort Worth Coalition of Reason has taken advertising space on public transportation buses for signs that proclaim, "Some people are good without God." Basically, they're atheists trying for equal time but at the wrong time of the year. Reactions vary--one Facebook post called it "God-bashing" and said a sign to the effect of "Be good for goodness sake" would be acceptable but not one that draws God in. My friend Fred said at lunch today, "Some people need to get a life." I read one atheist who justified the signs by saying, "Christians can't think they own December," and that smacked of bitter grapes to me and, yes, God-bashing. I'm really sorry they can't share the joy of the season. After all, it isn't just Christmas--it's also Chanukkah and Kwanza.
The rest of you all, revel in the joy of December. It's a special time of year.

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