Tag Archives: Celebrities

Not So Ready for Christmas!

nativityThe holidays are upon us, and I am not feeling it yet.  I try to think why that is.  I have had the tree up and decorated since the week of Thanksgiving.  My nativity collections have found places to be displayed around the home.  I have even started to receive Christmas cards.  I still have to purchase and send mine.

Now that we are in Arizona with only 9’ ceilings, our 12’ Christmas tree was donated back in Missouri.  The biggest I could find was a 7.5’ tree.  The next size was 9’ which would have hit the ceiling without my angel topper.  

I also had to make a decision about what ornaments to add to the tree since I had a very filled 12’ tree in the past.  My American flags are a given.  I have two small flags stuck into the tree.  The first one I received when I donated some flagmoney to help repair the Greek Orthodox Church near the site of the Twin Towers.  It was damaged on 9/11, and as I gave a small cash donation at a Greek Festival in Missouri, they gave a US flag.  I don’t remember where I got the 2nd one.  My decision for ornaments were the “grandkid” ornaments.  These are the ornaments I have bought with each grandchild in mind, and they hang on my tree until they are young adults.  Then I pack them up and give them their ornaments for their tree.  If you want more information on how I do that, click here.  Along with those, I added ones that are about Dennis and me, or our grown children, and then of course, the many character ones I have collected from Hallmark over the


The Singing Chickens

years.  My “Singing Chickens” have died, and I cannot find a way to possibly repair the ornament.  My Statue of Liberty ornament that plays the “National Anthem” is still alive and well.

So, the tree is decorated.  The house is festive.  I’m still not feeling it.  Last night I purchased the ingredients for Christmas cookies, and I need to start baking in the next day or two.  

I used to feel festive when the grandkids were little.  I would shop for gifts that I knew they would love.  Now, it’s about giving them money so they can purchase something


Christmas 2006

they wanting, or for them to save.  It’s not as much fun as watching them open packages with toys, games, pajamas, and books.  I really miss those days.  I miss the days when my kids and grandkids would be in awe of the Christmas tree.  I miss when they would search for the alligator I have hidden in the tree.  Yes, there is a pickle in the tree, but the alligator was much more fun to search.  I miss them searching the tree to find the new ornament that year with their name on it.

Being in Arizona will be the start of new Christmas traditions.  Dennis’ son is coming in town next week and we will celebrate an early Christmas with him.  The following week, the week of Christmas, my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter will be with us.  My granddaughter is now 17 years old, and won’t have the same awe in the holiday that she had as a small child.  On the other hand, I am super excited to have them here for the holiday.  It will make our Christmas transition to Arizona a bit easier.

As I go shopping, I see “Let It Snow” decorations, and I just have to laugh.  I left Missouri because I don’t want to deal with snow.  Finding these many different decor items with this phrase seems so silly here in the valley of Arizona.  It could snow, but even if it did, it wouldn’t be significant.  The signs should say, “Let it snow in the mountains or elsewhere in the county.”  I want a Christmas sign to say “Let it Shine.”  That would be perfect.

I am enjoying the spiritual preparation for the holiday, because for me, that is what Christmas is really about.  Was Jesus born on December 25?  Most likely not, but that doesn’t matter.  It’s about remembering and celebrating his coming to earth.  It’s not IMG_0100about a babe in a manger, although that is how he came.  It is about God coming to earth as man, the only suitable sacrifice to make us reconnected with the God of the universe.  It’s about him preparing a way for us, living as a good example, but the purpose of coming to be a sacrifice for us.  Remember the ancient Jews had to make a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, starting with Passover, when they put the blood of the lamb on the door frame.  Jesus is our Passover lamb.  No longer do we need a sacrifice because Jesus willingly gave himself, to take on our sin, once and for all.  He died a horrible death for us.  It didn’t end there.  He didn’t stay dead.  He came back to life, and this was witnessed by a multitude of people who saw him after his death.  Christmas is just the beginning of the story.  Easter is the middle of the story.  The story is not over.  He will come again, and then all things will be made right on earth.  We will then really see “Peace on Earth.”  His birth brings “Peace on Earth” in a spiritual way to individuals, his death and resurrections brings “Peace on Earth” for now and to the future, and one day, He will bring this “Peace on Earth” back for all time.  Yes, I do believe that.

So, in the meantime, I celebrate Christmas in my feeble way.  I will decorate my home, bake my cookies, have a special dinner, and give gifts.  I will do all the trappings that our culture does for the holiday, but I know that the story is much bigger, and that gives me the Christmas spirit I wasn’t feeling a few minutes ago.

Wishing you a joyous Christmas!



Celebrity Sightings

Over the years we have had a connection with celebrities.  It might have been on a trip to Hollywood, and seen one or two of them in the grocery store or restaurant.  It could be a home town celebrity we have known.  Many different things makes people well known.

3955LafayetteThe first home I lived in was in the city of St. Louis on Lafayette Avenue.  It was a duplex, and a lovely neighborhood back in the day.  The last time I drove past the place, it was boarded up along with many other homes on the street.  It’s kind of sad to see these building go the waste.  When I was a child, my mother subscribed to “Life Magazine” and one of Betty-Grable-1943the issues was about Betty Grable.  Is that name familiar with you?  She was an actress and model who starred in 42 movies in the 30’s and 40’s.  She was a “Pinup Girl” for many of the service men during World War 2.  Her legs were insured for $1,000,000 by Lloyds of London.  In the article in “Life Magazine,” it stated that she was from St. Louis, Missouri, of which they listed her home address, and, lo and behold, it was the address of the first home where I lived.  We never met her, but we lived in the same rooms that she had once lived.

Another celebrity was a local boy from Alton, Illinois.  He was known as the “Alton ImageGiant.”  He stood 8 ft. 11.1 inches tall and weighted 439 lbs.  He died at age 22 from a foot infection.  He was the tallest man in recorded history.  My mom was raised in Granite City, Illinois, which was about 20 miles away from where Wadlow lived.  Wadlow became famous after he did a tour with the Ringling Brothers Circus.  Although my mother didn’t know him personally, Robert Wadlow, would come out of his home to welcome anyone who came to see him.  It was a different day back then, and people would go to see someone who was considered unusual.  Here is a photo of my mom and some of her family and friends who came to meet Wadlow. When he died, 40,000 attended at his funeral.  I assume my mom was one of those folks, since I have an original copy of his funeral program.  There are also a couple photos below that I found on the internet.  I was really impressed of the one of him with Shaq O’Neal.  He makes Shaq look small.

I had not met either of these celebrities.  I did have the opportunity to meet one of the British Royal Family.  I worked for GKN Aerospace from 2001 until 2007.  This is a British company that can trace its origin back to 1767.  The company has a fascinating history that I used to share with new employees as part of their new hire orientation.  The company started as iron mines, then steel, moved on to producing metal fasteners, then automobile parts, and then airplane parts.  The company grew from the early 1800’s by acquisitions (and you thought that was a new concept), and was even run by a woman, Lady Charlotte Guest, in the mid 1800’s when she took over at her husband’s death.  The whole history and timeline of this company is a totally interesting story, and one I loved sharing with new employees.

In October of 2003, Prince Andrew came to visit GKN.  From 2001 until 2011, his was the United Kingdom’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment,  working for UK Trade & Investment, part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.  Therefore, as part of his responsibilities, he traveled to St. Louis to see the andrewoperations of GKN Aerospace.  The day before his arrival, several of us found out we would actually be meeting him.  We went through instructions on how to behave before a Royal.  The most I remember was to never shake hands with a Royal, and only speak to him, if spoken to.  It was kind of an artificial meetup.  We were in a large hallway, where about a dozen of us were waiting for his arrival.  Prince Andrew came through with his entourage, which consisted of some big guys who we would call “secret service agents,” and a few of the company executives.  I was in the first row of about two rows of employees.  He walked over to where we stood, looked directly at me, and asked what function I served at GKN.  The business woman in me automatically put out my hand, and immediately I realized that was a no-no, and I quickly moved my hand down to my side, and I answered his question.  He chatted with a few other folks.  Two of the employees were young professionals from the UK, and upon him addressing them, they curtsied, and they addressed him in a formal manner as a subject of the crown would, although I do not remember exactly what they said.  It was an interesting and awkward moment, but I can say I definitely met an internationally famous person.  This photo of him is from an actual press release about his visit to GKN in St. Louis.

Actually, none of these encounters are terribly exciting.  Each of them are just human beings who happened, because of birth, medical abnormalities, or a chance to be beautiful and famous, made them celebrities.  It is kind of fun to say we had some connection to famous people, but in real life, these are not important people.  To me, important people are the everyday people who have gone through life, struggled, and overcome.  Those are the celebrities who I care about.

What famous person have you seen or met?  Was it what you expected?