An Early Christmas...
Great Mail Day!

The hustle and bustle....and the perfect tree!

Hello Stampers,

It's such a busy time of year with everyone racing around the streets and stores.  Sometimes I find myself getting caught up in the frenzy and being irritated as this driver cuts me off or that person butts in line at the store...but then some things reminds me to stop and put things and life into perspective.  For instance, whenever I see a Salvation Army kettle and the dedicated volunteers happily ringing their bells, usually outside in the freezing cold, I remember that not everyone has the "hassle" of driving and fighting the mobs in the stores.  I'm sure they'd love to be able the luxury of complaining about my life.  I just can't pass one of the kettles without popping some money inside.

100_6337_7 This past weekend we went on the search for the perfect Christmas tree as we do each year.  We go to the same tree farm and slog through the snow, mud and rain for just the perfect tree.  We searched and searched and searched...it was like the "goldilocks syndrome" - one was too fat, too small, too many branches, not enough branches, the wrong kind of tree, too tall or short.  It's hard to please 4 people (well actually 3 because my husband doesn't really care LOL) We had almost given up when we found one right at the entrance to the farm...figures.  Except if we'd found it at the beginning we wouldn't have appreciated how perfect it was...seems that people can easily overlook something wonderful when it's right in front of them.

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Here's my daughter, Carly, with the PERFECT tree...and my son, Ian, cutting it down.  Everyone took credit for finding it of course but Ian said it was a "group effort". LOL

My kids aren't perfect - they can give me grief at times but on balance they really are wonderful people.  I saw an interesting bumper sticker today that really caught my attention - instead of the usual "Proud Parent of an Honour Roll Student of ....such and such school" it read "Proud Parent of an average student and wonderful individual".  So much emphasis is put on grades for kids and the pressures to figure out what they want to be for the rest of their lives when they are only 16...crazy.  I loved how the emphasis of this parent was on the calibre of the person and not their grades.  There is nothing wrong with being proud of kids that do well in school or sports but if you look hard enough there is something uniquely extraordinary about all kids.  Maybe it's right in front of us just like the tree we found after searching for miles (well not miles but yards and yards...LOL)

100_3564 As an example - Our dearly loved Golden Retriever, Finnigan, who is now 12 1/2 years old is in poor health these past few days and we've made a trip to the vet.  We are hopeful he will make yet another miraculous recovery (it's the time of year for miracles) like he has before but I'm afraid that his luck might have run out.  My son is particularly close to our dog (his dog).  Ian has been searching for months for a Guitar Hero 3 game for his Xbox 360 and it's been sold out everywhere.  He checks on line at least once a day and calls all the stores to keep checking just in case one comes in...he's even resorted to Craig's list.  Tonight he found (by fluke) a shipment that had come in to a local electronics store today and almost had an anxiety attack he was so excited.  As he was going out the door to pick it up he stopped to sit with Finn for a bit. He said it was the best day because he'd finally found the game but the worst day because Finn is so sick.  He told me "he'd give up the game if it meant he could have one more day of fun with Finn"....pretty neat thought for a 16 year old.   So while he's never been on the Honour Roll (close but no cigar) he truly is a wonderful human being.

I'm going to try and remember these lessons over the next week, whenever I'm stuck in traffic, or in line at the store getting that last present, or when Ian brings home his math mark! 

Happy Stamping (and shopping!)

Alison

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