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Bigger than the Story

        This past weekend I was fortunate to lead tours to both Seneca Falls and Skaneatelas in the Finger Lakes.  One town featured “It’s A Wonderful Life” festival and one featured “Charles Dickens Christmas.” This post is to show appreciation for these festivals and the people who created them and continue the good will. You gotta give credit to the folks who begin festivals to showcase their uniqueness and goodness.  The whole idea of a person finding out what the world would be like if he had never been born offers such food for thought. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is such a realistic movie with struggles and joy. The movie is bigger than a movie, it is a lesson. Everyones life touches so many other lives that we never stop to realize. If we could just imagine how our actions influence others.

        “Charles Dickens Christmas” demonstrates the transformation we all can make in this world. A little child can change your heart even Scrooge! We all have time to change our ways and grow in compassion and tenderness.

         Singing Christmas carols, roasting chestnuts, drinking hot chocolate and going on a horse drawn wagon ride just feels so good. A little child can change your heart even a Scrooge. Thank you for these festivals.  So memorable and so good for your soul.

 

Please enjoy the movie. Sincerely, Trish

 

 

 

3 Observations for the Holidays

     One thing I really enjoy about not only going away, but also coming back from vacations, is gaining a new perspective. You tend to come home with a new appreciation for all that you have and what you are interested in changing in your life. From the moment you fly above the clouds, or hit the roads, you are not in your normal surroundings and that leads to a brain stimulation. Now that we are home, and it is early December, my mind is opened and I have made these 3 observations:

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Flying above the clouds & you see the grand creation of this earth you wonder why trivial things get to you.

1. Fuss.  We all want to leave a wonderful example. How often have a heard someone say…”I normally don’t bother with lights or a big tree but my grandson is visiting this year!” or “my daughter is introducing us to her out of town boyfriend so we decided to splurge and have tenderloin for dinner this year.” All of this “stepping up” seems so encouraging to me. It means we are trying more because we care that much more. How easy is it to throw in the towel and not fuss or prepare our house because of the effort involved? Hey, it’s Christmas, the day the Savior the World is born….let’s keep on fussing, we have all of Advent as a time of preparation!!

2. Holiday Lights. There is no questions that the days are short, grey and dreary. Just when you didn’t want to go outside past 4 pm anymore, Presto! Christmas lights! What a beautiful sight. From twinkling icicles, to illuminating wreaths, the effort people put into decorating the exterior of their house does not go unnoticed. I know it’s dark too early but because of these lights on the inside out outside of homes it is so joyful to see the beautiful lights. I made sure I already drove my mom around to enjoy the beauty of various neighborhoods. You cannot help but think “be the light, lights are happy, lights brighten the world you up. Light always conquers darkness”. And always compliment someone who decorated, they put in an effort to make this season more beautiful and bright, they deserve a compliment! Sing it loud..”This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”

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Hang up decorations, decorate the dogs, spread cheer…and compliment those who make the effort.

3. Greens, greens and more greens. Green is becoming my favorite color, full of renewal and life. The evergreen tree is a little reminder to “be green” and be true to the Earth. The Evergreen maintains all of its leaves and needles throughout the year. Contrasting with all other trees which cycle through the seasons gaining and shedding leaves in their own beauty. Evergreens are full of stability, strength, and a symbol for the Christmas spirit. Representing our faith as unwavering, especially to prepare for the birth of Jesus.  The natural aroma of pine will immediately uplift you, make you take an extra deep breath, and enjoy the season we are lucky enough to share.

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Fuss for your family and friends. It’s Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things as Christmas 2013 comes to a close.

A few of my favorite things as Christmas 2013 comes to a close.

Anything homemade from my kids I cherish! Woo Hoo a foot rub!!

Anything homemade from my kids I cherish! Woo Hoo a foot rub!!

The Christmas tree is coming down today. The decorations are being taken up to the attic for safe keeping. The gifts are being used and the memories are fresh. Our hearts are filled with gratefulness on this chilly day. I thought I would share a few of my favorite things this Christmas season. Yes, every year I say “I do not need a thing!” But, Yes, I received the Sound of Music CD – the Carrie Underwood version. Yes, I received the Sound of Music DVD of the original Julie Andrews movie. Yes, I received a Michael Bublé CD as a result of his outstanding concert and have over played track #7 “Close Your Eyes”. I love that song!! I overplay songs. I can’t help it. I am a monogram fan. Anything monogrammed. Door matts, vests, jackets, necklaces, earnings – you name it. Our kids all chipped in and got us tickets to see Wicked. So thoughtful. Other favorite items include: gift cards (impersonal? who cares! I love um!), anything from Garrett Hill, chocolate from Switzerland, lotion and soup from Bath & Body, anything pineapple (my Virginia collection), my reusable Starbucks mug for free refills all of January, tervis tumblers, a necklace from my man, and the gosh darn cutest “best things in life are free” coupon book. Yes, I am cashing in free hair brushing, free shoulder rub at the computer and foot rub. No extra charge for lotion! I’m hoping for double coupon days. Here’s to a great year!

Ladies Brunch

Who does not love breakfast food? Host a ladies brunch.

Who does not love breakfast food? Host a ladies brunch.

 

Proud to say that is my plate.

Proud to say that is my plate.

Oh the joy of being invited to a ladies brunch. Quiche. Sausage. Fruit. Salad. Pastry Assortment. Sparkling Water. Champagne. Even little dishes of almonds and mints scattered around the table. Coffee and conversation. Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch usually served in the late morning and can last into the early afternoon. Brunch is a popular choice on Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day. This brunch was held the Saturday before Christmas. Instead of racing around and shopping we shared each other’s company and it was just what the doctor ordered. Oh, and no need to leave the gentlemen out. They love brunch too. This particular brunch just happened to be just ladies. Cheers to salad and champagne at 11 am. I mean, it’s almost 12noon.

 

Christmas Collections

My favorite discovery! Lori has made a display of all her photo Christmas cards beginning in 1992 the year their first daughter arrived. Santa and Kirby the dogs are frequently featured.

My favorite discovery! Lori Vossler has made a display of all her photo Christmas cards beginning in 1992 the year their first daughter arrived. 3 daughters later it is a cherished reminder how the years fly by. Santa and Kirby the dog are frequently featured. Kirby is a Great Pyrenees.

Oh, the nutcrackers! Oh, the stockings that are hung! Oh, the villages and trees! Oh, the Oreo cookie tins! Oh, the mantle places! Discovering all the traditions out there has been such a treat. It is so much fun to see what goes on inside the homes of Buff-A-Looooo. My goodness. Can anyone really move? The collections we accumulate out there in our homes!! Ok minimalists out there, we are making memories and cherished ones at that!  Let me share some of the pictures with you. See the collections of just a few friends and neighbors. Thank you for letting me inside your homes.

Lori has handmade needlepoint stockings that are hung with care.

Lori has handmade needlepoint stockings that are hung with care.

Pam Strickland carefully displays her Precious Moments nativity and angle collection on her mantle place. Pam remembers driving to Canada to complete the set back in the day when the US dollar gave you a great exchange rate. I mean, half the fun is the memory you create collecting your pieces.

Pam Strickland carefully displays her Precious Moments nativity and angle collection on her mantle place. Pam remembers driving to Canada to complete the set back in the day when the US dollar gave you a great exchange rate. I mean, half the fun is the memory you create collecting your pieces.

Notice in this picture that even the top of the tree is decorated with a Precious Moment tree topper angel. The Strickland family believes if you are going to go artificial in your tree -why fake it and go green? Be artificial all the way and go glistening white. Besides, the ornaments show up much better.

Julie Snyder started collecting Oreo cookie tins by accident in the 1990's. She collected an entire decade till Oreo decided not to make them anymore. The cookie tins are pulled out every year much to the delight of her friends that called her crazy for collecting them back then.

Julie Snyder started collecting Oreo cookie tins by accident in the 1990’s. She collected an entire decade till Oreo decided not to make them anymore. The cookie tins are pulled out every year much to the delight of her friends that called her crazy for collecting them back then. They really are so cute and classic looking.

 

Julie Snyder likes all the whimsey on her mantle place with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It's a treat for the eyes.

Julie Snyder likes all the whimsey on her mantle place with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It’s a treat for the eyes.

The nutcrackers. A classic.

The nutcrackers. A classic.

The Village!! The reason I went over to Lori's house in the first place. A wonderful collection yet I was more taken up with her Christmas photo card collection of her family.

The Village!! The reason I went over to Lori’s house in the first place. A wonderful collection yet I was more taken up with her Christmas photo card collection of her family.

Kirby. The 10 year old Great Pyrenees male dog who is slowing down a but but a big part of the Vossler home.

Meet Kirby. The 10 year old Great Pyrenees male dog who is slowing down a bit but a big part of the Vossler home.

Enjoy your mantle place, your fire place, your decorations, your traditions, your family, and memories you create each year.

Enjoy your mantle place, your fire place, your decorations, your traditions, your family, and memories you create each year.

Keep in mind, whatever you put up, you must take down. HO Ho. Sorry. Pass the eggnog and Cheers! Here’s to all the beautiful homes out there in Buffalo.