Tag Archive | tradition

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme ….


This year I find myself in quite the different holiday mood. I have several friends that I have always enjoyed the sharing of Christmas gifts with. We don’t spend a lot of money but we do try to find the “right” something for each other. We top off our little celebration with the “breaking of bread” as we share a lunch or dinner to catch up and enjoy the holiday lights and music. It makes for a really pleasant spreading out of the holiday and is probably a part of your routine Christmas as well.

0912_money-gift_485x340And yet, this year, something feels to be different. My soul’s yearning to make a bigger impact in the world is growing. And the only thing I can think of is that I feel I have too much this year. I certainly have all that I need and I have enough of the “I wants” to satisfy my heart. So this year I’m shifting out of the usual mode of the gift giving tradition with my friends. I’m still sharing the gift of time but I’m asking them to forgo the shopping for some nice little gift that I don’t actually need and I’d like them to make a donation to the poor as their gift to me instead. I want to play a little part, even if it’s just a catalyst part, in helping us all help someone in need. And the beautiful thing I’m finding is, that at my suggestion for my gift they are delighted to not shop for a trinket and to also not receive one. They are asking me to do the same thing on their behalf. I love my friends – they see the best and brightest intentions and they magnify them. I am blessed.

So, to all my internet friends, in addition to any regular charitable giving this year that you are inclined to give, I ask that you consider joining us to exchange a different kind a gift. A gift of generosity. A gift that can change a moment in someone’s world. Give the gift of charity, request the gift of charity, and be blessed.

Auspicious Occasion!


It is with great joy that I share some news with you today. We are celebrating the auspicious occasion of the 100th birthday of the Oreo cookie. Ah, the joys of the Oreo! In America, it is a childhood staple, nay, a deep-seeded tradition. I know it is an international sensation now as well.

We all know very well the ritual associated with the eating of it. First, you must twist the two chocolate layers apart. Second you eat the delicious vanilla cream filling in the middle. Lastly, is the dunking ritual with a big glass of milk. Just the thought of this makes me smile and remember good childhood moments – including sneaking a few extras from the cookie jar when Mom wasn’t looking. Yes, sorry to say, I had thievery in my heart as a child. Luckily cookie theft is not punishable by law.

To those who know and love the Oreo – today is the perfect day to abandon your diets and get a treat. And now there are so many options to tickle your fancy, from:  classic, double stuff, mint, chocolate, and the list goes on. There’s even Oreo cake snacks and ice cream treats. Yum!!!

Happy Birthday Oreo, dear friend! May you live to delight my grandchildren some day!

Oreo Birthday News Story:

Progressive Sunday


This weekend I get to partake in a Miller family tradition – it’s progressive dinner time. The family on my paternal grandmother’s side is huge!  My grandma was the oldest girl of many and throw in a couple of brothers and things grow very quickly. The day would start pretty early in the morning at one aunt’s house and progress throughout the day to another and another and another. It’s traditionally been held the Sunday after Christmas but when it falls at New Years the date gets moved a bit and that’s what happened this year.

There are so many people there – all related and laughing and eating and chatting the day away. You might find a card game pop up and there’s almost always occasion for a raucous cheering about some sports game. Kids rarely ride from house to house with their own parents – it’s much more fun to scamper amongst the relatives and pick up rides with cousins.  I must admit, after all these years, I really don’t know everyone that comes anymore – I just know if I look at them I can probably figure out which branch of the tree they are swinging from – Hauser, Lipps, Frolicker, Busse, Miller, Polking, or Fischesser (gosh – did I miss any?). It’s a big gang for sure, and boy can it get loud. But every once in a while I’ll sit there quietly (not for long mind you) and just take it all in. It’s the loud that comes with family that is familiar and close and comfortable with each other. I like that kind of loud, actually!

And you just never know what’s going to happen – through the years we’ve had to push cars, pull cars out of the mud, park down the street and hike through the snow – but it doesn’t matter. We all know we’re family and there’s always a helping hand and a supervising committee of uncles around to help out and “manage” the crisis.

These memories of progressive dinners gone by are precious ones. They evoke feelings of closeness of family and joys of childhood for me. The best progressive dinners in my memory are from my junior high years. My great-uncle, who was a priest, was affiliated with the Fenwick Club here in Cincinnati. Oh my goodness those were great days. We would wind our way through the myriad of homes until we landed for the evening at the Fenwick Club. The dads and uncles would gravitate towards cards, football or billiards. The moms and aunts would chat and refresh the food and look after the little ones. And us kids – well we had free reign of the place. We would gleefully bounce between the food tables, swimming pool, racquetball courts, listening to the adults, sneaking a swig or two and just randomly messing around.  We would catch up on all the stuff at school and foreign exchange students and who got what for Christmas. Someone was always bringing a friend so there were of course the long discussions of whose friend was cute and who was a dork. We never ran out of places to play and explore. We never got bored. We would tease and compete and giggle and simply and completely wear ourselves out.

It’s a good tradition, this progressive party. I can almost taste the goulash, coney dogs, deviled eggs and grandma’s famous German potato salad with the warm bacon dressing. Yum! And yep, someone will always be looking for a purse or glove. Ahhh – I love my family!