Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Your Best Gift

My light box message this morning!

As a kid, gifts mean more than anything else in the world.
As a adult other things seem to matter more.
Blogger Rachel's reunion with Peter on Christmas Day was sweeter than the ending of Shiela Burnfords's The Incredible Journey and her joyful post, I know has made many of our Christmases just that little bit nicer, especially given the painful and at times arduous journey she made after he originally left.
The Weaver, in her indomitable let's get on with things style has faced her own demons this year and still manages to face the world with a ukulele and a smile and Thomas is still soldiering  on despite  Brexit and slump in European candlestick sales.
The older I get, the more importance I hold in health. In making the effort and in enjoying things.
When Some people take joy out of a tv the size of a barn door or a car that is able to talk to you and park itself...I quite pride myself in getting giddy as a kipper over my new vinyl floor in the kitchen .
Horses for courses.
Christmas Day was sweet because the family got together without agenda. It was a day when my twin sister merrily got drunk during charades. When my older sister manfully battled with dishing out the starters as the entire male population made balloon animals and when the Prof delighted in wearing his gold lame underpants in public! 
That's what is important.
Enjoying the small stuff.....

So as I play with my new light box message board! I have to ask what's your best gift this year?
What are you thankful for? What's made you smile, proud or just happy?
It has to be positive......
I want things to be positive today
I'd be interested to know! 

153 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:51 am

    being with my mum and son and two lovely dogs. after being ill this year I no longer take things for granted . I have a roof over my head, a job,good friends and family. I am one very lucky person. I love your blog- especially Winnies antics! thankyou.

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    1. She's sulking at the moment as a reaction to her being on a diet. Since she was spayed she has piling on the weight so has started weight watchers this morning. ...thank you for your comment...health is something we all take for granted ....

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    2. Can I share Winnies diet as well, I need something.

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    3. Can you cope with dry dog food?

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  2. Lovely post John. I guess my best Christmas present was the presence of my daughter who had planned to be away from October but changed her plans to be here for Christmas. She leaves for Asia then New Zealand tomorrow and we are both emotional We had a lovely Christmas.

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    1. May hay while the sun shines

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  3. I am really thankful about family, and it has been an exciting time as I have the connection via 1995 mobile phones with a rather hot bloke has been rekindled. We are both much older now but the hard spark is still there. We never met and won't but what fun.

    Oh positive........ After many years of arguing, we finally wrote our wills in complete agreement. Is your surname Grey or Gray?

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    1. It's the Scottish / Irish spelling Gray

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    2. Does that mean that you have left John something in your will :-)

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  4. Thank you for once again posing a really meaningful question. I love your blog. I cannot compete with gold lame underpants! The most joyous thing for me was my small family being together both days and seeing us all well and happy and the best material thing was a polar bear glittery cushion which my husband bought me because he had seen how I loved it when shopping for presents for other people and he had secretly gone back and bought it without me knowing and it was a total surprise. I too like you would have been thrilled with the new kitchen and flooring. I wish you and the Prof a very happy and healthy new year. Regards Sue H x

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    1. Enjoy your cushion! I must admit I am a sucker for a nice cushion too

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  5. Time off work (until tomorrow but same for next week,yippee!).

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  6. Having my girls home together for Christmas and the New Year, and having a dog!

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    1. I've just bathed Mary, the scum mark took me an age to remove x

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  7. Got a new car 3 weeks ago...that's my present. The greatest gift was having family for dinner and visiting for many hours.

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    1. A new car IS rather exciting too

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  8. Our Christmas has been a very lean one and I am so proud of my kids for being so gracious about it. They are young adults and old enough to understand but that doesn't guarantee good behaviour

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    1. Another lesson to us all me thinks

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    2. I suspect that is a result of good parenting on your part - give yourself a little pat on the back :)

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  9. Right now it would have to be sitting out in our delicate nirvana while the chooks free range and the kitties bask in the warmth. :)

    It has changed our lives somewhat, just like I imagine your new kitchen has changed yours. ;) Many happy moments!

    For this comment only, I have changed to name/url so those clicking on my name will be taken directly to my blog posts about our delicate nirvana.

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    1. Nirvana! Is lovely especially a warm one x

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  10. Three weeks ago had dog pass on Friday, another on Monday - I'm grateful and thankful that a 3rd one that was really sick before/during Christmas is better and didn't have to be let go. I literally was shattered thinking that he might have to be.

    On the flipside, I'm also grateful that my youngest brother is now living with us and was here this Christmas.

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    1. You need to recharge that big heart of yours Kim you can't continually give give give x

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  11. A lovely long email from my son, who lives in Mauritius. I've only known him since July, because I had to have him adopted out when he was born, and he found me this year, much to my delight. But we only had a few weeks together before he and his darling wife had to return to Mauritius, where he works.
    I email him regularly, but his replies are a bit hit and miss, so to have a lovely long one waiting for me when we got home from our Christmas lunch just made my Christmas!

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    1. Bloody he'll that sounds like a movie x

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    2. what a special thing! not just t he email but finding him and having a relationship. I'm so sorry it took so long

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    3. This made me cry ... happy for you but so touching ..

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    4. Anonymous9:23 pm

      You had written previously about having had to give your son up. It is really lovely to hear you are forging a relationship with him in spite of it being at such a distance. MaggieB. xx

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    5. I am so happy for you. Slowly but surely all will come together. Blessings and love.

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  12. Veronica11:33 am

    The best thing was spending the day with my daughter and her partner. Their year has been hellish, and ours too. That we were together, and laughing, was more than I could have hoped for. Material things mean nothing to me.

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    1. A laugh goes a long way

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  13. Just having my kids and their partners with me. It was a fun time (because I am fun and prepare silly games). Turns out they like it. I always thought my eldest favoured his dad in the divorce (from a violent pig) but now I think he is coming back. Happiness indeed. A

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    1. Kids make up their own minds if given space and time me thinks

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  14. Ten years ago I installed laminate flooring in the kitchen and chose a light wood. Ever since it has shown up every speck of dust. So, my best presents this year were a coffee maker and a robot vacuum cleaner. On Boxing Day morning I came down early, my coffee was made and waiting for me and I sat in a comfy chair and watched while the robot cleaned the floor. Heaven!

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    1. If like a robot Hoover but Winnie would just masturbate on it

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    2. Oh, and on the "thankful for" side, both of our sons were able to come home for Christmas. In the last few years they have been students and able to come home for almost a month. This year both have jobs and have to go back to their respective homes today. This could easily have been out first Christmas without them.

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    3. Ruth Ellershaw1:29 pm

      I'll just leave this here and hope to goodness it never happens to anyone else
      http://metro.co.uk/2016/08/15/man-recounts-horror-story-of-the-night-his-roomba-took-on-some-dog-poo-and-nobody-won-6068943/

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    4. Ruth Ellershaw1:30 pm

      Link didn't work, sorry

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    5. Intriguing Ruth ....

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    6. http://metro.co.uk/2016/08/15/man-recounts-horror-story-of-the-night-his-roomba-took-on-some-dog-poo-and-nobody-won-6068943/

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  15. Having emerged from hospital after a few blips with a new knee , there was contentment and gratitude in loving friends who happily accommadated me without fuss and the delight of my small bichon who was so thrilled to be tucked up next to his mummy ...

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    1. The dog theme is repeating

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  16. Best Christmas presents were: kitchen tongs, (I asked for them); wild bird feeder to put in the garden and jolly freezer bag pegs with smiley faces. All cheap, cheerful and practical. May sound boring to some people but I don't want frivolous gifts anymore that get put to the back of a cupboard to gather dust.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sometimes it's the small things that mean a great deal

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  17. My best gift, as always, was time with Carlos, living, laughing, loving life.

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  18. My best presents were some oil paints, watercolour paints and an easel I can put on a table top. Oh and a bar of Donald Trump chocolate that my daughter bought in New York City. I guess it must be ba-ba flavoured.

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    1. Enjoy eating the arse off trump YP

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  19. The day spent with my husband, son and my parents. Arilx

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  20. The best gift this year was seeing my Dad on the road to recovery on Christmas day after a year of ill health (I didn't think he was going to make it back in August) and operations. To me, good health is the greatest gift of all.

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    1. Just found this in my spam folder! Several bloggers are getting their comment sidelined here

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  21. Thank you John. The best gift of all of having Peter back was seeing him able to talk about the black hole he has been down. Talking about it is half the battle and the part of it he finds the most difficult. So if he can manage only a few words about it it is a giant step to recovery. For me to have him back too was the icing on the cake. x

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    1. It was the best pressie a lot of us here had too Rachel, albeit vicariously

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  22. For the year, reconnecting with long missed family and friends. At Christmas, a camera lens, a wonderfully thoughtful gift.

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    1. I aim to see several old friends in the new year...it's not a hollow New Years resolution

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  23. A phone call from a 3 year old little boy, thanking me for his cars . Both heartwarming and heartbreaking for his grandmother who just wanted to hug him and kiss him.

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    1. He will remember that call too candice x

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  24. Thankful for having our gorgeous girl and her partner with us for a few days before Christmas. She has been abroad at Christmas for two years in a row, so it was truly wonderful having her home.

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    1. I'm loving these replies

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  25. The acknowledgement, brief and approving, from my trainer (generally a taciturn and most un-praise-inclined sort) that I'm doing well. As I head toward three years since open-heart surgery, that kind of good news is a great gift indeed.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. A bit of praise from the right person can prove to be the best tonic ever

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  26. Warm gloves with long cuffs. The superb fit and comfort is something special. I hardly dare wear them. I hope I don't lose them. I really really hope I don't lose them.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Buy an elastic band and attach them to each end. Then threat the gloves through your coat

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  27. My younger brother had a heart attack two weeks ago. He came to our house on Boxing Day. My best present was being able to hug him.

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  28. Spending the day with my dear husband was my best gift. When he had cancer 6 years ago it was doubtful that he would live this long....yet here he is, and I don't take a minute of our time together for granted.

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    1. It's still a worrying time Jennifer x

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  29. Being with all of my children and grandchildren and seeing how much they truly love each other- all of them- and how much joy they get from each other. This is a gift that no one can set out to create- it simply happens and when it does, it is unbelievably beautiful. All four of my children are as different from each other as they can be but all are cherished and admired and loved for exactly who they are. Nothing could make me prouder or happier.

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  30. Being able to spend Christmas with my beautiful grandson Xavier, my daughter and son-in-law. Xavier is my first and only grandchild and it was pure joy.

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  31. I’m still here - that’s a pretty good gift.

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  32. My best gift was helping my dad get through cancer surgery and being able to see him smile again on Christmas and having hope that everything will be okay.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. A few I know are going through such hardships

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  33. All four of my kids being home and being able to really like them. They are pretty spectacular adults (of which I take little credit).

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Take the credit, take the credit

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  34. Anonymous3:11 pm

    It’s all about health and dogs of course. Our first xmas in 15 years without our dear, sweet Mollydog. Gutted still, to be honest.
    Best gift, husband’s recently installed new hips! Two at once. Game changer.
    Wanda x (blogger still wont let me comment as myself for some reason, so I’m anonymous. Sheesh.)

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    1. Best to get hips don't at once ! Stops you getting lobsided

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  35. Wow John... 74 comments... I'm sure to get lost in here but i'll put something down anyway.. I'm thankful i have a warm house when its 20 degrees F outside.. I'm thankful that at this very moment everyone i know and love is in good health.. I'm thankful to know that i'am loved..... and safe ... so many things to be thankful for.. Hugs! deb

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    1. I'm thanking goodness for lemsips

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  36. Having my son, his wife and our two gorgeous granddaughters here on Christmas Day beat anything wrapped in paper...hands down.

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  37. Wanda- to fool blogger into allowing you to use your own name, type your name in with your last initial, WandaX or something like that .. Wanda1 is nice :)

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  38. Not a Christmas present, but one of my best gifts was a brand-new filofax to replace an ancient one that was falling to pieces. I gather the filofax is having a bit of a renaissance, as it's altogether more versatile than the humble diary. My Christmas present was a very humdrum M&S jumper!

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    1. People don't use them but I love my filofax

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. May I be frightfully posh, and say 'My Fortnum's hamper, darling'.

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  41. Seeing my middle grandchild, a 14 year old girl still be a child.On her belly under the tree trying to figure out which packages were hers.Then seeing her xmas day dressed in new clothes looking years older even though she was wearing jeans, boots a sweater and no makeup but caught a glimpse of the woman to come.Seems like yesterday it was her mother.The gift is realizing these moments are to be savored.They won't come again.

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    1. It's easy to take these times, your health especially for granted

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  42. We adopted a shelter dog on Boxing Day. We’ve named him Sparky.

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    1. Great name for a dog

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    2. Congratulations on the new member of the family:)

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  43. Glad my oldest friend could come down for the day.
    Glad the youngest Granddaughter was such a charmer, glad too that my old truck didn't break down til after the holiday. Best of all, I am glad I am George in my life even with a cold.

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  44. It's the simple things, isn't it? I was fortunate enough to have my daughter and her crew visit for several days. Daughter, son-in-law, his nephew, and my grandpuppy, a nearly 3 yo Golden Retriever. Also, the nephew is a very nice teenager -- and how often do we get to say that!?!

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  45. Having all my family here at the same time. Christmas is so much fun with a 7 year old granddaughter. Daughter arrive for my Birthday so all three children at home at the same time plus a very crazy mandibles. Perfect !

    cheers, parsnip and mandables

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  46. My best present was more bling for the chariot (walker) should get even more smiles when walking on the prom.

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  47. anon (for this comment)4:54 pm

    As a child gifts (or in my case the lack of gifts) did not mean more than anything else in the world. A parents love (or lack of it) outweighed any amount of gifts.

    I now appreciate the ability to give my own child the love I didn't have, this surpasses all else.

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  48. Forgot to mention the Thermo Spoon I received!!it measures the temp of your jam and marmalade as you stir it, through a digital thermometer on the handle!!!I'm not kidding!!!

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    1. Harvey Nicks.......a posh person bought it there!

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  49. My family gets together on the first weekend of December. Not having the stress of deciding which parents to spend Christmas with is better for my kids and grandkids. But I caught a cold on Christmas Eve, and had to miss the Candlelight service and Midnight Mass. Oddly, just being able to bundle up with some peppermint tea and watch Christmas movies on the TV as a wonderful gift.

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  50. I had 2 brilliant gifts - one was a tri-cut picture of our little Jack Russell Tillie that passed away 6 weeks before Xmas - all the light and dark shades of her black and white coat, delicately cut out of the craft card - some people are so talented and clever - - it's so life like, it reduced us both to tears on Christmas morning.
    The second was a photo album of all the photos that my Children took of my Grandchildren and family, when we were all together on a day out at the beginning of December to Thomas Land - I don't have all my Grandchildren together, that often in a year and that day was a special happy family day that gave us such happy memories.
    It's not the big expensive gifts that matter, it's the ones that are given with love and thought xx

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  51. Having my family happy, healthy, and all in attendance at my Christmas dinner is the best present I could ask for.

    John, it was just over a year ago that I began reading your blog. You had brought "an extra" ham over to Auntie Gladys' house and found that she had been moved to a senior folks home. Your kind heart and community spirit won me over that day and I've been enjoying your blogs ever since. Thank you! And best wishes to you for a Happy New Year and many more blogs to come.

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    1. She is still aliveAK in a different nursing home of course x

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  52. All together for Christmas, my daughter, 3 grandkids and assorted pets. We had Christmas at my daughter's (she now has my large dining table) and every one helps to cook. It was just a really good Christmas. I did get very nice black boots which I love. Eddie Meatball the french bull dog ate the cat's treats and catnip mouse. He is on the naughty list.

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    1. There is a theme here too

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  53. I spent Christmas in Boston with my daughter and three granddaughters. The absolutely best present that I got was a beautiful poem that the ten year old wrote all about my life. At the end, she wrote about the things she loves about me. She put it in a frame for me. I cried. Best present ever!
    Happy New Year John!

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    1. I'd like to read it June

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  54. Having one of my brother's, who I haven't seen or talked to since Dad passed away 3 years ago, show up at my house on the 22nd. We had a nice visit and all is well!
    The best gift of all-51/2 months ago, in the blink of an eye, DH could barely walk. From walking up the fairway on the third hole of the golf course to being driven to his vehicle because he couldn't walk. Spinal stenosis, constant pain down the left buttock, thigh, hamstring, calf and foot and then numbness like he's dragging around a block of wood! The progress has been very slow but enough that the surgeon says he doesn't need surgery at this time and that he may eventually play golf again!! That was music to DH's ears, lol. Slow and steady!!

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    1. Equal numbers of people also fall out st Christmas too x

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  55. Spending Christmas day with my two adult sons was a joy, and seeing how thoughtfully we selected gifts. I was given a bread maker which looks easy to use, easy is important to me LOL.

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  56. Freedom. It actually came August 13, the day I filed for divorce from an awful man. We took our lives back that day. Freedom is priceless.

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    1. Congratulations seems an inadequate word but I'll say it

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  57. So my daughter brought me some "crack" for
    Christmas LOL
    Basically it is ... M&Ms, nuts, little crackers, pretzles, and white chocolate and it is all melted and mixed together .. then cooled.
    I have eaten it today for breakfast and lunch and we will see if I can manage not to eat it for dinner ... but it will be dessert.
    Then the sugar rush will be over and I will crash with the cats.

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  58. Son visiting from Nashville with his new 4 month old puppy! Our 11 year old blind dog is adjusting to her curiosity and kisses! Nice to have a younger human AND canine here for the holidays!

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  59. I am thankful in being able to gift a few coworkers going through rough times with some $ for their children this Christmas...also making and giving away catnip toys to everyone I know with a cat or two...giving is the BEST!

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    1. That gesture has a sweetness

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  60. My favorite gift was a world deluxe membership to Ancestry.com to continue "digging" up old grandparents on the east side of the Atlantic Ocean! Most of my ancestry is from the UK, the Netherlands and France...am interested to keep finding new info! Happy 2018 to you from South Dakota, USA!

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    1. Great thoughtful gift!

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    2. Kathie, my daughter has been digging up everything about our ancestry on that website plus some others she uses ... I am boggled by who is on my family tree ! It is really fun, good luck with yours ! enjoy it :)

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    3. Thanks, Notes. It is a great pastime...good or bad, relatives stories are fascinating!

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  61. My best gift was having our daughter and grandies there for the best part of the day...feeding them and watching them eat like little horses....watching them play with their new toys...seeing the wee man so proud of his Lego construction...and then...ah yes, and then waving them off and ssettling back with a cup of coffee and some Christmas music. Lovely. Glad to hear you had a lovely day John.

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  62. " watching them eat like little horses."
    A nice phrase

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  63. I have no trouble at all in knowing my best gift - it
    was the fact that my family and my friends rallied round to make sure that they were there for me. My great grandchildren were here, my grandchildren - I had a card on Christmas Eve from the grandson who works in China - I went to my friends on Christmas Day - everyone has made Christmas for me - and bloggers have played a part too - so thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

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    1. Thank you pat ..you have taught us all to cope just that little bit better

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  64. It was a pleasant enough holiday. I got a couple of books I've been wanting to read, one a biography of Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner, and the other about the longtime Marvel/DC rivalry. However, I usually spend the days leading up to Christmas worried about the gifts I'm going to give rather than get. Will the recipient be disappointed or not? "Not" seemed to be the answer and that was a gift in itself. Finally, I sat down in an easy chair and watched one of my favorite works of animation, Chuck Jones' version of Dr Suess' The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Afterwards, my brother walked into the living room and asked if I was enjoying myself (it was his easy chair and his living room.) I replied in the affirmative, said my goodbys to everyone, and drove home, and then realized I left the presents I received at my brother's house, so had to drive all the way back to retrieve them. On my return trip home, the heater finally kicked on in my car, so that was another gift. A Christmas miracle, really.

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    1. This post I liked, it says everything about love and acceptance within a family

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  65. Picking up my son at the Toronto airport on New Years Eve. He's been in Australia for three years in med school. This was such a sweet, happy Christmas.

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    1. A sweet reunion.....reunions were the basis of this post x

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  66. A nice cool day and having my two 96 year old parents still able to enjoy the day. All they wanted was a simple salad and not too much fuss. Lovely for everybody.

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  67. My sister and I shared a peaceful day of memories. She enjoys being told stories of when she was little and of all the different pets we have had and vacations the family took and how much mom and dad loved her. And of course we had a big hug...little pleasures go a long way. Best to you.

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  68. Having my three grown sons home for the holidays, they all live far away. It is nice to see they are friends with each other and enjoy being together. My husband loves their visits.

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  69. Yep, Health at the age many are at, about be, its home... each day when you read the local paper...

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  70. Spending time together, just me and 2nd Man and the kitties. It really is all that matters in the end. As for physical gifts, he remembered that I kept burning the back of my neck in the summer while mowing and he found an awesome hat that had a wide brim and and a flap down the back. Now that's thoughtful. He also remembered that when I am in the garden, I listen to my music on my iPhone. So he gave me a pair of wireless bluetooth outdoor speakers. Now I will be grooving in the garden, I'm sure the neighbor cows will find that most interesting...

    Merry Christmas John, thank you for you...

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    1. Thank you ....btw it's only a few weeks and TWD is back

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  71. Hearing the house go from very quiet to a small roar . . .
    the hum of little children, conversations going on in every room . . .
    music playing in the background . . . fragrance of foods cooking . . .
    Oh my. . . I really liked having a lively house once again . . .

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  72. Seasons Greetings to you John and your family.. the Prof and four footed family. My husband and I don't do presents as such anymore but we do try to make an effort to do something for one another. My husband spent Christmas morning sorting out an electrical fault on my MGB .. it will be nice to have indicators working once more!! I did some menial tasks for him that he had been putting off.. so it was a win win.
    I am grateful we are relatively well as are our two wee dogs 10 & 11 years who have been through quite some illnesses this year as did Winnie. Every day I am thankful to have them, they give us great joy and comfort.
    We donated to the Myanmar-Bangladesh crisis and Seniors and Silkys dog rescue group here in Aus - a small way of being appreciative for living where we live and with our four legged furrys able to be cared for.

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    1. You hav a pragmatism which is calming

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  73. Every day is a gift.
    Greetings Maria xxx

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    1. The best reply is the last one

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  74. Gift? Haven't had a 'gift' in over 20 years - and that last one had been a toaster from my sis for a Xmas.

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  75. A box from my son that we thought was just a box of little gifts for both of us, turned out to also contain all my 'birth' cards, my first birthday cards, my very first drinking cup with Pinky and Perky on and my first ever school book, with my very own five year old handwriting and misspellings for all to see.

    They had all somehow survived, in a manila envelope at my ex husband's house through two of his house moves (including one into a caravan) and escaped the clutches of a vicious second wife who hated my guts. When he found the stash a few months ago my ex passed it to Simon who decided to save it for me for Christmas Day ... what a gift. Tears flowed.

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  76. Hi lovely! We don't go in for gifts much, tending to do it on the fly as it were. A few months ago my darling mother said she felt that she didn't give as much to me as to my sister as sis has kids that Mum looks after and feeds etc and I don't. This has never bothered me but as she really wanted to do something for me, I asked for some of the beautiful organza roses she makes, as they are by far my favourite thing to wear in my hair. On Christmas Day I got a piece of card with five of these divine flowers sewn to it. They are so beautiful I keep staring at them, getting lost in the layers. The other gift I got was my two adopted kids spending the day tidying the stockroom at the shop! They had a ball doing it and we had a family dinner in the evening together. Family; it comes in all sorts of forms eh.

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  77. Very nice your blog and article. I like this blog thank for sharing.

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