Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An Underoos Christmas

Christmas memories from my childhood bring me so much joy! Growing up in the 70's and 80's meant I had first dibs on some of the best toys ever invented, the funnest catalogs to browse, the coolest Christmas ornaments and the best Christmas displays around.

Here I am getting my very first Strawberry Shortcake doll for Christmas! This was probably right around 1980 to be exact. This was a FABULOUS Christmas. I was at my Dad's house for my bi weekly visit. My brother was there too. That is my loving Grandma behind me there in the photo. This Christmas not only did I get my wonderfully scented Strawberry Shortcake doll, I also got my first, and only, set of Underoos! I had Wonder Woman and I remember jumping up and down with excitement to get them! I tried them on immediately and thought I was the bomb diggity. You can see from the next photo that my big brother also got something quite trendy and very 80's....a Stretch Armstrong! And here he is playing tug o war with my Stepmom.

Another wonderful Christmas was not long after this one. This one was at my Mom's house. We went to bed on Christmas Eve and couldn't wait to wake up and run down the stairs to find our presents! The same stairs mind you, that my brother tumbled down once after watching the movie Jaws! We watched that movie and he went upstairs to go to bed and saw where my Mom had placed her mannequin head on the bannister ledge. It scared the wits out of him and after a shriek he went tumbling down!! Good times....Anyway, this year we ran down those stairs to our tree and to dig into our Snoopy stockings and before my wondering eyes did appear.....A Barbie dream Winnebago! Oh my this was the gem of all gems. It had a shower, a kitchen, bedroom you name it it was pimped out!

By the time I lived with my Dad full time, the 80's were in full swing! Our local mall was called Antioch Shopping Center. I would grow up having many lifelong memories from that mall. I went there regularly my whole childhood. Shopping, bowling and as a teen and young twenty, I had jobs there! I loved Morrow's nut house, it had the best macadamia and cashew nuts! This is also the mall I told you about in an earler blog where I attended the Hubba Bubba bubble blowing contest! But the best time to go to Antioch mall....was at CHRISTMAS!! I'm telling you it was old school magic! The winter wonderland was a looooong stretch of glistening white. White snow, white reindeer, white railing and white plastic chain link to keep you out of the magical area. It had giant presents with bows and then of course Santa's seat. It was such a wonderful place to be. I sure wish I had a photo to share with you but my 110 camera was probably out of film at the time ;)

In closing I would be doing you a major disservice if I did not describe to you THE most magical place to be during Christmas and that was at Penguin Park. The park I grew up going to my whole life. The park with the giant penguin, elephant, giraffe, wobbly bridge, fire had it all. And at Christmas it was transformed literally into a winter wonderland! Everything was lit up with Christmas lights, giant presents were added, Santa's workshop appeared and my favorite thing of all, there was a giant Santa hat atop the mighty Penguin's head!

Now I realize I am very  blessed to have such wonderful memories of Christmas. I know so many who do without. That makes my memories even more treasured to me. But please understand the reason I place so much value on my memories is because I also had a lot of sadness in my childhood. So these magical moments in time made it all worth while!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Hi, my name is Amy and I'm a horrible Christian

When people say to me, "You are such a good person".....I flinch. I'm like, me? Have we met? It makes me happy in some ways of course because in my mind I feel like, ok at least I'm nice to people. Well usually.

Let me clarify, I do find myself to be very happy and pleasant and above all fiercely loyal to my friends and loved ones.  But when it comes to people I don't see eye to eye with, I can  honestly say that as a Christian, I fail miserably.

Although I am very kind hearted and happy, that is only one part of the complex me. I am also very angry and confused. I am hell bent on seeking justice (not revenge) for people who can't defend themseleves but while I'm doing that I leave a path of unkind words along the way to anyone who does not want to help me in my crusade.

As a Christian that is but one way I am failing. There are 2 other departments that I fall short in:
I do NOT love my enemies.
I DO judge others.

I justify these things in my own mind too when I'm doing it. For example I tell people to quit judging others. Yet I do it all the time and I justify it  by telling myself  that the people I judge actually deserve it! Of course, I am wrong.  I tell people not to judge others and what I really mean is, don't judge gay people. Don't judge poor people. Don't judge ME.  Meanwhile I judge rich people. I judge people who drive expensive cars, wear expensive clothes, live in giant houses.  I am totally wrong in doing so.

Second part where I fall miserably short, I have yet been able to master the art of loving my enemies. I don't even pretend to love them. What's worse is I don't even make an effort to love them.

You may be asking yourself why would I possibly write these words, outing my own shortcomings?
It's for that reason exactly. I need everyone to know that I am failing as a Christian but I want to be better. If I walked around this earth saying I'm a good Christian, I know what I'm doing, I am not wrong.....Well that would be a major disservice to God, my King.

Although I know I will not change my behaviors overnight, I WILL work on them. I will continue my growth as a Christian and be faithful always wanting to learn more. To be better. By learning to selflessly serve humankind, I will be serving God. It will be hard for me to do this!!

I tell myself everyday "As good as you think you ain't"

Arthur's Theme

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