Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My last Hodgepodge for this year.

Welcome to the Hodgepodge!  It's almost Christmas, so the questions below have to do with it, and with end of the year and life choices.  Read on.

1. What's your biggest 'first world' problem?

Right off the get-go I'm not sure I understand our leader Joyce's question.  Is she asking me what I think is the biggest problem for the US and other advanced countries?   But she says "your" not "our" problem.  hmmmm

I will try to answer.   I think one of the biggest problems is the loss of respect for each other.   We don't have to be friends with everyone but we must respect each other, and value each other, and allow for differences.  If we could do that then we would work towards bettering our world, and we would be less stressed out.  Less combative.  Less in it for just "me" and less fearful of being taken for a ride, lied to, scammed, etc.   R - E -S - P -E -C -T....  sing it like Aretha!!

2.  Each year Time Magazine names a 'Person of the Year', someone who has 'for better or worse...done the most to influence the events of the year.' It was recently announced they've named Angela Merkel Person of the Year for 2015. You can read more about this year's selection here. Your thoughts? If you were in charge, who would you declare Person of the Year? 

I am happy with the choice of Germany's PM Merkel.  As I heard names being considered for the honor I thought how some made an impact this year for sure, but for bad reasons.  I don't think we should "reward" those who do evil and are destructive.  Merkel has been a solid, and even leader to the people of Germany, and she has reached out to all of Europe, partnering in many causes. 

Oh, and I personally like her because she is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor - and so am I! 

3. Do you have a nativity set in your home? If so share it's history and how you display the pieces.

Yes, I do!  The nativity I have is one I purchased about ten years ago.  I grew up with one in our home and I remember as a kid playing with it... moving the Mary & Joseph, and the wise men and shepherds.  I "play acted" the Jesus story with it!  My dad still has that one - and I think he keeps it up year 'round on a little shelf in his condo.

I wanted one in my home, for my daughters to see.  So, the one I bought, though it's a bit more fragile, is very beautiful - and I love it!  I think having a nativity set up in the home is a constant reminder of what Christmas is all about. 

4.  Do you make an extra effort to give back in some way during the holiday season? How do you encourage those who need encouragement this time of year?

Yes, I make an effort to give back - but not just at this time of year.  I try to give ALL the time. Extra effort now?  Perhaps... with special little gifts, and a few extra monetary donations to charities.  Each year I take an "angel" from our angel tree at church - it has the name of a needy child in our county. I purchase gifts for the child so he/she have some things to open on Christmas morning.

I think we all take turns encouraging each other.  A few weeks ago I felt the pressure of the upcoming season.  I seem to get it every year right around Thanksgiving.  So much to do, so many expectations. People here - and elsewhere - encouraged me.  I try to do the same when I see it in others. 

5. Who is your favorite person to shop for? Why?

Favorite?  Oh, no you don't!  ha!  I will not call one person a "favorite" but, there are certainly some people I buy gifts for that are "easier" to shop for than others.  My daughters are always easy. I know what they like (and need.)   In general, men are a bit harder to shop for...don't you think? 

6. What's the last delicious thing you ate?

I'm easy to please!  Last evening for dinner I had a Lean Cuisine Spaghetti in meat sauce.  It's my favorite quick, easy, dinner for one!  I sprinkle on some parm cheese and it's delicious!  A little salad - and a little wine - and I'm all set!

7. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is________________.

Well, for me, as I have said before, it's a lot about the music!  So, I like to spread Christmas cheer performing in the handbell groups, and in the community band that I am a part of - and it just so happens that tonight is our Holiday concert.  Locals:  it's at 7:00pm at the Pawleys Island Community Church and it's free! Come out and hear "Sleigh Bells", "Mary Did you Know," "Celtic Carol," "Little Drummer Boy," and much more!   It will get you into the Christmas spirit!!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Today is my birthdayI'm now 59.  How did that happen?   I know we all deal with aging, and so today I think about what ALL my 59 years have been like... and how blessed I am, and how wonderful the people in my life are... and how my health has hung in there and I really don't feel the number that I am.   Sometimes I look in the mirror and I see the number, but sometimes I don't.  Inside I definitely do NOT feel the number!  I am enjoying life...and I have found ways to see the good in just about every single day.  Even among all the bad out there, the sadness, the sorrow - life still is amazing!  People are really mostly good to each other, and most share a human bond. Aging is one of those bonds.  We are fortunate to go through it together. 

Have a wonderful Christmas Hodgepodge readers!  Next week the Hodgepodge is on vacation to celebrate.  See you in 2016!  


  1. Happy Birthday to you! Everything was fine with me until I turned 60, for some reason that one got to me. Now I'm 64 and still haven't gotten use the the fact that I'm 60! Enjoyed reading your answers.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Blessing to you and yours.

  2. Happy, Happy Birthday, Marla...the best is yet to come! Have a wonderful Christmas! And, yes, men are so difficult to buy for!

  3. After my Daddy died at 54 I realized birthdays are a blessing. It means the Lord has blessed you with another year, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Many thanks for stopping by my blog.

  4. I enjoyed your answers. Happy Birthday to you! I hope you have a fantastic day!

  5. Daughters are so easy to shop for. I have to stop myself because there is always, 'just one more thing' I could buy : ) I'm all about celebrating a birthday! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  6. Happy Birthday! Loved your responses. Stopping in from Wednesday Hodge Podge.

  7. Hi,
    I am a December birthday girl too. Happy Birthday!
    I enjoyed your answers, I liked how you liked the Person of the Year. ;-) Fun. I think it is neat she grew up on the East Side of Germany. That shows she knows what having freedom really feels like.
    Merry Christmas,