Posted by: L. E. Barnes | December 24, 2009

Ho ho ho!

Christmas greetings from the Tarheel state! Advent is ending today, and the Christmas season begins. I plan to attend my parish’s 4 PM vigil mass, which means I’ve got just over an hour to dash this post off, eat something, and change clothes. I had thought about going to midnight mass, but being out that late tonight just doesn’t appeal to me. Tomorrow my parents and I will be heading to Tarboro to visit relatives. Time to load up on holidy victuals!

Well, I made it through the semester without blowing a fuse. A woman I know who teaches at both the community college and ECU has offered to share some of her tricks of the teaching trade with me–for which I am immensely grateful. To avoid some of the problems I encountered this past term, I’m going to have to make changes in my methods. One of the main things she said she’ll share with me is how her students put together a writing portfolio  rather than just submitting a final copy on a fixed due date.  Hopefully I can get some pointers on increasing class participation and dealing with difficult students. College students should know how to behave, but frankly, some of them behave worse than some high school–or even middle school–students that I’ve known. Whose fault is that? The parents? The school system? Both? Regardless of who’s to blame, I have to deal with the mess. “God grant me the serenity…”

While out shopping last Friday, I was in a minor accident. The vehicle behind me was rear ended by a delivery truck and, pushed forward by the impact, bumped into me. Fortunately, no one was injured. I couldn’t see any damage to the car; however, my dad took it to a body shop to be checked, and some underlying damage to the rear was discovered. The insurance company of the driver at fault should cover everything though. That’s the second time an accident like that has happened to me. I’m on my way to being an expert on getting rear ended–expertise I would gladly do without!

My parents and I are going light on the Christmas gifts this year. We all feel we’ve accumulated enough, well, stuff over the years. I’m far more interested in the spiritual dimensions of the season than getting more “toys.” (And my biggest needs right now are things that can’t be found in a store.) But I still got my parents a few odds and ends. The main gift was a new cordless pone and answering machine combo to replace their current, which they’ve had for at least 10 years. Time for something more up to date! I got them each a Snuggie as well–a little hard to find, since a number of stores seem to have run out of them–in fact, I was on my way to a store I though might still have some Snuggies when I got into the accident on Friday. And I’ve made it a tradition to give my parents a calendar with a Peanuts comic strip for each day. Several times my mom has asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I really didn’t know what to tell her! So tomorrow I’ll see what surprised she managed to come up with for me.

One of the best things about YouTube, in my humble opinion, is that you can find old cartoons, TV shows, or movies that you haven’t seen in years. And since this is Christmas time, I’ve enjoyed watching some old Christmas cartoons on YouTube that I remember seeing as a child, such as “The City that Forgot about Christmas,” which was made by the Lutheran Church some years ago. Just type “Christmas cartoons” in the search engine on the site, and you’ll bring up a trove of golden oldies!

May you be blessed with a merry Christmas and very happy new year!

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