Tag Archives: Christmas

12 Days of Christmas

Christmas should be a time of comfort and joy, not arguments

After I fucked up so badly over Christmas I needed something to cheer me up a little.

This is a parody of the carol, 12 days of Christmas.  I think it’s funny.

Please listen responsibly’

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Christmas Fun ~ The Proclaimers

inhale the scent of a Christmas tree, and fill your soul with wintry night

This is only on my Christmas play list because it always seemed to be in my car on that long drive north on Christmas Eve.

Would like to have those Christmas Eve’s back again.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

very Christmas

Christmas Fun ~ Greg Lake

Santa Claus has the right idea ~ visit people but once a year

When did you stop believing in Father Christmas, when did you realise that Santa Claus might not be real?  When did you start thinking, that your parents placed the gifts under the tree?

Part of me still believes in Father Christmas, the small boy, and the grown man who believes that there’s more to this Cosmos than we can ever know.  The part of me that believes in my Goddess Aphrodite, and that the sun will rise after every night.

Please listen as a child.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I believe the sun will rise tomorrow

Christmas Fun ~ The Pretenders

Christmas is the day that holds all time together.

For the first time since he died, this morning I had a fond memory of my father, from very long ago.  It seems that Christmas transcends time and distance.

This song is another memory from long ago, something that would be played in my car on the long drive north from London to a little pit village in County Durham.

Please listen thinking of those far away this Christmas.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

for the girl riding shotgun

who will be far away this Christmas

Christmas Fun ~ Crosby

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
but if the white runs out I’ll drink the red.

As old and as cynical as I am, this song, at this time of year, can still bring a tear to my eye.  It reminds me of Christmases past, and gives me hope for Christmases still to come.

Please listen joyously.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Snoopy always seems to have a white Christmas…..

Food on Friday ~ Pot Luck Christmas

Good food is at the heart of a great Christmas and a Happy New Year

The theme for this Food on Friday was suggested to me by a friend in California ~ I would never have thought if it on my own.  Here in England the traditional Christmas Day fayre is exactly the same as a Thanksgiving Dinner ~ only better.  The idea of having a pot luck Christmas lunch / dinner is alien to an Englishman, but it does sound brilliant.  As a matter of fact, we don’t do pot luck at all in England.

Ergo these recipes should not only be fantastic in their own right, but should also be suitable to take along to a pot luck meal.

First up this week, here’s a simply delicious dish from Dianes Kitchen; baked chicken Parmesan meatballs.  Diane says these are great eaten right of the oven, or with your favorite sauce.  These look as though they would be very welcome at any pot luck.

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

If we’re looking for an appetiser to have with drinks then we could do worse than go for these fabulously festive brie bites from Erin Clarke at Well Plated by Erin.

Brie Bites with Puff Pastry

Here in England, just about the only time we eat brussel sprouts is at Christmas, so I felt I just had to include a sprouts recipe.  From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have these roasted bacon brussels sprouts with salted honey.  A great side dish to take to a pot luck.

Roasted Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Salted Honey

In all my visits to the USA, I have never, ever had a decent baked potato.  That’s because you guys cook them in the microwave.  A proper jacket potato needs a very hot oven, and I’ve yet to see anyone in the USA actually use their oven,  So, since great baked potatoes would go down well at a pot luck here’s Ali from Gimmie some Oven to tell you how to do it.

The Best Baked Potatoes

So, you’re going to a pot luck and you want to really help the table along / show off how rich you are, then why not take along a whole maple glazed ham.  We have the perfect recipe from Chungah at Damn Delicious.

Maple Glazed Ham

Our collection this week comes from Taste of Home, 40 last minute Potluck ideas ready in 30 minutes or less.  From this collection I’ve chosen to feature herb-roasted olives & tomatoes, partly because the recipe is by Anndrea Bailey from Huntington Beach, California.  I like Huntington Beach.  Anyway this is a great vegan side.

Herb Roasted Olives and Tomatoes

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

30 minute Asian Chicken Soup

one of the best soup recipes ever.

I’ve made this.

Forgiveness and Love

Christmas is a time for remembering, forgiving, and loving.

Not all of us have only good memories of the past.  Some of us have been holding on to feelings of upset, anger, hurt, rejection, jealousy….. perhaps going back years.  But our memory of the past is only the joy inside our tears.  No memory is either good or bad, it is our feelings created by those memories that may be either positive or negative.  I have carried around with me the weight of the world in negative feelings about the past ~ and it’s time to let them go.  It’s time to forgive, and replace those negative feelings with genuine love.  It’s time to embrace the beautiful new dawn Christmas brings.

Forgiveness does not mean the other person was right, or that we have to forget what they have done, but forgiving lets us live a more positive and fuller life.  And, mostly if we have been carrying around a deep hurt it means that whomsoever damaged us was someone we cared for very deeply.  Only those we love can really hurt us.

By forgiving we allow ourselves to move on.  We release ourselves from a self-imposed paranoid prison of upset, anger, hurt, rejection, jealousy…..  and those negative feelings slowly poison us, taking away our ability to love anyone, including ourselves.  It was important for me to understand that I needed to forgive others for the sake of my own mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

True forgiveness isn’t easy, it isn’t weak, or proof that we weren’t really hurt, or that it was us who were in the wrong.  True forgiveness and returning to love is a sign of emotional maturity and strength ~ the strength to move on with your life.

True forgiveness goes hand in hand with learning to trust again, to love again, to leave behind the mistrust and paranoia.  To create a successful life I needed to truly and honestly forgive others who have hurt me.

How we forgive is something else.  It may be that the person we need to forgive is dead, in which case the forgiveness is in our own minds ~ or if you pray it may be that you say a prayer for whoever hurt you so deeply.  If they’re still around you may decide to reach out to that person; maybe call them, or send an email, or more personally write a proper letter.  But, be aware of two things; #1 your forgiveness must be true and genuine, not filled with if’s and but’s…..  #2 don’t reach out to whoever hurt you if by doing so you hurt them or make their life difficult, it might not be a good idea to reach out to your ex if they are in a new relationship.

However, if you can, and you truly and genuinely forgive, then find a way to say to whoever hurt you that you love them, (maybe not in those words).  Don’t say you forgive them, that’s judgemental and implies that they were wrong.  They may well have been very wrong, but true forgiveness means that we don’t have to rub their noses in it.  If whoever hurt you asks for your forgiveness, then give it, honestly, openly, and truthfully.

Some say that being hurt is what you get for loving someone.  And that you can’t trust anyone, not ever.  All I know is that forgiveness is cathartic and lets us love again.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

allow your heart to mend

forgive and love again

Christmas Fun ~ Wham

we accept best the love we think we deserve

Christmas is a time for love, but sometimes love doesn’t run smoothly.  Even for the truest of true loves there are sometimes bumps in the road.

I’m going to be alone this Christmas, but there are still some people I love.

Don’t you just love the hair?

Please listen responsibly.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

jealousy can end up costing you the one you love the most

Generosity and Kindnss

the value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he receives

Christmas is a time for giving, for being generous and kind, without expectation of anything in return.  Yet, who among us even understands the meaning of true generosity?

I used to believe that I was generous, but my generosity usually involved money; always paying the bill in bars and restaurants for example.  But, as I would usually go to bars and restaurants with a woman, my behaviour was only to be expected, real men always pick up the tab.  And many guys would expect sex in return anyway.  That is not being generous, that’s being a jerk.

Generosity shouldn’t only involve hard cash, real generosity means being accepting, charitable, compassionate, understanding ~ being kind in thought, word, and commonplace deeds.  Real generosity does not expect or seek repayment.  Real generosity isn’t just giving a couple of coins to a homeless person; it’s stopping to talk with him, asking how he is and trying to understand his situation, maybe giving him a hot drink, or help him in some other practical way.  The truly generous give their time to others.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  ~  Churchill

Generosity and Kindness aren’t all about money any time either, it’s about being thoughtful and caring, without seeking or having any expectation of repayment.  Remembering to thank people, doing something tangible and practical for people; for example feeding the cat for your neighbour, without ever asking for anything in return ~ that is being kind and generous.

You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.  ~  John Bunyan.

Generosity and kindness don’t involve putting in the extra hours at work so that you will receive a glowing report, and maybe a raise in pay.  Generosity would be putting in the extra hours at work helping your coworker who is struggling to finish their work on time.  Or perhaps telling their boss how hard they’re working, being complementary and kind when you don’t need to.

Real success in life is being the person who gives and helps others, without thinking about yourself.  By that measure there are not many successful people in this world.  Most think of themselves first, last, and always.  Most people are kind and polite only to those who can do them some good in return, and most people suck up to their boss while stabbing their colleagues in the back.  Back in the day I lived in the very cut-throat world of international banking, yet even then I was perhaps generous and kind; for example I would tell clients that I couldn’t do what they wanted, but I know another bank who can.  Not many would sent a client to another provider who could do a better job.

At this time of year it behoves us to be generous and kind, and that isn’t measured in the value of the gifts we give.  Be accepting, charitable, compassionate, kind, thoughtful, understanding ~ then you’re being generous.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

give a single rose you have picked from your own garden

Christmas Fun ~ Wizzard

Christmas is not a season but a state of mind.

Even though I’m going to be alone on Christmas Day I’ve decided to get in to the spirit and started playing my Festive Tunes.  This is one of them, very jolly, very British, very Christmas.  I like it.

Please dance responsibly.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

be kind this Christmas

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