Our “Holiday Monsters” and What They Teach Us

photo  Dear Reader:

Happy Christmas Eve!

For our “Holiday Monster” Sharing…I had to start with Anne’s (Peterson) monster since that gal put a lot of time and thought into her monster mask.

From the very beginning Anne had said that perhaps she would just take a “selfie” of herself in the mirror…because as much as she would like to be able to blame lots of other “monsters” for the hectic stress around Christmas…it really boiled down to her and how she handled it….she was the monster. Like Pogo once quoted: “I have met the enemy and it is me.”

Anne’s observation is symbolic of all of our same acknowledgements (if we are really frank with ourselves)…we don’t have to succumb to society’s expectations of Christmas….we are only responsible to God…not man.

photo  However, as we see in the commercial signs on Anne’s Christmas Tree Mask…we humans are ” hit hard” and “lured” into overspending by  stores trying to make a big profit at Christmas. I will pick a few off the “tree.”

“Make Laundry Bright and Merry“- REALLY??? Who cares if it is merry or not.

Unwrap the Savings”– If we bought it….the only thing we are unwrapping is the amount of money that the gift cost…not the savings

“Festive Essentials Make All the Difference“- Do you know what constitutes “festive essentials”…..I sure don’t but I have a sneaky feeling the store salesmen could tell us.

Tuck a Magazine into that Stocking”- Personally I don’t think so…unless it is People….right Jackson?

And speaking of Jackson…I loved the two pictures she sent (the “monster” turkey and then her nativities)….followed by the explanation….priceless!


Dear Boo,
My Holiday Monster is the 19 pound turkey I bought when there were 8 people coming for Christmas Day. I’m now cooking for myself and two others!!!! I’m thinking of how many ways you can use leftover Turkey.
Then I walk by my collection of nativity scenes, and the monster disappears. Love – Jackson

You might remember as examples….the first two people responding to the “Monster Holiday” Share-Along….were Linda Carson and Brooke Parker.

1) Linda’s “Monster” was the one bad bulb (like the bad apple in the crate) that ruins it for everyone….meaning all the lights go off the Christmas  tree while the “hunt” begins for the “bad” light bulb. It truly must make one of the top ten biggest annoyances in Christmas decorating, don’t you think?

20141207_123348 All’s well that ends well…20141207_123336

2) Brooke’s Holiday Monster was TOO MUCH STUFF. But like Jackson’s change of attitude….she came up with an idea of how to take a monster from herself and give it to someone else who could acutally use the “stuff”…..

FullSizeRender (27)

Too much Stuff. As I pull out decorations, boxes, etc. I realize that I don’t use half of it any more. This is my holiday monster but it will soon be gone!! This is the year, yes I am sure of it.
Then I will feel great JOY because I will give most of it to a friend who can use what she can and sell the rest for much needed money.

Since we had been discussing Comfort and Joy (along with “Holiday Monsters” in the same blog)….Brooke also added a picture of a Storybook Angel I gave her several years ago….that has provided comfort and joy for her. Thank you Brooke…it is always so nice to know when a gift means something special to someone you love.

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Hey Boo,
This was a gift from you several years ago.. My “Have Faith” Angel. I keep it leaning against my bathroom mirror and find great comfort in reading it each day!!!

Gin-g decided to share with me a picture of a beautiful white camellia from a bush Jack and Anne Mirick gave her a couple of years ago. She was just about to give up on it ever budding… when this bloom of “comfort” and “joy” arrived a few days ago. Isn’t it gorgeous?

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* Gin-g texted me last night and said she knew what her “holiday monster” looks like: “It would be a question mark in the mode of a clock because of how much time I have wasted (my whole life) worrying about the “what if’s.”) 

Gin-g went on to say that she has been a worrier since childhood yet she has been raised in the church and feels like she has a strong faith… so why the “what if’s?”

Her favorite scripture deals with the “His eye is on the sparrow” passage…she knows where to lay her trust…like all of us…it is giving up our personal “power” and entrusting important life decisions in another’s Hands that is so difficult for all us mere mortals….Gin-g….we all share this monster with you at different times in our lives. ?????????????????? Tick Tock!

photo 3 (67)  My “holiday monster” is going to have to start paying rent if he doesn’t find someone else’s throat to lodge in. My battle continues…but I won’t let him “take my joy away“…right Libby? I have a Plan B in place and wasn’t that our quote last week: “Life is all about how we handle Plan B?”

Monday while I was nursing my throat with soups and hot drinks…I had two good friends drop by.

photo 1  Tim Hyatt, my wonderful yard man, brought me logs for the fire over Christmas….what a wonderful gift. Tim has a twin brother, Tommy, who he is spending Christmas with….Have fun boys!

photo 2  Then Toni Cappelletti, whom I haven’t seen in awhile… since she moved neighborhoods… showed up with all these goodies in the picture. So as soon as I put this blog “to bed” I am building a fire, making some tea, toasting a slice of Panettone and reading Dorothea Benton Frank’s Christmas book…The Christmas Pearl. Oh happy night!

photo Among all the delightful “goodies” Toni gave me…she told me to look in the bottom of the bag for this St. Anthony bookmark…the miracle worker for those in trouble or anxious….I told Toni I would ask St. Anthony what to do Christmas Eve….my Plan B.

I will leave all my “holiday monsters” to God and concentrate on the small “comforts and joys” that each day brings.

* Thanks to all of you who participated this year in our “Holiday Monster” Share Along. It appears that the common thread among all our monster “busters” is that we, now, recognize them for who they really are….deterrents to the real meaning of Christmas…and instead we have turned to “Comfort” and “Joy” for our happiness in Christ’s birth.

So until tomorrow…Let’s make time for our friends/family’and strangers this holiday season …a smile is the best present of all….requires no talking.(fortunately for me)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Yesterday my angel of healing, Honey Burrell, showed up to give me a “Summerville Angel” Christmas ornament to put on the tree….

photo 2photo 1

(These special ornaments are found at Four Green Fields Gallery & Gift Shop on historic Short Central….across from “Simple to Sublime”) if you still need a last minute gift. I love mine!

But that wasn’t all… then my “angel of healing” left to pick me up some more medicine since my voice was still squeaking….Honey told me Tarshie had the same type of bronchitis/laryngitis and was told to take day and night time Theraflu and she could already tell a big difference.

I have had just one cup of the day time Theraflu (at this noon day writing) and I can already tell some difference. Thank you my angel of mercy…Honey Burrell!

* Oh my goodness…Jan Hilton just showed up bringing her famous Christmas Banana Bread…the best in South Carolina!

I was so happy to see her because she has what I have and we happily  “croaked” together….she’s been at it for about two weeks also. Misery does love company. She also left some dolphin chimes for the garden which I put on Rutledge’s tree since Eva Cate has Honey’s Santa clay chimes on hers…..loving listening to all these chimes in the garden.

photo 1photo 2


Stay tuned in tomorrow to see how the “Plan B” Christmas story evolved….if nothing else, it should be interesting! A Christmas Mystery….silence or speech?

*** Hot off the Press! My youngest grandson, Jakie, (born on my birthday) is three months old today…on Christmas Eve! He is so excited… it sent his eyes spinning. Love you Jakie!


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Our “Holiday Monsters” and What They Teach Us

  1. ambikasur says:

    Happy Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas, Becky! Take care and regards to all the loved ones at home…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Becky Dingle says:

    Merry Christmas my delightful Ambika….may the New Year bring you nothing but happiness!


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