Posts filed under ‘Christmas’

A Word About Holiday Traditions…Take it SLOW!

So often in our holiday preparations are we moving so fast we can’t even blink. We rush from one holiday event to another. We buy stuff. We exhaust ourselves. Well, I am going to share something that has been a McLaughlin family tradition for many years now and I will likely keep it up for many years to come.

As many married couples know, we get challenges for our families attention. We get requests to go see our in-laws and requests from our own parents. We have handled this by alternating holidays when possible. One year we have Thanksgiving in Knoxville with my folks, and one year I spend it in Columbus. Usually, when I make that trip south, we also do presents even if it’s just Thanksgiving. This kills two holidays with one trip. Granted, Mom usually doesn’t have the tree up or cookies made, but that’s not why I go. Anyway, the last two years it’s been Christmas in Knoxville. Next year, we should be doing the Thanksgiving trip. It’s a 6 hour drive. Well, since we usually leave in the evening and it is the time of year where the days are shorter, it’s usually dark when we get there. Well, we decided many years back that we would stop halfway on the way down. Get a room in a hotel and relax. This is a blessing. My brother and to a lesser extent my parents will kind of chide me for it, but I wouldn’t do it any other way. We all take time to relax together as a family. We eat at a restaurant, go swimming and watch some holiday shows on the TV. It’s a time I will always remember. It’s a time where it’s JUST me, the wife and my son. A time I would never give up for work or extended family commitments.

My advice to those who read this is to start a nice, slow relaxing holiday tradition. When you take your next family trip, try stopping overnight even if it’s normally a drive you would do in one day. Not only does it give you and your family the opportunity to take a breather from the breakneck pace of modern society, but it gives you the opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet. The people who we’ve met at this Ramada Inn in Lexington have been awesome. They always treat you like their guest. That’s so rare even in the hotel industry. When we walk into the in hotel restaurant, Sigee’s, they welcomed us and looked like they were really glad we were there. There was noone in the restaurant except us which was a bit weird, but they served us like we were their family. The Chef actually brought the food out to the table and chatted for a bit and it was a awesome time.

I am rambling, but my point is you never know what the Lord will bless you with. He may bless you with a great family time, or he may place you in a position where you may need to pray for the people you meet. He may give you the opportunity to make new friends. This blessing from the Lord may be passed by if you just go at a breakneck pace from one thing to another. Take a breather. Your allowed to. Don’t give in to the unreasonable expectations of others. Do what the Lord commands. For you may never know what blessings are at that hotel you pass on checking into or that dinner stop you decide to pass on.

Take it easy this Christmas. May the Lord bless you and yours with a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!


December 24, 2007 at 7:34 am 2 comments

Pit Stop

I was hoping to record a digital distraction and I may do that yet, but I did forget my Mic so I will have to do it with the laptop mic.

I am typing this early in the morning  at the hotel at our halfway pitstop between Columbus and Knoxville.  It’s a nice remodeled Ramada Inn.  You can tell it’s old, but almost everything is new and it even has a indoor pool which excites my son.  The High Speed access is wired and not very high speed.  It’s barely faster then a modem.  Anyway, I hope to post more and may even do a podcast on the digital distraction before I leave here.  It will be a no frills show….maybe one Christmas tune.

December 23, 2006 at 7:32 am

Why we celebrate Christmas

I am sitting here on my last day of work waiting for phone calls. How is that any different? I guess it isn’t. Anyway, I was thinking, why do we really celebrate Christmas? A lot of people seem to forget why. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ yet all I hear on the news and from people’s mouths is people shooting, punching, kicking and beating each other to make sure Johnny gets a PS3. People are paying sometimes 3 or 4 times or more of the actual cost to make sure that they have the latest in electronic wizardry under the tree. As much as I like all of that electronic stuff, it saddens me that the world is going down this path.

It’s funny if you actually read the appropriate Bible verses on this event. If you actually read it and do some study of it, you will see that it’s probably not possible that the birth happened on December 25th. Shepherds are not likely in the fields in the middle of December. They are probably holed up in the barn. So why is everybody grumpy if you can’t get that present under the tree by the big day? I don’t know. Maybe it’s dissatisfaction in their current predicament. Maybe spending money recklessly and tisking people when they get in your way fills a hole in their heart. This hole should be filled with the Holy Spirit, the spirit of giving and the spirit of forgiveness. A lot of people say they believe in God and follow the Bible but they are hypocrites when they act in this way.

It’s so bad out there that in Cub Scouts, my son’s leader said all kinds of wishy washy things when they talk about the Cub Scout Promise:

I, (say your name), promise
To do my DUTY to GOD
And my Country
To HELP other people, and
To OBEY the LAW of the Pack

Duty to GOD! How many people forget this duty? Even I do at times. The simple fact is there was only one man who lived his entire life without sin. It’s that man’s birthday we are celebrating.

So when you’re gathering at the table for Christmas dinner and opening gifts under the tree, try to do the right thing and keep your ego in check. If something a family member says gets to you, just let it slide off. Too many people take every single thing that anyone says seriously. Sometimes it’s just their ego speaking out. Remember that.

After God, your family needs to come first. So, spend time with your families. Love them. Cherish this time. For this time together may never come again. You NEVER know when one of yoru family members may be hit by a car or struck down by cancer. Feel fortunate that you have your health and are able to buy even one present per person. Some people can’t buy any.

December 21, 2006 at 12:28 pm

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