Holiday Spirit (30 Days of Gratitude: Day 30)

The holiday season can be full of busyness — going through the list and checking it twice, without enjoying the moments along the way. A leisurely evening run with friends, with a detour on some festive paths, was a wonderful reminder of the goodwill generated by the season. Volunteers handing out hot cocoa and cookies … fire pits roaring with marshmallows for toasting … favorite holiday tunes playing as laser lights danced.

Adding to the magic of the evening was the best light of all — the luminous orb overhead, shining on the water next to the reflection of Duluth’s iconic lift bridge.

May the spirit of the season move you to pay it forward — be kind and compassionate to friends and strangers alike.

Be grateful for the reminders of what this season is supposed to be about.

~ Kat

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Anticipation 

Despite it being long past when I should have been in bed on a “school night”, I grabbed some quiet reflection time after decorating the tree earlier in the evening. Glass of prosecco in hand, Christmas music streaming on my phone, and the lights of the tree blinking peacefully in the dark of the midnight hour.

People everywhere wait in anticipation …. for Christmas less than a week away, for the start of Hanukkah which coincides with Christmas Day, for time with family and friends ….

And others wait in anticipation for matters less joyful … the end of war, the opportunity to flee a besieged city ….

May all men, women, and children around the world see a holiday season of peace that carries into the new year.

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. “Anticipation” is this week’s theme. Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here: Anticipation.

 

The Importance of Holiday Magic

This year, even more than ever, we are in need of finding the magic of the holidays … that magic that helps bridge divides, smooths strained relations, allows people to set aside differences to share in the beauty of the season.

Even without snow on the ground, and the second warmest November on record, Duluth’s Bentleyville is just the place to go to kindle the often-nostalgic feelings that accompany the December holiday season.

Whether you are 2, or 20, or 20 times 4, joy fills the air as you walk through the arches of light, as Christmas classics play over the speakers.  Donations and sponsorships support the free cookies, popcorn, hot cocoa, and fire pits for roasting marshmallows! People from all walks of life come together to watch the lights dance on the 128 foot tall Christmas tree, wait patiently to talk to Santa or Mrs. Claus, or pause for one of the many photo ops.

The year-round evening illumination of Duluth’s lift bridge glows across the bay, taking a back seat to this seasonal festival of lights.

The meandering lit paths give many opportunities to reflect and be grateful — whether wandering with friends, with family, or taking time for solitary reflection. Give thanks for good health, for a roof over our heads, for love, for community. Bentleyville gives a nod to our troops, as well, with Duluth’s own 148th Fighter Wing garnering a special spot in the display.

If only for an evening, let the “Tour of Lights” push the stress and anxiety of the world’s issues to the side … Embrace the magic of the season.

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. “It’s Not This Time of Year Without…” is this week’s theme. Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here: It’s Not This Time of Year Without ….

Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle 

And so we reach January 1 again … Another year come full circle.                             

 Saying goodbye to 2015. 

With one last look back at the holiday lights, wishing you a year ahead of good health, interesting experiences, and relationships that bring you joy.  Cheers to another year of blogging — and the virtual friendships that the blogosphere creates and fascinating doors it opens to wonders throughout the world.

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. “Circle” is this week’s theme. Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here: Circle.

Ciao! ~ Kat

Merry Christmas, WordPress Friends!

May the Christmas spirit fill your day with infectious joy and peace!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ciao! ~ Kat