So, over on my newest blog, The Crazy Creative Corner, we're having the First Annual Virtual Craft Show and, yes, I'm a part of it. I now not only have a blog (or two) but I have a Facebook page and an Etsy Store all of which you're more than welcome to visit me on (and, of course, buy!). Anyway, check out today's blog, here, and see what's going on as well at take a peek at some of the items over on Etsy that I have for sale. Here's a sneak peek of a few items:
Y'know, I probably shouldn't complain. I mean, it's hard enough finding people who think "customer service" means forcing a plastic-looking smile as they serve you in some way. But, honestly, folks, having someone who's about 15 years younger than you call you "sweetie" is annoying! I'm not 12 anymore and I don't know anyone over the age of 14 who likes the term "sweetie" being applied to them. If you're in customer service (i.e., fast food, restaurant, cashier at any store) don't call someone "sweetie" unless it's obvious they're under the age of 12 or they're your husband/spouse.
And, while I'm ranting, to you women who use the words "hon" and "sugar" to everyone... don't. Just. Don't. Unless you're a Southern woman, it sounds patronizing in the extreme. I worked for years with a woman who did that and it always sounded like she was talking down to the person she used it on, as if they were mentally incapacitated in some way. When Southern women say "Hon" or "Sugar" it's a complement, as if they're including you in their vast circle of friends. And it's the way they can say it. They sliiiiide it under the door and follow after! It's not a short, abrupt bark of a word "Hun!" They draw it out as "Huuuun" and you expect to hear the second half, "-ney," on the end. You don't feel talked at or down to, you feel welcomed. And, when she says "sugar" it, too, is drawn out, "Shuuh-gah." Southern women are just easy on the ears and ego. And they never call anyone "sweetie" unless it's a grandchild (at least, not that I've ever heard... and, yes, I can say this with authority, my mom's side of the family is Texan - as am I - and most of my college friends were from Alabama, Georgia, North & South Carolina... you get the idea).
I think we forget that words have meaning, even words we take as "meaningless" today. And, the meaning takes on more weight in how it's used, when it's used and how it's said (the one thing you don't want is a Southern woman shortening that "hon" when you've done something stupid... it's a reprimand all on it's own!). Think about what you say and how you say it before you verbalize. Because, seriously, folks, I'm about ready to snap off a good, old fashioned, Southern "Hon!" at the next young person who calls me "sweetie!" as if I were twelve!
Okay, yes, I know, it's not Christmas, yet. And, no, I'm not being like the stores and putting out "Christmas Items" before Thanksgiving is even here. This isn't about my new blog (or Etsy store), this is about being asked (in a very round-about way) by Mr. School Principle to write the kids Christmas play this year. You see, our school is the smallest, student numbers-wise, that it's ever been so he needed something simple. Yes, this is why he came to me (droll-roll-of-the-eyes). Anyway, below is the story I came up with and he, so far, has approved. It's about two little boys at granma's house on Christmas Eve and a dream about Christmas' first Gift.
THE FIRST CHRISTMAS GIFT
[bedroom, two cots with a little boy in each, about 6 and 10 years of age]
Ivan: Pssst! Gabe! You still awake?
Gabe:[rolls over] Yeah, Ivan. What's wrong?
Ivan: Nuthin'. I'm just excited 'cause tomorrow's Christmas. D'ya think Santa will bring that skateboard I've been begging for?
Gabe:[in thoughtful tones] I dunno, Ivan. You were a real pill to Mom last week.
Ivan:[with a whine in his voice] Yeah, but... I worked double hard at being good over the weekend!
Gabe:[trying not to laugh] And you broke Mimi's favorite vase this afternoon.
Ivan:[defensively] You know that was an accident, Gabe. 'Sides, you threw that pillow!
Gabe:[snickers] Yeah, well, Mimi wasn't too upset. MAYYYYYbe Santa will bring all the loot we asked for. I really, really want that new bike!
[woman's voice from off-stage] You boys go to sleep or Santa will never come!
[in unison] Yes, Mom! [snuggle down in cots]
[lights dim, dream sequence begins with K thru 1st grade children singing first verse of "Away In A Manger"]
Lead Angel: For unto you a Child is born.
Angel chorus: a Child is born
Lead Angel: Unto you a Son is given
Angel chorus: a Son is given
[all angels in unison] : And His name shall be called Wonderful, [little louder] Counsellor, [louder] the Mighty God, [firmly louder - no screaming] the Everlasting Father, [softly] the Prince of Peace.
Prince of Peace. So the prophets said He would be called. But, I don't remember much being peaceful about that night. God's only begotten Son was born in a city so crowded, people were literally sleeping in streets and alleys. I was so glad Joseph was able to talk an innkeeper into letting us use his stable. [shakes head, small smile] This King of kings, the Prince of Peace, Immanuel Himself was born in a small, dirty, smelly hole in the wall when He had every right to be born in a palace.
But, He came to give, not take.
To be a servant, not a King.
I remember His first visitors, too. [laughs] You'd think just-hours-old parents would be left in peace but, no, a bunch of unwashed, burly shepherds found us, wanting to see Him. They said God sent angels to tell them of His Son's birth. The Lamb of God visited by keepers of the lambs used in sacrifice.
Lead Angel: Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy...
Angel chorus: good tidings of great joy
Lead Angel: For unto you is born this day... a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.
Angel chorus: a Saviour, a Saviour, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord
[first verse of "Silent Night"]
Silent night? HA! There wasn't much silent around Bethlehem that day OR night. So many people were crowding into the city, kicking up dust as they came over the roads and through the hills, scaring our sheep out of their wool.
Then the angels appearing in the middle of the night to proclaim the birth of the long-awaited Messiah. This time, it was we shepherds who had the wool scared off of us! We got the idea, though, and raced off into the city, looking for a manger with a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. [chuckles] We made quite a ruckus ourselves with our looking but the angel didn't say which manger He'd be in!
Well, we found Him. Oh, yes, we found Him! We paused before we got too close, wanting to calm ourselves and not wake the baby. The gift of God.
The Lamb that taketh away the sin of the world.
Lead Angel: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulders: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
All Angels[unison]: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
We weren't there at His birth even though we saw the star announcing it. We had a long way to travel; mountains to cross, bandits to fight off, animals to care for, people to protect. It took us close to two years or so to even reach the city of Bethlehem and the first place we went was to the palace. I mean, where else do you find a King? But, King Herod wasn't too happy when we asked for the one born King of the Jews. I'm sure he had no idea what we mean. He wasn't looking for the King of kings. He had no help to offer but he asked us to let him know if we found the child. That made us nervous and, because of a dream we all had later, we never went back to tell Herod where He was. When we left the palace we happened to look up and His star was back in the sky and it was moving! It led us right to the house where the yound child lived. We surprised his family when we knocked, but they welcomed us and allowed us to see Him. We only had small gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh but it was the very best we had to offer Him.
The King of kings.
God with us.
[lights come up slow--like a sunrise]
Gabe:[rolls over and stretches, then sits up fast] Hey, Ivan, you up!?
Ivan: [pops up quickly] Yeah! And, I had the coolest dream!
Gabe: Me, too! All about the first Christmas and -
Ivan: [interrupts Gabe before he can finish the word "and"] -and God's Son!
Gabe: - and Mary!
Ivan: - and Angels!
Gabe: - and Shepherds!
Ivan: - and Wise Men!
Ivan: Think we ought'a tell the others?
[woman's voice from off-stage] Boys! Mimi made homemade waffles and French toast! And Santa came last night with presents!
Gabe:[grinning] Yeah, we should!
[scramble out of bed and run from the room, whooping with excitement]