For the past three years, Christmas has held a very distinct significance for me: the end of the semester and a break from school. Sure there were decorations, and Christmas carols on the radio, and presents and parties, but more importantly, there were no exams to stress over, no research papers to stay up late to finish, and no heavy law books to haul to and from the library each day. By the time I had completed my final exams, I didn't care whether it was Christmas, or a random Tuesday in April, so long as it meant I got to sleep in and watch hours of bad reality television again. This year, I began to realize that I was having a very different reaction to Christmas than I had experienced in recent years. I noticed which Christmas carols were played most often on the radio. I took time to drive through my neighborhood, and Oglebay Park, and admire the wonderful light displays. I spent a few evenings writing Christmas cards to all of my friends and relatives. Christmas really became a season for me, rather than just a day of the year. And, in addition to my increased enjoyment of Christmas all around me, I felt compelled to celebrate the season in another way I had not done in years, by volunteering my time to share the holidays with others.
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Plaid, stripes, sequins, lights, ornaments. Put them together and what do you get? The infamous and celebrated Ugly Christmas Sweater. How do we celebrate the travesties? By partaking in the annual Ugly Christmas Sweater party, of course! What was once considered an obscene taste in fashion has now become an acclaimed hit in workplaces and social gatherings around the world. Where did it all begin? Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada claims to be the birthplace of the first Ugly Christmas Sweater party in 2002. For more information, check out www.christmassweaterparty.com .
Christmas is quickly approaching, and between all the shopping, decorating, parties and baking, it recently hit me that this will be the first year I won't be in Wheeling with my family on Christmas day. Even though I'm excited to be spending the holiday with someone special to me and his family, knowing that I won't be "Home for the Holidays" this year has made me reflect on Christmases from my past. Of course, there are all the wonderful childhood memories I have, such as waking up to find that Santa brought me the most amazing Barbie Dream House or that he delivered a teddy bear to Grandma and Grandpa's house for me, but it's the more recent Christmases that stand out to me now.
This Christmas season, like every Christmas season, we are getting the chance to revisit the age-old conflict between those who say "Merry Christmas" and those who say "Happy Holidays." One's choice of holiday greeting can quickly become the subject of discussion, dispute, debate and finally fist fights and assaults. A few days ago, a Salvation Army Bell Ringer found herself physically assaulted for telling the wrong person "Happy Holidays." It should go without saying (but apparently it doesn't) that the hostility and attitude on display when it comes to "Merry Christmas"/"Happy Holidays" these days is not exactly in the Christmas spirit. Some people who say "Happy Holidays" are accused of trying to "take Christ out of Christmas," and some may well be, but many others might just be hoping to meet someone who celebrates Hanukkah , Kwanzaa, Festivus , or even more controversial and/or fictitious holidays.
People often ask me what my favorite Christmas gift was when I was a kid. It's an easy call. There's not even a close second. My dog Pepper was the best. I don't exactly remember how old I was but I think I had to have been about six or seven. I ran down the steps to see what Santa had brought me. In my haste to get to the area by the tree in the far part of the family room, I sprinted past the couch to see what I got. When I was about four feet past the couch, I came to a sudden stop. I paused, turned around, and looked at the couch.
At Bordas & Bordas, giving back to the community where we both work and live is of the utmost importance. Listed and explained below are just a few of the many recent philanthropic sponsorships we are honored to be involved with. Since its inception, the American Red Cross has provided care to those in need through disaster relief, blood donations, health and safety services, and more. The Red Cross' local branch is hosting its 28 th annual Ohio Valley Media Day Blood Drive on Monday, January 27, 2014 at the Wesbanco Arena. It is a chance to encourage increased blood donations for various uses as the month of January is infamous for very little public participation. Bordas & Bordas was pleased to contribute to the cause.
Jamie Bordas, Chris Regan and Geoff Brown return this year with a full, hour-long college bowl season preview on the Bordas & Bordas Legal Review. Watch Wheeling Central Defensive Coordinator Jamie Bordas, former State Champion quarterback Geoff Brown and noted College Football Analyst Chris Regan break down the Bowl Championship Series matchups, the four non-BCS games you don't want to miss and make picks in every single bowl game this season. The BBLR Bowl Preview Show was filmed live before a packed TJ's Sports Garden and will air on WLUTV 14 throughout the holiday season. Click here to view the program on vimeo, or watch the embedded version if your browser supports it. Click this link: http://westliberty.edu/wltv/2011/08/03/wltvschedule/ to see the WLUTV schedule so you can view a live-stream of WLUTV and check this page for a schedule of when the program airs.
From Barley and Guinness (with some help from our dog mom, Jeanne) As we prepare for the Christmas time events, we who have pets must try to remember that this can be a dangerous time for our pets. Trees, lights and decorations can be a temptation to our four-legged friends. While putting up a tree over the years, I've learned not to put too many decorations on the bottom of the tree as tails and claws can easily knock them off. If ornaments are broken and eaten, they can cause great harm to pets! Poinsettias and chocolate are very poisonous to our pets as well! If they eat a leaf or get into the candy bowl, dogs and cats can become very ill (sometimes even resulting in death) if proper treatment is not given immediately. I know from our dogs Barley and Guinness that they will try to get their paws on anything and everything they can! Our dogs' adventurous appetites can cause great problems this time of year.
Insomnia sucks. Well, for the most part it does but lying awake and contemplating life and all its nuances does have its advantages. Last night, as I turned off the TV, hell bent on not allowing myself to watch yet another consecutive episode of Duck Dynasty, I thought about my life. I've been doing that a lot lately. Things I'd change. Things I would do differently. Things I'm so thankful for. As I lay there, I thought about the things I wish I could tell my younger self and things that I hope that I can teach my own children. I made a list. And for those who know me, they know that when I have important stuff to say it often comes out as a list (just so you don't miss anything, ya know?) So here it is. My advice to the younger me and the real-life younger me's that I've been entrusted to raise as good, kind, productive human beings. Drum roll please...
Pappy rarely left the Wheeling area. Other than when he was in the army, he only traveled outside of the Wheeling area to visit my aunt and cousins in Arizona or pick them up from the Pittsburgh airport when they would come to visit. During one of his last visits to Arizona, they took a brief trip to Las Vegas and, while there, visited Caesars Palace which had live camels on display that day. To put it mildly, the live camels amazed him. Well, the following Christmas my mother found a four-foot tall stuffed camel at a local hobby shop while Christmas shopping. That camel was my grandfather's Christmas gift that year and became my grandfather's favorite gift ever not only because of its meaning to his heritage, but because of the joy he experienced playing with his grandchildren and that silly camel. My cousins, Krista and Kellie, now each the mother of two, were little and named the camel Carmen. We have no idea where they came up with that name, but Pappy was not going to change it. I can remember the joy on his face while they dressed her up and played with her.