This week in the #Lens-Artist 128 Photo Challenge, Ann-Christine has offered us the opportunity of posting about the holiday season. Terri Webster Schrandt had a delightful post about Holiday Lights on #Sunday Stills.
“It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.”Pope Benedict XVI
Our Holiday Season’s decorations and lights are downsized this year mostly because of our move rather than COVID 19. A month ago the Ingrao adventurers moved 500 miles from our beloved friends in California to Prescott, AZ.
Vince, Marsha, Kalev, Moji and Nutter Butter Ingrao have been staying with Vince’s sister Cindy, Snowbella, Florabella Ingrao in a two bedroom condo, which we found before we moved. We close on our new home on December 23, and our belongings arrive in January, which leaves no time, no ornaments and no lights to decorate this year.
So this year will be very different. We will attend a Christmas Eve service at our new church. On Christmas we will have dinner with Cindy and the five animals, who have learned to coexist in peace. We will light the last candle on the advent wreath, the candle of love, eat lasagna, salad, and a special chocolate delight Cindy is planning and watch Christmas movies. We might drive back to downtown Prescott and catch a last glimpse of the lights there.
“This is the season when people of all faiths and cultures are pushing back against the planetary darkness. We string bulbs, ignite bonfires, and light candles. And we sing.”Anita Diamant
Holiday seasons with no small children in the family have been an opportunity for the elder Ingraos (that’s us) to explore unknown traditions. Last year at this time we hosted our blogging friends from Australia. One of the highlights was a trip to Las Vegas for nearly a week. They had not been to the mainland before so this was a holiday treat for all of us.
#Las Vegas Holiday Season
We marveled at the intricate work it took to build these scenes from flower petals. It was like the Rose Parade standing still for us to admire up close. Here is a close up shot of one of the horses. He’s so lifelike you can imagine that the fuzz between his eyes is a cloud of hot breath.
“I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.”Fred Rogers
Glamour from fairy tales of the past intrigued visitors from all over the world as we mingled in awe of the grandeur. I expected to see Cinderella step out of the carriage. But she did not. She was probably at home waiting for the prince to find her shoe and return it.
The millions of petals making up the coat precious Coca Cola polar bear roused up a lot of “Ahs from the crowd.”
Symbols of the holiday festivities, a nutcracker with his back to the elf and ballerina all stood poised ready for action – or animation.
We walked to and from the Bellagio from our hotel at Polo Towers. It turned out to be much farther than it looked on a map. Outside the weather was not frightful for a late December night, but it was chilly. The Eiffel tower changed colored lights on a timer. I tried to catch several rounds, but the rest of them washed out.
Vince saw something that captured his attention and stopped to take a picture unhindered by anyone in his way. The streets were closed except for the police and a few people that snuck outside of the barriers at intersections. Yet, there was no pushing or shoving. Every one carried on together civilly before COVID 19.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”Oprah Winfrey
Justin Beaver, who came all the way from Australia to play with Manny, our teddy bear, was super disappointed in us. Sometimes Manny doesn’t want to go along with the older Ingraos and this was one of those time. If you’ve ever seen a temper tantrum, you probably recognize the scene. Manny needs to have a talk with Oprah.
Mrs. Eternal Traveler did not seem overly concerned with Justin either. She got caught up in the lights and action of the Las Vegas night life.
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”Buddy the Elf
Justin complained to Glen about it, but Glen told him to buck up and change his attitude then snapped his picture. Justin started singing.
Justin sang to Vince, but Vince walked away, looked down at his shoes, and pretended he didn’t notice a singing beaver trying to get his attention. Justin turned his back on him and stared at the lights waiting for the fireworks. It was getting late and past his bedtime. Manny texted him a picture of all his toys.
Justin wished he could have stayed behind and played with Manny. He thought about what his dad said. Justin sang his song again, a little louder.
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”Hamilton Wright Mabie
Several of the young men waiting for the fireworks noticed Justin.
“Aw isn’t the beaver cute?” the young men shouted to each other as they looked back at Justin posing for his blog back in Australia. “Listen, he’s singing his little heart out!”
Justin felt better after people paid attention to him.
The holiday season is about love not about getting presents or even about eating until you are sick.
Remember the hated little tax collector, Zacchaeus in the Bible who sat in the tree waiting for Jesus to come by? We learned that day that God pays attention to us even if others dislike us. He knows us all by name. He loves us, no matter what.
Who knows when the Eternal Travelers will leave Australia especially now that they have a new grand baby. This was a holiday season of lifetime.
What are you doing this year, or do you have a special holiday season?
Don’t forget to join in with the Lens-Artists and Sunday Stills this week because next week they are going to be celebrating. Speaking of which, a new #WQWWC comes out Wednesday. You can check out the topic now and be ready with more celebration. Tie them all together!