Episode 008: The Christmas Special [podcast]

The perfect holiday celebration often eludes us. Here’s how we can celebrate a REAL Christmas. 

(c) thinkstock

(c) Thinkstock

Play Episode

Subscribe in iTunes | Subscribe in Stitcher | Subscribe via RSS

On Today’s Episode

Rhythm of Life – I Know What I Think I Saw
Tune-Up Tip – How to Celebrate without packing on the pounds
Random Riffs – My Most Annoying Holiday Songs
Feature – I’m Not Having A Hallmark Christmas


Rhythm of Life – I Know What I Think I Saw

When I was a kid I REALLY wanted to see Santa Claus. My sister and I stayed up and believed we saw him. Now we all know I didn’t really see Santa. But I was convinced of the truth of what I saw.

How often do we do that every day? We see what we believe we see, and know what we believe we know, simply because we believe it to be true. It may not be true at all.

We sometimes see things about ourselves that are negative. Or take others’ actions personally. We can also “see” unrealistically positive things. A classic example of this is shown in a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology in 2006. It states that most drivers rated themselves superior to both their peers and the average driver on 18 components of driving skill.

How do we know when our vision is clouded? In times like that it helps to speak out loud what we absolutely know to be true.

Perhaps you haven’t seen Santa lately. But it just may be that you are seeing things that aren’t quite true. Listen to that still, soft inner voice and explore the truth. The truth will set you free.


Tune-up Tip – Food and Festivity: How to celebrate without packing on the pounds

We associate celebrations with food, and the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is no different. A lot of it is food we don’t eat every day. And for good reason. Less nutrition and more calories.

Not only the type of food, but also the way it is served. People standing around and grazing, as each piece is a tiny bite

Eight strategies that will enable you to celebrate and enjoy food without packing on pounds.

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Keep moving.
  3. If the party food will consist mostly of appetizers, eat something substantial before you go.
  4. When you see the food table, choose in advance what you will eat.
  5. Don’t hang around the food table.
  6. Avoid high-calorie drinks.
  7. If you overeat at a party, just start back on your regular nutrition plan the next day, or the next meal.
  8. Focus on the people you are with and enjoy their company


Random Riffs- Most annoying holiday songs

Wonderful, Christmas Time

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Little Drummer Boy by Justin Beber

Santa Baby

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – any version. No links included

Worst Renditions of a Great Song

O Holy Night – Steve Mauldin

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Neil Diamond

Silent Night – Christina Aguilera

Hilarious Parody of a Christmas Song

The Twelve Days After Christmas

New Version of an Old Classic

Joy to the World – Steven Curtis Chapman


Feature Segment – I’m Not Having a Hallmark Christmas

Ever see those Hallmark Christmas specials? Heart-warming with sentimental music, and all wrapped up in a bow by the end of the show. In between they have the commercials with happy families having fun and making special memories. It all looks so perfect.

Does your Christmas look like a Hallmark Special? Mine doesn’t.

I do have great memories of times with my family over the years.

  • Trips to Newport
  • Crazy aunts
  • Favorite decorations – blown glass icicles, dishes
  • Food – roast turkey, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, macaroni and cheese, mulled cider
  • Visits with friends and watching children be born and grow up.

Some not-so Hallmark Christmases:

  • Working overtime during the holidays on mergers and data conversions.
  • Trying to create that Hallmark Christmas and falling short.
  • Illness
  • Death

Have you experienced something during the Christmas season that has changed the way you feel about Christmas? Is your Christmas a mixed bag of joy and sadness, love and loneliness? Peel below the surface, and almost anyone middle-aged or older will share a story that sounds similar.

Let’s go back to the first Christmas and see how Hallmark-like it was.

Mary and Joseph – the circumstances were less than ideal. Unmarried and pregnant; delivering the baby in a barn. Yet, in the midst of those circumstances, we see their character. They are

  • Faithful – To their calling.
  • Joyous – They appreciate what they have, no matter how little it is.
  • Generous –They share the moment with the shepherds and wise men.
  • Servants – They focus on what’s most important – the safe delivery, care, and feeding of their child.

Let’s forget about the perfect Christmas. Instead let’s celebrate a real Christmas: whether it be mixed up, chaotic, bittersweet, hectic, or lonely. The best way to celebrate is to be a living, breathing Christmas gift to others through faithfulness, joy, generosity, and service.

Link to Operation Christmas Child


Question: Have you experienced a less-than-perfect Christmas? How did you celebrate and what did you learn from the experience? Share by clicking here.


I will post a special Christmas Gift on Tuesday, December 23, 2014. It will be found on the Home page, and at kathleenannthompson.com/christmas.

My first annual reader/listener survey kicks off on Tuesday, December 30, 2014, and will run through January 13, 2015. It will be found at kathleenannthompson.com/2015survey. More information about the survey will be posted on my blog on December 30th.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Ann Thompson

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane in your featured segment. Your descriptions of Christmases past conjured up all kinds of memories for me as well, and I’d like to add a couple of my own. Things we used to do every year with my mom:
    The scent of clove covered oranges….
    Nut stuffed dates covered in sugar….funny that none of us really liked to eat them, but kept up the tradition of making them and putting them out for guests
    Ribbon candy….and my grandfather eating almost the entire bowlful!
    I agree that TV and advertisements promote the idea of a Hallmark Christmas; but, as time goes on, I look back and remember those shared memories of the small things we used to do every year as a family and how they created the hallmark moments.