Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Travelogue

We have entered the third week of Advent on the liturgical calendar and are currently driving through the week of joy.

I started my Road Through the Holidays, in November, reading “thanksgiving” scriptures. In December I began researching the avalanche of information that can be found on the internet concerning Advent. I have been steeped in scripture, traditions, denominationalism and history. I have taken quizzes on the scriptures of the Christmas story, surprised when I didn’t make 100.

For the advent weeks of hope, peace, now joy, (and soon love) I am trying to embrace these characteristics and exemplify them. (I should poll my husband, son and co-workers after the season to see if I was successful.)

The initial objective is being met, spending time in the scriptures and “being still.” My holiday expectations have been reduced; a direct reflection of this new route. The rush from season’s past is missing. Do I feel like I’m missing out?

Stopping to ponder that question, assess my feelings, search my heart; the answer is no. There is nothing I’m denying myself. I’m enjoying this new route.

I’ll admit I’m waiting for that Christmas moment. A magical, spirit filled moment of revelation or insight. Perhaps that’s an expectation born of too many Hallmark movies but who doesn’t yearn for the moment when the bell on the Christmas tree tinkles and you know another angel received their wings?

Have you experienced that kind of magicial, Christmas moment?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cosmetics and the Mature Woman

It’s morning and a freshly washed face stares back at me through the bathroom mirror. With confidence I pull out the tools that will transform this older canvas into an illusion of, well . . . less older.

There are a few man-made marvels that I am truly thankful for, in-door plumbing being foremost, but cosmetics have a prominent spot on that list. My gratitude deepens in conjunction with the lines on my face.

As a young girl make-up was used to change from bright eyes to smoky eyes, between innocent and seductive, from pale to apple cheeked, from matte and natural to glossy and dramatic. The only ‘cover up’ used was for the pesky blemish.

As an older woman it’s all about the coverage. I don’t want to change my appearance as much as ‘hide’ the signs of aging. The furrows firmly established on my forehead and around my mouth, the age spots on my neck, the darkness around my eyes.

The wonders of makeup, and the art of using it, make hiding these exasperating, but inevitable marks of age, uncomplicated.

I’m not a brand follower but when I find something I like I stick with it. Max Factor went out of business, while I wasn’t looking, and took a favored pan stick with them. Reaching out for recommendations two suggestions came back for Max Studio Tech. I’m using it and so far am very pleased.

L’Oreal Voluminous is the mascara of choice as well as their Bare Naturale for blush. Cover Girl professional loose powder has been a staple along with Revelon’s Skin Lights powder which does an excellent job putting light in those furrows and brightening up the eyes. Avon has a Slick Tint colored lip balm that I’ve purchased in bulk but there is a myriad of suitable lip tints in the drawer.

I’m one of those that say, “Bring it on!” to aging. It’s a part of life and I’m ready to embrace it but there is definitely nothing wrong with looking good along the way.

Do you have a product worth noting? Please share.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nativity Unplugged

We have a nativity scene, a really nice nativity scene that we purchased from Sam’s Wholesale Club over five years ago. My husband is a Church History professor who has taught Old and New Testament survey courses for over eleven years. If he is teaching New Testament during the winter term there is always an extra credit question; “How many Wise Men were at the manger?”

Do you know the correct answer?

Zero. They were not at the manger; they were in their own countries taking notice of a new star. References include Matthew 2:11 which says of the Magi arriving at Mary and Joseph’s, “On coming to the house”, not the manger. Further, in Matthew 2:16 is the reference of age concerning the new King of the Jews King Herod ordered killed, “those who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.”

If the Wise Men were not at the manger scene why do we put them there? My guess, for those selling nativities it’s a merchandising decision, for all the others it allows for more roles in the Christmas pageant.

I don’t have a problem with the Wise Men standing next to the new born savior but professors, such as my husband, find it very annoying. We are misleading generations.

Long standing traditions are difficult to change, especially societal traditions. Our solution, we put the Wise Men on an opposite surface and make an effort to explain their position.

The Wise Men are a large part of the Christmas story, include them in their proper place. Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season.