Sometimes it’s all about setting the mood. Never mind that Christmas day itself is over. Before you go any further, click on my virtual fireplace below and let the music (of my oldest brother, Philip Pfaltzgraff) set the scene while you read on.
The voice was authoritative whether coming from the pulpit, ordering sixteen hamburgers once a year from McDonald’s or making a point with me or one of my eight siblings. Any time my dad was in the room, his presence was unmistakeable. Having grown up in a strict first-generation home of German heritage during the depression, my father raised his brood of nine children with a similar discipline few kids would recognize today.
Papa’ would be the first to tell you he isn’t perfect and there are things he’d do differently today. Over-all I believe we kids have an appreciation and respect for the man we call dad, even if it took us till adulthood to realize it.
At his tallest he was probably no more than 5’9″, but it’s only been in the past several years I’ve realized my dad is merely an average size man. I never envisioned him as big per say, but in many ways he has had this larger than life persona for me.
Papa’ is very disciplined, so when he sets his mind to something, no matter how seemingly insignificant, you can be assured he follows through. I expect a lot of myself, not because I have something to live up to, but maybe because of the “you just do what you need to do” way he has always approached life. As a man of faith, my dad is one who truly walks the talk. I cannot give one instance where I’m aware he’s been even remotely dishonest. This may be why I value integrity as such an important characteristic. The golden rule is a way of life for him, no matter who he encounters. Probably one of the reasons I believe everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect is in part due to him. I may not physically resemble my dad, but even as I write it occurs to me how many traits I’ve inherited from him.
"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one."
It’s December 11th, but I have yet to receive even one card, newsletter, or picture (my insurance guy doesn’t count). This is usually my favorite time of year to check snail mail because I can count on anywhere from 50-75 cards throughout the month. Even though Christmas is only two weeks from today, I have yet to put up one decoration, nor have I sent out my annual holiday greeting either.
Everyone is busy. Money is tight for most. But Christmas will still come. This year it’s all about improvising, so I’m starting a new tradition that will save time, money and be green (which is to say, more ecologically responsible). My first annual Christmas card via blog post. Continue reading