Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Evaluation: Rudolph Club FEB 2007

My new assignments for the Rudolph Club are below. I had from February 25th-March 25th to complete these tasks. I think I did pretty well. I still need to store some of my Christmas boxes in the attic, so I wouldn’t call the month a complete success. I am making progress, though.

FEBRUARY ASSIGNMENT #1: Begin a Holiday Letter
I created a form in my computer where I can notate the happenings in each month of 2007. January and February have already been summarized.

FEBRUARY ASSIGNMENT #2: Open a Christmas Club Account
I have done this for a number of years, setting aside anywhere from $10.00-$200.00 per month for holiday expenses. So far, I have $400.00 set aside for Christmas 2007. I generally deposit money in the Christmas fund until October. November and December are for spending the set-aside cash. :-) When budgeting for this account, I consider more than just gift purchases. I try to include other costs as well: Christmas tree purchase, extra food for dinner guests, etc. This year I am including airfare for my mother should she decide to come visit for the holiday.

FEBRUARY ASSIGNMENT #3: Keep Up With the Gift Closet
I purchased St. Patrick’s Day socks for the sock box. Now I am on the lookout for Easter-themed footwear. I also bought some Christmas gifts for other people as well.

The March selections were:

Light on Snow by Anita Shreve
Aside from this novel ending on Christmas Eve, I am unsure how it relates to the holiday. It is the story of a father and his twelve-year-old daughter who find an abandoned baby in the snow and who, subsequently, help the child’s young mother recover from the birth when she unexpectedly appears at their home. While trapped in the house by a blizzard, the truth of how the baby was abandoned comes to light, leaving the father to face his own demons about his deceased infant child (and wife), while the daughter comes to grips with growing up amidst the grief that has permeated their lives since the death of her mother and sister. Publishers Weekly had this to say about the tale:
Retold eighteen years later by an adult Nicky [the daughter] but written in the present tense, the story shifts brilliantly between childlike visions of a simple world and the growing realization of its cruel ambiguities… Shreve does a skilled job of portraying grief, conflict and anger while leaving room for hope, redemption and renewal.
A quick and satisfying read, it explores much about loss and the process of recovery after profound emotional trauma, but, once again, I am unsure how the story relates to Christmas.

Recommended as light bedtime reading.

Little Women, starring Winona Ryder & Gabriel Byrne
I had to watch this film a couple of times to see the significance per Christmas. Sure, the Marsh family celebrates the holiday several times during the movie. In fact, Christmas celebrations actually anchor the film, giving the viewer a sense of how much time has passed while action is occurring in the other relationships throughout the story. Yet, I don’t know as I would recommend it as a “Christmas film.” Being based on a literary classic, the movie is certainly worth watching any day of the year, not just during the holidays.

Highly recommended, especially this version. As a fan of Gabriel Byrne (at least some of his films), I prefer this rendition over the one starring June Allyson.

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