Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 22nd Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #Deadlines #iamwriting #stress

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

I got this wild idea. I’d deal with the stress of losing my cat by writing. Like, throwing myself into a story and getting lost for a while writing.

I did.

I focused on a Christmas story that’s been there for a while, but dying to come out. This book won’t be published this year. It’s not ready. The thing is, it’s been great therapy to write it. I’ve been able to focus on something other than the empty space in my life. I put words on the page or words on the computer and I don’t feel better, but I’m busy.

Trust me. This Christmas won’t be remembered for being perfect. Not by a long shot. But I will be able to look back on it and remember what I did manage to accomplish, what I cherish and maybe cherish a few more things in my life a little more.

Has this ever happened to you? You got something wonderful out of something not so wonderful? Let me know.


Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 20th Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #movies #whitechristmas

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

Monday Movie Rundown Banner

This time of year I like to watch holiday movies. Well, I like to watch them in July, too, but that’s another blog post. I love to watch holiday flicks, but there are a few I haven’t seen. There are lot I have and some I wish I hadn’t, but that happens. You have to watch them to know if they’re any good.

So this time around I decided to watch White Christmas. I’d seen some of the movie, but not all of it. The funny part is, when I saw the chunk, it made no sense.. . Trust me. It’s worth watching and worth seeing the whole movie. This isn’t one you can come into halfway through and know what’s going on.

I enjoyed it. The song and dance numbers are great and lively. The movie was the reason the song White Christmas became so popular and I can see why. Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby shine. Rosemary Clooney is awesome, too.

If you’re in the mood for a holiday movie and want something light, but fun, then this might be the one for you!

Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 19th Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #memories #lookingback

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

During my second year of teaching, I got pregnant. It wasn’t planned, but hey, miracles happen. Anyway, the students were engrossed in the fact that I had a little person growing within me.

As it went, I happened to be pregnant over Christmas. This was the year before the very bad, no good, horrible Christmas (but that’s for another time). When break time came, I was elected to help with the silly games at the pep rally/assembly. Imagine me trying to referee the ballbat on head and spin game. It wasn’t pretty.

Well, before everyone left, one of my students, Jess, came to my room. She handed me a small bag and said merry Christmas. She blushed and tried to leave pretty quickly. I asked her to stick around and I opened the bag.

There used to be carts in the malls that had ornaments. Around Christmas, these carts promoted their ornaments and how you could personalize them. One of the ornaments happened to be a pregnant bear.

I pulled the tissue paper out of the bag and found the gift inside–an ornament of a pregnant bear with the words World’s Greatest Teacher on it.

I cried. I loved that ornament. Loved that the girl had given it to me. Jess was a favorite student of mine because I knew she’d do something awesome with her life. She did, by the way. But I also knew she needed a friend. Someone to keep an eye on her. Throughout my career at that school, that’s what I did–I kept an eye on her and tried to steer her in the right direction. I don’t know how much help I was, but my heart was in the right place. She’s one of the many I felt guilty for leaving when I switched schools.

She’s now a grown woman and productive member of society. She’s a good kid with kids of her own.

I cherish that ornament she gave me and it’s on the tree right now. It’s one of my favorites.

Do you have a favorite ornament? Which one? I’d love to know. 🙂

Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 14th Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #charity #5k #giftsofchristmas #race

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

I’ve never been big on exercise. Okay, that’s not right. Honestly, I like exercise, but I hate the classes or organized groups. I guess I’m a lone wolf in that respect. I’d rather do my own thing and at my own pace.

Back in May, I walked a 5k with my dog. Now she’s almost 14 years old and not real fast–especially for a basset hound/beagle. Needless to say, we finished, but we weren’t breaking any speed records.

logo-centerSo for the duration of the summer and fall, I’ve been out walking and training for another 5k. This time it was for a race in December. I don’t know about you, but it’s cold here in December and tends to be…extra chilly by the lake. But the Christmas Story House is located in a Cleveland neighborhood and you can’t run the Christmas Story House race without running in Cleveland…just off Lake Erie…in December. Yeah. But I was determined do to it. I don’t know if you know the movie – A Christmas Story. It’s not my favorite (don’t throw things at me), but I’m game to dress up and walk a 5k. So, I dressed up as one of the robbers Ralphie chases in his daydream.

It was cold. It was long and the race course went across two bridges, but at the end of the day, it was worth it. Doing this 5k has become a tradition for our family. Dress up like the characters and do the race. The money goes toward the restoration of the house and neighborhood where the house is located. I’m game.

But my legs hated me for the rest of the day. 🙂

Are there any odd traditions that you and your family do? Something that’s not usual, especially for the season? Let me know.

Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 13th Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #stories #memories #giftsofchristmas #gifts

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

For the thirteenth day of Christmas, I wanted to talk about one of my family’s traditions. This one is from when I was a kid, so eons ago.

My grandfather isn’t big on showing emotion. He’s very stoic. Like don’t expect hugs and grins, kind of a guy. I know he laughs and I used to be able to get him to belly laugh, but those times were few and far between.

But this is about Christmas. Every year, we’d gather on Christmas Day at my grandparents’ house. Actually, we’d go to one house for lunch and the other for dinner–which is why I’m keen on staying home. There’s nothing like shuffling all around and not really getting the chance to enjoy your presents until you’re home again and tired. But that’s not what this story is about.

Every year when we’d go to my dad’s side of the family, we’d gather in the living room and open gifts–usually after a huge dinner. As we sat there together, my grandmother would talk about the things she’d given herself for Christmas from my grandfather. She’d pick them out and put his name on them. He never seemed to care.

Then a switch would get flipped. He’d bring out a bag, usually a plastic one from the drug store, then pull out those gigantic candy bars. We’re talking the massive half pound candy bars. Remember those? He’d buy one of each kind and fan them out like cards. Each grandchild was given the chance to pick one out. Now, the later you went, the less choice you had, but it worked out. Everyone got a candy bar and he’d beam with pride that he’d given us the candy. I’ll never forget the glee in his eyes and can only imagine how it made him feel. When I think of those candy bars, even in the middle of summer, they remind me of Christmas.

I cherish that memory. Well, all of them. Are there any special memories you have? Anything that says Christmas to you?


By Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Christmas Time with @MeganSlayer ~ the 12th Day of Christmas ~ #christmas #stories #memories #ornaments #lessonslearned

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

To start off this series of stories and memories of Christmas, I thought today I’d talk about a gift that taught me a lot.

When I was a teacher, I had a student…well, I had lots of students, but this one was a good kid. Shy, sweet and yet, popular. I’ll call him Matt. That’s not his name, but oh well.

Matt got along with everyone and was always happy. I enjoyed having him in class. He helped out when I needed things taken to the office or copies made. Right before Christmas, the day before break started, he showed up in my classroom. This wasn’t odd since he liked to spend lunch time in my room. Lots of kids did. I didn’t mind because I enjoyed the noise.

Here’s the thing. He handed me a gift. “Mrs. Z, I hope I didn’t break it.”

He hadn’t. The small box contained a blown glass bear ornament. I loved the little bear. I told him thank you and when I got home, I’d put it on the tree. I did, by the way. Went right on the tree that night.

The thing about this ornament that taught me the lesson wasn’t when I received the gift, but when I went back to school after break.  Christmas Eve night, two students I’d had that year were in an accident and passed away. I found out about the accident on the television. It was rough. I’d told this other student, a bit of a pill honestly,  that I’d see him after break. I never talked to him again. Every time I look at that ornament, I think of Matt and Noah, the young man who passed away.

Time passes and I haven’t forgotten Matt or Noah. Not a bit. But where I know what happened to Noah…I don’t know what happened to Matt. He grew up and I stopped teaching. I know he went on his way, but I don’t know what he does or where he is. I hope he’s happy and I’d love to tell him I’m proud of him. But I get a little sad because I lost touch with him and many of my former students.

So when I see that ornament, I think of the lovely Christmas gift and how precious life is. I think about the people I knew who have come in and out of my life. Family, friends, students, former students, fellow authors and especially my readers…I love you all and I’m glad I have and have had you in my life.

Hug your loved ones a little tighter this year.

Christmas Time is Here with @MeganSlayer #christmas #stories #memories

Christmas Tree Blog 2017

I thought for the days leading up to Christmas, I’d share a few stories with you. Thought I’d share some tales, remembrances and lists. Why not? It’s almost Christmas. I know, I know. I’ve been posting rather regularly with other things and now I’m changing course? Why? Because I wanted to. Plus, it just seemed like the right time to deviate.

So sit back, grab some popcorn and a hot cocoa. Maybe snag a few books (how about a few of mine *G*?) and enjoy!