Oh Christmas Tree

     Which is my favorite tree this year? Once you see what I am talking about you will understand why I selected the one I did. Every year for the past ten years I have taken my grandchildren to see the big trees in Chicago. The first one is always the Marshall Field’s (Macy’s) tree in the Walnut Room. We ooh and ahh about the beauty of the thing, have breakfast, take pictures, tour the store, and then view the windows on State Street.

     I thought the last two Macy’s trees were outstanding, one done by Martha Stewart, and the other by Tommy Hilfigger. This year, the Macy’s designers did the tree themselves. In my opinion, Martha and Tommy should hang it up. Macy’s outdid themselves with a stunning design that makes previous year’s pale in comparison.

Macy’s theme ornamented the tree with four words, “Dream, Imagine, Believe, Wish.” 

     A short walk west, and we arrived at the Daley Plaza to visit the Kris Kindle Market and the Chicago Christmas tree.

     It drizzled the whole time, but our Christmas spirit was not dampened. Usually, the Chicago tree is a huge live-artificial tree. It is constructed on site by inserting dozens of cut trees into steel tubes on the steel stem. When it is completed it is outstanding. This year, the Mayor insisted on a cut tree. It is a fifty five foot tall spruce, cut from a yard within the city. Are you missing a tree? If so, you can view it in the Daley Plaza. It is adorned with red, white, and green LED lights.  The Santa House is still there, but the G-scale train layout gave way to more market space.

     The market which is a German tradition and filled with vendors from Germany has given way to new vendors from South America. Somehow, the market just wasn’t the same. 

     My grand daughters love to chase the pigeons from the eternal flame, but this year, they were mysteriously missing. What? No pigeons in downtown Chicago? Whose idea was that?

      Our next journey was a short walk to Michigan Avenue to pay respect to the “Bean.” It’s real title is Cloud Scape, but no one calls it that. Because of the clouds, and the drizzle the reflections were surreal.

     We parked under the Bean, and retrieved the car with a mere twenty-six dollar parking fee. I think the Mayor taught the president everything he knows about how to steal from tax payers. I digress.

    The slushy ride home brought me to the next cheery Christmas tree, the one decorated by Peggy. Next to Macy’s I like it best, but it is still not the winner of my “Best Christmas Tree” contest.

The winner is the one created by my beautiful little grandaughter Jenna Rose. She crafted a card with love and addressed it directly to me. She knows me all too well; here it is. . .

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Grumpa Joe

I see It and Believe It

This election has me in a quandry. I see the B.O. making many great moves. I see him using PMA techniques in everything he has done, and I am more convinced than ever, that positive works, while negative sucks. When I watch B.O. give his speeches, it is obvious that he sees himself as President, and acts like the goal is in his pocket. Those two attributes are among the commandments of the positive mental attitude, and the goal achieving gurus. How many times have I heard the phrase, “see yourself owning the dream,” or “act like you own it.” “If you can see it, and believe it, you can have it.”  What B.O. has not shown is his vision for our country. Just once, I’d love to hear him define “Change,” in tems that we can all get our hands on, and not change that is all “smoke and mirrors.”

My political philosophy is the complete opposite of B.O.’s, and I will not vote for him, but I can see the desire in his soul. It concerns me that his total commitment to the strong tools of PMA will work against my own dreams.

What do “I See and Believe?” I see our country strong and powerful. I see our country making allies with every leader in the world. I see a country that continues to draw people from all areas of the world because this is the land of opportunity. I see a government that works to give people liberty to make things happen for themselves, and not one that disincentivizes its citizens by legislating what and how to do everything. The way to do that is to reduce the size of government. B.O. wants to make the government larger to provide more of us with less. Not a single government employee contributes to the development of “goods and services” that can be traded. Let us do what is important, in ways that are cost effective. I see a country where people have real jobs performing services and producing goods that  are a benefit to mankind. I see our senators and congressman serving for the good of the people and not their careers. I see a country where our spokesman are ordinary men and women  with backgrounds like salesmen, teachers, engineers, doctors, but not lawyers.  I see a country where men and women create new and exciting products and services because they are free to do so. I see a country weaned off fossil fuels and not dependent on any dictator for energy. I see a country where men have a strong  belief in God, and worship freely.

My vision for our country is very much like Ronald Reagan’s “Shining City on the Hill.” I believe it, and I see it. I see my vision more clearly than the B.O. sees his Leninist vision of our country. He sees it  ruled by legislation meant to equalize all of us into mindless receivers of a handout from Big Brother.

Itsy Bitsy Steps

Do you have a dream? Is your dream materializing? If not, why not? Are you procrastinating? Are you afraid to take a step forward? Why? Most of us are afraid of failure. If we make a move it might just lead to something bigger than we are. The move may be very uncomfortable for us, so we put it off. Realize your goal by taking a small step. Put a tablet of paper in front of you. We write our goals down don’t we? The act of putting the tablet in front of yourself is a step on the right direction. Next, find a pen to write with. Start small, think smaller to get started. Realize your dream. 

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