Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas!


Gosh, can you believe it's only two days away from Christmas?! Tell me, where has this month gone? Hell, where has this year gone?

Actually though, for as fast as it's flown by, this holiday season has been a special one for me and I really hate to see it end. I think because of what I went through in October with my health and feeling so blessed that everything worked out, I have not allowed myself to get wrapped up in the tension and hecticness associated with working in retail this time of the year. Usually at this point, I am so tired and OVER the insanity of retail, I can't wait for it to end. But things are different this year because anytime I start to feel tense, impatient or annoyed, I tell myself, "Remember what you went through Ron, and be grateful. And remember what really matters in life." And amazingly enough, I immediately feel more in the holiday spirit - the true holiday spirit of JOY.


I'm determined not to allow what I learned back in October to be lost, now that I'm well again. Because that's very easy to do. Once our lives get back to normal, we often forget to bring forth the lessons.

So yes, this has been a very special Christmas - one of immense gratitude, humbleness, and heart.

Over the past few weeks, I took some photographs of Christmas in Philadelphia.

Please enjoy...


The Christmas tree in Love Park with William Penn atop City Hall in the background.


I LOVE the two little birdies wearing hats! Now, how CUTE are they?


A skater enjoying the ice at the Rothman Rink in Dilworth Park.


I have no idea who these people are but they were having so much fun, I just had to snap a photograph!


Vendor booths in Dilworth Park set up for the Christmas holiday.


Christmas window at Tiffany's in Philadelphia.


duross & langel - a privately owned soap making shop.


A Christmas tree ornament (a festive cow wearing a boa and dress) I spotted in the window of Show of Hands Gallery.


Reindeer snow globes


Snowflake lights on the walls of City Hall.


A popcorn vendor in Dilworth Park.


I spotted this delightful gentleman on JFK Boulevard dancing to Christmas music. And I wish you all could have seen him in person because he danced with such joy and abandonment. You could tell that he was having the time of his life!

Wishing you and your loved ones a very MERRY and JOYOUS CHRISTMAS!





41 comments

  1. Ron, your photos are amazing! I love seeing Philly's architecture through the lenses of your eyes!!
    I totally agree we can forget what's important. With how busy life is, it's easy to get away from what's important.
    This year I did very little decorating. Why? Because I just didn't want to go all out like I usually do. And sometimes it stresses me. I'm at the age now where I don't want to do what I don't want to do and I want to do what I want--like spend more time with my family and friends (and my pets! ;) )
    I'm glad you are enjoying the season. You so deserve to!
    Merry, merry Christmas, Ron, my dear friend. And a very Happy New Year!
    (((HUGS)))

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  2. Ron, once again, GREAT photographs! I especially love the ones you took at Dilworth Park. My husband and I took the family there while they were visiting and they really enjoyed it. I missed the night they lit the Christmas tree inside the court at City Hall though. I heard it was wonderful. What a wonderful shot of the skater at the Rothman Rink. And I love the ones of the guy dancing in his Christmas outfit. Priceless!


    Glad to hear you're enjoying the holiday season in retail because I know how tiring it can be. You have such a great attitude, Ron!


    Merry Christmas to you! And a Happy New Year! xo

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  3. Thank you, Pam :) I've really been getting into practicing my photography lately. I'm so glad I invested in this camera because it's teaching me many things. One of these days I would love for you and your husband to come visit Philly so that I can give you a day tour. Maybe sometime in the Spring.

    " With how busy life is, it's easy to get away from what's important.

    Yes, you are so right. And having gone through what I did back in October, it really hit me deeply.

    "I'm at the age now where I don't want to do what I don't want to do and I want to do what I want--like spend more time with my family and friends (and my pets! ;) )"

    And I can totally understand that. I think as we get older, we realize that the season of Christmas more about celebrating the love in our life. Sure, the festive decorations are fun and enjoyable, but we don't really needs those things in order to "feel" Christmas. Like you shared, spending more time with family, friends and your pets is the greatest gift.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my PA friend! Wishing you and your family a VERY Merry Christmas and a Hap-Hap-Happy New Year!

    Cheers!

    (((((((((((( You )))))))))))
    X

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  4. Hello there Elaine!


    Thank you :) I am so glad to hear that you and your husband spent some time over at Dilworth Park this holiday season because it's quite charming isn't it? Between the ice skating rink, the music, the food, the vendors, and the festivities, it really warms your heart, doesn't it?


    And speaking of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, I was actually there the night they did it. However, it was totally by accident because I didn't even realize it was going on that night, I just so happened to be there. And it was so fun because there were lots of parents with their children.


    Isn't the guy dancing a hoot? I was so glad I was there the day he was outside doing his "thing" and got some photos.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor! Wishing you and your husband a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


    X

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  5. Merry Christmas, Ron! I was hoping you would post before Christmas and share some photographs of Philly. Love them all, but the one of the ice skater is so beautiful. I love how you caught the sun casting his shadow on the ice. I also like the shot of the popcorn vendor. The dancing elf guy is stellar! The last photograph of the Philly resembles a postcard. How did you get it to look like that?


    Merry Christmas, dude! Wishing you a ROCKIN' New Year!

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  6. Ron, I'm leaving on my Christmas vacation tomorrow so I'm glad I caught your post before I left. I'll be gone for a week and returning on the 30th, just in time for the new year. Fabuloso photographs, as usual! My faves are the ice skater, the vendor booths with the stars on them, and the snowflakes lights!


    Merry Christmas, Ron! I am so glad you're blogging again!


    See you in the New Year!

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  7. Merry Christmas, Matt! I decided to post closer to Christmas than I normally do. I've been busy working extra hours at work, but it's not been stressful at all. In fact, it's been quite enjoyable. We're very busy, but customers seem to be in good moods and patient. Overall it's been a GREAT Christmas season for me!

    "The last photograph of the Philly resembles a postcard. How did you get it to look like that?"

    I used an app on my phone to get that effect. I am SO enjoying this new phone because I'm able to use various apps on my photographs.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you! Wishing you a rockin' New Year too!

    Cheers!
    X

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  8. I just LOVE all of your festive Christmas pictures Ron!! Your photography is just amazing!! What a wonderful city you live in...I have never lived in a city so it is very special for me to see your photos! I am SO glad that you are not letting the season stress you out....as we all know retail can do!! Best to take it easy and BREATHE...

    Wishing you the very BEST Merry Christmas my friend...and remember to take care of YOU!! xo Jeanne and the girls

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  9. Wow! Those photos of Christmas would put even a Scrooge into the holiday mood! That Tiffany window is something else. And I like the angle you shot the vendor booths.

    I've been so stress-free this year and I know you will think I'm nuts, but I believe it's because I have not had to deal with snow or ice once! Its been fantastic to continue walking and hiking outdoors, plus only wearing a light jacket while shopping. I feel as though I'm living in a Florida!

    Wishing you a beautiful Christmas Day, Ronnie! XOXO

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  10. Hey ho Robert!

    Thanks so much for stopping by before you headed off on your Christmas vacation. Have a FABULOSO time! See ya when you get back on the 30th!

    Merry Christmas, buddy! And have a safe journey!
    X

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  11. Aw...thank you for your kind and sweet words, Jeanne :) I'm really enjoying this new camera and trying new things. Philly is a great city if you want to live in a city, but don't want it too big. However, I am (and will always be) a lover of NYC. And hopefully one day I will be moving back there. GOD, how I love that city!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend! Wishing you and your family a VERY Merry Christmas!


    Cheers and love to you and the girlz!

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  12. Thank you :) I took that picture of the vendor booths one evening while walking through City Hall. I loved how they all had lighted stars on their tops - so Christmassy!


    OMG, I know...it's been the same here, weather-wise. Christmas day it's supposed to be in the high 70's!?! And yes, it's definitely Florida weather. This has been the strangest winter, hasn't it?


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Wishing you a beautiful Christmas day as well!


    Cheers and X

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  13. Great photos, Ron! I literally just got off a plane from Hawaii so I'm spinning! Just want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a very healthy and Happy New Year! Take care, buddy!

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  14. Mark PetruskaDecember 23, 2015

    I've been hearing a lot about your warm weather this season, Ron. High of 74 in Philly tomorrow?! That's shorts weather. I feel for you, man...it certainly wouldn't feel like Christmas to me. BUT, those photos sure bring the season to life! Great job. Hold onto those lessons of yours (just knowing you need to is half the battle) and have yourself a WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME! Even if it does feel more like Florida than PA.

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  15. Looks like you're having the same kind of mild weather we are, Ron (though today, it's POURING, and we've got thunderstorm and even tornado watches -- imagine that, two days before Christmas!!)

    I sooo love your holiday photos. Those reindeer globes and the Tiffany window are especially gorgeous, though even the birds in hats have their charm! The best part, of course, is hearing that you're taking extra-good care of yourself and not forgetting the health issue you went through in October. You don't want to focus on it, and I know you're not -- it's just that forgetting dooms us to repeat past mistakes (and I wouldn't wish what you went through on anybody!)

    Merry Christmas, dear -- stay calm and happy! xoxo

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  16. I love the reindeer snow globes Ron! I'm not sure if that's a cow or a monkey dressed up though.
    In case you didn't get to read my catch up replies, have a very Merry Christmas & the best of all 2016!

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  17. Hey there Mark!

    I know, can you BELIEVE it? Tomorrow AND Christmas day are suppose to be in the mid to high 70's!?! And it's not just the temperature that's high, but the humidity as well, so it feels even hotter. YUCK! I'll tell you, it's the freakiest winter I've every experienced. And yes, it feels like FLORIDA weather.

    " Hold onto those lessons of yours (just knowing you need to is half the battle)"


    Will do.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    Cheers and X to you and Tara!

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  18. Hello there Rob! Welcome back and thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! Hope you had a faaaaaabulous time in Hawaii and I can't wait to hear all about it.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS and a VERY HEALTHY and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you too, buddy!

    Cheers!

    X

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  19. Hello there Debbie!

    Yes, it's the same here. We've got thunderstorm going on through the next four days. I don't really mind the rain, it's the heat and high humidity that's killing me. It feels like the Christmas's I spent living in Florida.

    Are the little birdies wearing hats so CUTE?

    "You don't want to focus on it, and I know you're not -- it's just that forgetting dooms us to repeat past mistakes."



    Yes, I totally agree. So, I don't ever want to forget what I learned back in October. And it's funny because although the experience was challenging, I look back on it with a feeling of gratitude and even fondness.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Wishing you, Domer and Dallas a very Merry Christmas!


    Cheers and X to you!

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  20. Thank you, Benze! I LOVE snow globes, so I had to take a picture of them. I took that photo in the store West Elm.

    " I'm not sure if that's a cow or a monkey dressed up though."



    Thanks so much for pointing that out to me because I think you're right...it IS a monkey!!!


    Have a VERY Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year!


    ((((((((((((((( You )))))))))))))

    X

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  21. Happy Christmas Ron and all the best for 2016.

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  22. Thank you, Dale! And the same to you, buddy!

    Have a VERY Merry Christmas!

    Cheers!
    X

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  23. Beautiful photos and sentiment, Ron! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! Thank you for all that you share here throughout the year. I'm so glad that I met you!


    Have a great day tomorrow! XO

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  24. Hola Denise! And I am SO glad I met you too! You're a sweetheart!

    Have a faaaabulous Christmas and a faaaabulous New Year!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by!

    Cheers and X

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  25. Loved the photos, Ron. Always top notch! I think my favorite is the snow globes. No, wait! It's Tiffany's. Hmm, maybe the star-topped vendor stands. I can't decide!

    "Once our lives get back to normal, we often forget to bring forth the lessons." This struck me. It's something I try not to let happen myself. It's too easy to settle into the routine of our days, forgetting what could have been had things turned a different way.



    I'm happy that you recovered well from your scare and that you're pushing stress (especially holiday stress) out of your life. I often envision walking around with an invisible bubble around me and imagine stresses and problems being deflected off of it. I don't want it touching me.

    I wish you continued good health and happiness in the new year, my friend. You are a gift to all of us. Keep on writing and keep on taking amazing photos for us to enjoy.

    All the best from The Christmas City, Bethlehem, PA,
    Kathy

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  26. Hey there Kathy! Aw...thank you, girl! I am so enjoying my new camera because it's teaching me a lot of new stuff about photography. I took that shot of the snow globes in the store West Elm.

    " I often envision walking around with an invisible bubble around me and imagine stresses and problems being deflected off of it. I don't want it touching me."

    That's AWESOME! And good for you! I will try that visual one day when I start feeling stressed out. Thanks for sharing!

    MUCH thanks for stopping by, my friend. And thank you for your sweet words.

    ((((((((((((((((((((( You ))))))))))))))))))))))

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!!!!! Have a great time with your family today!

    X

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  27. Geraldine H.December 25, 2015

    Yes, I agree with Pam, just amazing photos, as always. What a beautiful city you live it Ron.


    Sounds like you are in a peaceful, good head/heart space, this Christmas season Ron, I'm glad. It can be a very hectic, and sometimes very sad time for many people. I have my teary days, during December, every year. Missing way too many people but trying to dwell on good memories, good things in the present and good things to come this year.


    Yes, what you went through in October is something not to be forgotten but in a way, to be thankful for. It could have turned out so differently but you came out of it, stronger, wiser and healthier too. Much to be thankful for, indeed.


    I hope the coming year brings you lots of happiness and good things. :-)


    Hugs from me and a big headbonk from Mr. Cheddar! He's hovering around the PC as I type this. ;-)

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  28. Merry Christmas, Ron! X

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  29. And MERRY CHRISTMAS to you too, Denise!


    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you had a beautiful day!

    X

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  30. Hello there, Geraldine and MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!!!

    Thank you :) One day if you ever come to Philadelphia, I would be honored to take you on a tour.

    "...and sometimes very sad time for many people. I have my teary days, during December, every year. Missing way too many people but trying to dwell on good memories, good things in the present and good things to come this year."

    Yes, and I can feel the same way during this holiday, missing my mother and father and recalling so many wonderful memories of my childhood and how they made Christmas so special for all of us. In fact, I got a bit teary-eyed several times this month, thinking of them.

    "It could have turned out so differently but you came out of it, stronger, wiser and healthier too. Much to be thankful for, indeed."



    You are so right, I have so much to be thankful for. And as I look back on that whole experience, and I know this sounds odd, but I look back with great fondness. There is a part of me that actually sees it as being such wonderful time in my life.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. And thank you for your supporting and encouraging words.


    Hope you and Mr. Cheddar had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!


    Meow!

    X

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  31. Ron -Hope you and your loved ones had a warm, fuzzy Christmas. Your photos always bring such joy to the blogosphere. Thanks for inspiring us with your Christmas spirit. I'm glad you're okay, after going through a rough time, and were able to gain perspective from it. Warmest wishes for a happy, healthy and absolutely stellar New Year! -Lauren

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  32. Hello there Lauren! Thank you :) And I hope you and your loved ones had a warm, fuzzy Christmas as well!

    Isn't it something how we seem to gain the most perspective whenever we go through those rough and challenging times in our lives? This has been a big growth-year for me; especially the latter part of the year. And I feel stronger because of it, so I'm grateful.

    Wishing you a FANTABULOUS New Year, my friend! The BEST to you with your writing!

    Cheers and X

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  33. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comDecember 26, 2015

    What lovely festive shots! Glad you are taking it easy this Christmas. Enjoy!

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  34. Geraldine H.December 26, 2015

    What a wonderful attitude you have Ron. Wow, that is so great how you have decided to look back and remember what a lot of people would only have seen as a trial and an ordeal. That really blew me away, the way you put this.


    You have taught me how to be more positive about things that have challenged me along the way, since I started reading your blog and for that I say a sincere: THANK YOU SO MUCH! I really mean that.


    And yes, count me IN for a tour! It is one of my dreams to visit all the states in your amazing US of A!!! Keep me penciled in, OK!!! ;-)

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  35. Thank you Fiona :) Hope you had a VERY Merry Christmas!

    Happy New Year, my friend!

    Cheers and X

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  36. "And remember what really matters in life." Amen to that! I wish everyone would think that way. It would reduce the amount of stress in all our lives. So glad you took to the streets with your camera. Excellent captures. They all made me smile. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a fabulous 2016!

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  37. Greetings Lisa!

    Thank you, my friend :) I think it takes a challenge to make one remember what really matters in life. So I'm grateful for what happened to me in October because it did just that!

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas too. Wishing you and your family a faaaaaabulous 2016!

    Cheers and X

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  38. Ron,
    What a wonderful feeling of Christmas. I hope you had a wonderful and joyful Christmas. The weather has been a real gift for us in this part of the country. Today is New Year's day and I wish you a beautiful day and successful year. Continue to light our lives with your words. There is no way to love, Love is the way. Thank you for being you and the thoughts you share.
    DAVE

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  39. Hi Ron, I love your photos they are superb!

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  40. Dave, I can't thank you enough for your beautiful words, buddy. They touched me deeply :)

    And it's so ironic I found your comment here today, because as I was sharing a Reiki session with myself this morning while meditating, I kept thinking of you and sending you much energy.

    Thanks so much for being such a loyal and wonderful friend!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cheers and X

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  41. Greetings Clare! Thanks so much for stopping by and your kind words.

    I was so impressed with your blog and photographs yesterday. I placed your blog on my feed reader to make sure I stay updated with your posts.

    Happy New Year to you!

    X

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