Butterflies Just Passing By


Hiding in windows
known only to time
are ripples within the veil
life’s little roses that float our way,
then so quickly fade away,
butterflies just saying hello,
but before the moon can rise
leave once more,
their journey to explore

Thanks for stopping by! (Butterflies Just Passing By  is from my newest
book ‘When Shall the Butterfly Rest’ 
 available on Amazon , Pic is from Pixabay.com )

 When Shall the Butterfly Rest

© 2018 by James Spruell, All rights reserved


Nine Great Holiday Traditions

christmas tree

Everyone has a favorite holiday – mine just happens to be Christmas. The season is a great time for celebrating the birth of the Savior,  Christmas carols, and spending time with family.

Sometimes life changes — the children grow up and move away to start their own families. or maybe we find ourselves single after having been married for many years, or ??? Whatever your situation here are nine great holiday traditions!

Host a party

Hosting a party doesn’t require a tear down and reconstruction of the Hoover Dam. Parties can be as simple as a potluck dinner with a few friends and family. Themes can include a ‘Favorite Recipe‘ dinner or (one of my favorite) a ‘Decadent Desert‘ night where everyone pretends calories don’t exist and brings their favorite treat!

If you find you’re alone (maybe circumstances or the luck of the draw) — invite others from your church or community over especially those who may be single, elderly, or ?? Live in an apartment? Most apartments have community rooms available for rent for a small fee.

Carol Singing

carol singers

The Good Lord blessed me with many skills but singing isn’t one of them! But I still love to listen to Carol’ers and even have been talked into going with them.

Going Caroling seams to be fading away but still something that can be done as a family, with a small group, or with the youth of your church. Many senior citizen centers welcome the interaction with the young folk! (But do call ahead and set up an appropriate time)

Take a trip

Many families have developed a tradition of visiting Downtown Chicago, ski destinations, New York City, etc. Although this can be a tad pricy, it can be a lot of fun! …and do plan in advance — rooms fill up quickly in popular resorts. Also, the week before Christmas may have less bookings than the week after.

Christmas Brunch

Christmas morning

Invite the family over for a Christmas brunch or dinner. Make it easy and have everyone bring something as they can. Definitely top off the brunch with present openings 🙂

Baking Treats

Christmas Cookies

Most of us love treats …and Christmas is one of those special occasions where almost everyone has their favorite! I have fond memories of Mom teaching me to bake cakes and cookies from scratch (yes, it is possible) 🙂

Not too sharp on cooking skills — not to worry! Every grocery store has ample ready to bake pies, cookies, and many have baked treats.

Next step? Deliver them to neighbors (even those you may not have met), friends, family or someone who would appreciate it.Feel free to leave them on the door with a short Christmas message.

And most certainly save some for Christmas Day!

Christmas Music

The season is built around  carols and songs celebrating Christmas. A quick Google (or Bing) query will find many church, inter-denominational groups putting on performances.

Living in the Salt Lake area we are blessed with the Tabernacle Choir and many, many groups celebrating the Savior’s birth. The Assembly Hall located on Temple Square has numerous free performances during the holidays.

Decorate that tree!

Christmas car with tree
Christmas isn’t quite Christmas without decorating a tree. Although many use artificial trees they can still be decorated with home-made and purchased ornaments.

Two of my favorite ideas are to purchase (or make) a new ornament each year. Often we would buy each child an ornament to remember that year. A second idea is to make some popcorn, use a needle and thread, and create a popcorn string. Kids love it!

Holiday Lights, Nativity Scenes, and more

This one is easy – ‘google it‘ to find area nativity scenes and light shows – often sponsored by Church groups — then go out for a cheap night exploring the neighborhood.

In Salt Lake City Temple Square has a wonderful display. In Kansas City, try the Plaza!

Remember, Remember the Less Fortunate

Working at food kitchens, gathering up toys for others in your church, area can be very rewarding. Toys don’t have to be expensive and can involve the children in picking out items. Sometimes a day set aside for Christmas gift buying is a great idea.


Why nine and not ten …because too many posts use ten!

So What are your favorite Holiday Traditions?

Dr. Spruell is an author, educator, consultant, and featured/invited speaker. His speaking engagements have taken him across the globe from Kansas City to Melbourne.

His vast consulting experience provides unique insight into the real life problems faced by many. He is the author of the book, Creating an Extraordinary Life: Breaking Through the Abyss, When Shall the Butter Fly Rest and numerous proceedings and articles.

© 2018 by James Spruell, All rights reserved