Santa Hat Chronicles has MOVED to

Sirena Tales

Scene: Suburban neighborhood, northeastern U.S., Christmastime 2012, dreary, wet, cold day.

Enter stage left, (i.e. from my driveway): Middle-aged woman dancer wearing ski jacket and ruby red Santa Hat.

IMG_0164She sets off on her usual route.  The penetrating damp spurs her to move at a good clip.  She quickly gets into her rhythm.  As always, after only a few minutes, the act of walking in the fresh air casts its spell and eases her into a meditative state.

The ideas and inspiration start to flow.  She suddenly has an idea for a delicious, comforting dinner for tonight and a solution to a family issue and a kernel for her new dance piece. They all just form and appear out of the initially unpromising mist.

This is what walking can do.  Or any anything meditative.  Although it makes sense that MOVEment can move you and your mind and soul, along with…

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Sirena Tales

How can I make things better with the onslaught of the terrible and the tragic that threatens to paralyze me?  How do I live a life committed to creativity, compassion, beauty and joy in the face of an endless stream of suffering?

IMG_0158I’m not completely sure.  But I am becoming clearer on how I answer that question for my own life.

You see, on Friday I had planned to make the long drive to take a dance class, spread some joy  by wearing my Santa Hat while running errands, and deliver cookies to firefighters in a nearby city.  But once I read the “Newsweek” article about the tragic plight of women and girls in Yemen, I could barely tear myself away from feverishly researching on the computer aid organizations working in that deeply troubled, faraway place.

Later in the day came the dreadful news about the massacre at an elementary…

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Santa Hat Chronicles has MOVED to Hope to see you there!

Sirena Tales

IMG_0154We give something away because we can.

Even if it’s simply a smile.  Especially if it’s simply a smile.

We give something away because it will give a boost to someone or something or someplace or just the Universe in general.

We give something away because we’ve been given something(s) and we know how grand it feels and how it warms our hearts to receive.IMG_0151

We give something away because we know how grand it feels and how it warms our hearts to give.  It makes US better. And, ironically, bigger, without whatever it was that we generously gave away.

We give something away because the world desperately needs us to offer ourselves and our unique gifts up to it.  Whether it’s our humor or the flowers we grow in our front garden or the meals we cook or the music we make or the mittens we don’t need and…

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I’ve moved all Santa Hat posts like this one to Hope to see you there.xo

Sirena Tales

IMG_0128Note to self: just follow those 3 simple, but not so easy, steps and life will gleam more.  That’s what a few weeks of intense dancing and baking have taught me.

For the life lessons that both passions have provided me again and again are, remarkably, the same.  And pivotal. ( If only I’d figured this out sooner….)

Sure,  the “respectable” tenets that I’ve lashed myself to for the past half century may have their place, guideposts like conscientiousness, responsibility, discipline and self-motivation.

But it’s these other, lighter but invaluable notions that make life, and me, sparkle.  Notions like flexibility, flow and joy.

Countless other experiences can offer the same radiant teachings.  But since the metaphors of dancing and baking are my touchstones, I’m running with those.  (Your metaphors go here__________ :)).

1. Loosen up. See also, open up and lighten up.  Julia Child said it perfectly: “The only real…

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Santa Hat Chronicles now lives at–come on by….

Sirena Tales

And baking for as many as I can.  Yessirree, it’s time to fire up that temperamental, “vintage” oven of mine and crank up the BAKING, y’all.

I just checked, and the local project (East Hartford, CT) for donating and packing some love and cookies for troops overseas is ON for this Sunday morning, 12/2 (cookies accepted until 2 p.m. at South Congregational Church, 1301 Forbes Street, East Hartford; for more info, email Frank Forrest at

So, my clan will be making cards and mixing a positive vibe into recipes old and new for those generous, brave folks so far from home.   I’ll toss on my Santa Hat to bring cookies for that project and then to some firehouses and a nearby soup kitchen.  Hoping to spread  goodwill through homemade cookies.

Ahhhhhh, baking!  I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating.  It’s magical. The alchemical blending of some powders…

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Santa Hat Chronicles Is Moving!

I’m consolidating my two sets of writing onto my Sirena Tales site at  I hope this will make things simpler and easier for reading what I’ve got to offer.

My writing experience reminds me of that quotation “[s]ometimes on the way to a dream you get lost and find a better one” (thanks, Lisa Hammond). When I started writing about my Santa Hat experiences a year ago, I thought my writing would end with that holiday season.

But, no! I was bitten–or smitten– by the writing bug, and I have loved ever since writing about cultivating a sense of passion and enchantment throughout the year.  So much so that the expanded quest for everyday enchantment has subsumed the wonderful, but finite, magic of the holiday season.

Soooooo, to integrate all I’m discovering on this broader journey and to avoid confusion, I’ll be housing all of my posts on that Sirena Tales site.  I will continue to focus on the magic of the arts, beauty, kindness, humor, creativity, cooking, generosity that make every day life shimmer.  (That’s the plan right now, anyway–but see above re: “[s]ometimes on the way to a dream….”)

My Santa Hat moments from here on in will be posted there as part of the overall tapestry, amidst the other threads of enchantment.  I hope you’ll visit!

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Does Santa ever get sad?

And if he does, how does he handle it?  I’ve been wondering this over the past several days when I’ve been feeling pretty blue sailing through some rough seas.

Trying for cheery posts for the blog, I’ve come up dry.  It didn’t seem fitting to write something really sad, so that as much as I wanted to craft a post, I couldn’t.

I’ve even been struggling with getting that Hat on.   Or I’ve had to swipe tears away hastily when I’ve been out in public. Should I take the Santa Hat off if I’m crying, the way I did a few days ago?  It feels wrong to be teary while wearing the hat of a “jolly old elf.”  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crying Santa and didn’t feel like blazing that trail then.

Yesterday, I decided not to wear my Santa Hat to a challenging event.  Just couldn’t put on the show.   Plus, I thought that maybe if I gave it a break, I’d come back strong today.   I decided that instead of staying silent, I’d pose my question to the Universe about Santa and sadness.  I have to say that writing has once again worked its magic in shifting things so that they feel better, clearer.

I did wear my Hat today, and loved a few delightful encounters.   I’m hoping that I may still be able to get back in the game.  I remind myself of my post about how it can be tough to be joyful–I’m feeling it.  I’m wondering if I just need to keep showing up, with my Santa Hat and my good intentions.

Wishing you joy….

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