December 30, 2015

The Christianville Spirit: Christian's Year-In-Review 2015

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Sparkles
December 30, 2015- TCS # 479

Well, My Readers, PTLS Family Members, and Friends, It looks like We have come to The End of Another Year here at The Christianville Spirit and What a Year it was. This Year of 2015 was One Crazy Up-and-Down Exciting Year for Our Family but, Totally worth Every High and Low Point of The Year. 2015 was a Special Year, because It was My 10th Year of Writing This Newsletter and I planned on Celebrating This Year. Well, Celebrate We Did! So, When I look back on This Year, I remember different events and I am shocked like “That happened THIS Year?!” and Now, This Year of Memories in both ways are Over. But, before 2016 comes and We watch The Ball drop, Let’s Re-Live 2015 via What I call “Christian’s Year-In-Review 2015”, My Self-Produced Year-In-Review. So, Without further a due, Let’s get started! As with Every Year, We start in January. As I mentioned before, The Christianville Spirit’s 10th Year Celebration started at The Beginning of The Year. Personally though, January was a Quiet Month other than The National Championship Game held here in Dallas on January 12th. That was a Big Deal here and The Weather, of course, followed. on January 2nd, My PTLS “Brother”, Tyler came over to My House, The First Time that a PTLSer has been to My House. We had lots of Fun. In Weather News, Dangerous Wind Chills, like -70 (Negative 70) to -20 (Negative 20) hit The Midwestern US in Mid-January as well as “Record-Breaking Snow” hit the Boston Area as part of “Winter Storm Juno”. In the News, There was a Terrorist Attack on a Satirical Newspaper in Paris on January 7th. February was a Bit more Exciting where PTLS Member, Natalie Hinkin came up with The Genius Idea to sell what would be Known as “Be Seen, Wear Green” Shirts for PTLS. What We now call “The Key Shirt”. We sold 414 Shirts in 2 Weeks, Quite an Accomplishment! A Bit of Romance here; Our Neighbors and Soulmates, Rob and Caree got Married on February 7th. on February 25th, I re-connected with My Elementary School Friend, Lynee via Her Sister. Have not met her in Person but, I plan to in 2016. In The News, A Plane crashes into a Highway and River in Taiwan on February 17th. In March (which I refer to as “Marzo”) “Marzo” was PTLS Awareness Month. I took pictures each day for What I called SGED (Something Green Every Day) to spread awareness about Potocki-Lupski Syndrome. On March 19th, My Mom and I went to The new Nebraska Furniture Mart (Refer to “Christian goes to Nebraska” Newsletter). In Weather News, on March 6th, We had a Texas Version of a Blizzard, It was Really Cool! In The News, a Germanwings Plane crashed in The Alps Mountains. In April, It was a Month of The Number 4. Newsletter 444 (April 1st) and Newsletter 446 (April 15th), refer to those if You want to know what it means! Mid-April, My Mom and I watched as a Baby Giraffe was born at the Dallas Zoo. It was Interesting to say The Least! In The News, There was a Huge Earthquake in Nepal and My Mom’s Friend was actually there when it happened! In May, Besides Lynee Remembrance Day Observances; There was a “Great Flood” all over The DFW Area from Mid to Late May. In The News; on May 2nd, The “Royal Couple” of The UK, William and Kate had a Baby and named it Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. The Late-Princess Diana would be Very Proud! Now, We hit What I now refer to as The Crazy-yet-Best Summer Ever! In June, We had an Annual Family Beach Trip to Gulf Shores. I was a bit Frustrated This Month because Google Maps was converting to The New Google Maps and Killing Classic Google Maps. In The News, A Horse named “American Pharaoh” won The Triple Crown, The First Winner since 1978. On June 17th, There was a Shooting at a Church in Charleston, South Carolina. July 1st-4th was The PTLS Conference in Houston (refer to “PTLS Conference” Newsletter). In Mid-July, I find out that, Surprise! We are going to Stockholm, Sweden in September! That Event would Completely and Awesomely Change My Summer because I had been wanting to go Sweden for 5 Years, more on that later. In The News, A Big Step was taken on July 1st, Where The United States opened an Embassy in Cuba and Vice Versa. also, Four Marines were killed in Chattanooga, Tennessee on July 23rd. In August, although It was My “Birth Month” as We call it, It started out with a Low Point because on August 2nd, My Brother, Michael moved to Denver, Colorado. But, I did get to go surprise him The Night before at An Art Show where Some of His Art was. I am Very Proud of My Brother! In The News, In trying to avoid Too Many Political Stories; There was a Blast at a Temple in Bangkok, Thailand on August 17th. Bonus Story! My Mom and I saw Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out on My Birthday, It was Genius! Now, We move on into The Height of My Summer with My PTLS Business Trip to Sweden and The United Kingdom in September. Even Today, I am still in Disbelieve that I actually went there This Year. I have to say, that My Sweden/UK Trip was The Highlight of My Year! We went in Late September. In The News, Refugees from Syria start Flooding into Europe in the Beginning of September. In October, other than Recovering from The Awesome Trip to Sweden, October was a Quiet Month. I can say that I went outside and hung out with Our Neighbors on Halloween, that was a Shocker but, a Very Proud Moment. It does not mean that I like Halloween, I still hate it, but it was Less Lonely. In The News, a Shooting at a College in Oregon happened on October 1st. In November, It got exciting again because It was the Official 10th Year of Writing Anniversary of The Christianville Spirit (Refer to “Newsletter Anniversary” Newsletter). I could not believe that I had been Writing for That Long! For Thanksgiving, We drove down to Houston to see My Uncle Craig and Spend It with Him. In The News, on November 13th, There was Another Terrorist Attack in Paris and I was pretty Angry about It! And, Finally, We wrap around to The Last Month of The Year, December. In The News, We had what The News refers to as “The Worst Terror Attack since 9/11” in San Bernardino, California. So, With all those Crazy News Stories behind us, I will leave you with a Positive Story to End The Year of 2015. For Christmas, My Mom and I drove with Our Dog, Zoe to Atlanta to see My Grandma Honey and The Smith Family. It was surprisingly smooth traveling with Zoe for 12 Hours to Atlanta and 12 Hours back home to Dallas. All in All, with all that said, All I have to say, is What. A. Year! It was Amazing, Awesome, Unbelievable, and Yes, Some Parts weren’t so Fun but, Hey! A lot can happen in a Year! I hope that You had a Great or Good Year. And, I can’t wait to see you for yet another year of Inspirational, Thought-Provoking, and Interesting Newsletters in 2016!

(For The Last Time in 2015)

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. You never know what a Year is going to Bring. Be Positive!

December 16, 2015

The Christianville Spirit: The Ideal Christmas

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Sparkles
December 16, 2015-TCS # 478

Well, My Readers, It is that Time of Year, My Favorite Time of Year, Christmas. I know I said that probably Last Week and The Week before, but I mean it Every Time. Christmas is My Most Favorite Time of The Year. When I picture The Quintessential Christmas, I picture Myself around My Family, namely My Intermediate Family (My Mom and Brother) and having Quality Time with them that I enjoy Very Much. I enjoy My Mom with Her annual Let’s call it “Grandma Honey Mushiness” (a Very Proud
Thing in Our Family!) and My Brother being Goofy as well as Making us Laugh. and Yes, He often makes us Wonder about The World and curious of How exactly does He see The World. I do include My PTLS Family in There too, We wish them a Merry Christmas on Facebook and Hope to see a Few over The Holiday Season. But, Here is a Golden type of Question, What would be The Ideal Christmas? The Perfect-but-Not Perfect Christmas. By That I Mean, that People put too much Pressure on Themselves to have the “Perfect Christmas” or More on The Lines of “A Christmas that HAS to be Perfect” and because of That, they don’t enjoy this Happy Time of Year. But, Everyone should have an “Ideal Christmas”, a Christmas to Dream about! Now I know, It is hard to think in Our Natural Crazy World that this could ever be put together but, We can Dream can’t we?! So, What is Your Ideal Christmas and What does it look like? Well, Mine would be Heaps of Fun! I have gotten in a habit of saying “Heaps”, It is a Phrase that They use in Australia. Anyway, I picture Most of The Christmas Season seeing The Christmas Lights, and Music that Me and My Future Wife are jamming out to in The Car while seeing The Lights, Ooooing and Awwwing along The Way. Christmas gets kicked off by Putting up a Small-but-Real Tree with Pretty Lights and Ornaments. Then, We could watch a Tree Lighting somewhere, maybe like We did with Uncle Craig in Houston. Me and Said Wife would stay up late and Turn the Lights and Television off and Just stare at Our Tree because It is So Peaceful! Maybe We would lay under The Tree looking up at Lights to see it from The Inside. There would be a Time when We just Cuddle looking at The Tree in disbelieve that We would be that Blessed. As Christmas got closer, We could have a Little Party with Family and Some of My PTLS Family, that would be Heaps of Fun! Boy, It would be One Long Table to fit My Mom, Some of Smith Family, and PTLS Family. Then, that gives me all Quality Time with Everyone that I would ever need. I would have a Few Helpers with The Food and I would try to help as much as I can. Me and My Wife would probably play Host. On Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, Myself and My Wife, My Brother and Wife, and My Mom and Her Future Husband will all be Together in a Beautiful Log Cabin in The Mountains, with it Snowing! Now, That would be Romantic! We would stay there until probably The 27th. At that Time, We will all be Excited and Thrilled about Christmas. After Christmas, Me and My Wife will cuddle together and Watch the Ball Drop in Time Square on TV to celebrate New Years. So, That would be My Ideal Christmas. Yes, It sounds a Bit Cheesy and Uberly Romantic but, like I said, We are Very proud of that “Grandma Honey Mushiness”. All in All, My Readers, I hope You have a Very Merry-Blessed Christmas, If You do not Celebrate Christmas, I hope You have a Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza, and a Blessed Yule.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (or Chanukah), Happy Kwanza, and Blessed Yule from The Christianville Spirit! 

December 9, 2015

The Christianville Spirit: Where is The North Pole?

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Sparkles
December 9, 2015-TCS # 477

My Name is Christian Smith-Centeno and I believe in Santa Claus! Wow! It takes a Man to say that! It takes a Man to say at My Age that He still believes in Santa Claus. In Fact, I challenge you to say the Same Thing. You See, When I was in School, at the High School Age, You were ridiculed for still believing in Santa Claus, as if Santa is only for Children and That could be The Farthest from The Truth. The Reason though? I believe in not just Santa but, more on The Lines of The Magic of Santa. I remember One Year that I was going to Sleep on Christmas Eve when I heard Jingle Bells in The Distance and that is How I knew Santa was coming as well as a Few Thuds on The Roof in My Childhood. So, the Magic still lives in Me! Now, when People say “The Magic”, It is not like a “Magic Trick” type of Magic, It is Legit. Now, Of Course Everyone has Different Version of how Santa actually works but, This is My Belief as well as Curious Questions about it. I should mention here that There are People who do not believe in Santa for Whatever Reason. Some are just what I will refer to as “Actual Factual” and Only believe what Those down here tell you. But, They don’t cherish The Magic in Him. So, His Home, The North Pole. Actual Factual People will tell you that There is Nothing there, It is only Ice. That part is True, but I like to think of it in a Magical Way and Believe Me, I  have seen quite a Few Christmas Movie Depiction of It. The Debate here is That, does The North Pole Just Appear or Is There some kind of Secret to It? “The Polar Express” claims that It appears out of Nowhere, “The Santa Claus” and “Northpole” claim that It is Secret, Like You go to The North Pole, You go underground under What “Actual Factual” People say is Just Ice and More Ice, and No Typical Person can come in. I would like to go with that Answer. I Believe that in order to get in, You have to do a Very Complex Top Secret-Classified Code. Funny Enough, Only Santa, Mrs. Claus, and a Few Select Elves know this Code. I kind of wish that It was as Easy as The State Farm Jingle, “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There!” only “I believe in The North Pole because Santa is There!” and You Magically appear at The North Pole. Elves are Very Cheery and The Last Thing You would want is One to Tell Everyone the Code and then, alot of People ooooing and awwing while The Elves are trying to Work. Picture a Bunch of News Crews from all over The World interviewing Santa on Christmas Eve. He is a Busy Man, You Know! It would not be Good either because of Those “Actual Factual” People who Do not Believe, May or May not be as Nice. If an Elf does not know The Code then, Someone on The Other Side will let them in. I picture The North Pole to be sort of like a Mix of the Hallmark Movie “Northpole” and “The Polar Express”, It is The Most Beautiful City, Filled with Heaps of Christmas Lights and Music playing all the time. Elves skipping up and down The Street when They are not Working. They do have Elf Parties in The Off Season and on Christmas Day. They do take trips “Down South” for a Little Vacation, most likely during The Summer. They like to have Fun after Work, They go Bowling and Play other Sports. Maybe They go out to Dinner before heading Home for The Night. They have Very Pretty Tiny Houses with lots of Cool Stuff.  Their Workshop can get very Crazy some days, I am sure that It is Calm some days and It is like The New York Stock Exchange when it gets closer to Christmas. I am sure that They get a lot of Calls over Christmas and They transfer as much as They can to Santa, although He is Very Busy checking lists and checking them twice, He does take time to talk to Each Child. Santa must be a Very Good Multi-Tasker! In The Time that He is not taking or making calls, He spends The Evening answering Letters and He must do it VERY Fast. It would be Interesting to watch that happen! In This North Pole Town, There is a lot of Christmas Cheer, Christmas Music, and Most of All Christmas Magic! It makes me wonder though, What do The Elves do after Santa has left for His Christmas Eve Run? Maybe they party all Night, Watch The Kids (ahem...clearing throat) and Adults open Gifts, and then Maybe relax toward The End of The Day. Santa comes back and they all hang out. Maybe They all sit in The Hot Tub and juuust relax. After Christmas, They most likely go on Vacation. So, on The Next Question, How does Santa go around The World in One Night? By The Speed of Light and Of Course, with a His Magic. He goes down The Chimney VERY Quickly. I would think that He could either make Assistant Santas go down The Chimney and Give the Gifts while Santa provides The Magic. Santa does make a few Pit Stops at Those Houses that Deserve a little extra Attention and He randomly picks each year so Don’t Worry Guys. So, then what about The Santa at The Mall or in the Parade? The Actual Factual will say that They are just like You and Me and Only Partly, They are. To Me, They are a Very Special Santa. I Believe not ALL The Santas there are close to The Real One. But, All of them have a Direct Line to Santa at The North Pole. Likely, That is what They do when They are not sitting on The Big Chair. They have to relay Gift Requests and Wishes to “The Big Man”. The Santas though, That legit look like Santa, They have a Very Classified Magical Job. They do Some of The Magic of Santa behind closed doors. Maybe, THAT is what They do during Their Breaks. So, How does Santa know when You are Sleeping, Awake, Good/Bad, and Happy or Sad? I believe that He can see through a Giant Snow globe, up at North Pole Headquarters. Hidden Cameras also work in Some Cases too though! Maybe There is an App for that on His Phone. Remember that Santa does not just bring to Children and Adults, He is also brings a little goody for Dogs and Cats. All in all, These are My Theories about Santa and The North Pole. Even Santa represents The Magical Spirit of Christmas.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Christmas is not about Gifts. But, It is about The Lights, The Music, and The Magic.

December 2, 2015

The Christianville Spirit: The Magic of December

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Sparkles
December 2, 2015-TCS # 476

Happy December, My Readers! Wow! Can You believe that The Year is almost over?! and, What a Year it has been, but More on that after Christmas. It is that Time of Year again though! It is My Favorite Time of Year, The Month of December filled with Christmas Cheer, Christmas Music, Christmas Lights, and above all, Christmas Magic (And, Believe Me, It can happen!). I know I Write The Following Statement Every Year but, I Love December because of One Holiday, Christmas. I do however have a bit of Different Swing to My “Happy December” Newsletter. Now, I do have to be Honest before I hit the Excitement, This Year does feel a little off because My Brother is in Denver and The Distance is not easy. He will be coming down here for Christmas, so at least We will get to spend Quality Time with Him. Anyway, on to The Excitement. You Guys just do not Understand just How Exciting, This is to Me! The Lights, The Music, The Joy, The Cheer, The Sights, The Sounds, The Movies, and The Magic of Christmas! It makes me feel so Good inside! To Me, Christmas is not about The Gifts and Opening them, I was never one to get excited about Unwrapping Gifts, It took me a little time to get used to Santa but, I Love The Magic of Santa. I Love to see the Worshipping of Jesus’ Birth, If I could spend the Whole Month, Traveling The World and seeing how They celebrate, I would be One Happy Guy!
So, This Story has Two Parts, A Recent Story and A Background Story. You See, I went to Houston over Thanksgiving to see My Uncle Craig, since He is working down there, We decided to go visit him since We had not before. While We were There, on Thanksgiving Night in searching for Something to Do because otherwise, We were going to just drive Home, I thought, “Families go out on Thanksgiving Night to see Christmas Lights, right?” I guess it depends majorly what City that You are in, but Houston did it right! They had a “Christmas Lights on The Street Lighting” that Night and Bonus! It was down the way from Where We Were! So, We all hopped in The Car, Drove near The Houston Galleria area, and Walked to This Event. So, We stood there off on The Side and waited while My Uncle Craig parked the Car and Met Us. So, As We start walking, We can see Spotlights in The Air trying to get People to come see This Lighting Ceremony. Funny thing though and Here is The Background Story, Spotlights, when I was younger, used to startle me, I don’t remember exactly why. Secondly, I have tried several times to attend a “Christmas Lights Lighting”, Once in San Antonio with My Dad going to Christmas Lights on The Riverwalk, We ended up stuck in traffic trying to find a Parking Spot so, We just looked at it from The Road. My Mom and I tried it once at an area called The Shops at Legacy and We passed it as The Tree came on. So, This has never been done before and Knowing My Uncle, It will be Done in Style. My Uncle Craig (not to brag or anything!) but, He is One that Loves to be in Center of The Action in Life (When There is Something to Do, You do it because There is always Something to do) or as Center as He can get. Me? I’m more of a Person to watch things go on from The Sidelines. But, This Time was Different. So, We started walking on The Closed Street and getting closer to The Spotlights and Other Spotlights waving around at The Crowd. My Mom and I are wondering how far We were going to walk in to The Activity. Then, We got to The Spotlights and a Little past it and Found Our Watching Spot. We stood there, watching all the people and of Course, We were told that Santa would be there too and to look out for Him. I watched The People and then, looked up at The Crowd Spotlights and at One Point, They all pointed upward to The Sky looking for Santa. I did not see him because He was further down the street. After Santa came, The Crowd Spotlights turned back toward The Crowd. Then, I could hear a Distant countdown and I knew that The Lights were about to Come On. I heard up to about 7 or 6, before I joined in. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Yay! The Lights came on! They came on as Christmas Trees lining The Street! And, Then The Fireworks started. We had to move so that We could see them better. They were Awesome! I have to say, It was Really Awesome to “Ring in Christmas” like that and It was in a way, a Very Different Way of doing it. Because Normally, I would wait until December 1st to “Ring in Christmas” but, It was, in a Word, Unique to Ring in Christmas on Thanksgiving Night when People are just starting to go Black Friday shopping and People are already happy after Eating their Big Family Dinner. So, Why Not? Had it not been My Idea to do that, We probably would have to stayed at Uncle Craig’s Apartment, just hanging out. Good Call! Thank You Uncle Craig for walking us over there! All in all, There can be Christmas Magic, even in Simple Places.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. The Magic of Christmas is all around us!