Winter Break

It is that time of the school year, when students get to stay at home and enjoy family, friends, doing nothing, playing video games, or whatever we want to do.  There is no class until after New Year‘s Day.  This goes for me too, and I am enjoying it.

Our house is still trying to recuperate from Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning.  I am finding bits of wrapping paper and ribbon everywhere.  This was the first Christmas since my children were little, that I was able to watch the excitement and joy on a child’s face as they opened their presents.  Since my children married and moved out, we always went to their house to “see what Santa brought”.  By the time we got to each one’s house, everything was opened and scattered all over the living room.  So we missed the expressions as they opened their gifts and were surprised.   I was able to watch Jacob’s face as he opened first this gift and then that one.  He was so excited, he had no more than finished one before he had started on another.

Those looks were worth a million bucks, but seeing his expression as he read an email direct to him from Santa, is indescribable.  In the email, Santa, called him by name, pointed out different items regarding Jacob’s family and school, and finally put his name in the “Naughty or Nice” machine.   It was adorable to see Jacob’s face as he anxiously waited to see if the machine labeled him naughty or nice.  When the green light signified Jacob was nice, Jacob yelled and whooped and hollered.  Then suddenly stopped, turned to us and said, “I knew it all the time”.

I am so glad I was able to be a part of his Christmas.  I hope each and every one of you had as great a time as I this Christmas.

Please remember our military personnel who are fighting for our freedoms, and who are not at home with their families this year; please say an extra prayer that they can come home soon.



The Christmas I Remember Best

I am sure you have one particular Christmas that stands out in your mind.  Your favorite memory of a special holiday season.  Was it snowing?  Was the sun shining bright?  Were you a small child or were you the parent watching the child?  How many of us take the time to stop and remember past Christmases?  I think at this time of the year, for me, I remember many that held people who are no longer in my life, but have moved on home to be with our Lord.  My Mother and Father:  Christmas gatherings were always at their house, with all of their four children gathered around.  As we got older the crowd only got larger as we each brought our families to the Christmas family party.  Mom and Dad opened their presents first, and then from the youngest to the oldest came the rest of us.  It was a joyful time, but sadly it can no longer happen.  I miss them terribly, but only for a short time (for them) and we will be joined together again.

There were the times my husband and I watched our three children open their gifts on Christmas morning, with eyes sparkling from the twinkling lights on the tree, the shouts of joy when they opened a gift that was “Just What I Wanted”!  I think my most memorable Christmas was when we were completely broke.  I know this sounds crazy, but it was our best one ever.  I don’t remember why we were broke, but we were.  That year there was only enough money to buy each of our three children, only one pair of jeans.  I was so down, because we didn’t have enough money to buy a real Christmas tree and we had never had an artificial one before.  Well, we were coming back from somewhere, when the kids spotted a lot selling trees.  After begging  and begging, Bob and I decided it couldn’t hurt to look.  After all we still had $10.00, and maybe there was a discard we could find.

The kids jumped out of the car and began roaming around the lot.  As usual my husband, Bob, stayed at the car until we had found the most “perfect” one.  It was obvious this was not his first Christmas tree shopping trip,  When my oldest called me over to the best one she could find, I looked at the tag and nearly fainted.  She had a good eye and had found one that was only about five times more in cost than I had in funds.  In the meantime our youngest came rushing up, just as I said, “Honey, I don’t have that much money”.  “How much do you have, Mama”?  “I only have $10.00, and I still need to stop and get some bread and milk”.  “Oh…”, she said with a crestfallen look that would have made Scrooge cry.  Remember the saying “Little pitchers have big ears”?  You will see where they got that saying from in a minute.

We continued to look and at the back of the lot I spotted what had to be the original Charlie Brown Christmas Tree leaning against a back fence.  As I walked over to look at the price, the lot person asked if he could help us.  I looked at the pitiful tree and asked how much, and when he said $20.00, I could not believe my ears.  I said no thank you, and told the kids to let’s go.  He insisted he would have one just like we wanted, only I did not want him to know all the money I had in the world was $10.00.  That is when my youngest shouted to the world, “Mama can’t buy one of your trees ’cause they cost too much.  All she has is $10.00”.  I looked everywhere for a hole to crawl in but there was none to be found.  The lot was crowded with people even though it was Christmas Eve, and I felt like everyone had heard her.  “Let’s go, NOW”! I said under my breath, as I grabbed my youngest daughter’s hand and started to walk away.

The man said, “Uh, wait a minute maam, I think I have just the tree you want”.

Not wanting to have us become the laughing stock of the tree lot, I sent the three kids to the car and turned to the man to thank him, but he had walked ahead of me and turned and yelled “OVER HERE”.  Looking at the ground I went over to where he was holding a tree still in the mesh they wrap them in.  I couldn’t tell the kind but it looked really large and expensive.  Before I could protest he said, “I have this one I was going to let go for $5.00.  If you want it, it’s yours”.

“I will take it, thank you”.

He put it on top of the car as I stood waiting to hand him my five $1.00 bills.  When I went to hand him the money he just shook his head no and as he walked away, he turned and grinned and said “Merry Christmas”.  I could only respond in kind, since I was close to speechless.  Once we were home and had loosed the tree from its bindings, we found a gorgeous full blue spruce.  The kind he had marked on his lot for $70.00 plus.  When we had decorated it, the five of us just sat on the floor taking in the beauty of the decorated tree, and marveled at how blessed we really were and everyone agreed; this was the best Christmas we had ever had because it was the most beautiful tree in the world.  While I read the story of the baby Jesus to the children, the real meaning of Christmas became even more predominate to us, looking at the tree without the array of presents; just the warm glow of the lights filled the air and a feeling of peace and the love of God wrapped around us like a soft, warm blanket.

Merry Christmas to All and May God Bless You this Christmas Season.


Merry Christmas

English: Department 56 collectibles at the San...

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I can’t believe that Christmas is only 9 days away.  Wow!  The house is decorated with beautiful lights, inside and out.  There is a beautiful white Christmas tree in our breakfast room.  My daughter has exceptional decorating tastes.  There is a ceramic village all laid out on white batting that looks like snow, adorning the piano.  A smaller soft pink tree stands atop a tri-level corner shelf, decorated in beautiful green, silver, and crystal clear ornaments.  Three Santa figures sing Christmas Carols, and children slide down a white ramp that is supposed to be a ski slope.  My daughter has really gone all out, and it is looking gorgeous.  She is quite frugal and plans shopping sprees after Christmas is over.  She finds all types of bargains in decorations of all kinds.  She comes back with trees, ornaments, lights, figurines, garland, and who knows what else.  Most items she gets are anywhere from 50% to as much as 80% off because stores just want to get rid of the stock and reduce their inventory due to end of year accounting.

I wasn’t certain that moving in with my daughter and her family would work since I have been on my own now for nearly 13 years, but it is wonderful and I am so blessed.  Whenever I see the rooms all aglow with twinkling colored lights, a roaring fire in the fireplace,I feel like I have been bathed in the warmth and beauty of God’s love.  It makes me stop and realize that I have never been completely alone, because God is always with me.  He guides me, and gives me whatever I need to handle whatever I am faced with.

I know there is quite a bit of commercialism that surrounds the Christmas season, and many people do not have any idea what the real meaning of Christmas is all about.  So, remember to stop this year, and praise God for your blessings and for giving up His Son, to save us from our sins.  The tiny baby that laid in the manger, was sent to us, to change us, forgive us, and love us.  MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS US EACH AND EVERYONE.

Time Flies The Older I Get!

It is truly unbelievable that the holidays are already on us, and another year will soon be gone.  I remember the days when I was much younger, that every upcoming event would seem to take FOREVER!  Do you remember the anticipation of Santa Clause coming?  Trying hard to be just as good as possible, since the great man was watching.  Suddenly, you didn’t fight with your siblings as much, just in case you might be seen.  Well, it is different now.  With age comes the rapid passing of time, when you turn around and the summer is over, then the holidays are right around the corner.  Somehow, each year seems to go faster and faster.  My grandchildren were just toddlers yesterday, and now several have graduated and one is planning her wedding.  Oh, these have been such blessed times, watching my children grow and then being there to watch my grandchildren as they grow.  God has truly given me the greatest gift there is, family.

My daughter just came in from shopping for her children for Christmas; naturally, including her nieces and nephews.  She had to have help bringing in the huge bags of assorted items for different ones.  The glow from the Christmas tree reflected in her happy countenance, and sparkling blue eyes. The holidays are very special to our family, and it seems each year we decorate just a bit more, start shopping a bit earlier, and buying the holiday food stuff just a tad bit sooner.  Meals are being planned with who is cooking what, and who will be bringing this or that.  My son always cooks the turkey and my baby girl always bakes the ham, and both have these down to a fine art.

My son’s birthday is today, Nov. 17, and my daughter’s birthday is Dec. 6 and, as usual, I gave each of them the same thing.  She got to open hers today, because he will be getting his today and both of them will be using it for preparing Thanksgiving dinner.  I think I got it right this year, because she said she wanted one and was going to try to find one herself.  It makes me feel so good to give something to someone who makes them happy.

I have to say thank you GOD for the many blessings, which are truly too many to count.  Until next time…HAPPY THANKSGIVING and MERRY CHRISTMAS!