Robin’s Early Christmas Gift

I’m just now acknowledging a touch of sadness leftover from childhood. After all these years, Mother and I finally talked about it.

“When I was little, you didn’t enjoy Christmas very much, did you?” I said, hesitantly.

“No, I dreaded it–the cleaning and cooking and pine needles everywhere. I’m so sorry. If I had it to do all over again–”

“No, no. No need to apologize. You did all the right things. We had presents and a tree. It’s just…you didn’t smile much. Maybe you were depressed or had autoimmune illnesses back then.” (She has three.)

“I can still see my grim face. It breaks my heart. I wanted to smile, but I was just so tired.”

With this conversation circling my thoughts last week, my friend Robin called on Halloween. We love books, antiques, and we feel things deeply.

But there’s something very different about us.

Robin celebrates holidays with her whole heart. 

It’s always fascinated me.

When we were young mothers, she sewed pilgrim outfits for her four children. Everybody made crafts.

I don’t sew or even own a glue stick. And that weird Christmas emotion (guilt? sadness?) creeps in every so often.

Robin and I chatted about everything from hair color to motherhood, and the conversation shifted.

“Jewels, guess what I did yesterday?”

“No telling.”

“I watched my favorite Christmas movies.”

“You watched Christmas movies before Halloween?”

That secret place in my heart clamored for attention.

“I had the best time!” she said. “On November first, I always start planning Christmas.”

What if it’s really okay to love Christmas? 

Something clicked into place like a key unlocking a door.

Robin has the gift of anticipation.

And it’s okay to anticipate Christmas!

Was it too late for me? Could I change?

After we hung up, I made our first fire of the season.

Mother called. “What’re you doing?” she said.

“Looking forward to Christmas.” I told her about Robin’s plans.

“Bless her little Christmas heart. And yours too. I love Robin.”

“I’m washing Christmas mugs, and I’m going to have a Porch Party all by myself with real whip cream, and–”

“Julie, Christmas is spilling into my heart and spreading across my living room. I’m going to get out my nativity right now!

Who knew anticipation could be contagious?

“And even healing,” Mother said softly. “It’s a form of worship.”

What about your childhood? Is there something that needs healing? 

Robin’s blog, All Things Heart and Home, is full of anticipation!

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Doug says:

    Julie- I understand your sadness and lack of anticipation, for I am the same. You know what I have done that helps? No, not decorations, a tree that would be toppled by a curious cat, or even Christmas movies: I find ways to make sure others- those in need- have both what they want and need. I have the best time shopping for toys, clothes, bikes, even food for the Food Bank. Isn’t that supposed to be the idea anyway? I know you do a lot for others every day, but try adding that little extra during the holidays so that those who receive are better because of your generosity and caring. You may already be doing this– add a little more! That is Christmas.

  2. Yes, yes, yes,yes Doug!!! Beautiful point! You’re absolutely right. Am getting gifts for a little girl this Christmas. Which is oh-so healing.

    Early Christmas Blessings to you and yours~~

  3. Patricia Martin says:

    I watch Christmas movies in July and I am starting to watch christmas movies right now! I love your snowmen mugs, Julie, one could be Rick and the other one could be you.(; I always watch “It’s a Wonderful life” and the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street to bring out my Christmas spirit. Also, I am letting my first born persona take a break and I have decided one of the best ways to celebrate Christmas is by resting a day in bed and letting everyone else do the work.():
    Love from sunny AZ,
    Patricia

    • Patricia!!!!!! If you watch Christmas movies in July–you also have the gift of Anticipation!!! I love it!

      And I’d never noticed the snowmen representing the two of us. How sweet.

      Yep. Those are some of Robin’s favorite movies too. 🙂

      You are so wise–your first born persona. Me too! So, I’m doing to do just that before Christmas and REST. Thank you!!

  4. Brenda E. Greene says:

    Timely words in my life right now, Julie Girl!

    Just heard on TV we have 49 days until Christmas and for a moment I started o panic until I read your words here. No reason to panic, I “choose” to celebrate the excitement and anticipation! Thank you my Dear…need to head out shopping! Oh wait, looking forward to Thanksgiving first!!

    Every day brings reasons of its own to celebrate, eh? Today I celebrate an overcast and cloudy day that brings a cozyness to sit and peruse the many catalogs that have “blown up our mailbox” recently!! Happy Fall Anticipation!

    • Brenda, that’s it! You got it!!! Wo-hoooooo! If we’re anticipating, we’re definitely not panicking, are we?! I love that.

      Enjoy your cloudy day and fun magazines, my friend.

      XO

  5. Brenda E. Greene says:

    Timely words in my life right now, Julie Girl!

    Just heard on TV we have 49 days until Christmas and for a moment I started o panic until I read your words here. No reason to panic, I “choose” to celebrate the excitement and anticipation! Thank you my Dear…need to head out shopping! Oh wait, looking forward to Thanksgiving first!!

    Every day brings reasons of its own to celebrate, eh? Today I celebrate an overcast and cloudy day that brings a cozyness to sit and peruse the many catalogs that have “blown up our mailbox” recently!! Happy Fall Anticipation!

  6. Oh, beautiful. Gracious me, I needed so much healing from my childhood. That’s a long story though. 🙂 But God brings about little change slowly … I don’t think I could stomach seeing all the change needed in me all at once! 🙂

    Well … look what you did. You just let your anticipation trickle right down to me. I saw Christmas movies were already out … I’m all excited now!

    • So true, Shellie. That childhood stuff can be a long time coming. I’m 54, and this is one blip of a memory, and it took me this long to talk about it. And I’m blessed that Mother was open to discuss it. But even if she hadn’t been (and if others in our past can’t/won’t talk) surely healing is still possible. I really believe that!

      Last night I watched my first Christmas Hallmark movie this year. 🙂

      Great big hug from GA!

      • And you know, Julie … I think we all experience what your mother did … we all feel tired. We get tired of decorating, cooking, cleaning … we go through slumps … and add not feeling good/illness to the top of that … it’s hard to have a smile at times. But I’m going to determine to let the girls see me smiling through this holiday experience! 🙂 And many thanks to your mom for her transparency … that’s not easy either.

        xoxoxo

        • You’re absolutely right, Shelli. Mother has always been so transparent. I think that’s why she’s an amazing writer. She doesn’t care what anybody thinks.

          And we do all get tired, especially at Christmas.

          Plus, I was/am so sensitive (sometimes too much) I probably picked up on what other family members didn’t.

          Love to you and your girls. Looking forward to your Christmas blog posts! 🙂

  7. Linda Sellers says:

    It was really refreshing to read your blog today. We hear so much downplaying of the Christmas season as far as stores rushing things by putting out Christmas items so early. Whether this is right or wrong, good or bad, I don’t know. But I do know that anticipation, whether it be in planning for a trip or celebrating a holiday, is an exciting part of the experience for me.

    I so enjoy your thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

    • Absolutely, Linda! My Point Exactly! How can anticipation be wrong? Surely God stirs our hearts to look forward to the future.

      Thank you!

  8. Mary Wilkins says:

    This is great! My childhood Christmases were fine, but my Mom was much like yours. I didn’t realize at the time how difficult it was for her. The adult Christmases were rough due to in-law issues. I had a hard time not dreading the season as a result. These days, I just try to breathe and calm myself when I begin to feel the negativity. I am actually starting to look forward to it this year. We have 3 birthdays between now and Christmas in addition to Thanksgiving, so there’s lots of room for stress. At least I know where my Advent candle holder is this year! One year, it turned up in the paella pan after a long search!

    • Mary, your words bless me so much. Maybe all of us have little spots in our heart with family/Christmas, etc.

      Love that you’re thinking about your Advent candle. Such a good idea! And so glad you know exactly where to find it. 🙂

  9. Oh, my. Your mother’s words just struck a chord in my heart. That anticipation, even decorating can be a form of worship. For a number of years now, since there are no little ones around to enjoy the celebration, I’ve stopped doing very much. I decorated the front porch, but last year, I didn’t even bother with the tree. I used the very large puppy as an excuse. I thought of the decorating, the trappings, as something for my family, and men aren’t all that enthralled by those things.

    But I have never seen it as a form of worship. Wow. Thank your mom for me, Jewels.

    • Ane, I’m tearing up with your sweet words. A couple of years ago Mother didn’t have a tree. 🙁 Felt kinda sad.

      Yes, surely anticipation is a form of worship! I bet you’ll be all over it this year.

  10. Love anticipation. Love Robin’s attitude. Love that you are emulating it and making it your own.

    Here’s a toast with whip cream on top of hot chocolate to a fabulous holiday season this year.

    Hugs and Love!

  11. Anna Haney says:

    Beautiful words, sweet friend. There is a part of me who shares your sentiment about the holidays. We moved a lot when I was a child, usually at the Holidays, so I have always felt let down that the celebrations we had were not the huge ones that I grown up watching. I thought that when I married into a large family that the celebrations would be different–more like I had been anticipating. They are different, but not as I wanted. So I have learned that the holidays are not about me. Worship is not about me

    • So beautifully said, Anna.

      “The holidays are not about me. Worship is not about me.”

      Hmmmm, sure sounds a lot like my surrender theme. THANK YOU. And I love your profile pic!! Hope you’re having a great Wednesday!

  12. Its so refreshing to hear I am not alone in this one. My brother and I figured out we had to do “Christmas,” or mom could just as easily write it off as too much work. The fact that you could speak with your mom about it, truly touched me.

    I have always said that Robin, Mommy “mentors” me in so many ways. She is, the very mom, I longed for at certain times. And her vision, has led me to be more intentional about how I celebrate the season. She even inspired me to craft with my boys one Thanksgiving!

    I’m so very moved, to see the amazing friendship the two of you have cultivated throughout the years. Having a “forever friend,” is the best gift, and clearly that is what you are to each other.

    Much love to you, and to our beloved Robin!

    • Vicky, I know–such a neat experience to be able to talk to Mother about this. Later, we were talking again about it–I said a silent prayer for those who need some healing for past Christmases but can’t talk to their “people.”

      Vicky, Robin does the same thing for me. I’ll call her and say, “Is it time to hang my fall wreath yet?” She just knows this stuff. 🙂 And she inspired you to do a craft with your boys! She’s why I buy Christmas pjs for the girls in our family and we bake Christmas cookies–we didn’t do this growing up.

      So much love right back to you.

  13. I have always loved the anticipation of Christmas! I attribute that to my Dad as he loved Christmas also and made it a very special time for my Mom, my brother and me. For years I started listening to Christmas music in August as I love it. People thought I was weird. But, I saw it as my form of worshiping the newborn king and why wait until Christmas! And, yes, I started watching Hallmark Christmas movies as soon as they started on Halloween night. Soon, I will be putting up my village. And, my Christmas mugs are out and being used. Love yours, by the way!!! But, by far my most favorite part of Christmas is giving to others. I enjoy picking out or making that special gift for family and watching the smile it brings to their faces.

    Sending warm hugs, dear friend!

    • August Eileen!!!!!! See, now that I’ve let go of those yucky Christmas feelings, I can understand why you do this!! I love it. Before this past week, I wouldn’t have known it was even allowed. 🙂

      Yep, I’ve watched 3 Hallmark movies so far this year. I didn’t even know they existed until last year!! See what I mean.

      And I SO agree with you–this is worship.

      Hugs to you this morning, and thank you for reading–and letting me know you understand. Would love to come over and have coffee in your Christmas mugs with you.

  14. What a lovely Christmas Story. I love Christmas, or should I say I love getting ready for Christmas. I never celebrated Advent until I was an adult. We didn’t do that at our church. I think they thought it wasn’t Southern Baptist enough. HA. But I love each Sunday’s lighting of the Advent Candles and the words spoken with each lighting. I also love the Hanging of the Green. That is a precious service with all the little ones participating. Then our church choir concert called Carols By Candlelight is an extra special joy and really puts you in the Christmas spirit. Our daughter usually has a solo. What could be more wonderful for us?!? I’m in the planning mode. Can’t wait to see all my family.

    • Nancy, I didn’t celebrate Advent until a few years ago either–also grew up Southern Baptist. 🙂

      Your descriptions of your favorite things sound so lovely–so straight from your heart. Oooooooh, Carols by Candelight. Wow…….

      Thank you, my friend. Means so much to know that people are reading my heart-words and they understand. And Merry Christmas to you!

  15. My mama used to say, “we’re not going to have Christmas this year”, in a joking way, but in a way that made me feel unsure and fearful. I knew that, as a single mom, Christmas was more pressure to her than pleasure. I LOVE Christmas. I so related to your post and love that you and your mama could be truthful and transparent about this.

    • Elizabeth, I just felt my heart do a little flip when I read your words. “We’re not going to have Christmas this year.” Ohhhhh….. sad…… And I do understand how you must’ve felt.

      I know–I was so cautious in talking to Mother about it, but she’s always, always open to talk. I just wondered if it was my imagination or if that’s really how she felt. I just relaxed on the inside to know I wasn’t crazy, and yes, she dreaded Christmas, and then YES it was okay for me to love Christmas.

      🙂 🙂 🙂

  16. marci says:

    My dear Julie, What ‘God Wink’ timing for me; just what I needed to hear. Thank you!

    I had set as my goal to be ready for Christmas, by Dec 1.. and already I was starting to feel the stress of how short time is.. My brother’s b’day is 9 weeks before Christmas, and that is when the clock seems to start ticking for me. As a child, I loved December. My birthday& Christmas, what wasn’t to love? And Tucson AZ, always was nice in December. Winterhaven was always aglow with lights and decorations. If you wanted snow- it was a brief hr drive up the mountain.. I looked forward to it all year. When I had my daughter, it made Christmas fun too. I would decorate all the rooms. Now I barely get a small tree up, and a few decorations.. In recent years, I feel a lot like your mom did. There always seems to be so many demands in Dec. So much to do, and so little time. I’m tired before I start. At times, I would have liked to crawl under the covers and ‘ just tell me when January gets here’… I would think of how my father use to say, ‘Lets have our Christmas the first of the year’ Of course he was thinking of all the after Christmas sales and how much cheaper it would be!

    You have given a lot of us, a lot to think about. My mind is whirling with memories. I don’t want to give the idea that I don’t still like Christmas- I do. And I enjoy the holiday music, all the bright lights, and decorations. I am inspired and uplifted by your friend Robin’s early Christmas gift, and your sharing it with all of us. I am ready to play some Christmas music, watch favorite movies, which just happen to be the ones mentioned. The ’47 Miracle on 34th St, and Its a Wonderful Life.. plus Elf, and a few others. And Yes, to the one who reminded us to remember, ‘It’s not about us” That puts things into focus too. Having a December birthday, I can relate.. and what can I give to Him, the Baby Jesus for His birthday? What time can I give, what gift?

    How wonderful is this communion that you have created here, and we can all be fed from. —
    And I have already make myself a cup of spice tea after reading your blog.. now to get those Christmas mugs out.

    The church, it is a slow process. Things are still being decided, colors picked out, etc. not sure when the work will start. We are managing and feel blessed to have our parish hall for meeting.

    God Bless you, from Arkansas

    • Marci–me and my emotional self! My eyes are tearing up as I’m reading your precious words. Just to know that God whispered (ever so quietly) that it was safe to talk to Mother,, and she was so open, and that Robin had a completely different perspective on Christmas–and I was SO DRAWN TO IT, but I thought,, surely this isn’t okay.

      Weird, I know–the crazy lies we sometimes believe.

      I love how you say “whirling memories.” That’s exactly how it feels. Maybe everyone has swirling memories about Christmas.

      My husband prayed at our Porch Party before I published this blog for my readers. I wanted to help my friends heal, and figured I was writing it for one or two people.

      Your outlook is so wise. Christmas is about Him. Life is about Him. That shines through your response.

      Sometime send me a picture of the finished church. Would love to see it!

      So much love…

  17. Julie Gilleand says:

    Hi Julie 🙂

    I listen to Christmas music year-round! Not all the time but there are Christmas music stations save on my Pandora radio, so when I tell it to shuffle all my stations, up pops a Christmas tune here and there. I could disable the Christmas stations if I wanted to, but I just let it go and you know what? I enjoy hearing those songs when they come on, be it February, or July, or October! Or whenever. I have mostly happy childhood memories of Christmas, but a sadness that hangs on is missing my Grandma at Christmas. She always hosted our family dinners and her wonderful old house. She always made things so nice for everybody. It hasn’t been the same at Christmas since she died. I try to do things up the way she did, but I know I’ll never come close! Now my dad is gone too and my oldest brother. My mother is not a happy person, so Christmas just can’t ever be the same, but we do the best we can. I still love Christmas, we cook a nice dinner and go to church, sing and light candles. I love those Christmas movies too, the decorations around town and of course our snow. I just wish Grandma was still here to share it with us, and Dad and my brother Steve, too. Maybe Mom would be happier if she had them all back again too. My favorite Christmas carol is Hark, the Herald. What’s yours, leaf sister?!!

    • Hey Julie-Leaf Sis! Hmmm, my favorite Christmas carol…Probably Oh, Holy Night.

      I LOVE it that you listen to Christmas music all year long. Now see, before last week, that would’ve felt somehow wrong for me to do. But now I’m free!!!

      Sounds like you’re creating the same Christmases you loved so much. I really think so…it comes through in your comment. Your heart is all over it!

      Your grandmother gave you such a gift, and now you’re passing it on.

      XOXOXOX

  18. Barbara king says:

    jewels,

    Love this post. This summer, when I was “asleep” , I dreamed of Christmas. I dreamed people came and decorated the yard full of lights just because I was finally coming home. My dreams while I was out told me what was important to me I think….guess what “I love love Christmas” lol….I thank you so much for sharing it made me smile

    • Barb, this is incredible!! I think God spoke to you as you slept. Wowowowowow! Holy Goose Bumps.

      Thank you for sharing this, my friend. And Merry Christmas.

  19. Shelley Elaine says:

    Ahhh…Christmas…my very favorite time of year. I love every little bit of it…and I love the concept of starting celebrating as early as possible! Thanks for such a cozy post ☕️.

    • Shelley–I’m so glad this post touched your heart. And that you have no lingering “stuff” that needs healing about Christmas!! I bet you’ve already put up your tree. 🙂 🙂

      Now, I finally understand!

  20. Jo Ann Thomason says:

    Julie, this is precious, and so are you and Marion!!! You both give the gift of love and inspiration all the time. You both are such a blessing to me.

    I pray your Christmas celebration will be filled with everything you want it to be as you celebrate Jesus who came at Christmas and arose at Easter as He fulfilled God’s plan of Love and Salvation..

    Much Love,
    Jo Ann

    • Jo Ann.

      I can’t think about you without my heart overflowing. You are so dear to my family. Can’t wait to tell Mother you’re reading my blog!!!

      Thank you. Thank you. I’ve told her you’re on FB. She’s so impressed, but I haven’t yet convinced her to take the plunge and get a computer. Or even an iPad. 🙂 I think she’d love it.

  21. Even though I don’t have the gift of homemaking and so decorating has never been a big deal at my house, I always loved Christmas and looked forward to it…until my Daddy died. He was such a big part of our Christmases with his entertaining ways, practical jokes, and carrying on a rivalry between the Gamecocks vs Clemson families. He would cut out sports headlines and articles all year long, paste them into the ongoing scrapbook, dress up in his Clemson regalia, and wrap the book up as an “anonymous” gift to my husband. The next year Gary would do the same thing and give it back to him, anonymously, of course. On Christmas day, he always wore something goofy and made sure we all laughed and had a good time. Then, at 63 years old, he died in an instant, way too young.

    Every Christmas since then, I have to fight the sadness, realizing anew each year how much I miss him. He was the stable, loving, encouraging, accepting part of our dysfunctional family. And we’ve never been the same. I don’t mean I walk around visibly depressed or cry in front of others or bring others down–no one even knows–but the sadness is always there, just under the surface, fighting to be released.

    But I still love Christmas and the true meaning of it. I love the fact that Father God would send His Baby to be our Savior. I love worshiping Him and Who He is and what He offers us and the world! But it’s different for me now.

    Thank you for sharing your anticipation challenge, Julie. Perhaps the mental/spiritual challenge of anticipating Christmas this year will help me keep my focus where it needs to be–remembering His sacrifice and serving His children.

    • Ohhh, Vonda. This is so powerful. Have you written about your father? Such a gift he gave you. He kept everyone smiling, (even with the dysfunction–which I understand big time) and I’m so sorry he went to heaven at 63.

      I understand about sadness just below the surface too. You carry on because it’s the right thing to do, bu when you’re still and quiet, it hurts. Thank you for sharing so honestly with our little group. I wonder if we’ll celebrate Christmas in heaven–because if we do, I’d love to get to know your daddy and see him in action.

      I’m praying for you–for that tender spot in your heart.

  22. Amy says:

    Marion told me I needed to read this. She was right. Thank you for posting this. I thought I was the only who dreaded Christmas coming. Even as a child I dreaded it. While everything looked jolly and bright on the outside, I knew that we would all be in tears by the time it was over. I want so much for it to be different for my children. I want them to anticipate and enjoy the beautiful season Christmas was meant to be. Only time will tell….

    • Hey, Amy. Thank you so much for commenting. And for your honesty. This post is stirring up so many feelings. FAMILY. CHRISTMAS. Those two words–for some reason–run deeply for lots of us.

      You sound like your heart is so tender, and you write straight from your soul. I have a feeling your children will anticipate Christmas….their mother cares so deeply. I can tell.

      It was something I tried to ignore for, well, for 54 years. And then I thought maybe it was okay to finally talk about it.

      I’m not sure if this is your first time reading my blog, but welcome. And if you’d like for it to be delivered to your inbox every Wednesday morning, just type your email address in the little box at the top right corner. Lots of times, Mother and I “talk” on my blog. 🙂

      So much love. xoxoxo

  23. Sandra Walker says:

    This one is so powerful! Christmas as a child was wonderful; adult Christmases were not good. I had come to dread it, too, although I was longing to enjoy it again. God began a shift in me a few days ago and I watched the Hallmark movies, too. He confirmed what He was saying to me through this blog as usual. I may not comment on every one, but I read and reread and ponder each one in my heart. It means so much to me. What a revelation to realize it is worship! As only He can do, I tuned in to a program a few minutes ago where they were talking about the movie “Saving Christmas” by Kirk Cameron. He was saying that we need to get the joy back in Christmas because it is a fruit of the Spirit!
    The movies comes out Nov. 14th. I was getting depressed because it will be the first one without my mother, but now I am going to celebrate! Thank You, Lord, and thank Julie and Marion!

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Sandra……..

      And the thing is, God speaks in so many different, unexpected, unpredictable ways.

      Whew…these comments. Tearing up again at your words. How He could have triggered this emotion in my heart over the past few days. And how Mother was willing to talk about it. And how it touches so many of us.

      Lifting you in prayer right now, Sandra, that this Christmas–even now– His Sweet Spirit will hover so closely to you. Robin’s been where you are. Her mother died a few years ago. She understands.

      So much love.

    • Sandra, I’m praying for your daughter. XOXOXO

  24. Julie…wow. It never ceases to amaze me how your sweet mom will encourage you to tell her everything. Your spiritual health is more important to her than running from the past. She’s such a Godly woman and she inspires me –
    I’m so thankful for you friend love you

    • I know, Robin. She never minds talking about tough stuff.

      And look how you’re inspiring so many! Praying this goes far and wide and sets many free!!

  25. Cathy Mayfield says:

    I can unequivocally announce, “I Love Christmas!” Ask anyone who knows me. I’m quite sure I was born into it, just as all Christians are to the reasons we celebrate it.

    In 2004, I wrote a 31-day devotional booklet titled, “Trains, Trees, and Traditions,” for my family and friends for Christmas. (Note: Is there a way to edit fonts, such as italicizing, in comments on blogs or Facebook?) I self-published the booklet for the gifts, but I since changed it to a shorter devotional format to try to find a publisher…maybe.

    Actually, from that booklet, I created a proposal for a one-year devotional book focused on Christmas. It’s called, “365 Days (put an X through the word “Days”) Devotions Until Christmas.” I had one editor/publisher request a query, but no luck for publication. Another editor at a writers’ conference took a copy of the first booklet to see if they could use any of it in a collection, but again, no return contact. Maybe I’ll find a way to include it on my blog/website…whenever I figure that all out, that is. 🙂

    Here’s one of my favorites from the original uncut version, only 377 words, just for fun. Go make a cup of cocoa – with marshmallows. Light a candle – red or green, of course. Put on some soft Christmas music. Envision the magnificent tree you just traipsed through the woods, chose, cut down, and dragged home to decorate. And read away! (Or skip it, since my comment’s already longer than you wanted to read!)

    December 14: Trees – The Basics (c. 2004, Cathy Mayfield)

    Scripture: Give us this day our daily bread (Matt. 6:11).

    In order to put up a Christmas tree that will become a beauteous display of lights and magic, one must first take a course at the local community college. I believe it’s called “Generic Tree Stand Assembly 101.” Of course, the pre-requisites for this course are Applied Physics and Advanced Mechanics.

    To begin with, the box holds ten pieces, four of which are screws. This in itself should be enough to alert the average tree stand technician to the potential of serious trouble. Only ten pieces? Yeah, right. Somebody goofed at the plant.

    Okay, suppose we figure out how the ten pieces fit together to form a stand for our tree. Next, we must discover how to fit a God-formed tree trunk into a man-formed, three-and-a-half inch diameter circle. Sometimes, this causes some major trimming, and I don’t mean ornaments and tinsel!

    Now, after cutting and shaving, shoving and splintering, yelling and…oh, never mind…it’s in. The next step is to pull the thing into the house and stand it up. Is it supposed to tilt like that? Oh, bother. Back outside to phase two of the trimming process.

    Finally, our six-foot tall…oh, sorry, it seems to have shrunk a bit…our four-foot tall Christmas tree stands straight and true in a corner of the room. Its branches now await the adornment of those ornaments and tinsel, eager to be free of the harsh mutilation they have recently received.

    Oh, wait! We mustn’t forget to put water in the stand. After all, every tree needs water to keep it fresh throughout the season. I have to remember to contact those people at the tree stand plant and ask them how many times they’ve tried to crawl underneath a massive, hair-grabbing, arm-scratching tree to pour a cup of water into a water bin the size of a coffee scoop!

    Prayer: Father, we are so blessed to have our basic needs tended to, without our help (or a screwdriver). Thank you for taking care of us. Amen.

    • And I’m amen-ing along with you too, Cathy! I can just feel your bubbly Christmas excitement pouring through your email!

      Thanks so much for sharing. Sounds like our tree each year. 🙂

      And Merry Merry Christmas! Blessings on your writings.

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