Christmas lies deep within my soul. It is a cherished season that brings great joy. In our home, Christmas begins the very first of December and is always put away to slumber by the last day. But the magic of Christmas surely lingers in our home and in my heart throughout the entire month.
I love this season of Joy.
For the past ten days I have attempted to share some of my favorite elements of Christmas, sometimes in the form of wishes for my readers. It has been my hope to touch your hearts and give gentle reminder to truly feel of the Spirit this beautiful season offers. I began with JOY... Every Christmas tree in my home since I can remember has been graced with the word JOY. To me it is the very essence of Christmas on so many different levels.
Imagination The wide eyed innocence of our little ones as they dream of Christmas morning and the visit of dear old Santa Claus is a delight to behold as they truly allow their imagination to come to life. How many of us will admit to having a childhood memory of Santa's bells ringing early in the morning of Christmas? Reason holds no explanation to the vivid memory of that encounter. Magical!
Scrooge Syndrome and Lookout for Fake Santas surely my most favorite posts to write in this twelve Days of Christmas series. My children grew up literally consuming the captivating facts presented by Alden Perkes in The Santa Claus book. His delightful ideas brought magic into the lives of my little scrooges and coaxed them to become true believers. And now they are passing the magic onto their own children.
Each of these elements bring such a magic to Christmas that is unrivaled by any other holiday. Our celebrations can be deeply personal or wholeheartedly universal. That is indeed the magic of Christmas.
Two days remaining...
The 11th day will be a beloved re-telling of a favorite Christmas story. One that has become a tradition to read in our home each Christmas Eve.
And the 12th day of Christmas post... will truly touch your hearts as you turn your thoughts to that first Christmas morning.
Here are a few pointers on how to spot a Fake Santa Claus.
Don't misunderstand... Fake Santas are nice guys, but wouldn't you like to recognize The Real Deal when you see him?
The Real Santa is not Skinny.
His boots and belt are always made of black leather...
no shiny rubber or black vinyl on Santa!
Santa Claus has a real beard on his chin
that really is as white as the snow.
You can always give it a little tug just to be to be sure.
Santa's cheeks are a bit like roses
and his nose really does resemble a cherry,
but naturally so, not from a jar of make-up.
The Real Santa wears a red wool suit trimmed in white fur
made especially by the elves.
There is no polyester anywhere... not even in his long-johns.
Santa's eyes really do twinkle and when he looks into yours, he can tell, without even asking, if you're on the naughty list.
He has a voice so deep and calm that it sends a warm feelin' all over you and instantly you know...
He's The Real Deal.
And oh... how you want to be on that good list!
*Research for this
post has been gathered from The Santa Claus Book by Alden Perkes. Ph. D.
S. who happens to be the world's leading authority on Santa Claus; and from the
personal experience of the author of this post.
Be sure to follow this link to Track Santa on Christmas Eve Follow him in real time as he makes his visits around the world. (I don't make this stuff up.)
Always have and always will. Like my mother and grandmothers before me... Santa is real.
It's strange but true:
some people don't believe.
It's hard to explain why,
but when a person stops believing,
he begins to suffer from
The Scrooge Syndrome*
Here are the symptoms:
A frown begins to develop around the mouth. Instead of greeting others with a cheerful smile, "Bah, Humbug!" becomes the common greeting.
Once healthy posture soon becomes a slump and before you know it, you have a shuffle in your walk.
Hair begins to fall from your head. If your attitude is not corrected, baldness will set in within a matter of weeks.
Eyes become dull and lifeless... gone is the twinkle that once was there.
With the twinkle in the eye diminished, the non-believer becomes smelly, and not in a pleasant way.
While it is true that Scrooge Syndrome can develop in both males and females, it most often occurs in males. This could be a result of a male's minimal involvement in merriment activities such as decking the halls and such. Complaining about putting up lights is a sure sign of the onset of this syndrome.
If someone you know is developing this malady, warn them quickly and then give them a good healthy dose of Christmas cheer before it's too late. (Singing Jingle Bells three times in a row is a quick remedy for some, but for others it may drive them further into the illness.) My advice is to tread lightly among the non-believers. Some may be too far gone to fix. One should know that it has been documented that non-believers die much younger than believers.
It is sad but true that Scrooge Syndrome can begin to develop as early as ten years old. It is thought that perhaps this happens because of the over abundance of well meaning but fake Santas flooding our shopping malls.
*Research for this post has been gathered from The Santa Claus Book by Alden Perkes. Ph. D. S. who happens to be the world's leading authority on Santa Claus; and from personal experience of the author of this post.
Tomorrow's post will share pointers
on how to spot a fake Santa Claus.
This post will be most beneficial to those young males
Today is exactly one week before Christmas... a
special day that I have marked for more years than I care to
remember. Sometimes it's best not to remember how many years... and
just enjoy the moment you are in.
On this 6th day of Christmas, I choose to share a personal story. One that I hold close to my heart.
It may explain why I enjoy Christmas so much and why I feel the need to
share the spirit of Christmas... even here on this gardening blog.
A Christmas That Would Change My Life...Forever!
A Christmas baby… I was going to have a Christmas baby! The news made my mind spin with delight. I was a Christmas baby, well sort of. I had been born exactly a week before Christmas and my mother had always proclaimed that I was the best Christmas present she ever received. I loved to hear her tell of how she brought me home on Christmas day and that I was my brother’s “baby doll.” The thought of my having a real Christmas baby was better than any vision of sugar plums, though the thought did seem to dance in my head.
Dr. Chris looked at me with quiet resolve. “Hmm-m-m… December 25th. Let’s make that December 26th, I’ve never delivered a baby on Christmas in all these years. We’ll plan on the 26th.” I understood why he may not want to interrupt his holiday to deliver a baby, but I smiled back with my own quiet resolve. My baby would be born on Christmas.
Christmas morning we arose early to two little ones with bright eyes of Christmas delight. Nathan, three, and Lexi, twenty months, kept us busy as we discovered what Santa had left under the tree and one by one unwrapped our gifts. I was still certain that this would be the day my Christmas baby would be born..
Soon, it was time to make the drive to Grandma's house for the family Christmas party. I quietly packed two suitcases, one for Nathan and Lexi, with several days clothing, and one for me, with the things I would need at the hospital and sweet tiny clothes for my new little baby. Dr. Chris had assured me days earlier that we were on track for a “day after Christmas baby.” Determined to prove him wrong, I simply replied, “Have a Merry Christmas!” I knew in my heart that I was going to deliver a Christmas baby.
The drive to Grandma’s was especially long. Little arms and legs were tired of being in such cramped quarters and were causing me such discomfort. I would gently rub the protrusion on my bulging stomach until the little limb would pull back, giving me temporary relief until the next time. My family each expressed surprise at seeing me as we joined the Christmas party, they thought I surely would have delivered by then. I assured them that all was well.
Precisely at 4:00 p.m. I began to feel contractions. We were in the middle of opening presents when I whispered to my husband to help me time them. Within an hour the contractions were quite regular and I became very much aware that I was a such long way from my doctor and the hospital. I quietly but emphatically announced that we would be leaving for the hospital. Now.
“Can you wait for something to eat?” someone queried as they realized dinner was about to be served.
“No, we’re going now” I softly replied between contractions as I directed Mark to get the kids suitcase from the car. Grandma was surprised to discover that we were so prepared and had thought to bring a suitcase for my little ones. Of course, I knew that everything was working according to plan.
The drive was especially long for Mark. My contractions were getting longer and more frequent, I was sure that he was becoming more and more concerned. It was a 2 hour drive to the hospital. We finally arrived with little time to spare. Dr. Chris greeted us, somewhat relieved that we had waited until evening, giving him time to spend Christmas with his family. He asked me how my day had been and I replied that the only part of Christmas that I missed was Christmas dinner. The labor progressed well, just as we had anticipated and at exactly 9:00 p.m. my Christmas baby was born.
His cry pierced the quiet hush of the “Silent Night." "A boy" the doctor proclaimed with a twinkle in his eye. And he has ten fingers and ten little toes. I smiled with quiet contemplation as I realized that indeed all was well.
Later that night, my beautiful little boy was brought to me, all clean and warm and snugly in a Christmas stocking, and sleeping soundly I might add. I gazed into his perfect little face and pondered on the night’s experience. It was Christmas night, a sacred, holy night. I looked through my window at the new fallen snow below. All was calm and all was bright. I couldn’t help but wonder about the night our Savior was born so long ago. Tears filled my eyes as I compared my conditions in this clean and quiet hospital room with the manger of the Savior’s birth. There was no sound of animals, no straw surrounding me as I cradled my son within my arms, but the room was filled with a wonder and peace that filled my soul. That night I felt a closeness that returns to me each time I hear the song “Silent Night, Holy Night”. A Christmas baby... I had given birth to a Christmas baby and it changed my life forever.
Christmas is much like a grand Symphony in our large family and I am always the conductor. In preparation for the grand performance on Christmas morning, the perfect live tree must be found and decorated, halls must be decked with boughs of holly, shopping lists made and checked off twice, stockings hung and filled with treats to delight, delicious food must be ready to serve, and oh, I'm also the one who's job it is to make those visions of sugar plums become reality.
So many to care for, so much to do... and it all must be done before Christmas morning when the grand Symphony is performed, ready or not.
In all your busy-ness this holiday season, set aside time for yourself. Find a quiet place, put your feet up and listen to the silence. I'm talking still soft silence of a winters morning. Your sense of peace and happiness will be the key note of the grand performance on Christmas morning. Enjoy the Symphony!
Life's greatest joy is found in giving joy to others.
When my children were young people would always ask them "What are you getting for Christmas?" Their eyes would dance as they thought of all the gifts they hoped would be found under the tree on Christmas morning. Knowing I could never make all their wishes come true, I would quickly ask, "What are you giving for Christmas?" This was a much harder question to answer, but one that would make them think. Their thinking always led to hustling and bustling and secret stuff behind closed bedroom doors as they made gifts for each other. Christmas took on new meaning for them as they anticipated giving their gifts.
What a dreary way to begin the first full week of December.
but I choose...
There is Sunshine in my soul today
more glorious and bright
than glows in any earthly sky
for Jesus is my light.
Sometimes life casts dark clouds into our day
but we can always choose to rise above.
As we lift our thoughts we will find the silver lining.
Wishing each of you a little
Sunshine in your Soul today.
*Ha! Since I first made this post, the forecast has changed to Mostly Cloudy according to my little weather widget. See what uplifting thoughts can do for you? It can change your whole day! Let's all think lofty thoughts now and see if it will change to Sunny. Now that would be sweet.
I discovered this little rosebud growing in my garden on the first of November. "Crazy little rosebud" I thought out loud. "Don't you know it's almost Winter?" Never has a rose tried to bloom in my zone 5 garden so late in the year. How this little bud escaped my discovery for so long puzzles me.
I thought I might clip the stem and bring her into the house to get warm. Then perhaps she might fulfill the measure of her creation and bloom. Just five days earlier my gardens were under an eight inch blanket of snow... our first snowstorm of the season.
But the weather warmed up quickly and within a day the snow had melted. "Crazy little bud, she must think it's Spring." With the snow melted and the weather warm again, it felt like Spring! My crazy little rosebud had won a tender place within my heart and I just couldn't set the pruners to her stem.
And so my crazy little bud began to open... one petal at a time.
I soon noticed an interesting little anomaly within her petals. See how they fold inward to form little cheeks? An enchanting little moniker that tells the world "I'm unique!"
I was intrigued with the wide open petals... was this a result of the stiff winds that whipped through gardens the night before? Or some inner defense to capture all the sunlight she could muster to survive.