Wednesday, December 31, 2014


For a few days before Christmas, and the days following those special days - I have been remembering...

I am remembering my mother who was taken to her Heavenly Home 2 1/2 years ago...  

where she joined her "Sweetheart" of 40 years, her mother-in-law, father-in-law, her father, her sister and brother-in-law...and many many more friends and loved ones.

She also joined her own mother whom she never knew...

After I became an adult, my mother shared many of her childhood memories with me - 

Born on a cold December day, she was one of two; my mother was a twin!  Her mother and father had picked out names, just as any parent would be excited to do:  if a boy, named William after the father; if a girl, named Frederica after the mother.  In those days, it wasn't as easy to know that twins were expected...

So, when twins were born - what a surprise! - and they were named after their parents...William and Frederica...just as had been planned!

And later, because it sounded so cute, an aunt nicknamed them "Billy" and "Betty"; the "Betty" stuck for my mother into adulthood, and she officially changed her name to "Betty"!

William and Fredrica
December 1930

But, sometimes the joy of childbirth becomes heartache -

especially when the mother dies delivering her two precious babies.

Here is an excerpt from the memorial service held for their mother - I found this typed "In Memoriam" paper in my mother's pictures, keepsakes and other things:

"Almost as the time of the birth of Christ, two precious new lives entered the world, and almost at the dawning of the New Year, the mother, who gave them her all, entered into a new life beyond.

We were in the nursery and the little girl gave a cry - said the nurse, 'I waited a long time for that cry last night; I was afraid it would never come;' and we longed to take the babe in our arms and hold her close, but the nurse of a new born baby is all powerful and we didn't even quite date to ask."

That was my mother they were talking about!

"Then we turned to the boy, so perfect, one hand closed, asleep.  'It was a big price to pay,' said someone.  Suddenly the babe opened his hand, stretched it upward, gave a long sigh and settled back to sleep.  We watched him - hushed - and softly the words came to mind - 'Except a grain of wheat fall in the ground and die, it cannot live.' "

That was my mother's brother; my Uncle Bill!

"She has given a hostage to the future.  It was worth while; in her death she gave life; all she had of life and strength she contributed to the next generation - the highest gift life holds and a woman's peculiar mission.

In our sadness at parting from her in this life, we can glory in the crown of her womanhood, and pray for courage to continue to face life bravely, and touch life and live life even as she did, and leave our mark upon it, while we have our being."

That was my grandmother - my mother and uncle's mother - the one we never met; the one who gave life to them...

And, doesn't this all sound a little familiar?  Didn't our own Father - God - send us his only Son to die for our sins...he died so we could have life!

As things goes on; and raising twins for a man who just lost his wife - and also had an older daughter - it was necessary for him to get assistance from other family members.  These family members (I think they were aunts?  more research to do!) helped raise the twins until they were older, at which time they were placed in a Catholic orphanage where the boys were separated from the girls.  They did not see each other very often; but being twins, they shared time as often as possible.

One of the memories Mom shared was the time she almost lost her brother when he became violently ill.  Someone had left a jar of mayonnaise with a spoon in it out of the refrigerator, and it spoiled; but he had still eaten some of it (I am quite sure things were not refrigerated properly back then anyway).

Later when they were teenagers, my uncle went to live with their father; and my mother went to live with their older sister where she could help with her two nieces.

It was during this time that she attended "older" man (he was 5 years older!).  They each attended different local Christian Churches; but all of the area churches had a shared youth meeting on Sunday evenings.  They met and fell in love - and I have more stories to share about those days; but keeping those for another time!

Mom would have married this "older" man immediately; but he wanted her to finish High School before they married.  So, on June 1, 1950, she graduated from High School...

and on June 2nd, they married at her sister's home.

Wedding Day
June 2, 1950

Through their 40 years of marriage, Mom and Dad remained loving and faithful to each other.  They shared many memories together, many of which are memories I cherished once I was older and could look back on those "good ole days" with her!

Dad was in the military, and while he was away with his military duties, Mom became the stay-at-home "head of household" mother/father figure to the three children they had.  She was loving, yet strong and fair, in disciplining my brothers and I; and we respected her as our parent, as we did my Dad when he was around.  He was a quieter disciplinarian, very seldom losing his temper...but I do remember that one time!

When I was a teenager, my Dad had to leave for a year to serve in Viet Nam...that tore at his heart so much to be separated from his family for such a long time.  When he returned, since he was eligible to do so, Dad retired from the U. S. Army after serving many years.

After I married and left home, I lived in Germany with my first husband - who was also in the Army.  While I was there, my parents moved to Florida to be closer to my Dad's parents who were getting older.  Subsequently, my Dad had a stroke and was disabled and had to retire from his job.  Mom stood by him "in sickness and in health" for many years until his death in 1990.

And after that...well, Mom and I became very close; she was my help in many ways during a rough time of my life.  When I moved to the same city, after a rough separation and divorce, we became best friends.  We shared a lot of memories; we went to many church events together.

...and as a single divorced mom, she helped with my children - until I met someone and remarried!

But, that didn't stop Mom and I from being best friends and sharing so much of our lives together...

During this time we shared many of our memories - or I should say her memories.  This is the time I learned so much about my mother's childhood and how important it was to keep those memories alive for her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren!

Mom is the one that won enough money on her first cruise to take me on my first cruise:

My First Cruise
Oct. 2005

One of the things that really hurt me - for her! - was the holidays...since she and her brother were born so close after Christmas, she told me they would receive their gifts, with the idea that "this is your Christmas and your birthday present."

Now, imagine a child receiving their Christmas presents this way...and when their birthday came gifts!

So, once she shared this information with me - and I took the time to ponder it - I made a point to give her a Christmas gift and a birthday gift!  Such a small thing to do for my Mother - who lost so much, yet gave so much of herself!

The whole family - my two brothers, their spouses and children, and my spouse and children - surprised Mom with an 80th birthday party in December, 2010.  This was the last time the whole family was together (we were missing one of my brother's daughters and her husband; but they live across the US in Washington state!).

We lost Mom June 22, 2012 - and I am still missing her so much.  On Sunday December 28, 2014, the flowers in church were placed in her memory from the family...

In Memory of
Frederica Moore Harris
1930 - 2012

...and today I am remembering the life of one who gave me life - and so much more!

Happy Birthday, Mom!
I Love and Miss you so much!

Thank you for sharing this Journey in Remembering!

Friday, December 26, 2014

December 25th - The Big Day

The Cat woke me up at 6:45 am...

She must have been lonely - and ready for The Big Day to begin!

I remember the excitement of early morning Christmas Days - in the past!  My children were always up early when they were younger.

One special year - when my daughter and son-in-law and grandson were living with us while building their house...

It was so exciting to see the face of a 2 year old as he rounded the couch into the living room and saw...

The Tree!  ALL LIT UP and Beautifully decorated!

What JOY on the face of that little child!

What JOY we all shared just watching his excitement!

This year is a bit different; it's always different when you are "empty-nesters"...

No Good Morning or Merry Christmas...

but then...

In my heart - it is Christmas - and there is JOY to be found with family and loved ones!

May you also share that JOY this Christmas Day - and all the days of the new year and beyond!

One last linkup for Blogmas 2014.  Hope to join other bloggers next year - same time same place - for Blogmas 2015!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 24 - Christmas Eve

Normally - Christmas Eve day finds me...
This year - only three gifts left to wrap!

Picture found on Pinterest

Normally - Christmas Eve day finds me...making a big pot of chili for dinner!
This year - it's leftovers or nothing for me!
I don't think chili would work well for a tummy that's not quite right!

Normally - Christmas Eve finds me...
attending our Candlelight Service at church;
but with the rain and not feeling "quite right"...
This year - I am thinking a night at home may be what I need!

So, as I spend the evening at home; perhaps watching another Christmas movie...
I'll listen for the sounds of sleigh bells ringing -
and maybe even a distant "Ho, ho, ho"...

as we come to the climax of celebrating the Birth of Our Savior...

and continue to rejoice in a New Year with Him!

Wishing you and yours
a Blessed Christmas
and a Happy New Year


Linking with other bloggers for Blogmas 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Today I am linking up with Karen for Tuesday @ Ten; she posts a word prompt on her website and we have until the next Monday to write our post based on that word.

Today's word is - GIVE

On my Sunday Reflections for the 4th Sunday of Advent, I shared the following scripture:

Acts 20:35 - "In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

What we usually hear from this scripture is the "...more blessed to give than to receive" part of this scripture!

And it is a blessing to give of ourselves to others - whether it be through gifts of time or money or special little things we may share.  We receive a blessing in the giving to others.

I also shared in that post how hard it has been for me to be on the receiving end of gifts because I love to give; I am a giver of gifts.

Over the past few months, I have received many blessings - via comments from others who have read my blog posts, some on a daily basis!  

I have also been the recipient of special gifts from a couple of my friends - unexpected gifts that have touched my heart.

And I am learning that when we receive a gift or a blessing from someone, we are allowing them to be the giver.  No matter how hard it may be to receive, we must graciously accept their gifts.

But that certainly does not mean that we quit being a giver!  And give as often and as much as we can with what we have been given by God...and I think Maya Angelou has said it very well:

If you would like to read the post that I have mentioned, click here:

December 22 and 23 - Preparing and Favorite Stories

The BIG DAY is almost here - and if we aren't prepared for it yet, there is only ONE MORE DAY LEFT to buy and wrap those VERY LAST MINUTE GIFTS!

Missed yesterday with my Blogmas posts; so I am attempting to merge the two: Day in the Life as you Prepare for the Big Day and Favorite Christmas Story.

Today was spent with my daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren baking and decorating sugar cookies!  I stayed longer than I had originally planned because of needing to wrap all the gifts I had stashed away at home.

But, after dinner and cleaning up the kitchen, I managed to wrap all but three before my back gave out on me...

I will finish those in the morning!

Camera batter is "exhausted"
so I found these beautifully wrapped gifts
on Pinterest!

Now, to share favorite Christmas stories!

First, an old favorite:

...and so the story continues!

Then a new favorite:

I watched The Polar Express a few years ago with my older grandson and enjoyed it so much that I watched it multiple times since!  The movie was a bit "scary" for a 3 1/2 year old; so I haven't watched it with that grandson and know there will be many more times available for me to watch it again with him and his younger siblings!

But, the most wonderful story, and the REASON we celebrate the SEASON - 

...the story we read in the Bible - Luke 2 - the story of the Birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

"She gave birth to her first child, a son.
She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth
and laid him in a manger,
because there was no lodging available for them."
Luke 2:7 NLT

Linking with other bloggers for Blogmas 2014 - 
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be posted...but I am not sure exactly when that will be posted!

May you all have a Merry Christmas Eve and Day!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook - December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014

Outside My Window:
(actually outside the balcony door)
a rainy, over-cast
not-too-chilly day;
warm enough to have the door open
and no heat.

I Am Thinking:
Nest year I need to...
Plan Ahead;
Start Earlier;
Save Money;
Be Prepared for the Holidays!

I Am Thankful For:
Loving, Caring
who help me
when I am down!

In the Kitchen:
Left-over Goodies
from hubby's family
get-together on Saturday;
and a sink-ful of dishes!

I Am Wearing:
jeans, pink shirt, socks;
kicked off my crocs
when I sat down
on the couch!

I Am Creating:
Plenty to do
the holidays;
preparing for craft show
and yard/craft sales.

I Am Going:
No place else today!
Christmas Shopping
is DONE!
I am going to RELAX!
Except for some wrapping
AFTER this movie!

I Am Wondering:
How long the rain will stay;
if it will get colder!

I Am Reading:
Still reading
"The Silver Chair";
Book 4 of
"The Chronicles of Narnia"
by C. S. Lewis
(I only have a few pages left to read!!)

I Am Looking Forward to:
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Christmas Day with Family
New Year's Eve
(probably chillin' at home!)
New Year's Day
(probably scrapbooking with friends,
while the guys watch
football games!)
A New Year - 2015

I Am Learning:
to Receive
(see "Sunday Reflections"

I Am Hearing:
the TV...
the loud TV!
Singing on the movie;
Screaming on the commercials...
the volumn button works,
and it sounds much better!

Around the House:
Gifts sitting around,
in bags and boxes,
waiting to be wrapped!

A Favorite Quote for Today:

One of My Favorite Things:
Fun holiday music and movies;
and relaxing enough to enjoy them!

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week:
Tuesday - wrapping gifts;
baking cookies with
daughters and grand children.

Wednesday - more wrapping;
Christmas Eve
Candlelight Service
at Church.

Thursday - baking dessert
for Christmas dinner;
Dinner with the family;
and presents!

Friday - maybe nothing!

Saturday - maybe scrapbooking
or nothing!

Sunday - Church;
Special Flowers
in Memory of
My Mother
who passed 2 1/2 years ago.
Love and Miss you sooooo much, Mom.

A Peek into My Day:
Almost shopped 'til I Dropped
trying to finish Christmas shopping!

Now Relaxing!
First day of relaxing
in quite a few weeks!
Cook Dinner
Clean Kitchen
Check e-mail
Write two more Posts
Read others' Blogs
Write a couple more cards!
(Finish my book before I go to bed!!)

"The Simple Woman's Daybook" is DONE for 2014...and then a new year ahead!

What will 2015 bring?

4th Sunday of Advent - LOVE


The third verse from the hymn we are using this Advent Season, When God Is a Child" says:

"LOVE is a flame that burns in our heart.
Jesus has come and will never depart.
When God is a child there's joy in our song;
The last shall be first and the weak shall be strong,
and none shall be afraid."

Acts 20:35 - In all this I have given you an example that byt such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

This scripture from Acts is one in which Paul is speaking to the Ephesian Elders; most of the time, we hear only the "...more blessed to give than to receive" part of this scripture!

And it IS a blessing to be able to give to others...we in turn are blessed!


To RECEIVE from others - the LOVE they so willingly give - is such an awesome feeling...for in the sharing of their love, we are blessed; and so are they!

It works both ways...

when we give, we are blessed!  When we receive, we are blessed!

Either way, BOTH are BLESSED!

Yesterday during our Advent Candle-lighting, a young woman shared memories as a teenager of coming home to find her mother had been murdered; and the killer has still not been found.  The reason for sharing her story was to lift up the LOVE she RECEIVED from others during this traumatic time...

especially the LOVE of her grandmother, her mother's mother.  Her grandmother found it in her heart to still LOVE even with the tragedy that had come to her daughter.  My friend, the young woman, learned to LOVE because of her grandmother's love.  She received love...


"What No One Wants to Talk About at Christmas."  The title of this blog captured my attention the other day as I read Martys Musings.  At first I was interested in what could be so hard to talk about at Christmas...


That is what no one wants to talk about at Christmas; yet, grief happens.  But, as this post shares the memories of a child and a special gift from a beloved sister - now gone at such a young age due to a heart attack - 

and the blessings of RECEIVING three adopted siblings "God gave us at just the right time would provide a distraction and a new focus that changed our lives"...


RECEIVING is not easy; I don't find it easy to RECEIVE from others...

because I am a Giver.  I find it hard to accept what others wish to give; I am on the opposite side of where I am comfortable...

Yet I am finding it easier and easier to RECEIVE what others have to offer because I am learning that others have a need to GIVE just as I do!  And...


During the Advent/Christmas Season, we continuously RECEIVE the LOVE that Jesus Christ our Savior GIVES to each of us!

My prayer to you and yours during the remaining days of the Advent/Christmas season, and into the New Year, is that you, too learn:


Monday, December 22, 2014

December 21 - Christmas in Florida

Well, living in Florida, it seems a bit weird to sing about Winter Wonderland or I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas - unless you consider the waves at the beach as a "white" Christmas!

In fact, there have been very few Christmases spent in a snow-covered landscape, with sledding down the hills and building snowmen and throwing snow balls!

As someone who has been a Floridian for most of her life, either as a second home or as a current just get used to what the weather brings for a holiday such as Christmas.

I came across this adaptation of Winter Wonderland:

Another fun way to share how non-winter our Wonderland in Florida can be at this time of year!

So, as we come quickly into those last few days of the Advent/Christmas season...

Let me wish you all:
From Sunny Florida!

Linking with other bloggers for Blogmas 2014 - 
for just a few more days!  I will miss you all greatly; and hope we connect through other sources!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 20th - Last Minute


Yes...that is definitely ME!!  Even when I was working...last minute!

Now that I am retired...

Last Minute!!

Why?  When there is soooooo much time available...24 hours in one day...take out sleeping (or trying to sleep); and eating; and shopping; and crafting; and having FUN with the kids and grand kids...

Well, that would give a reason - maybe!

It seems as if no matter how hard I try to get things done ahead of time -

I always end up doing them at the last minute!

So, what does this mean for the Christmas holiday that is just around the FIVE DAYS from today will be Christmas Day!!

Most of my shopping starts around November; after Halloween.  We wait for our paychecks to come in (once a month for each of us!) in order to know how much we can spend.  And, NO Black Friday shopping for me!

No Christmas Club accounts to make life easier...that would be easier for sure...maybe next year?!

Most of the time I shop according to what I need first; example - I do an exchange with my scrapbooking friends.  We have two dates for sharing through "Elfster", an online Gift Exchange (see Elfster for more info).  The first exchange is in November; the second near the beginning of December.  So I have to buy gifts according to my person's Wish List by those exchange dates.

This year I bought gifts for my son, daughter-in-law and grand daughter for Thanksgiving since they would not be able to come back for Christmas.  And we celebrated our family Thanksgiving/Christmas together!!

So, with our November and December paychecks, I concentrated on the 5 remaining grandkids!  And, depending on how shopping goes...for the "kids" as well!

And that leaves me shopping this afternoon to finish the grand kids' gifts and decide on the kids' gifts, too.

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

* * * * * * * * * *

These 20 days in December - linking up with other bloggers for Blogmas 2014 - 

have been so rewarding...

searching my memory for favorites and special times during the Advent/Christmas seasons of the past; and sharing memories other bloggers have written.

These last few days have been so busy that I haven't done as much reading as I'd like...but I do plan to return and continue reading and sharing!

Thank you to ALL who have read and commented on my posts!  Thank you to ALL who have read!

May you ALL have the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 19th - Preparing for Christmas

What do we do to actually prepare for Christmas?

Shopping for special gifts

Baking delicious desserts and food for the holidays

Cleaning the house for Company

Decorating the house

Spending time with our family and friends

Wrapping all the gifts we have purchased

Sending out Christmas cards to family and friends

Stressing over getting everything done...

And I am sure this is not all that is on our to-do list before the BIG DAY - in just a Week...

Wait!  A week from TODAY - it will all be over!!

But, have we really prepared for Christmas?

Have we prepared a place in our hearts for our Savior, Jesus Christ - the one who was born in a manger?  The one who was sent by His Father - God, our Heavenly Father who sent His ONE AND ONLY SON...

ARE we prepared to receive that special gift...

to leave all the stress behind and open our hearts to receiving Jesus Christ?

IS there a place in our hearts for Him?

It's not too late to receive that special gift; 
that perfect gift!

The Gift of Jesus Christ;

The Gift of Eternal Life.

Are you prepared?

Connecting with others for Blogmas 2014!

Friday, December 19, 2014


It is Thursday night and time to link up with Kate Motaung and others bloggers for Five Minute Friday.  Once we receive our one word prompt, it's time to write for five minutes - without thinking about what we are writing, or doing any editing to what we have written.

Today's word is "ADORE" -

Adore - "to love very strongly"

I love my grand children; I guess you could say that I adore them...

all SIX of them!

I love looking into their innocent faces, and watch their smiles when I come in the door.  I love to hear their giggles; the "jokes" they tell, then answer themselves:

What do snowmen have for breakfast?
Snow Flakes...Ha ha ha...hear the precious giggles!

I love watching them as they sleep in my arms; sometimes that little smile spreads across their faces - do they know I am smiling, too?

I love when my oldest grandson acts silly and "cra-cra" and makes me laugh at his antics!  I love the selfies he posts, those beautiful blue eyes staring back at me!

I love the special pictures of my oldest granddaughter - since she is not in the same state as I am, I don't see her as often; but I love keeping up with her through Facebook and the pictures she or her mother or father posts.  I love her smile and her beautiful long hair!

I love the afternoons spent watching Karate or Baseball, watching them play or perform doing what they do best...

Yes, I adore my grandchildren!

My "best ever" days are those spent with my grandchildren.


'Tis the Season!

As much as I adore my grandchildren...

The Baby that we adore during the Advent/Christmas Season is adored so much more, for He is our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord!

Oh, yes!!  Let Us Adore Him!

Christ the Lord!

December 18th - The Stockings

Today's prompt for Blogmas 2014 is "Stocking Stuffers for the Family; Ideas".  There are a variety of links on Pinterest that give ideas: for boys; for girls; for men; for women; for anyone!  Just put in the words Christmas Stockings and you will have a lot to choose from!

The Stockings were hung...

When I was growing up, our stockings usually would have fruit and nuts or candy, and maybe a small gift or two.  I'm not really sure what it would be...but, stockings were opened first!  And, since my parents and grandparents would stay up late Christmas Eve to finish the tree and putting presents under it...their socks (they used their own socks instead of "regular" stockings) would have some of the fruit and nuts or candy - maybe the wrappers, too!  But, they would always hold an empty can or bottle, or two!  I don't recall exactly what kind of drink it would be; my parents would have a beer once in a while, but were not drinkers!

With my children, we would fill their stockings with smaller gifts - like toy cars (Hot Wheels!), or a new toothbrush, or hair supplies (barrettes, headbands, etc.) or nail polish and small perfumes.  My "children" follow that tradition, too, with their own children.

The stockings - THEN and NOW - were similar to these, but with our names in glitter across the top:
The stockings hung at our house
Christmas 2007

Stockings have become fancier through the years!  Some are handmade; some are store bought; some frilly or soft or satiny - all meant to be hung and ready to hold those little treasures we find to fill them with.

Browsing Pinterest for pictures of stockings, it was difficult to find any of the old "traditional" ones - like the ones we had from 2007!  Here are a few of the hand made ones I liked:

And, of course, we can't forget the Disney stockings for those little (and big!) Disney lovers!

A couple of the handmade stockings that I especially liked were the two below, one using an old sweater and one using and old or out-grown pair of jeans:

Whatever type of "stocking" you hang this year, hoping yours is full of fun things!!

Connecting with others for Blogmas 2014!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


How many times have I said - "Life is a Journey"?  

Our Journey begins the day we are born!

Journey through Life -

From Birth to Death...

From Place to Place...

Stops along the way;


Road Blocks...

Bumps in the Road...

One Way Streets...

And Intersections...

The following quote reminds me that our Journey is continuous; that every Stop along the way prepares us for what is ahead.  Our Destination may be unknown, but we continue on our Journey expecting to get there - some day!

As I was preparing to write this post on the word prompt Journey, I remembered something I wrote about dreams called "On the Road to Somewhere":

"I dreamed I was going somewhere - I am not sure where! - and decided to take a shortcut.  The road was rough and not very straight.  At one point, right in the middle of my path, was a very high set of wide stairs.  I climbed to the top and entered a building.  I wasn't certain where I was but knew I had been there before; I also recall dreaming of this place at least once before.

I seemed to be entering the building from a back door.  I wandered around for awhile trying to find the way out.  There were a lot of rooms and people, some 'walking funny', some lying down.  Finally, somebodyhelped me to find the way to the front door.

As I continued on my Journey to "somewhere", I stopped along the way for a drink and some food.  I saw someone I knew, but didn't realize at first she was with someone.  When I spoke, she just continued reading what she had been reading, and just ignored me!  The person with me said, 'Well, she was with someone else.'

I don't recall that I ever arrived at my Destination!"

Do we ever arrive at our Destination?  

Not really - at least, not until we arrive at those Pearly Gates that await us in Heaven with our Heavenly Father.  In the time before we arrive at our Destination, we continue...

On our Journey through Life...

From Place to Place...

Stops along the way;

One Way Streets...

And Intersections...

'Til Death comes...

In my dream Journey to Somewhere, I may have walked familiar paths or come across familiar people; but I was on a Journey to my Destination - and with God's guidance, I was on the path that I was supposed to take.

Our lives are that way -


Linking up with other bloggers for another "word prompt" post to help jump-start writing on a regular basis!  Check it out at Tuesday @ Ten and join us - you have a whole week to get your post completed!

December 17th - Christmas in the USA


That is what Christmas is like in the U.S. - but it is up to us to keep remembering:

The Reason for the Season...

Why DO we celebrate Christmas?  What IS the Reason for the Season?

On this day - December 25th - we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ who came to us in a lowly manger inside a dirty stable surrounded by a variety of animals.  Do we get it right with the nativities we display during the Advent/Christmas season?  Maybe - or maybe not!

When my children were growing up - I always had a nativity placed under the tree.  Later, when I became more aware of the season and the real reason behind our celebrations, I started displaying the nativity - without the Baby Jesus...He wasn't born yet, according to how we celebrate.  Whether the date is correct or not, that is when we celebrate His birth.

Over the last few years, I have collected nativities from around the world - an Indian one; an Eskimo one; many ceramic painted or plain white ones.  These are proudly displayed every year - some have been handed down to my children now; but I keep about four treasured ones.  (Can you imagine a drawer full of many different little baby Jesuses?!)

Other traditions we have at my church is our annual Live Nativity - complete with the Angels, Shepherds, Kings, Mary and Joseph and the Baby Jesus (somebody's treasurer baby doll!).  The set is outside our church, with a variety of beautiful music in the sanctuary, crafts for the children downstairs in the fellowship hall, people handing out hot apple cider and cookies (even if the weather is more tropical and warm!) - and children lined up to see Santa...


It seems to me Santa gets more glory and honor than Baby Jesus does.  It is up to us as parents and grandparents to KEEP JESUS CHRIST IN THE FORE-FRONT of our celebrations!

But, where does this tradition come from?  I found this great post "Who Is St. Nicholas?" HERE that gives a great history lesson on who St. Nicholas was - and how St. Nicholas Day is celebrated around the world.

Quite a different view of "Santa Claus" - but...look at the similarities!

I find this tradition of St. Nicholas much closer to the real reason for the season than a jolly, fat Santa that lives in the North Pole and has little elves who work in his toy factory to make toys for all the little girls and boys; and who has a list of naughty and nice children.

The tradition of Santa Claus continues - and there is much controversy as to whether or not we should teach our children about Santa Claus - or the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny...or or or - I am not going into that controversy!  I don't "debate" very well!!

When my children were growing up - there was a present (or presents) from Santa; as well as those from mommy and daddy.  The Magi did bring gifts to the Baby Jesus; so we give gifts to those we love in celebration of His birth!

As my children grew up, they figured out on their own that mommy and daddy were "Santa Claus", or maybe their friends told them the truth.  I never had any negative feedback from my children over my "lying" to them...perhaps others have...

One of my favorite decorations for this season (now displayed at my daughter's house) is a ceramic piece with Santa kneeling at the manger of the Baby Jesus - similar to this:

Perhaps ALL of our traditions have blended together afterall!!

So many other traditions!  I have shared Favorite Holiday Traditions; Favorite Movies and Music and Food; Decorations; Hand-made Favorites; the Christmas Tree...and so much more during Blogmas 2014!

Earlier this morning I was reading another blogger's post,, on the traditions in the UK.  Amazing how much their traditions are like ours in the USA...

but then, I started thinking - we do have a "melting pot" of people from all over the world!  It's no wonder our traditions for this special celebration become blended as we blend our families together!

Wonderful to be connecting with others for Blogmas 2014!  Thank you for joining us!!