Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. But
once again, despite my plans, chaos prevailed. I had cut back on nonessential
obligations-- extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and yes, even the
all American pastime, overspending. Yet, still, I found myself exhausted, unable to
appreciate the precious family moments, and, of course, the true meaning of Christmas.
My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a
six year old filled with hopes, dreams and laughter. For weeks, he'd been memorizing
songs for his school's "Winter Pageant." I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be
working the night of the production.
Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me
there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to
attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed
happy with the compromise.
So, just as I promised, on the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in 10 minutes
early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw
several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students
were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged
on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.
Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as
"Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment -- songs
of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. The melodies were fun, cute and
lighthearted, but nowhere to be found was even the hint of an innocent babe, a manger,
or Christ's sacred gift of hope and joy. So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas
Love", I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.
Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red
sweaters and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row -- center
stage -- held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the
class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H
is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented
the complete message, "Christmas Love."
The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her -- a small,
quiet girl in the front row who was holding the letter "M" upside down. She was
entirely unaware, that reversed, her letter "M" appeared as a "W." Fidgeting from
side to side, she soon moved entirely away from her mark.
The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at the little one's mistake.
But in her innocence, she had no idea they were laughing at her as she stood
tall, proudly holding her "W".
One can only imagine the difficulty in calming an audience of young, giggling
students. Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter
continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush
came over the audience and eyes began to widen.
In that instant, we understood -- the reason we were there, why we celebrated
the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos there was a purpose for our
festivities. For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:
CHRIST WAS LOVE.
And, I believe, He still is.
Amazed by His presence…
Humbled by His Love…
Christmas Love is a true story, authored by
I wanted to do a different kind of blog entry for this special month of December. Not just my ramblings of holiday busyness or what kind of crafts I’ve been working on, more than just words about the holiday hoopla and prep…I’d never read this story before, I thought it was sweet, but also significant . Christmas has a special meaning for all of us, more times than not, the meaning just seems to get lost in all the festivities-aka-holiday chaos.
As in the story, I too wanted to cut way back this year. Make some much needed changes around here. Keeping in mind what means the most, purging the rest!
So when I came across this little story it seemed just perfect addition for my post!
I knew exactly what I didn’t want this holiday season:
STRESS, nonessential obligations, Obsessing, ENDLESS Decorating and Tweaking. [Even tho I enjoy decorating and tweaking]….
I knew exactly what I did want:
I wanted time… time to spend with my family, time to just relax and take in ALL that is Christmas!!
I told myself a while back…
‘I’m NOT going overboard with decorating! Nor with shopping!‘ …and as we all know, I absolutely won’t go overboard when it comes to holiday baking (lol)!
After all, it’s not about “the amount” decorating or shopping or baking we do… It’s about finding a that harmonious middle ground, a peaceful calm feeling, a feeling that makes our hearts sing… rather than our nerves frazzled!
Being with family and friends, giving more than receiving…that’s what it’s all about!
Truly, every day should be celebrated as if it were CHRISTMAS….
Every day…should be filled with the SIMPLE LITTLE THINGS that bring us pleasure, that keep us well grounded and genuine, those things that make our hearts sing with love.
I celebrate my beliefs….
I celebrate my family and friends, I’m blessed with the best!
I celebrate my modest little home, large and magnificent it’s not…. but warm and welcoming it is!
I have more than some and far less than most…
But I celebrate it all, because I know it’s simply enough and it’s just perfect for me….
I am amazed and humbled every single day and very grateful for what I have!
SO I choose to celebrate all my simple little things which bring me much joy and love….
No matter your beliefs, no matter ‘Who’ or ‘how’ you choose to celebrate this season…
Remember what it’s all about. Just take a step back and look around, for you too, have less than some, but far, far more than most.
Just be grateful, be thankful…
LOVE who and what you HAVE, Love where you are right now in life, make Peace with the rest and enJOY life’s simple little pleasures- for they are a true GIFT!
Love, Peace & JOY…is the true meaning of Christmas
and for me
that’s what CHRISTMAS LOVE is all about!
…may you surround yourself with what is most meaningful to you, may you not OBSESS….
but enjoy the ‘ALL of CHRISTMAS’…May you ‘FEEL THE CHRISTMAS LOVE’…without the HOLIDAY STRESS
Decorating simply, with
On a shelf, a simple cedar garland, some golden-brown pears…Baskets- hand woven by a friend,
Pewter, a gift from my Gram to my parents, handed down to me….the perfect holiday blend.
I made the decision to put the tree in the dining room this year.
One main tree, in our home this year…simply displayed…
in drieds that I grew in my gardens, pheasant feathers …and at the base, a simple coverlet I laid …
My Mantle- decked out for the holidays; it may be a bit “ho-hum” to some……but not to me!
…all it really needed with my favorite dignified Sheep was a lighted garland and a simple unadorned tree…
Pewter… from mom and dad and some gifted to me by friends…
One Glorious Angel …with a magnificent message to send…
On the dining room Table sits Olde Santa and his Reindeer…
A ♥ gift from my hubs, my sweet ‘other dear’
No tree in the family room?
Yes, that’s right, we don’t miss it a bit…
there’s still plenty of holiday glow…..
once all the candles are lit!
In keeping with my plan, I opted for NO TREE in the family room, instead I wanted to create a simple yuletide focal point in this room. So I designed this door box, Hubs made it for me and I dressed it with greens from the real Olde Weeping Cedar. Tall, skinny, undecorated trees flank the door as a large rusty Angel hovers above, scattering blessings on all who enter…
Yes…this is….Christmas Love♥
Santa Claus with his bag fulla toys!
What can I say…like a kid…the jolly ole elf just fills my heart with joy!
Quaint and Unpretentious…Nothing grand in here…
just a cozy warm feeling of holiday cheer!I
A small tree in an Olde Wooden Pail…
So simple and plain…
…Dressed with nothing more than a dried berry-orange garland, it exudes the yuletide season… all the same!
…an olde wooden chair, a bowl of Christmas Eve eats and a stocking chock fulla olde thyme treats…
This end of the Kitchen faces our drive
A candle glows in the window as we look out to see our holiday guests arrive.
A Feather Tree, Two Belsnickles and some Snow Flakes made of salt dough,
greet family and friends as they come in from the cold…
I thank you kindly for stopping by.
I extend to YOU and YOURS…
The Merriest of Yuletide Blessings …along with my Christmas wish;
May we ALL just be grateful, thankful for every little thing in our life
May we Love what we have, let go of the things we can’t change, for those are the things that cause us strife….
May we grow a little each day,
in Peace and in Contentment…
and never hold onto worry or live one minute with resentment…
May our Thankfulness for the simple things carry on and on
throughout this holiday season,
into the New Year… and BEYOND♥
Wishing You Much
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!
I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand.... Simplify, simplify.
- Henry David Thoreau
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
Well, here it is mid-August, already…I thought it would be nice to pop in and
extend a friendly “hello”!!
I hope you’ve all been having a great summer….[minus the dreadful heat and humidity], it’s been a beautiful summer here.
I’d like to invite you to share just a few of the simple pleasures I’ve enjoyed over these past summer weeks….
some gardening, a little bit of crafting, relaxing by the pond and having hubby cook for me over the campfire ….just a glimpse of some of my favorite summer things as seen through my [camera’s] eye and narrated by the words of others’…[using some of my favorite quotes & sayings--did I ever mention, I’m a “quote” collector!]
Hope you enjoy your visit and are enjoying the simple pleasures of these last dog days of summer….Autumn is just around the corner…and….
I know that makes us all SMILE just a little bit bigger!!
My Plain and Simple Days of Summer
Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds,
Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
The tone of languid nature.
There is more to life than increasing its speed.
~Mohandas K. Gandhi
*garden sign made and gifted to me by Amy
Gardens are where heaven touched the earth
A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.
When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.
How strange that Nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude! ~Emily Dickinson
In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful. ~Abram L. Urban
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Gardens are a form of autobiography. ~Sydney Eddison
Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~Sam Keen
Nature is my medicine.
I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it....
To poke a wood fire is more solid enjoyment than almost anything else in the world. ~Charles Dudley Warner
The story of barbecue is the story of America: Settlers arrive on great unspoiled continent, discover wondrous riches, set them on fire and eat them. ~Vince Staten
It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it.
All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.
Life goes faster on protein.
~Martin H. Fischer
All sorrows are less with bread.
~Miguel de Cervantes
The belly rules the mind.
♥What I need to live has been given to me by the earth. Why I need to live has been given to me by you♥
In the sky
an infinitude of hope,
a canvas of glory
all possibilities mine.
Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. ~William Morris
•From my Workshop•
Really we create nothing. We merely plagiarize nature.
Love, and do what you like.
- Saint Augustine
Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes. ~Author Unknown
If you don't have time to do it right you must have time to do it over.
Out of the strain of the doing,
Into the peace of the done.
Some pursue happiness, others ‘create’ it.
* Baskets made and gifted to me by Pam
~ Lantern Lighters~
Have few desires.
~Lantern Lighters Keep~
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
~Franklin D Roosevelt 1882
bonnet made and gifted to me by Maurine
Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.
- Oscar Wilde
Prim Acorns ~Bowl Fillers
…relish small, simple pleasures
Simplicity is an exact medium between too little and too much.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds
Mini Cinni’s ~ bowl fillers
The simplest things give me ideas.
- Joan Miro
The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person.
Autumn Harvest Fixin’s
Fresh cut flowers, berries and some dried corn….
all Hand-dipped in beeswax then powdered with spices, some dried orange slices have also been thrown in the bowl too!
Simplicity, carried to an extreme, becomes elegance.
- Jon Franklin
made from antique molds
Making the simple complicated is commonplace;
making the complicated simple,
awesomely simple, that's creativity.
- Charles Mingus
Mini Prairie cakes ~ Bowl Fillers
Simplicity is the essence of happiness.
- Cedric Bledsoe
I will end with one more, VERY favorite, quote of mine….
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have
into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos
to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes
sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.
- Melody Beattie
As Always, and with much gratitude, I’m so happy you stopped by, I’ve missed you guys a lot…and…
hopefully, with the changing season, I will have more time to be on here.
I’m already looking forward to my next blog entry…it will be full of
~Until my next post~TGC, friends~
‘ ♥’Felt Blessings, Kath