Christmas In The Country

At this time last year, I signed off being online due to no Internet where we were staying. It was here, in this place, our new home. Now, we have Internet, and it’s been twenty days since I last blogged. So, I think it’s time that I get back on board and start blogging again. My previous goal was for at least every other week. Now that the end of 2021 is here, I believe getting back to a set writing and blogging schedule is definitely doable.

I got away from blogging weekly, like I had been doing since last year, mainly from just being exhausted from our move over the past summer. Everything caught up with me, and I just had to take a step away from some things for a while. The funny thing is nothing ever really slowed down. Time just filled up with other things. But I did get lost, more recently, in just living life. And that’s a good thing.

Our front gate entrance.

I’m glad to be here today, where we are now. Not much is happening, and yet everything is happening. As hubs continues to build our “little casita”, our future guest cottage, and our soon-to-be temporary living quarters, I am busy working on my filing and organization projects, marketing my current and future book, writing said future book, and keeping up with daily chores.

I have this dream of being fully organized, the kind where my time is spent on my writing and marketing instead of thinking about all the filing systems I have which are outdated and just plain don’t work for me any longer. The good news is I have slowly made progress. Instead of five or six piles of paperwork, I have only two. Currently, I am waiting on more colored tabs from Amazon. While I wait, I am wrapping Christmas gifts and learning new ways to share my currently published book with the greater world.

For Christmas, we will be traveling into the city, or maybe I should say around the outskirts of the city, to spend Christmas Eve with our son and his family and in-laws. It will be a wonderful time of catching up, good food, and seeing the smiling faces and happy hearts of our “littles” (our grandbabes), our hearts that walk around outside of us and illuminate our lives with love, laughter, and joy.

A December sunset behind “Shed Row.”

Christmas Day will be spent here in the country, living and doing what one does in the country. Enjoying nature. Hopefully, sleeping in. Walking. Eating leftovers maybe, if there were any to bring back with us. Napping. Writing. Watching movies. Reading. And attending Mass. No filing, lol!

One thing I love about Christmas, in addition to celebrating the reason for the season, is a memory of when I was a child. My family lived in the country, several miles out of town. Each year, except for one, my parents would put up a traditional evergreen Christmas tree. But one year, they waited too late for even for an artificial one – which my momma never liked anyway. So, she asked my daddy to bring in a large tree limb. Really, no kidding!

He brought in a branch from a mesquite tree. She decorated it with her pretty glass beads she had bought over the years from the local Klink’s store. And we cut out paper snowflakes and hung them on the tree. Then, Momma made popcorn balls, wrapped them in saran wrap and a red ribbon, and hung those on the tree. And we all strung popcorn and hung those on the tree as well.

Country Christmas photo shoot (with a photo-bomber).

It was a Christmas to be remembered. In fact, several of us kids thought we did it every year until Momma burst our pretty Christmas memory a few years ago and reminded us it was the only year in which our Christmas tree was a mesquite tree limb. The memory of this special Christmas made such an impact on us that we made it last forever – or for many more years than it really was.

Is there one Christmas that you recall more than another? Is there one memory, however small or faded, that brings a smile to your face or melancholy to your heart? Is there a Christmas tradition you once participated in which you would like to start up again now?

One tradition I do now is a tiny Christmas love note to those who I am with on Christmas Eve. The idea, another one from when we were kids, came when my parents asked us to write love letters to each other as we anxiously waited for the arrival of Santa Claus. It was a way to keep us entertained and help pass the time, as we were determined to wait up for Santa, longing to see how he would get into our house which didn’t have a chimney attached to it.

A Wreaths Across America event – December 18.

I’m not sure if any of my siblings (there were eight of us, of which four of us were more than likely old enough to write) remember these love notes to each other, hanging each one on the tree, and eagerly opening them the next day to see how much we were loved by our brothers and sisters. But I have been doing this for about nine years now.

Sometimes I write a love note to each person or to each family as a whole. I’m not sure what anyone does with these Christmas notes, if they go out in the trash with all the opened boxes and used gift wrap, or if they end up saved in a memento box or drawer. It is my hope that these little notes (I try to keep them small, short and simple, and to the point) get saved and pulled out through the year as a reminder of how truly special they are.

What are you doing this Christmas? Will you be staying home or traveling? Will you be cooking or taking a few sides? Are adults exchanging gifts as well as children? Do you have activities planned? I’m hoping for a game of Uno. My son has these huge Uno cards, and it is hysterical – especially when there are several of us – and the grandbabes – playing.

A Christmas Cardinal, just one of many visiting our property.

I hope that wherever you spend Christmas and whatever you do that it will be a safe and happy one for you. If this Christmas isn’t everything you hope it to be, keep in mind each year is different. Sometimes it is everything we hope for, sometimes even more, and sometimes not so much. But we can always hold onto hope, a hope which time allows for us to grow and to process what we are experiencing. The hope that brings a new tomorrow, new dreams, new passions, new love, new friends, and a new journey.

My new journey is here in the country with a slower pace of life, but with just as important of a goal as writing to inspire others. We all can and do let things get in the way of what we really want to be doing – like everyday life gets in my way of my filing projects, and my failure to get my filing caught up in turn gets in the way of my writing. But, if we just keep at it, it will all get there – to that place of achievement, of maybe even completion.

Until then, take time to enjoy your Christmas – with loved ones, with family, with friends, or on your own. Take time to walk in nature and feel the presence of our Creator. Take time to slow down and read – just for fun or for a broader knowledge of something. Take time to soak in the sounds, smells, and feels of Christmas, of knowing that a little baby a very long time ago came to give us hope.


I selected my top three. Which ones would you choose?

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