Merry Christmas 2013

propic11_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

It’s here.  Christmas Day, the day we have been planning for all year.  Gifts are open and it’s nearly time for Christmas Dinner.  Can’t you smell the spicy aroma of ham cooking in the oven with pineapples pierced with cloves and basted with brown sugar and pineapple syrup?file0001795692878  Don’t you just love the sounds of the children oohing and aahing over their gifts?  Can’t you feel the love that abounds this time of the year with family and friends?

You sit in the midst of a floor strewn with wrapping paper and a jumble of toys, sweaters, and other things you handpicked for everyone.  You think about Christmases past, when it wasn’t all about the latest toy or hippest clothes everyone let you know they wanted for Christmas.  You allow your mind to drift (just for a moment) back to the Christmases of your childhood and realize they weren’t quite the same.

We always had soup on Christmas Eve.  Then Dad called Santa on the santatelephone to ask him if he could please come early to the Flory house.  We traditionally opened our gifts on Christmas Eve because my Father worked for the Michigan State Highway Department and was called out almost every year to plow snow.  Then we children went to a bedroom upstairs.  There were four of us and I read the Christmas Story from the Bible while we kept an eye out the window just in case we could see the lights from Santa’s sleigh as it landed on our rooftop.

All of a sudden a hearty “Ho, Ho, Ho” would boom up the stairs and we’d hear my Mother’s voice say “Santa Claus was here, you can come down now.”

We scampered down the winding staircase to see our Christmas tree all aglow and presents spread around it.  There weren’t a lot of presents, just enough.  Dad was the person who handed out gifts one by one.  We each watched the other open a gift and waited until my Father put the wrapping in a bag.  What fun we had.  My Mother had spent months crocheting special scarves, mittens and doll clothes.  She made pretty new dresses for us three girls and a cowboy shirt and pants for my brother.

We each got one toy and it was usually the thing we coveted most or something close to it.

One of my favorite Christmases was the year my Dad gave my Mom a box of potatoes.  She opened it and beamed at Dad.   “How did you know just what I wanted?” she asked as she set it aside.  With a big smile on his face Dad said, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Maybe you’d better look a little farther.”  Mom took the potatoes out one by one and at the bottom of the box was a brand new pair of Gingher Shears (most coveted by seamstresses) for her sewing room.  I still remember the tears of joy in her eyes.

We headed to the mantle for our Christmas stockings.  We each got a Naval orange, a Macintosh apple a banana and a scarf and mittens.

Next Dad pulled out a five-pound box of chocolates and a bowl of nuts to crack.  Bing Crosby played on the stereo; we sampled the chocolates, cracked nuts, and sat on the floor feeling the warmth of our close-knit family.

Christmas Day was the one day of the year my parents slept in due to Dad’s working until the wee hours of the morning clearing the state highways of snow so travelers could get to see their loved ones for Christmas dinner.

We had our own Christmas Dinner around two o’clock in the afternoon.   It was always the same, the glazed ham with mashed potatoes, a special fruit salad that I still make for Christmas every year, yeast rolls and pie for dessert.

My memories are intertwined with church services, prayer as we sat down to churcheat our dinner, the Christmas story told over and over (at church and at home), the nativity scenes and Christmas tree which stood in all it’s beauty while the star twinkled on top.  We knew it was all about Christ’s birthday, a little baby born in a manger because there was no room at the inn, and that Santa Claus lived at the North Pole.  We accepted all these things as truth because Mom said so.  She also made sure we gave some of the money we had been given as allowance or worked for to the Salvation Army or a homeless shelter so that others could have Christmas too.  She told us “You reap what you sow.”

So, as you sit and watch the children play while you sip hot cider and visit with Aunt Minnie take time out to remember “the reason for the season.”  Praise God in all his glory that he sent his own Son to earth to take on the burdens of the world.  Thank Him for allowing us to give the magic of Santa Claus to our children, even while we teach them the true meaning of Christmas.merry

I’d like to take this time to wish each one of my Writing Wranglers and Warriors and their families a very Merry Christmas season and a Happy New Year.  I cherish each and every one of you and enjoy the blessings we all give each other as we seek to promote each other’s work.  Have a blessed Christmas Day wherever you are!

In closing I leave you a link to a Christmas song by Joey and Rory, a duo my husband and I love to listen to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgg4AMLkTv4

Books by L.Leander:

18 thoughts on “Merry Christmas 2013

  1. Everyone needs a good Christmas cry and you supplied that. Glad to have it out if the way. LOL. If I didn’t know better I would think we were sisters. This is a wonderful blog and it set the mood for today. Thank you May God Bless you and Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas to all who are reading this. Cher’ley

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    1. Thank you Cherley. I think we lived a very similar life growing up and it was special. We had a very nice Christmas, driving up to my sister’s for Christmas dinner, then driving across the Upper Peninsula to St. Ignace to meet my daughter and son-in-law who gave us a wonderful Christmas present – three days in a spectacular motel room with pool and hot tub. We had a relaxing time. Drove a couple of hours to see my brother and family, the the 8 hour drive home. One to remember!

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  2. What lovely memories. They brought out some of mine. Here is to a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. May each and everyone be blessed with love, joy and peace. Doris

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  3. Linda, this was a beautiful post — I loved sharing your memories! I too have fond memories of childhood Christmases, and though I don’t have children or grandchildren with which to share this special holiday, I still have my parents (when I get to see them) and my loving husband and great friends — it’s been a fine day! Looking forward to trekking north Dec. 26th to see my parents and am thankful to one of my Casper friends who will be staying at the house and caring for my critters (trip earlier this week postponed due to weather). I, too, am thankful for Christ and the gift of salvation because of his birth, life, death and resurrection. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR, ONE AND ALL!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post Gayle. I’ve had many wonderful Christmases with family and friends. Because we’ve been in Mexico for the last two winters it was nice to be with family this year and have a “White Christmas”. Glad you got to see your parents. We almost didn’t get to leave because we got hit with a major snowstorm and had to shovel another four inches before we could leave! Have a blessed New Year!

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  4. What a nice blog for Christmas. Holiday routines are so comforting I think. While we were wrapped up in the magic of Santa, we also celebrated the birth of Jesus on the same level of importance and it all added to the excitement and wonder of Christmas. When I was a child, the schools had the manger scene as well as the churches, and also a visit from Santa at the Christmas program. What wonderful traditions you had! Thanks for sharing and starting warm memories for me.

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    1. Thank you for the nice comments Neva. Indeed, we did have great Christmas memories growing up that included both the birth of Jesus and Santa Claus. I carried on those same traditions with my own children. We had a lovely Christmas Eve service at church with the children doing most of the singing and reading. It was lovely!

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  5. Well done.
    A single toy, cherished all the year.
    Things have changed.
    Pity.
    Very nice tune.
    Leave it to country singers to tell the best stories.
    Thanks for the post, and Merry Christmas.
    DB

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  6. I love your post. My childhood Christmases were different from yours but also much the same. My mother believed we should eat light meals the week before Christmas, and by Christmas Eve we’d always progressed to homemade soup. I was a Campbell’s cream of tomato girl and didn’t like homemade soup at all–the canned tomatoes floated around looking disgusting–so I smiled and ate a little soup and a lot of crackers. But I made up for it at dinner the next day. No soup on Christmas.

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    1. There were probably a lot of us whose parents chose soup or something light for Christmas Eve because it was easy and gave them more time to prepare. We usually had Campbell’s Vegetable Beef Soup – I just remembered that! No matter, we weren’t really into the food anyway. Our shiny little eyes were glued to the presents under the tree! Thanks Kathy.

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  7. I’m chiming in late, Linda, since I was away from home. I do hope your Christmas was good this year, and I loved your memories of times past. The potatoes story is a lovely one! We do tend to have a soup course but a thinner soup. This year making the soup was my task and I was very pleased with the new recipe I used for a pepper (capsicum) and mascarpone cheese soup. It had a little bite to it but was very tasty.

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  8. Little late to the game, been busy being a reporter. Loved you sharing your memories of Christmas past. Indeed it’s important to remember that “Christ” and “mass” make up the two words of Christmas, even as we help our children enjoy the fun of Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty, although I have to admit I am getting tired of the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies. 🙂

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