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:

It’s The Alligator’s Christmas

propic11_1_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

I’m looking out my window as I write and it’s a winter wonderland outside.  The sun is shining (even though it’s 13 degrees) and the trees are wearing their winter coats of snow.  We’ve shoveled the driveway four times in the last week but don’t mind.  It’s just another adventure, but definitely not as warm as Mexico.

We decorated the tree and when we turn on the twinkling lights it gives us joy and brings back happy times of Christmases past.  christmas tree  We look forward to meeting our daughter and son-in-law halfway between our homes on the 27th of Dec after spending Christmas Day with my sister and her family.

All around I hear Christmas carols and the  familiarity and traditions they proclaim.  Usually I’m a part of the Christmas program at our church but this year I’ll listen, as we moved recently and have only been to our new church a couple of times.   We try to stay out of the holiday shopping crowds but I do enjoy hearing the tinkle of the Salvation Army bells as their ringer welcomes each and everyone.  Each store has Christmas music playing and it puts one in a festive mood.

nativityTo me Christmas is about Christ being born, the nativity scene, church services, the three wise men and the faith that fills my heart.  While I have no problems with the commercial end of Christmas I do think it has gone a tad overboard.  It’s a family time and one to spend remembering that night long ago when a child was born in a manger because there was no room at the inn.

There have been many songs written about Christmas and as I have eclectic tastes in music I enjoy listening to both traditional and non-traditonal holiday songs.   My favorites are:

The Little Drummer Boy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9egKDz0by44

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJSUT8Inl14

Angels We Have Heard on High http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THg8Yes6zec

Mary Did You Know.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax5d8JzdyaA

As a songwriter myself I’ve written a few Christmas songs and there is one that I get asked to do at most of my gigs, even during the summer months.  I lived in Florida when I wrote this particular song about eleven years ago when asked to do a Children’s benefit.  Unfortunately I have never recorded the song so I can’t give you a link but thought you might get a kick out of reading the words.

alligatorchristmas_1

 THE ALLIGATOR’S CHRISTMAS

CHORUS:

It’s the alligator’s Christmas just look at that big wide grin

He knows that lots of girls and boys will soon be dropping in

It’s the alligator’s Christmas don’t you get too near

Or you’ll be his Christmas present under the tree this year

The alligators gather to sing and dance and play

While they all make merry Santa will come their way

It’s the alligator’s Christmas just look at that big wide grin

He knows that lots of girls and boys will soon be dropping in

Chorus

Papa alligator is proud of all his children

They’re big and strong and healthy so you better not go swimming

‘Cause it’s the alligator’s Christmas just look at that big wide grin

He knows that lots of girls and boys will soon be dropping in

Chorus

When they open presents their laughter may sound funny

Be careful you don’t end up as supper in his tummy

‘Cause it’s the alligator’s Christmas just look at that big wide grin

He knows that lots of girls and boys will soon be dropping in

Chorus

©Linda Stewart

When things get settled down I’ll record this on my computer and share on another post so you can hear the music.

What’s your favorite Christmas music?  I’d love to know.  Merry Christmas!

Books by L.Leander: