Monthly Archives: December 2020

Christmas Decorating … Less Is Good Too

Christmas trees are beautiful, even when standing on a tree lot for sale, or at a tree farm and when growing in the wild—-especially growing in the wild. I’ve always enjoyed painting trees in snow. I guess it reminds me of Christmas, because we always went into the woods and cut our tree. My husband and I cut our very first tree from the woods on his parents property.

Adding colorful, shiny balls and other traditional Christmas ornaments makes a christmas tree even more beautiful, but, one of my fondest memories was standing at a window and watching for my big brother, Kenneth, and my sister Floys ( the tomboy ) as they emerged from the thick woods several hundred feet beyond our house, dragging our Christmas tree home. When I spotted them with that huge cedar tree ( it took both of them to pull it across the snow covered field to our house ) I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such Christmas joy and excitement since that moment. That plain tree, with no decorations, couldn’t have been any more beautiful.

Hey, I was seven. The vision of that tree in the snow left an impression … the smell of cedar, the cold crisp air that swept into the house along with the tree … my minds picture of it is as clear today as it was that day. I always think of that tree every year as I began to decorate. And decorate I used to—every room in the house. From the time the children were small and right up until they become teens and so on for many years.

Regretfully, the years have changed things——and I shouldn’t even say ‘regretfully,’ for change is the way of life and nature. I only decorate a little now, a candle here, a candle there, some colorful balls in a crystal bowl and bits of greenery from the outdoors.

So, Christmas has changed at my house, but, so have I. 🙂

And as you can see, I still love Christmas, and I still have fun. In the photos I’m enjoying  the  season  at  Sundance  Square,  Fort  Worth, Texas.  I  even managed a  word  with  Santa!  🙂

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful, safe New Year!  Keep God in your heart and in your plans.  He  cares.

Until next time, MaryJ 🙂 🙂 🙂

Gratitude, at Its Best

Gratitude is always appreciated. But when it comes from a pure heart, no strings attached and is given abundantly, the joy it creates in the receivers heart can lasts a long, long time . . . hours, days and in some cases, is never forgotten. I’m thinking out loud this morning about something that happened several days ago. And I’m still smiling.

Meet Pebbles. She lives not far from me.


Her owner is a dear nephew——he knows how much my sister ( Ruthy ) and I love him . . . he really does. But, we fuss at him continually about Pebble’s care. Pebbles is fed, watered and on really cold days and nights, she’s taken inside. In nephew’s defense, he works odd hours and has his own struggles. Nevertheless, an animal needs affection and attention, along with food and water. It’s not good to get too busy to give that kind of care also——even Jesus said that man does not live by bread along . . . our animals need more too.

The Lord created man above animals. He put us in charge over them. Owning a pet is a choice. When we make that choice, we should not take ownership lightly. The bible tells us that one day we will answer for every word we speak and every action we take. Those are instructions not to be messed around with.

On to the story. Ruthy called me early the other morning, saying, “Lets go put hay in Pebble’s house. It’ll be warmer.”

“Okay . . .” I agreed. We bundled up and braved the cold, brisk Oklahoma wind. Pebbles greeted us with her usual tail-wagging exuberance. She didn’t mind the cold, it was company she wanted. Close to her doghouse is an old tractor tire with sand in the bottom. She likes to lie in the cool sand when summer temperatures reach the high nineties. But it’s cold in December. Ruthy and I padded the tire with hay, after doing her house and the ground around the doghouse. First she ran into the house and peeped out as if saying, “This will do nicely.”  As soon as we finished filling the tire, Pebbles jumped into the middle of the hay and rolled about, rubbing her head into the fresh hay.

Pebbles was one grateful little girl. We played a bit, and as Ruthy and I were leaving we waved and told Pebbles we’d see her later. As I looked back to see her sitting in the middle of the tire, settled into the hay, watching us, I heard her say, “Thanks, girls!”

Really, I promise, I heard her . . .  :-))

We can take a lesson from Miss Pebbles, and show our gratitude for the many kindnesses our family and friends show us. People need affection too——show some to someone you know. Until next time, God be with you. MaryJ 🙂 🙂 🙂