Making a List and Checking it Twice


The lovely December moon has risen over the field, supper is cooked and I am in another session of gift wrapping.  I am watching “Holiday Affair”, another old black and white film.  There is coffee in a china cup on my “morning table” and on my frequent breaks, I write- and so for me all is well in my world.

I make a Christmas list and tack it on the door of my Christmas closet.  The closet is actually an old wardrobe.  I buy through out the year and so must keep an account of things bought as  I find them. Flowers may be blooming or corn growing, when I find something that suits someone on my list, but such conditions  do not hinder my Christmas spirit- besides, this habit keeps Christmas a bit less complicated and keeps me from becoming desperate-a state I deplore.  I have never once, made a good decision in desperation.

One year, a long while back, I did not have presents to wrap.  The children were all young and while I knew my family would  make sure the children  had gifts-I just could not shake the despair I felt.  At last, I sat them all down to tell them the dire news.  They were as quiet as “little church mice” while I assured them that things were bound to improve .   My oldest son, Brant spoke up and said “mom, could you just get something for the little boys?” Jenny and Tres loved the idea and were chiming in, in full agreement.  Brant was maybe eleven.  Jenny was nine and Tres almost eight years old.  My heart was touched so that, their goodness caused me to believe that surely my children  were as pure as the driven snow.  Gratitude spilled out in tears . . .and then Kyle  around four, piped in and said “I think that could work!”  Oh, “pride does often go before a fall.”  We all laughed about it then and we still do now. 

A dear friend, Julie, gave me an artificial tree that same year.  I put it together, but the thing had the habit of just toppling over at any given moment.  It fell one time too many to suit me and when it did, I picked the whole tree up and threw it out the front door, ornaments and all.  It was poor behavior and the memory shames me.  An hour or so later,  Julie came in with the tree and “spoke not a word, but went straight to her work”.  She corrected my assembly mishaps and the little tree stood upright and steadfast as any “tin soldier “.

Not always does Christmas come with the best circumstances- This year , as  I wrap sweet little tokens and place them under the tree  I remember  that Christmas.  It  offered more than broken ornaments .  Family and friends reminded us ,that prosperity reveals itself in more than one form.  Things did improve, after all-and I have never since had the notion to throw a Christmas tree out the front door.


17 thoughts on “Making a List and Checking it Twice

  1. I think we have all had times where we have done something similar to ejecting the tree, or been close to it. Sometimes life is just too much, and disasters seem to pile on top of each other until you are not sure you can deal with any more. But, you do deal with it, and carry on, for when it gets better, right? Because it does. I am glad you are in happier times now.

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  2. I remember one Christmas like that. Photos would remind us of time we all spent together decorating a tree, while the Truth would reveal we were doing so in the midst of a family dispute. It’s never been mentioned when we look at the old pictures – so hold hope it’s a Christmas memory forgotten. LOL

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  3. Oh howI love to read your thoughts, your memories, and feel right at home. Your story reminded me of one about 15 years ago. I was living in the Charleston area and a friend of mine had 2 young children. It was the 2nd week of December and she still hadn’t put up her tree. She was just not in the Christmas spirit. I told her I would come over that Friday evening and we would have a “tree decorating party”! So, I went over, took a CD of upbeat Christmas music, and me and her kids had a blast decorating that tree! She even had fun! It’s one of my fondest memories this time of year. Life is full of wonderful memories…some may not seem so great, but we can always find something good if we look hard enough. Thank you, as always my friend, for sharing such fond and personal memories of yours. Be as blessed as your blessing is, to each one of us.

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    1. oh-how I love to hear from you! You are one of the reasons this whole blog came about-doesn’t surprise me that you were so kind to someone having a difficult time. You have that heart. You make a difference to those blessed to know you, Thank you and I wish you an extra merry Christmas!


  4. Watched “Holiday Affair” last night, or the night before, working on a dimmer for the living room tree.
    This post reminds me of the year we received next-to-new gifts. I was very young and didn’t know why the things were “gently used”, but didn’t care. They were new to me and I enjoyed them.
    I believe they were purchased at the Salvation Army. Probably the year my father’s startup business closed, and we were between jobs and houses.
    It was only that one year, and I was probably about six.
    Funny what one can remember half a century on.

    Seek the Peace of the Season,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so love that old movie. I had a year for my own children like the one you had-The truth is, it hurt me as a parent then, but it was as good a Christmas as any. Now, I do not stress and am happy however the shopping goes. I wish you peace and joy this year and always.

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