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Scott23Some of my fondest memories surrounding the Christmas Holiday is centered around the Christmas Tree!  From the moments we began to make plans as a family to set up the tree, to the defining moments that we spent as a family around that tree, to the way the tree stood majestically over all of the presents on Christmas Morning and even to the day that the tree came down signaling the end of the Christmas Season, the tree was the focal point of the Christmas Decorations in my home while I was growing up.

Oh, how I remember the excitement of putting up the Christmas Tree.  For most of my growing up years we had an artificial tree.  It was a very nice tree and it stood 7.5 feet high before we put the top on it.  It was usually my dad and I that put the tree together and got it set up, but it was a true family affair when it came time to decorate the tree.

I remember many years my siblings and I putting the lights on the tree and putting the garland on the tree and while that was fun and holds many great memories, the real fun began when we started adding the ornaments.  Every single ornament that went on the Christmas Tree was a little memory all to itself.  I loved to listen as the stories behind the ornaments were told and even added a few stories of my own, as I got older.  Our tree probably would not have won any design awards, but it sure meant a lot to me.

lightedstar
That very first ornament that I ever bought!

As I said, each ornament had its own story and that remains that way for me even today.  While my brother and sisters all have their own trees to put up now and my mom and dad now celebrate their Christmases in Heaven, I still love to decorate the Christmas Tree every year!  The ornaments still all tell the stories of Christmases Past. There is a plastic star that you insert a bulb in that was the very first ornament that I ever bought.  I was at most five years old and it costed no more than 50 cents.  There is another ornament of a reindeer and I can still recall the day when I begged my mom to buy it for me at Hills Department Store.  I was probably about seven years old!  There is a collection of about 7 or 8 Hallmark Ornaments that I purchased over the years for my mom and dad.

For several years I worked in retail and I received numerous ornaments from co-workers and vendors that I still love!  I have ornaments that came from special places that I have visited, ornaments that I purchased as part of a fundraiser for different organizations and, my very favorite ornaments of all, the ones that were given to me as a gift from a family member or a friend.  The latest ornament added to my tree falls into that category as a dear friend gave me a wonderful ornament last year to add to my collection of memories and decorations.

When I was a kid, as we finished the tree, the star was placed on top and we took some time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.  And then, the tree remained the focal point of the decorations in the house!  Oh, we decorated the rest of the house and outside of the house as well, but the tree was the centerpiece and the other decorations revolved around it.  The gifts were placed around the tree on Christmas Eve and, of course, we were all present and accounted for Christmas Morning when it came time to unwrap the gifts!

Alas, all things do come to an end and the time comes to take down the tree.  Even in those moments, we would reminisce about the Christmas that just passed and the beautiful Christmas Spirit that we should embody all year long.

We all celebrate Christmas in different ways.  Most of us likely have precious memories and I have learned that the older I get, the more precious those memories become.  However, ultimately, we would have nothing to celebrate if not for the real reason we celebrate.  Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby, but He did not stay in that manger.  He became a man and as a man, He fulfilled the purpose of His Birth by dying on a Cross for our sins.

Enjoy your Christmas and I truly hope and pray you make a lot of new memories with family and friends.  However, please don’t forget to include Christ in those memories and plans.  Not as a baby in a manger but as your Risen Savior who is your best friend.

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One of my favorite Christmas memories was as a small child. We always lived far away from our family. I remember spending all of my holidays and summer trips traveling to Michigan.

This particular Christmas my family and all my cousins were staying overnight at my grandparents house. My Nanner made us all beds all over her bedroom floor.

I remember waking up and running downstairs and we could hardly see the floor. There were presents everywhere for everyone! I remember getting the Chutes and Ladders game I really wanted.

We spent the whole day eating all of my family’s famous recipes and playing non stop with my cousins and all of our new toys. I also remember the movie “Jesus” and “Jesus of Nazareth” being my favorite movies as a child. We always read the Christmas story, watched our movies, ate so much delicious food and just enjoyed being with each other.

Also, we would drive to the nursing home and visit my Grandma Great. We would always sing “When the Battles Over We Shall Wear A Crown”. She is now celebrating in Heaven.

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The trimming of the Christmas tree was always a special time at our house. Dad put the lights on the tree(those big bulbs). We also had a few of the bubbly lights that looked like candles and produced bubbles when they got warm. Dad also put the garland on the tree. Then the kids were allowed to carefully place the ornaments on the branches. When all of the ornaments were on, we were allowed to apply the tinsel(icicles). One piece of tinsel was put on each tiny branch. We worked from the bottom up to make sure every little branch was covered. A beautiful and neatly decorated tree was the result. Of course Dad had put the angel on the top of the tree.

Next year perhaps you’ll learn about my own children trimming the family tree. Hold on tight!

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Final Harvest is truly a family. We love spending time together anytime. Christmas is always fun. We usually share a dinner together, open presents, and watch Christmas movies until wee hours in the morning. Last year was no exception.

Pam, Lacy and I LOVE snow! We always have. However, there is one “harvester” in particular who hates snow. You got it, Mr. Scott!

After watching all the movies we could on Hallmark, we decided to bundle up and take a walk. The snow was coming down in buckets. That is when we like to go outside the best. But, not Scott…O no! We had to bribe him with hot chocolate and Christmas cookies before we could get him out the door.

So, we put on layers of warm clothing, and ventured out into the winter wonderland. Rolo also came along. He loves to play in the snow.  Walking down the middle of the street at 2am with hot cocoa in our hands, we just enjoyed  the beauty of the moment. It doesn’t take a lot to make us smile. Just spending time making memories with each other is enough for us.

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One of my favorite family times is getting our Christmas tree.  Over the years, this tradition has evolved.  The memories of years gone by are as precious as our current tradition.

Hallmark movies and television shows have glamorized Christmas tree hunting, but every family has their special memories and traditions.

Since we live a residential area in a suburb of Rochester, there is no way that we can take a saw and walk into the woods to find our tree.  We could travel by car to a tree farm, but when my children were little we had the magic of Christmas happen right in our neighborhood.

Each fall a small lot within walking distance of our home would start the set up to become our magical “Christmas tree forest,” as the kids and I called it.  When Kristina and JP were very young we would bundle them up to prepare for the trip.  JP would be in the stroller and Kristina in the wagon and we’d walk to the Christmas tree forest.  Along the way we had Christmas carols playing on our little cassette tape player and we sang along.

Once we arrived, we were greeted by a large mechanical Santa and rows and rows of trees.  Lights were strung around our forest and Santa was handing out candy canes.  There we searched until we found “our” tree.  Once we paid the gentleman, we strapped the tree to the wagon and the walk home began.

This tradition continued for several years.  Every year about Thanksgiving time, as the kids and  I waited at the corner for the school bus, our excitement began to mount.  We could see trailers of trees being unloaded in our soon to be forest.

The Christmas tree business has since ceased at that corner, but we have begun a new tradition.  On the Friday after Thanksgiving, black Friday has become our “green Friday.”  JP and I (and Kristina when she’s not working) head to a local farm market.  There we look at the decorations for sale, the poinsettias, have a hot chocolate or coffee, take photos for our Christmas card, and search for our tree.

When we get home, we set the tree in the stand and we begin to decorate the house.  Once the tree is warmed up we put the lights on (an often frustrating job…”which bulb is out?!  Why isn’t this section lit?!”) and we begin to decorate.  The decorations aren’t fancy, but they are precious because they hold memories of family, friends and past Christmases.  Our tree has some of my parent’s ornaments and 39 years of memories our family has made.  There are pictures of JP and Kristina, and decorations that they made in school.  There is also an ornament that was made by a beloved neighbor, who has since passed away.  Our tree is topped by an angel from my parent’s tree.  My dad purchased it at Zack’s, the hardware/general store that was within walking distance of our home (this where many of our Christmas toys came from).  So many memories fill our tree.

Once the tree is done and in place.  The nativity scene goes right next to it on a table.  At that point the house is done and ready for Christmas.

Although the tree is the focal point in our home, the focal point of the season and more importantly the focal point of our lives is Jesus Christ and the gift of forgiveness and new life that He has given us.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made by him and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the World was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  (John 1: 1-14)

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Me When I Got My Mommie For Christmas

MY FIRST CHRISTMAS — by: The Rolo Man

Aunt Cinty Couldn’t Resist My Cuteness So She bought me as a Christmas Present for my new Mommie

I was born September 23, 2014. I was only 2 pounds of absolute adorableness. The day after Thanksgiving my Aunt Cinty and Cousin Even went to the pet store to get some pet rats. Yick!!! They saw me, and those rats never had a chance. I had just gotten to the store that day. I had to say bye bye to my birth mommie and go on a long drive. I was so sleepy, after all, I was just a baby. I was really scared too.

This Is Evan The First to Fall in Love with Me

Then, Evan saw me, picked me up and held me for a long time. Aunt Cinty did so too. They wanted to take me home but that store put a huge price on my head. They had to leave me there. They couldn’t have doggies where they lived. Aunt Cinty told me later that both her and Evan couldn’t get me out of their minds, I was just so small and sweet and lonely. Aunt Cinty even cried. Well, Aunt Cinty said “Evan, do you think that we should go back and buy the puppy for Pam?” Evan got sooooo excited and said of course.

I Got a Kitty for Christmas, Milo Man
This Is my Uncle Scotty. I fell asleep on his foot and leg when I was just a baby.

They picked me up and snuggled me tight, I thought that I was in heaven. I got to a big red brick house and went upstairs and there she was, the mommie of my dreams!!!! She cried really hard and got me all wet. Then I found out her other little puppy had gone sleepy time forever just a month earlier and she missed him so much. I met my new brothers Weenie, Jersey, and Tomo. I met two sisters too. Maggie and Bubbles. This was the BEST Christmas that I could have ever had, I will never forget it!! I got my Mommie for Christmas.

“Final Harvest”
We Travel All Over the U.S. and Make People Happy. That’s My other Mommie and My Squaw Girl. I just Love Them, I Do!!!

 

 

 

I Got My Gwammie Too
I Just Love Her

 

 

 

 

 

This Is What I Do Now
I Have Very Own Radio Program
This Is Me Now I Hope That Everyone Has a Very Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year!!!

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Pam and I were in the market to buy a new car. We decided to buy a Chrysler Sebring. We found the perfect car.

After our lunch shift at Red Lobster, we made the purchase. Lacy and Brandon had no idea. By the time we had closed the deal, it was late. We call the kids and said, “Get out of bed, bundle up with hats, mittens, scarves and blankets. We are on our way home. Watch for us.” They were all excited. This wasn’t the first time we got the kids up to do something crazy on a school night.

We pulled up in a candy apple red convertible with the top down. The snow was falling. Big fat flakes. Lacy and Brandon couldn’t get in the backseat quick enough. We drove all over Rochester. When we stopped at red lights, people were cheering us on and giving us thumbs up. They thought it was great!

It’s amazing how a car ride in the snow made such wonderful memories. Memories that will last a life time.

The saying goes that all good things music come to an end!  Well, our “A Christmas To Remember” Tour winds down this week as we are back home in the Rochester, NY area.  We have several opportunities for our local friends to come out and see us and we would love for you to do so!  Visit our concert schedule page for additional information!  Thank you so much for a great 2018 and we look forward to see you all in 2019!  God Bless and Merry Christmas!!!!!!