"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11

Sunday, December 19, 2010

There's No Place Like... 12 Pearls of Christmas

So sorry everyone! I got busy with work and didn't have time to post two days of the 12 Pearls of Christmas. So here they are! Merry Christmas and God bless you all!

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas! Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of
Wisdom"! Please follow along through Christmas day as each post shares heartfelt
stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year.
AND BEST OF ALL ... there's also a giveaway!!!! Fill out the quick form at
the link located at the bottom of this post to be entered to win a PEARL NECKLACE,
BRACELET AND EARRINGS!  Pearls - a tangible reminder of God's grace to us


There’s No Place Like….
by Melody Carlson

I grew up spending Christmases at my grandparents’ quaint Victorian home, surrounded
by lots of relatives, laughter and love and really good food. For a little girl growing up

in a single parent home, harried working mother, no church family, and TV dinners,
these extended family holidays spent at my grandparents were like a real gift from God.
But as a young adult, my grandfather passed on, the old house was sold, I grew up and
eventually had a small family of my own.
Still I longed for those familiar kinds of “big” Christmases—I wanted that house full
of relatives and fun times to go home to—I think the “child” in me thought I deserved
it somehow. But my grandmother had gotten older and lived in a tiny apartment, and
my mother and my husband’s parents were not comfortable hosting Christmas in their
homes. For a while we went to my cousin’s, but I soon had to come to grips with reality.
The days of going to Grandma’s for the perfect Christmas were a thing of the past.

In other words, it was time for me to grow up—time for me to start hosting our own
Christmas celebrations. So biting the holiday bullet, I decided to just do it. With two very
small children underfoot, I cooked my first turkey, made my first stuffing, invited some
family, neighbors, and friends over, and we all crammed ourselves into our little house,
balanced our plates on our knees, and had a very good time. Oh, I’m sure the turkey was
dry and the gravy lumpy, but what I remember most is that everyone seemed truly happy
to be there. And I realized that I wasn’t the only one longing for that sense of warmth and
community—that longing to “go home again”—and I finally grasped that I could (with
God’s grace) help to provide that for my family and others.
So for the next three decades we continued to host Christmas in our home. I got better
at decorating, cooking, gifting…the works. Some years the place would be packed and
crazy. A few years were thinner and quieter. But family, friends and neighbors could
always count on the fact that the Carlson’s would be “doing something for Christmas.” It
was a no-brainer.
Until this year. This year, for the first time in more than thirty years, my husband and I
decided we’re going to take a pass on hosting Christmas—we are going to the beach. At
first I felt terribly guilty, and even right now I’m a bit unsure—and wonder if I’ll end up
changing my mind at the last minute. And yet, I believe it’s the right thing for us to do—
for a lot of reasons. One being that my husband’s birthday is Christmas and he never gets
to do what he wants on his birthday—this year will be different. But more than that, I
hope that our stepping aside will encourage the younger members of our family to find
and embrace some of their own traditions—to grow up and look for opportunities to
stretch themselves a bit. Because, similar to how and oyster creates a pearl—or how a
young mom learns to be a hostess—with some discomfort and distress a burnt turkeys,
the end results are truly valuable.


About Melody: Melody Carlson lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband
and yellow Labrador Retriever. She’s the author of around 200 books including this
year’s Christmas novella, Christmas at Harrington’s.Visit her website for more
information, www.melodycarlson.com.


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do
to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}. One entry per
person, per day. The winner will be announced on the Pearl Girls Blog (http://margaretmcsweeney.blogspot.com) on
New Years Day!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more
information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

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