Just like that, we’re into December and Christmas preparations. I love these brief pauses on Friday with Susanne and friends at Living to Tell the Story to reflect on what God has done in our lives this week.
1. Getting a Christmas tree. So far, we still go out each year to choose a live tree. I think Jason and Mittu have come with us every year since Timothy was little, and maybe before. Past Christmas photos showed one with Timothy bringing his little toy chain saw one year. 🙂
This year Jason arrived first at our usual place only to find an empty lot. So we looked at another place we went last year because it was nearby and run by a local church. We didn’t like the experience, but it was the only other place we knew of.
But their prices were really high and the experience was really nerve-wracking. They had way too many helpers there–we couldn’t take a step without someone asking if we had any questions. No, we just needed to look and see which one we liked, and no sales person could tell us that. Jason heard a guy behind us ask one of the salespeople if anyone was helping us. She said we wanted to just look around. The guy said, “You need to use more force!” Force? For selling Christmas trees? We got out of there as soon as we could. Fortunately, Mittu saw an opening the back way so we didn’t have to run back through the gauntlet of smiling faces asking if we had any questions.
I searched for Christmas tree lots on my Google maps app, and it brought up a tree farm about ten minutes away. So we caravaned over there. It was a delightful little place open for business for the first time (in which case, I am not sure how they showed up at the top of my search results. But I am glad they did). They told us how things were laid out and left us to look around. They had a gift area, and I think they may have had hot drinks. They also had a little picture-taking station.
Their prices weren’t any better than the other place–but the experience was far superior. We may have to break down and get an artificial one before next year.
Then, there was a very old blue truck in the lot with a tree in the back. I thought they had it there just for effect—you see truck with a tree on a lot of Christmas decorations and cards these days. But then an older couple, the man with a long white beard, got into the truck and drove away. The guy tying our tree to our car roof said the older man dresses up as Santa and takes a tree and presents to Cade’s Cove every year. So that was fun.
2. Tree decorating. Even though Jason and Mittu decorate their own house for Christmas, they help decorate ours as well. Jesse came over, too, and was a big help getting boxes down from the attic. For the past few years, Mittu has made lunch for us all on tree decorating day. I’m so thankful they all do this. With everyone pitching in, it only took a couple of hours to get everything up, not counting transporting the bins to and from the attic.
I wasn’t feeling Christmasy until we got the house decorated. Now I am ready to start the holidays.
3. Lunch with Melanie, a dear friend, at Cracker Barrel, one of my favorite places. None of the rest of my family likes Cracker Barrel, so I am glad I can indulge with Melanie. We both had the maple bacon chicken, which was excellent. We had a great waitress who, when she found out Melanie’s birthday was the next day, gave her a free piece of cake. And they let us sit and talk as long as we wanted without kicking us out. 🙂
4. Encouraging words. It’s such a blessing when someone says something that encourages you right where you needed it, when they could not have known that their words were needed. I feel God orchestrates those things. How we need to walk closely with Him so He can use us that way.
5. Timothy recordings. Jason and Mittu were here for another marathon cooking session to make up microwave meals while they are still painting in their kitchen. At one point Timothy started playing some old recordings on their iPad–some of them were him singing when he was about four. So sweet.
I hope your week went well!