A Christmas Without a Tree

This year presented a year without a Christmas tree, which has only happened one other time in my life that I remember anyway, but I’ll get to that in a minute. This year I opted not to put up a tree because we were closing on the new house on the 18th and would be moving over the next couple days afterwards. Once we got moved in, Greg asked if I wanted to get a big tree to put up, but I declined. The tree we used in the RV was only 3 feet tall, which is all that would fit. Being that none of my kids live in the area and none of them have been to my house for Christmas since I moved to the Nashville area in 2009 I didn’t see the need to have one. I had already sent all the gifts, which had been delivered a week ago.

On Christmas I got the following two pics from my two daughters of the grandkids. The first pic is my Louisiana bunch who don’t look that happy when they were opening their gifts on Christmas morning. Maybe mommy got them up a little early. I remember getting my parents up by 4 am to open gifts as we were always so excited to see what we were getting. Afterwards they would tell us to go back to bed, but we would sit in our rooms and play with all our stuff. The good old days.

This pic is of the oldest grandson and oldest granddaughter from Florida. I can’t believe my oldest grandchild will be 17 years old in a few days. I wonder where the time went and how he could be this old, which in turn makes me feel really old, but then I remind myself that I’m not that old, I just started early. Matter of fact, when I was his age I was waiting on the birth of my first child who I had five months after my 17th birthday. I grew up real fast and don’t wish that life on my worse enemy. Life was hard for me due to my own choosing, but I have come a long way since then.

I mentioned in the beginning about a Christmas without a tree. It was Christmas 1992. I had three kids, (7 years, 3 years and 21 months). We had moved to Graceville, Florida for my husband at the time and my self to attend bible college. We actually moved in on Christmas Eve. No idea why we moved in then as classes didn’t start until January some time, but I know we always done things backwards sometimes.

Anyway, we arrived on the 24th of December and didn’t have any presents for our kids as back then we didn’t have much money. One of the couples that helped with the move handed my husband a box right before they left and said, “do not open until the kids go to sleep”. We had no idea what was in the box. We unpacked as much stuff as possible to give the kids beds to sleep on, but we didn’t have a Christmas tree as we always picked a live tree and had no time to do that during the move. Matter-of-fact we didn’t even have the stuff to cook Christmas dinner, but things were fixing to change.

No sooner had we finished unloading and reality started setting in as people started knocking on our door bringing us a turkey, cooked pies and all the fixings for a Christmas dinner. I couldn’t believe the generosity of people who I had never met before. It was a blessing in disguise and God knew what we needed and he provided.

Once the kids were in bed we opened that box that the Hawkins had given us (I still remember their names, but have no idea where they are now) and again was overwhelmed by the generosity of others. The box was filled with presents for our children. As a parent, I can’t express how this made me feel. Even though we had presents, I said to my husband, “but we don’t have a tree” and he said, “it’s okay we don’t need a tree…the reason for Christmas is not about trees anyway, it’s about Christ.” And because of that, we unpacked the nativity scene and set it up so we could share with our children about the real reason for the season. It wasn’t about trees and gifts, it was about Jesus and being with family.

I don’t know if my children remember that Christmas or not as two of them were really young, but it is one that I do remind them of on occasion as even though they are adults now with kids of their own, I want them to remember what Christmas is really about and teach their children the same.

I hope all who reads this post will remember why we celebrate Christmas and glory in the things you do have instead of longing for the things you don’t.

Trip to Florida for a birthday

Took a couple days off to make a trip to Florida to see my grandbabies. We were all coming together to celebrate Madison’s sixth birthday. I can’t believe how fast these kids are growing up. The trip was uneventful for the most part.

We decided to stay in a cabin on the lake in a campground that we stayed in when we lived in Tallahassee a couple years ago because my husband wanted to take the boat so he could do some fishing while I was visiting with the kids. I think he took the boat out of the slip one time and that was it. The weather was hot and humid. The cabin had the worse bed I have ever slept on and was only a full-size and we are used to sleeping on a king. There was not enough room for one of us much less all four (the dogs sleep with us). He slept on the couch one night and his chair the next and I slept on the bed one night and the couch the next. After that we decided we had had enough and left a day earlier than we had planned.

The trip wasn’t a total bust as I got to see four grandbabies and my daughters, plus my Mom. I can’t believe Madi is getting so big. Courtney had rented a bouncy house and water slide combo thing and the kids loved it. It was the perfect way to keep them cool. We played corn hole for the first time. She had a pinata filled with candy that the kids loved. She got way more stuff than she needed, but don’t most kids? The kids had treat bags, food, cake and so much fun which made everything else small in comparison.


All in all, it was a great trip and I enjoyed my time seeing everybody. Not sure when I will make it back to Florida as the next trip needs to be to Louisiana. Speaking of Louisiana, Jackson’s birthday was going to be the next month, so I took his presents with me and let him have an early birthday. That’s one thing about kids, they don’t care when they open presents as long as they get them.

Our First Thanksgiving in the RV

We left on the evening of the 26th headed for Florida to visit with my parents. Our plan was to drive about 4 hours give or take and then overnight at a Wal-Mart and finish up the trip on Thursday morning. Dinner somewhere in Alabama ended up taking over an hour at Cracker Barrel due to our incompetent waitress.

When we got up Thursday morning someone had parked right behind the 5th wheel so we could not back up and the fool who parked in front of us thankfully had left a couple of spots. We were parked in the area designated for RVers and were parked in the same row of a couple 18 wheelers, but for whatever reason a couple of car people decided to be funny. We didn’t linger very long in fear that we might get blocked in and who knows how long it would have taken for the people to finally move their vehicles. Lesson learned….always park where you can’t get blocked in.

We spent 4 days in the town of Molino, which is where I grew up. One of my daughters came on Saturday, which give us time to see two of our grandchildren as well. Overall it was a nice trip. On Sunday we finally pulled out around 10 am. Because I still have J-O-B we had to make the full trip back in a day and with it being a holiday weekend traffic was a nightmare on I-65. It ended up taking us until 9:30 pm before we pulled in to the RV resort we would be staying at. We had hoped to be able to stay for several months, but it ended up being we could only stay 2 weeks.