Wednesday, November 28, 2018

'Tis the Season by Carol J. Post


Happy Thanksgiving/Merry Christmas!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, all the Christmas stuff is coming out, and the push is on to find that perfect gift for everyone on your list. Of course, Black Friday is the event that kicks it all off.


I confess, I’ve never done Black Friday. I hate shopping on a good day. The thought of getting out there with hundreds of other people and fighting over the last two WowWee Fingerlings on the shelf makes me break out in a cold sweat. I’m more relaxed having my teeth drilled.


Many years ago, my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, and my husband and I found a great deal on an old log cabin on twelve acres in North Carolina and went in together to purchase it. It needed a lot of work, and we spent a couple of vacations tackling projects like putting on a new metal roof. That Christmas, we decided to spend the holiday there and, instead of buying gifts for each other, each bought something for the cabin. (Hubby and I bought a large griddle and made pancakes Christmas morning.) 

When we arrived, we headed into the woods with our ax to search for a suitable Christmas tree. We quickly learned that though there were lots of evergreens, they weren’t the Christmas tree type. But that didn’t deter us. After tying our Charlie Brown tree to the rafters, because the branches were too droopy to stand up on their own, we strung popcorn and berries and made ornaments. We had no TV, but had great times sharing stories huddled around the wood-burning stove. (We hadn’t rebuilt the toppled chimney yet so couldn’t use the fireplace.)

That was the simplest Christmas I ever had but one of the most memorable. It was also the beginning of a change in my attitude toward the holiday season. At the risk of sounding like Scrooge’s long-lost sister, I spent a lot of years dreading the days leading up to Christmas, hoping I’d survive the insane schedule (and the shopping) and looking forward to when it would all be over. I often wondered where is the peace and joy that everyone sings about at Christmastime. Looking at the faces of the people around me, I knew I wasn’t alone in those thoughts.

I know, Jesus is the reason for the season. Without God’s amazing gift, there would be no Christmas. I’ve known the meaning of Christmas since I was old enough to talk. But finding my own “Silent Night” in the midst of all the hustle and bustle and taking time out to focus on what the holiday actually means hasn’t always been easy.

Over the years, I’ve gotten better. I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to say yes to every activity. Stretching myself too thin isn’t good, even when the activities are church-related. And since it’s always been a source of stress for me, I don’t shop anymore. (Gift cards and money work just fine.) I love to find simple ways to bring Christmas cheer to those around me, whether it’s offering a smile and word of encouragement to a harried young mother, or singing Christmas carols for older people who are unable to get out.

I’m still not where I want to be. I’m trying to be selective, but my schedule is filling up a little too quickly. But I’m determined to keep my focus where it should be—on the ultimate gift, given for us over 2,000 years ago.


What about you? Do you find yourself caught in a flurry of activity, unable to escape? Or have you found a way to experience peace and joy in the midst of the madness? What Christmas traditions have you found especially meaningful?

And speaking of Christmas, my book Bodyguard for Christmas releases this Saturday. I hope you'll check it out.


Someone’s after his little boy. 

She has one chance to save them both.

When his young son is nearly kidnapped, assistant district attorney Colton Gale needs a Christmas refuge—and a live-in bodyguard. Though former military police officer Jasmine McNeal fights to shield them 24/7, she refuses to get attached. But growing close to the little boy and his father might be her only shot at keeping them alive—and becoming a family beyond the holidays.

Amazon        Barnes and Noble        Harlequin





From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special events decorating company, Carol's résumé reads as if she doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love for writing. She lives in Central Florida and writes fun and fast-paced inspirational romance and romantic suspense. Her books have received two Royal Palm Literary Awards and been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award and two RITA® awards. Besides writing, she enjoys sailing, hiking, camping—almost anything outdoors. Her two grown daughters and grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all that nurturing into taking care of two mischievous black cats.

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23 comments:

  1. Carol, I love your post. I needed this reminder. It's so easy to get caught up in the Christmas shopping frenzy and lost sight of the reason why we celebrate this season. I love the cabin idea. What a wonderful way to celebrate with family. And shopping, well, I think I'm allergic. This year, I did everything online. So simple. Merry Christmas.

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  2. LOL, I think I'm going to use that - I'm allergic to shopping! Being able to do it online definitely makes it easier if you're someone who hates to shop. Merry Christmas to you, too!

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  3. Hi, Carol. Your post really highlights the true meaning of the season. I often get overwhelmed with the whole gift purchasing part of the holidays and trying to make people happy. This year we've decided to scale back in the hopes of placing the emphasis on what matters most. I love your story about the cabin. How wonderful! Family time is really the best gift of all and your experiences show that. Blessings!

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    1. Hi, Belle. I think that's my biggest problem with Christmas shopping, too - trying to figure out what will make people happy. You're so right about family time. Though we've since sold the original cabin, we still spend about 10 days together in North Carolina every Christmas.

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  4. I've never done Black Friday either. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Add me to the list of people who hate shopping! I am so easily overwhelmed by all the choices, not to mention dealing with crowded malls and long lines. I did do ONE Black Friday shopping trip this year--a first for me, actually. Costco had a great deal on Instant Pots and I decided it was time to buy one.

    Thank you for this timely reminder about keeping Christ in Christmas and enjoying the gift of family!

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    1. Always glad to meet other ladies who hate shopping! Many years ago, hubby and I spent a vacation with his family. When all the ladies planned to spend the day shopping, I really wanted to fit in, but knew I'd be miserable. I didn't need to worry - I stayed back and went hiking with the guys, and everybody was fine with it!

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    2. LOL--during family get-togethers, I've often stayed home with the guys while the gals went shopping! A LOT more entertaining! 😉 (Or else I just enjoyed a good book for a bit.)

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    3. Shopping...or a good book! No contest!

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  6. Lovely cabin, Carol. How nice to have that family getaway spot!

    We were in Hilton Head over the Thanksgiving week with family and the girls hit the big Tanger Outlet and came home with great buys for the children. So nice to get so much shopping done in one day. Then, for the first time, I took part in Cyber Monday shopping and did well again. It's not yet DEC and I've got most of my presents waiting to be wrapped. So it was a win-win for me. Not everyone's cup of tea, of course!

    Also, I love Advent, that time of waiting for the birth of the Christ Child. It's a prayerful time of anticipation that I always treasure. My son was born on Christmas. That year I felt we were truly living the Nativity when Mary gave birth to her son. The memories of that Christmas remain so very special and provide moments of quiet reflection throughout Advent.



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    1. Glad you had a successful shopping trip, Debby. I could probably handle the Cyber Monday part of it, since it's online.

      I love Advent also. That's so neat about your son being born on Christmas. Talk about bringing the Nativity to life!

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  7. Thanks for sharing, Carol. I really liked your log cabin experience, that sounded like a great idea to get away from the hustle and bustle of commercial Christmas and getting back to just remembering what it is really all about. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks, Marie. Merry Christmas to you, too!

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    2. To my Dearest and Oldest Friend, I spent a great deal of my time with your family growing up, we didn't spend a Christmas together but your entire family treated me like I mattered. I didn't have a great childhood as you know but I still pray I could have a good old fashioned Christmas like you had with your family in that cabin. As you know it is still my goal to move to the Mountains of Blairsville, GA where my Grandma was born. Though I have never been there, the population is 600 people. I feel that in the Christmas of 2019 will be the old fashioned Christmas that I am looking for. Thank you for sharing this Wonderful Christmas story that I have never heard before. I have never been shopping on Black Friday either, only for the two reasons that I don't like crowds and the second biggest reason is I never had any money to spend. One thing I wanted to tell you that you made special for your family were handmade ornaments of the 12 Days of Christmas. You made an ornament every year for 12 years. I know your family treasured those handmade gifts from you. I love making gifts as well as receiving handmade gifts. Though I never received a set of your 12 Days of Christmas, I did receive compliments from some of your family members who treasured what you made because it came from from your heart. I thank God for having you and your family in my life over the years, you all showed me what a real family was supposed to be with God being the center of your lives. God Bless You Carol! Merry Christmas.

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    3. Aw, thank you, Myra. Yes, I remember those ornaments. But nobody has the full set, because I fizzled out somewhere around the 7th day of Christmas! I keep saying someday I'll pick them back up again. God bless you and Merry Christmas to you, too!

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  8. What a great post, Mrs. Post!!! I love the cabin and how it will become a family tradition for generations to come!!! Sounds like a great place to spend Christmas!!!!

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    1. It is! We always look forward to Christmases in North Carolina!

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  9. The cabin sounds lovely. I’m planning on going to Christmas Eve candlelight service. I love the special time of worship on Christmas Eve.

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    1. I love Christmas Eve candlelight services, too. Although I'm still trying to live down the time I caught my hair on fire. (And yes, I was an adult. In fact, my kids were adults! By the way, hair spray burns blue!)

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  11. I love the thought of spending Christmas with family in an old log cabin! I'm with you--I just struggle with busyness and shopping this time of year. I've gotten much better about saying no to things that put me over the edge!

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