A Holly Jolly Christmas

December 23, 2015



“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”

~Luke 2:10, NKJV


“Oh by golly, have a holly jolly Christmas this year.”

~Burl Ives


In spite of all the sad things that have happened on and around Christmas, I still believe it is the best time of the year. My grandmother [Halbrooks] was promoted on Christmas Day 1972. Mama, as we called her, embodied the spirit of Christmas; thus Christmas has not been the same since. Then Daddy departed this world on July 5th 1995 and although he tried to play the role of Ebenezer Scrooge at Christmas: we discovered rather quickly that he was the glue that kept our family together. Then my brother in 2009 and Mother in 2010. In my time alone, I grieve their passing. I miss them more every year which I don’t understand: you would think it would get easier. In the presence of my children and grand children, I am jolly. I don’t want a single grandchild left with the memory that their Granddad was a wet blanket at Christmas.

This week has been a strange week. I have met at least one new family each day. With each new acquaintance, there is a story. I’m going to put yesterday’s story in parable form to protect the innocent.

A certain young man who came from a good family got married and began making a home and family. He was very particular; his goal was to be independent. He didn’t want to be indebted to anyone not even his parents. In took great pride in being debt free and saving money. When a caring family member questions his core values, he said, “I have enough money to get what I want, I don’t owe anyone and I don’t need anyone’s help.” Yet this young man was miserable and worked to make everyone around him miserable. Even on Christmas, he refused to let his children go visit their grandparents. No pictures, no cards, no parties and no family get to gathers. How would you like to be his child or wife?

Please, for the sake of your children and grandchildren, give your misery a break during the holidays. Don’t be guilty of imposing your misery upon a child. For Pete’s sake, let them enjoy their childhood.

merry christmas 2

  • I was so tired when I got home last night, that there was no EXTRA but I want to wash some feet tonight. First of all, I commend you for all that you have done this Christmas to help children. I’m not sure, but I think you sponsored 13 children and they all got a whale of a Christmas. Jason’s class did more than one and so did Charles’ class. We had four women who did the others. THANK YOU FOLKS–YOU MAKE ME PROUD [in a good way].
  • LORD willing, Shohn and I work to noon today but this has been a crazy week. My back, for some strange reason is much better. The problem now, is not overdoing it. I don’t understand but it began getting better Saturday evening. I bet someone has been praying for me and so I am going to give the LORD the credit for my improvement.
  • Remember, no service tonight but we do have CHRISTMAS EVE COMMUNION tomorrow night at 6:00.
  • There were 4 different unspoken request on the prayer sheets this week and I can add a couple to the list. I don’t know what they are but I will guess: [1] Substance Abuse, [2] Domestic Conflict, [3]Ungrateful adult children, [4] Irresponsible Adults [folks who keep blaming others for everything that goes wrong in their life], [5]Family Conflict, [6] Financial Bondage and [7] Spiritual Indifference. So pick out a number and pray for that mountain to fall.
  • I am so thankful for Buford’s baptism on the 13th. Buford is tired; he has very little energy. I am fairly certain that Buford is packing, taking care on all details, in view of his promotion. I told him yesterday how much he has inspired me. I love Buford and his family. The entire family has the gift of hospitality.
  • Seth is home {PTL} but his is disabled for three months and he is not happy about it. On the other hand, we are very happy that they saved his toe and that it was not worse. He has a very good boss [which is good] and between him and his mama, a lot of friends. He had to go 9 hours without eating [before the surgery]. Dr. Gomez wrote on his post opt orders…”Feed the boy.” He said he had never written those orders before.
  • When the grand mother told me her story yesterday [about not getting to have all her grandchildren at Christmas], I got stirred up. I am an advocate for children. I don’t remember who it was or where, but some one told me in the last few days about a good divorce…he said concerning someone else, “She is happy now and he is happy now.” My knee jerk reaction, “How happy are the children?” [two children involved]. He said, “Your right, I hadn’t thought about from their perspective.” Neither have their parents! How can any parent be happy when their own selfishness has destroyed their child’s sense of security and threatened their peace of mind and happiness?

Gary, Keri and Kane

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