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Pecans and Yule Tidings

by Alma M. Womack


We have reverted to Central Standard Time, and it was ever-so-lovely to have a leisurely extra hour. I could drink an extra cup or two of coffee before starting the day, giving me some extra caffeine to work with.


By the time this is printed, we will be through with the very pitiful pecan harvest. There were two varieties that had a decent crop, the Elliotts and the Gloria Grandes; but the rest were a bomb. My ever reliable Forkerts and Schleys failed, as did the other four varieties; so there is a short, short crop. This happens ever so often, but it is always a disappointment for that year and for the people who get my pecans. It’s a good thing that pecans weren’t my only Christmas money this year, or it would be a short Christmas for my gift recipients.


The stores around have been stocked with Christmas supplies since before Halloween articles were taken down, so we can all get in the holiday mood so far ahead of time that it is relief when it is over. That’s a terrible attitude, isn’t it? But two months of preparing and celebrating ‘the holidays’ just wears out some of us.


I decorate just enough to make the grandsons happy, so they won’t think that Mrs. Scrooge lives here on the banks of Tupelo Brake. Christmas is still a magic, wonderful time to them, so I will comply with their expectations. Most of my decorations come from the woods and the lake banks, so I don’t have a lot invested in my celebration of the season. I do enjoy the greenery and the red berries and the twinkling white lights, so I gather a plentiful supply of each and am liberal in their use.


It would be nice if I could decorate my yard, but it is just impossible. For my class reunion this year, I had a pot filled with cotton and one of those scarecrow decorations prevalent in the fall, and it lasted one day. The next morning after the party, the scarecrow was in clumps of fabric and straw, and the cotton was strewn all across the front yard. I just don’t see any reason to repeat that disaster with one in Christmas colors. One thing that can be done out of the reach of the five dogs is to place wreaths on doors and on trees, so I am liberal in my use of the wreaths decorated with colorful ribbons of Christmasy colors. I put bows on all the mailboxes on our road, too, to add just another little bit of Christmas cheer.


Shopping of any kind is at the bottom of my list of “things I like to do.” Christmas shopping is no exception; it is so hard for me to think of something for people who need absolutely nothing in the material world. In this modern world, people do not wait for Christmas to get a needed item, like we used to do in the years long gone. A new coat, a new pair of boots, these were put under the Christmas tree for a much appreciated gift. I believe the popular gifts now are thousand dollar cell phones, game systems, computers, all electronic/battery powered devices that keep us linked to the wide cyberspace world. Changing times and all.


The beautiful church programs on Christmas never go out of style and are always a highlight of the Christmas season for me. The old Christmas story hymns connect us to our childhood days when we sang these very same songs in our Christmas programs. My childhood home church, Utility Baptist in Jonesville, always had a children’s choir to sing a special song during the holidays. I can still see and hear in my mind’s eye, young David Roy Chevallier singing the bass part in the Little Drummer Boy, for he sang it with an enthusiasm missing in adult renditions. A good memory from a while ago.


It is my hope that this Christmas season will bring the real Christmas story to the forefront of our lives, and that we will always remember that the true Christmas is not Santa Claus or reindeer or expensive gifts. Instead, it is the gift to the world of the Christ Child as the conduit to God, a means for our salvation and a proof of God’s love for his people.


May all of our readers have a blessed, joyous Christmas and the prospects of a prosperous and positive New Year.


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