A Simple Christmas
- The Simple Life
By Sheryl Simons
"A Simple Christmas happens when we look up."
"Wonder is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom
this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and
stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~~
A little girl was riding a train with her mother. Looking out the
window, she exclaimed, "Look! A cow!" And a moment later, "Look! A
school!" The other passengers were watching the girl. "I'm sorry my
daughter is so excited," the mother said. "She still thinks
everything is wonderful."
When did we stop thinking everything was wonderful? Why do we have
to grow up? I think that's one of the reasons I love to travel.
It's experiencing something new for the first time. It's being
somewhere I've never been before.
Children shouldn't be the only ones who are excited about
Christmas. What can we do to keep Christmas fresh and new, even
though the message never changes? Watch Christmas through the eyes
of a child. Read the Christmas story as if you've never heard it
before. Think of surprising someone you love with a special gift.
A warm cookie or a fresh orange is just as good today as when you
first tasted it. A drive through Christmas-lighted streets is just
as bright as when you were a child. The smell of your summer garden
or the sight of this evening's sunset can be no less glorious today
than it ever was. Few things are commonplace in themselves -- it's
our reaction to them that grows dull over the years.
Einstein observed, "Those who will pause to wonder and stand rapt in
awe will truly live. They will see what others miss. They will feel
what others cannot. Life will be for them both exquisite and
mysterious when they learn to say, `Awe.'"
* * *
After hearing of some retailers forbidding their employees to
say "Merry Christmas", I did an experiment with my customers who
came through my check-out counter. I tried to always say "Merry
Christmas" to everyone. Everyone seemed pleased, most said "Merry
Christmas to you, too, " and with a smile. One man even
said "Thank you for saying "Christmas". Not one person was unhappy
that I said it. But one fellow employee did ask me why I didn't
say "Happy Hanukkah".
* * *
A mom brought out an old scarf, a couple rocks painted black, a
bright orange carrot, an old hat and a corn cob pipe. "Get your
snow pants on!" "Get your mittens and coats and boots."
The kids thought that mom had lost it. They weren't sure they
wanted to leave their video games. "What are we doing mom?"
They went out and built a snowman and had all the fun that comes
along with being out in winter. It was one of the funnest days of
* * *
"If I were a Shepherd
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man
I would do my part.
Yet what I can I give him?
I'll give him my heart."
* * *
Simple Pecan Pie Bar Cookies
2 c flour
1/2 c butter or margarine
1/3 c sugar
1/4 t salt
Heat oven to 350*. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat all ingredients
until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press firmly into bottom and
1/4 inch up the sides of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes, or until
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c light or dark corn syrup
2 T butter or margarine, melted
1 t vanilla
1 1/4 c pecans, coarsely chopped
Combine eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Mix until well-
blended. Stir in pecans.
Pour over crust and spread evenly. Bake 20 minutes until filling is
set around the edges and
the center is slightly firm. Cool completely. Cut into 2x1.5 inch
bars. Yields 32 bars.
A Simple Merry Christmas to all!