Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmastime Blues... with Tina Pinson

It's Christmas Time

Do you feel it?

The excitement?

The wonder?

The Blues?

The month is almost over and the year is drawing to an end as well.  Hard to believe. Seems like only yesterday it was January 1, 2012.

Every year, I feel this way, and every year I say the same thing.

Where does the time go?

I don't recall these feelings being so strong when I was child. Then every thing was wonderful, exciting. I had stars in my eyes and candy cane dreams. I waited to hear the jingle of reindeer hooves on my roof and could barely sleep just thinking about getting to that tree the next morning.

But I fear, though I fight against, I might just be turning into Scrooge.

I decorate my tree and my house, I do my Christmas shopping and work on my Christmas cards (which I'm procrastinating more over each year) and sometimes I can find myself getting melancholy during a time when I'm supposed to be happy.


I watch Christmas movies until I see tinsel in my dreams, hoping to catch a bit of the manufactured joy.

But I find myself missing friends and family. If let my thoughts go I can find myself all tied up in the woe is me of the Season.

This year the melancholy bug has already reared it's head as I think about the son who moved and now lives further away and the mother who is fighting cancer. Of course just thinking about the world in general can get anyone down. Seriously, why is there such fighting at the malls? Why are people getting stabbed over parking spaces and TV's. That is not what Christmas is all about.

I find myself tearing up and getting frustrated.

It's then I have to stop and take stock of the reason why I do all these things. Why I feel this way? What does Christmas really mean?

Do you ever find yourself there? Does the hustle and bustle of the season leave you drained.

As a gift I wanted to share the Christmas excerpt from my book Then There Was Grace. I hope your are reminded of the reason for the season, and are gifted with a renewed joy.

Read through, then please share what Christmas means to you or a Christmas memory.

Merry Christmas...

Adam made popcorn and got himself another piece of pie then he sat down with Faith and Hope to watch an evening of Christmas classics.
Rudolph, Frosty, Santa Claus, Mickey Mouse, and a host of other characters, filled the television screen with color and laughter. But he found his daughters' wide-eyed awe, as they watched each story, even more animating.
Oh, to look at the world through the eyes of a child, to see the wonder and feel the excitement of the little things. Oh, to unabashedly show your feelings or not feel too ignorant to ask any question that came to mind.
Did Rudolph's blinking nose burn? Did it hurt his ears when it made that funny noise? How come the other reindeers' mamas didn't teach them to be nice? How come Frosty the Snowman didn't wear his coat when he had a hat and scarf? How come Santa wears a red suit? What does Mrs. Santa do when he's gone? Why do elves have pointy ears? Are they real? Can we go see one? How come Mr. Scrooge is so mean, didn't his mommy love him?
Question after question after question -- silly inane questions to him, but important enough for his children to ask. Still a parent could go numb. Adam tried to answer them as best he could.
His daughters giggled as Frosty ran down the street with the children, and cried with the misfit toys. Like someone kept switching the channels of their emotions, his daughters' faces were drawn into frowns one moment and lit with brilliant smiles the next. Their facial expressions moved from confusion to awe, to sorrow, to joy, and onto bewilderment before they made the circle again.
Though he'd already loosened his belt, Adam had a craving for another piece of pie or two. With his girls engrossed in cartoons, he made a dessert dash to the kitchen. He returned balancing a saucer -- filled with one slice each of pumpkin, blueberry, and cherry pie nearly covered under a mound of whipped cream and a scoop of ice cream -- in one hand, and a cup of coffee in the other.
He set down his bounty and started to get comfy again, when he realized how quiet and solemn his children had become. The look on their faces mesmerized him. They were so filled... with what... peace, calm? He didn't know, but for a moment he almost believed he could
see their hearts. When he turned to the screen to see what captivated their attention, he found another cartoon.
Adam sat down and began to watch, and oddly enough, found himself captivated, too.
The ice cream on his saucer melted and mingled with the whipped cream, his coffee turned cold, as did the cherry and blueberry pie he'd warmed. The dessert plate had been so desirable before, but now he was drawn to the television, and not one bite was taken from any of the pies.
It was just a simple cartoon that colored the screen. A story of a king who came to earth as a baby, and brought God's gift of love.
Adam knew the story. He'd seen it in years past. Strangely, where it never held him before, this year the plight of a child in a manger demanded his attention.
"Jesus," the narrator replied. "He was a gift of love to all mankind. But no one seemed to know that a child of noble birth was born that night. No one seemed to care. No one could even find his parents a room. Finally, someone took pity on the poor couple, and let them stay in their stable."
The story went on until Mary and Joseph knelt around a manger. Mary held a tiny baby, dressed in rags against her chest as shepherds, animals, and angels looked on. The look on Mary's face was so filled with love, it reminded Adam of how beautiful Grace's face had been when she first held Faith and Hope.
A mother's love.
Then Joseph leaned forward and put his arms around Mary and smiled at his son.
A father's love, he told himself.
Some kind of father you are, he scolded himself silently.
He'd never even held his daughters that way. The day they were
born, he made an appearance with flowers and smiles. He passed out the expected cigars, and kissed his wife. He picked up his daughters one by one, and felt silently awkward and inadequate with each.
Adam knew the look of serenity that filled Joseph's face now was not what etched the lines in his face then. He'd been too busy to stop and share with Grace and his daughters. Looking at his daughters now, nearly four years older, he felt sorrow. He'd missed out on something wonderful.
And sadly, his heart reminded him, he wouldn't be able to hold his son, either. His son would never be born.
My son was born, he heard someone say. So real was the sound, he turned to see if someone had come up behind him. The foyer was empty .
Adam turned back to the living room and glanced around to see if
someone had come in unawares. He, Faith, and Hope were the only ones in the room.
He shook his head and took a deep breath. Too much food, he reasoned. The voice came again.
My son was born to die for you and all mankind.
Why did he have to die? His mind wondered.
He died for the sins of the world. He died so we could be together. What would you want with me? I'm a failure as a man, as a husband, as
a father... you want me to say more?
Yes, you've done many things, but you're my beloved. I'll forgive you. But first, you must deny yourself and follow me.
That's why I sent my son. If you accept my son, you accept me.
I'm not worth your time.
You are worth the very blood of my child. If you were the only soul that needed to be redeemed, He still would have been born to die.
Figuring the voice in his heart just didn't understand how beyond redemption he was, Adam focused on the T.V. and tried to put the thoughts running through his head out of mind.
A hauntingly beautiful song began to play as the credits at the end of the film rolled, causing him to wonder about his condition once more.
Mary wrapped her baby in rags worn and old, and drew him closely to her breast to protect him from the cold. She remembered all the prophets said and all that'd been foretold, and she prayed that when the time came, she could protect him from the world...
And the shadows fell, they fell over Bethlehem, and covered a manger where Christ Jesus became a man. And no one really knew... the love God showed that holy night, till heaven proclaimed Him king.
In the Shadows over Bethlehem...
I sent Him for you. Accept the gift I want to give. Accept peace and life.
I'm not worthy.
"You are, my son."
"No, you don't know me," Adam said aloud as he rose from the couch in an agitated manner. He opened his mouth to say more, when he realized his daughters were watching him.
"Ahh, Daddy was just thinking." He heaved a sigh, ran a hand through his hair, and scratched the back of his head. Then he looked at his watch and with another sigh smiled at his daughters. "Looks as though it's bedtime for two little girls."
"What little girls, Daddy?" Hope replied, looking around the room for the other girls. The mischievous grin on her face said she knew exactly whom he spoke of.

"Who are their names?" Faith grinned back sheepishly, offering him a challenge.
"Mmm, let's see. I think their names are Abigail and Ruth Ann."
Hope started to laugh and actually snorted. "I don't know them."
Holding his mirth, Adam tried two more names. "Euphemia and Dorcas."
"Those are silly names," Faith informed him.
"But these are silly girls who have to go to bed," he replied. He stopped, looked around, and then put a finger to his bottom lip. "Oh, wait, I know their names."
Faith and Hope both inched upwards on their knees and held their breath in anticipation.
"Their names are... Faith," he said slowly as he pointed to her. "And Hope," he added directing his point to the next girl. "Am I right?" He grinned. "Well..." he started to say, when he realized his daughters were staring directly at him. "What? Did I get it wrong?"
Faith's grin turned crooked with awe and trembled softly. "You said me, Daddy." She blinked tears. "You know my name."
"You love me, huh, Daddy?" Hope said now, blinking her own tears of wonderment.
"I suppose I do," Adam whispered in a breezy manner as he knelt before them. Then it hit him there was no supposition about it. He tugged them into his arms. "No, I know I do. I love you both very much. Faith and Hope," he kissed their heads in turn as he said their names. "Daddy loves you more than you'll ever know."
Just as I love you, his heart replied.
He quickly hauled up his daughters and ran up the stairs so he wouldn't have to listen.
But running from something or ignoring something didn't make it go away.
And the voice of his heart was relentless.


  1. Tina, thank you for the wonderful excerpt from your book, And Then There Was Grace, a beautiful reminder of what really matters at Christmas. May God shower you with His amazing love and miracles this Christmas season. Hugs.

  2. Thank you, Cindy. I pray you are richly blessed with memories to ponder, and love and miracles as well.

    Merry Christmas

  3. Hi Tina

    This is a beautiful passage. We let the joy of Christmas get away from us because we concern ourselves with the trappings instead of realizing it's time spent sharing our baking cookies with your granddaughter, taking the grandson to the tree farm to saw down the tree, sharing a kiss with your husband under the mistletoe, watching a Christmas play at church, letting that old Christmas carol bring back memories, etc.

    1. Thank you, Elaine,

      what you say is so true. Christmas is celebrated far beyond the trappings. It's found in the simple little things of life. And the memories we build from them. I still cry at certain songs. Or get a memory of a special time from a scent or a card. That's life at it most beautiful. More abundant than anything money can buy.

      Appreciate your comments.

      Christmas Blessings

  4. Ahh, such a blessing, your excerpt. I've been battling the blues for a couple of weeks and this lifts my spirits.

  5. Patricia,

    How lovely that you stopped in and the excerpt could lift your spirits. I pray your blues turn to joy and your holidays are filled with memories to treasure.