Tuesday, December 22, 2009


A Soggy, Jolly, Holly Christmas
by Melody Carlson

One of my most memorable Christmases started out as a natural disaster. But isn't that a bit how a pearl is formed? An oyster's soft easy life is disrupted by the invasion of sand, but something good comes out of it. When I was eight, we experienced the worst flood in recorded Oregon history. It was only a few days before Christmas when our streets became shallow rivers and the governor proclaimed a state of emergency. My sister and I assumed the flood was simply our new water-world playground and didn't understand the seriousness of washed out bridges and downed power lines and submerged homes. But when we realized this flood was about to nix our usual three-hour trek to our grandparents' home near the coast, we were not happy.

Naturally, our mom, a single parent, protested the sensibility of holiday travel (most of Oregon's rivers were involved in the flood). But Christmas at Grandma's house was our favorite event of the year. And thanks to our persistence, Mom finally gave in. We piled into the car and headed out. Flood waters climbed higher the closer we got to the coast. And at one point the road behind us was closed and the one ahead was flooded and about to be closed as well. The state policeman told us we could cross "at our own risk." We followed a Volkswagen Bug into the water-then we actually watched the bug floating away! Of course, there was nothing to do besides plow on through the water, which appeared to be nearly two feet deep! Fortunately we had an old heavy Chevy that did not float away, but the water seeped in and pooled on the floors.

Fortunately, we made it safely to the grandparents. But once we arrived, we learned there would be no Christmas tree because the road to the woods was closed. Then my grandpa picked up his ax and led us outside where he chopped down his prize holly tree planted in the parking strip. I stared in horror, thinking Grandma was going to have a fit. But then he explained the city had told him to remove the tree for traffic visibility. So we had a twelve foot holly tree for Christmas. It was a little prickly decorating it, but with its shiny green leaves and red berries, it was the most beautiful tree ever! So what started out as a disaster turned out to be a soggy, holly, jolly Christmas after all.


Melody Carlson, author of Limelight, Love Finds You in Sisters, The Christmas Dog, 86 Bloomberg Place, Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Carter House Girls, and much more... http://www.melodycarlson.com


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is leave a comment here. Come back on New Year's Day to see if you won!

Primal by Mark Batterson is just the book to jump start your faith for the new year. Batterson is the pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C. and has made a name for himself as a powerful author in his previous books, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and Wild Goose Chase. In Primal, Batterson wants readers to reconnect with the Lord the way early Christians did and express that love to the world. He emphasizes again and again the importance of readers' hearts breaking for those things that break the heart of God. I filled pages in my journal with powerful quotes like "At the end of the day, God isn't going to say, 'Well said, good and faithful servant.' ...God doesn't reward what we know. He doesn't reward what we say. He rewards the expenditure of energy." Batterson wants readers to use the gifts God gave them for the betterment of the Kingdom. Every chapter is truly inspirational and full of wisdom you want to share. Primal is the kind of book that you'll want to keep a copy of for rereading and then buy another copy to give away to spread the word.

Today is another chance to win a pearl necklace from Pearl Girls. Just leave a comment to be entered! I posted a contest yesterday with the chance to win four Christmas hardcovers. Read the rules and drop me an email with your best guess. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

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