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Today is December 13, 2019

Grin 'n' Bare It

My 2019 Christmas story

By Kay Grafe

Kay Grafe
Kay Grafe

It’s that special time of the year again. And after more than 20 Christmas stories, I still get excited when it’s time to write another one. It’s such a wonderful and blessed time of the year. A few days ago, as Mr. Roy and I sat together on the patio and sipped our afternoon cup of coffee, I said, “It’s the first day of November and time to write my annual Christmas column; give me some ideas.” He said, “Since this may be the last Christmas article you write before retirement, why don’t you just say what comes to your mind and from your heart.”

So, dear readers, that’s what I am going to do. During a period of 25 Christmas seasons, Mr. Roy and I operated a tree farm where we grew and sold Christmas trees. Even though the work was hard and the days were long, this was a very enjoyable part of our lives. We did this as a hobby or second job because we both had career jobs. Some readers of “Grin ‘n’ Bare It” remember visiting our farm and buying a tree.

Our selling season began Thanksgiving weekend and literally lasted until Christmas Eve night. Almost every year we would have someone ring our doorbell on December 24th, apologize for bothering us, and ask if they could get a tree. In most cases, the father had been out of town on a job and had just arrived home that night. Mr. Roy would always tell the anxious family to drive out in the field and he would meet them there. Those families were always so happy and excited to get a tree and were very appreciative. And the one thing that made all of the hard work associated with our tree farm worthwhile was how happy the children and parents were.

During the later years, we had young fathers or mothers tell us, “My parents brought me out here when I was a child to get our trees, and now I am bringing my children to enjoy the experience.” Statements like that made Mr. Roy and me so happy. I will always have fond memories of our tree farm and the wonderful friends we made during those years.

Like many of you, in a few weeks, Mr. Roy and I will go into a storage room, pull out our beautiful artificial tree and set it up in the den. And as we sit there drinking our coffee, we’ll admire the tree, but long for the ones that we planted, raised to maturity and enjoyed so much. I can still smell the sweet, fresh aroma of a real tree.

I asked Mr. Roy if he ever remembered hearing families argue or fuss while they were picking out their tree. He told me he could not recall a single instance of that. Wouldn’t it be great if we could live every day as if we were going to pick out our Christmas tree? And that is what this season is all about. Nothing is more important than love of family, love of friends and love of Christ. As we celebrate this wonderful season and the prospect of a Happy New Year, imagine that every day we are picking out our Christmas tree. And when you see a family member or friend, take time to say, “I love you!”

And to my faithful readers, as many of you have been for over 25 years, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and I love each and every one of you.

Contact Kay Grafe at kaygrafe@bellsouth.net.

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