Wednesday, December 23, 2015

No Matter the Weather

Christmas in Vermont looks as if it were painted by Grandma Moses, which it often was. It smells like a bakery in a pine forest, tastes like a rerun of Thanksgiving plus plum pudding, sounds like stamping feet and Christmas carols, and feels like the North Pole. There is all the snow you could ask for on evergreen boughs and ski slopes, and quite a bit more than you asked for on your windshield and driveway. The white church in each village is lit by a floodlight tucked in the bushes so that it shines out over the village green like a benediction. On the church door there is a large wreath of greens from the nearby woods, and one candle glows from each window.
~Marguerite Hurrey Wolf



Not sure how Vermont is doing this Christmas, but my corner of New England feels decidedly like October and looks green and brown and plain. The temp is expected to reach 60°F by Christmas Eve. I am not complaining even if I do confess to feeling wistful about this turn of events. Besides, Christmas doesn’t come from stores, the North Pole, the www or any Christmasy longings for picturesque white Christmas scenes. 

A true Christmas is all about our relationship with The Christ of Christmas. With each passing day of my life, I know that I need Him more than the day before. What a  privilege to honor Him in this season and every season all year through.     

Here’s wishing you the very Merriest of Christmases no matter the weather!

Now only if you have time, please tell me what makes Christmas feel like Christmas for you and what your weather will be like this Christmas. Is this "normal" weather 
for your corner?


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55 comments:

  1. Christmas for me, family, and the traditions of years gone by, walks in the countryside (and now we live here, by the sea).... And oh Santa and the magic of course. The weather here in west wales, U.K., it is very very wet, windy and the lanes full of mud and leaves, yet very mild and 7 0c, so not too chilly. Maria xx

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  2. It feels like Christmas when I'm at the church children's department program, the nativity set is pulled out, and our family is together. I don't care about the presents under the tree, but I need my children, and the extended family together. I wouldn't mind a soft, fluffy snow, (not too much!) but I am alright with the temps expected to be in the 40's. I haven't seen snow in weeks. Plenty of time for that later, since winter has just begun. A very Happy Christmas to you and your family Vee!

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  3. I love that quote above. Well, since I have lots of driving to do, I am glad there is no snow and ice. We have been having a crazy heatwave of sorts, thanks to old El Nino. We might be breaking a record. The last couple of days have been rainy and foggy. The Eve is supposed to be 72, a bit cooler but still in the 60's on Christmas Day. It still feels like Christmas to me, with all the prep and craziness, and my quiet and reflecting time. I like that the most. Merry Christmas, Vee, and all the best for a happy 2016!

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  4. Well it will be 75 on Christmas, with rain. We'd like it down in the 40s at least. In some ways it hasn't "felt" like Christmas because I haven't shopped in stores this year and I have hardly baked a thing. But when I listen to A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols tomorrow morning as I make our traditional Christmas Eve food and then we light candles at the Christmas Eve service, it will "feel" like Christmas. Since my mother is no longer with us we miss the large extended family that gathered at our house, but accept the changes with grace and are grateful for happy memories. You have a wonderful Christmas with your family.

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  5. Dear Vee

    Christmas to me, first and foremost, is remembering the Reason For The Season. We always have a lovely Christmas Church Service and our Children's Christmas Program that we so enjoy. We keep our Christmas simple and old fashioned. We have many traditions leading up to Christmas Day that we do each year. We love being with family and friends. Christmas Eve, my hubby and I will have a nice Christmas Dinner, open our gifts to one another and enjoy a quiet time together around our little rustic Christmas Tree. We will have a small gathering Christmas Day with our son, 'daughter' and her parents for Christmas Dinner and to open gifts as we sit and chat.

    Our weather is to be unseasonably warm this year. It feels more like fall than winter. For us, we usually have very cold weather and many of those years we have had snow. So weather wise it will be a bit different for us.

    Merry Christmas From Our Home to You and Yours
    Teri
    From Homespun Cottage

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  6. Heavenly days Vee it will be 65 degrees today and mostly rain. 61 yesterday no rain so had a wonderful day with daughter and granddaughter who can not be here Friday. Everything up to date except for some white chocolate I ordered to make Bailey's Irish Liqueur bon bons. So grateful feeling good this Christmas. It is very much a different winter so far.

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  7. {weather wise} Ugh, Vee...expecting 65* tomorrow here in upstate NY. 65 IN DECEMBER!!! I sure would love to see snow and according to the weatherman that will be the on the 27th.

    It is nice to see the store windows decorated in our small town, the weather might not reflect it, but it sure 'feels' like it... I am with you, needing HIM more each day. Many Christmas Blessings to you and John.

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  8. It may be the first Christmas that we have ever turned on the A/C!! It is supposed to be in the 70's, but with a houseful of people, it could get a little warm! Not my preference, but as you have so beautifully stated, that's not what it's all about. It is about honoring the One who came to redeem!!

    Merry, merry Christmas to you and yours!!

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  9. Walking around my house and seeing the vintage decorations I've put out makes it feel like Christmas. Lots of twinkle lights and flickering candles that smell of peppermint. It will be in the mid 80s all this week and we may actually set a record on Christmas day! A record HIGH!!! Merry Christmas dear one, Diane

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  10. I love that quote -- I am not as well-read as you by any means, so would you mind telling me where you found it? Book, magazine article? Beautiful.

    Was chatting with my NV daughter yesterday. They have snow; we do not. We were talking about how odd it was here in NH to not have a white Christmas. Although it does happen from time to time. It's supposed to be in the 60s here on Christmas Eve, I think. But the thought came to me as we chatted that it isn't snow that makes Christmas, Christmas -- but rather the true reason we are celebrating. It also came to me that there likely wasn't snow in Bethlehem (though it's not unheard of) and that Jesus was almost certainly not born on December 25. But none of that need take away from what we are celebrating -- the birth of our Savior. That said, I love a white Christmas and had been hoping for at least a skim of snow that day. We did have perhaps a quarter of an inch of snow last Saturday evening, but it's gone with yesterday's rain.

    As for feeling like Christmas, life has taken a different turn for us in recent years. Almost nothing is the same as it used to be, but we do find joy in our love for one another and in celebrating our Savior's birth. This year there have been a few special "feels like Christmas" moments -- taking our grandchildren to a favorite Christmasy shop; attending their Christmas vespers and hearing them sing and play the bells; going Christmas caroling with church family at a local hospital; getting a package in the mail from a faraway friend; bumping into old friends at Walmart; baking the traditional cookies ... oh, we are so blessed! I have also loved meditating on the Scriptures from Abby's "25 days" series. What a blessing. And I've also enjoyed spending a bit of extra time on my blogs this month. It's a comfy, cozy place to be ... the Christmas kitchen.

    And this is sort of funny, but my first "feels like Christmas" moment was when we went into Lowe's to look at a vacuum cleaner in late November. I saw a cluster of lighted trees and almost took a picture. You know you may not be getting out enough when the trees in Lowe's impress you that much...

    Merry, merry Christmas to you and John and all of your loved ones!

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    Replies
    1. Mrs. T, you are a no-reply commenter. If you'd like to change that, look for Shirley Temple in my sidebar. =D The quote is from a collection of essays called "At Home in Vermont," all by the same author.

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  11. Well, we don't often have a white Christmas, but this balmy,rainy weather is crazy! It feels tropical! I was out running errands yesterday with out even a sweater!

    To be Christmas starts right after Thanksgiving and runs through New Year's. It is an atmosphere I like to cultivate. Lights, baking (did lots of muffins this year!), music, and of course at the center of it all the Nativity!

    This year with the state of things in the world, we have focused even more on the reason Jesus came, the great need of the world just like today. A few less gifts, but still as lovingly given.

    Merry, Merry Christmas!

    Deanna

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  12. It seems like winter has been playing hide and seek with all of us this year. But there is still time for proper winter weather, I hope. A very happy holiday to you and yours, dear Vee.
    Amalia xo

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  13. This reminds me of the movie "White Christmas," where they're all at the ski resort for Christmas, and there isn't a speck of snow. Of course, in true storybook fashion, it snows just in time. Here in lower Michigan, it is gray and rainy and unseasonably warm. No snow this Christmas. I do remember one Christmas when one of our sons wanted snow, and prayed and prayed. He went to bed Christmas Eve, with no answer, and in the morning we had a lovely little blanket of snow. It was wonderful to see his face!
    I love it all, the gifts, the wrapping, the decorations, the baking, but mostly just being with my loved ones. The Christmas Eve service is probably the most meaningful part of it.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas Vee, and blessings to you and your husband and family.
    Love, Deborah

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  14. That quote sure does conjure up a cozy Christmas feeling. Our current pea soup weather isn't having quite the same effect. We're expecting 75 for Christmas day, which is warm even for us.
    For me it feels like Christmas when I am with my family enjoying the traditional Christmas foods. While I miss the members who are no longer with us, I feel their presence when I see my mom's handwriting on the Christmas cookie recipe and recall the joy of decorating the tree with my dad when I bring their old Shiney Brites from the attic. It also wouldn't be Christmas without the beautiful Christmas music, lights and the candlelight service at church.
    Wishing you and John a Merry Christmas.

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  15. Happy Christmas to you, John and your family dear Vee.
    Looks like the 'warmth of Christmas' will come from the weather all around the country this year - even too warm for burning logs and a glass of hot something or other! Close to 80F expected here - looks like we need to dig out Summer clothes - I've yet to wear a coat/jacket this season!

    Love and peace - blessings for a wonderful New Year too.
    Hugs - Mary

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  16. It's almost 60 here today and outside it looks like pea soup with the fog and drizzle. The news said the warmest fall in 15 years. Wonder what winter will bring? What a beautiful shot of Vermont and I'll keep that view in my mind for Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family, Vee, and best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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  17. Amen to needing Him more each day!
    Well...Christmas has never been about the weather for me since I was born and raised in Southern California and never even dreamed of a white Christmas there. We have had some snow here in Washington State and that was nice but that's not Christmas to me. Christmas was always about the food and singing. Caroling on Christmas eve, breakfast at babushka's before church on Christmas day and then our meal in the afternoon after church where we ate till all we could do was take a nap before church on Christmas night where we usually sang a cantata. Now it looks a bit different in Washington state and because our churches since getting married don't have services on Christmas day. It's still about the food...and just a little singing. Growing up presents were not a given either. Some years there were no gifts under the tree. Wow...I'm writing a short novel. Vee! Have a wonderful Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

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  18. So sure Vee! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  19. Merry Christmas blessings to you and yours, Vee!
    Smiles,
    Carol

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  20. It is not normal here this Christmas, the weather is to warm and Stormie.
    Christmas should look like your picture (beautiful).
    Have a Merry Christmas to you and family!

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  21. 48F right now Vee with a fog advisory - no chance of snow for Christmas this year but a beautiful full moon to enjoy from the hot tub at night.
    The best of Christmas for me is the candlelight service on the 24th with the story of the birth of Jesus followed by good food and time with family on the 25th. I could care less about gifts any more, give me gatherings with those we love and memories of them.
    Merry Christmas from our green grass in Ontario to yours.

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  22. Christmas for me is remembering the real reason for Christmas, but also the carols, the food and family and friends gatherings.

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  23. My childhood Christmases were always white. Then we moved to the tropics. I had to get used to heat and sunshine for Christmas. I always wished for at least a rainy day. Snow falling gives me that Christmas feeling whenever it happens here, even in February! It feels like Christmas when I listen to carols, when I wrap gifts and most especially, when I reflect on Christ, which I can do at any time.
    The best part of Christmas, for me, is after the presents, after the dinner, when we are all together talking, playing games, or doing whatever, but we are together.
    The "we" can be a varied thing. I had the same feeling a couple of weeks ago when my parents and siblings were here. And I will have it on Christmas day with my children and grandchildren. Christmas is a most moveable feast!
    Wishing you and yours a blessed and merry Christmas, dear Vee. I'm privileged to have found your blog that is so full of warmth and welcome. You raise every day happenings into events. Joy to you and John.
    Oh, and it will be green as green can be here. With rain.

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  24. It will be green here this Christmas, but it is not that unusual. Snow does not mean Christmas to me....Christmas to me is my family gathering in the candle lit kitchen singing Christmas carols around the Advent wreath. My son (since my husband died) reading from the nativity of St. Luke. Then more singing. Then the bell ringing that means Baby Jesus and his angels have left the tree and the presents in the living room. A Hungarian version of Christmas, though I am not Hungarian. All of us being together.

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  25. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, full of love and laughter. I am so glad we share the love of Jesus! Love, sandie

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  26. Crazy weather in Wisconsin, as well. In the 50's here today, w/ thunderstorms. This is a meaningful season at our house as my hubs is a church organist & the choir director. Lots of practicing goes on in December, and our piano is always busy. That does get me into the feelings and the sentiment of the holiday. I am not a fan of snow, so having it, or the (glorious) wonder of NOT having it really doesn't make it Christmas for me either way. Takes a lot more than snow to do that!!
    Hope you have a peaceful Christmas at your home.

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  27. I will take October any day over we have now...70's and pouring rain. It's going to be almost 80 where Aaron is when we see him on Christmas Day and 75+ in the Smokies where we will be heading on Saturday...CRAZY! I am disappointed with the weather but know that's not what Christmas is all about...I guess I won't be wearing my new boots and sweater this weekend... BUT...we will be spending the weekend with all the grands at a waterpark. Hmm, swimsiuts...how appropriate!! Anyway, Merry Christmas wishes, no matter the weather :)

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  28. Lovely post, Vee. No matter the weather, Christmas is about the One who came for you and for me. It's supposed to be in the 70's. Gathered with family at our home will always be special and meaningful to me. It's a lot of work, but as Grayden and I were saying today, it's our gift to our family--and especially a gift to ourselves. Have a lovely Christmas, dear Vee! ♥

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  29. Christmas to me is simply my family. I so enjoy the carols...which instantly take me to my childhood, and I love the family parties. I'm not happy about the weather even though others are delighting in the warm temps. I just prefer my winter to be on the chilly side, not the humid and warm side. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!

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  30. Christmas blessings from my heart to yours Vee! Christmas is all about being with loved ones-specially my two daughters, their hubbies and our 11 grands. WE all live close together so we will be celebrating twice this week. Our weather is going to be snowy-it snowed last night and will snow on Christmas; as long as it isn't 1-2' we are good.
    Hugs,
    Noreen

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  31. It's way too warm and wet for our neck of the woods (South East, also known as Wiregrass, Georgia).
    Family, friends, cool temperatures, gifts under a tree, a turkey roasting in the oven, etc. is what makes it feel like Christmas to me. There's none of that this year but I still feel joyful. Just very grateful to not be ill and not worried about much else.
    Hope your holiday is happy and bright no matter the circumstances. ~:)

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  32. Way warmer than it is supposed to be. It was 65 degrees today!!!
    I like starting with going to church Christmas Eve and to remember the real reason we celebrate this day. Christmas day we open a few presents while listening to Christmas carols, then make pancakes for breakfast. Ken and I have had quite a few Christmas' on our own now and it is a nice simple happy day. : )

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  33. Merry Christmas to you and yours Vee! Christmas "normal" here in Southern California is probably much like you are experiencing this year in New England. This year for us, however, is blessed with some rain and some unusually cold temperatures, down sometimes even to the 30s at night. No snow, ever, here, except in the mountains. Now THAT would be a real unusual Christmas for us, if it snowed here on the coast. I remember one day back in the early 1960's it actually did snow, but melted right away too.

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  34. It's been unseasonably warm here with a little rain and lots of wind today. I love Christmas and everything about it...the trees, the turkey dinner, the prettily wrapped gifts, the music, to name a few. It's different with just the few of us now, but it is still a special and fun time. Merry Christmas to you and John and all your family!

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  35. Well, being a prairie girl, I love lots of snow!! we now live in the Southern part of Alberta and we usually get less snow here and chinooks as well. We have a bit of snow, so atleast the yucky brown and drab landscape is covered in a bit of white. It is foggy tonite and I see some hoar frost on the trees, so that will help get me in the Christmas spirit....but I have to agree, it is the gift of God's Son that is the reason we celebrate!! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  36. Being a west coast girl...I am quite used to 'wet coast' Christmas's. This year, however, it looks like there is a chance of snow on Christmas Eve (tomorrow night)and then sunny on Christmas Day with temp's just above freezing. But snow or no snow...Christmas is about Jesus, and that is what matters most. My prayer is always that the true meaning is not lost in all the food, fun, family gatherings and festivities.

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  37. Oh yes...and I meant to say...'Merry Christmas to you and John...and the rest of your family!'

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  38. It is warm in Texas! Very warm! As in it was 80 degrees inside my house today! I turned the attic fan on this evening after Louis Dean had heated the house up even more with his baking! Never thought it before but I may have the A/C on tomorrow evening as all four of my children and all eight grandchildren gather for dinner! Afterwards we will roll sugarplums! I suppose Christmas Eve when they start arriving 'feels' like Christmas to me!

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  39. Christmas is all about family to me and gathering together for food and fun. But it really seems like Christmas as we sit in service together on Christmas Eve singing the old traditional Christmas hymns. We are very surprisingly cool here. Our high will be 57 [which probably seems warm to you, lol] and I am loving it! We've had Christmas Day's when it's hit the ninety's and we are all in shorts with the AC running, lol. So this is good. Wishing you and your family a VERY merry and blessed Christmas Vee!

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  40. How lovely Vee! We experienced cold long winters in Maine and always a white Christmas! Even in Texas two years ago, it was snow and ice. Today.....it's almost like summer! Rather strange, but we prefer to be on the warm side! Indeed, we need to relish the moment of Christmas Eve and tell the Christmas story of long ago. It is such a warm loving feeling isn't it? Merry Christmas to all! Hugs!

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  41. Merry Christmas Dearest Vee! It will be like summer here! I think we have had two whole cold days this winter. I hope you have a beautiful Christmas with your loved ones and thank you from the bottom of my heart for always brightening my day with your love and presence. You are beautiful!!!

    Always,
    Kim

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  42. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas Vee. Enjoy your loved ones, the special food, and all the fun. Here in New Brunswick it's been a rainy foggy day with temps in the mid forties. Supposed to be sunny and 43F tomorrow. Warmer than usual, for sure. What little snow is left will be gone by tomorrow. Santa might need water skis to land his sleigh....

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  43. Merry Christmas Vee! I do love snow at Christmastime and time with family and friends and reflecting on our greatest gift of Christmas-Jesus.

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  44. Christmas to me, Vee, is having all my family here, and preparing for the meal a little each day, during the week before. This Advent season, I learned about Mercy, and I wrote a prayer to share with my family, and I tried to talk to them about the meaning of Mercy. I'm hoping that you had a Blessed Christmas and will have a Happy 2016.

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  45. A slightly belated Merry Christmas from me, Vee - we are also having crazy weather, as is most of Europe. No snow in the Alps until the New Year, and temps in the high teens Centigrade here. And now torrential rain up north and dreadful flooding. Christmas this year was quiet - just Mum, David and me, but we had the wee one (who will be 7 soon) and her parents up last week for a few days, which was delightful. Thank heavens for technology and iPads. Three continents? No problem!

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  46. Well, California is finally getting rain and it is 30 degrees outside this morning with frost covering everything. We saw some really stormy weather blow through on Christmas Eve with hale and 80 mph winds.

    I hope that you had a beautiful Christmas, Vee!

    Hugs,

    Becky

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  47. We had beautiful weather (shirt sleeve) and that's unusual for us here on the South Plains of Texas. Boy, here 2 days later, tho, the weather has done an about-face....high winds, sleet and snow...brrr

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  48. [Once again, I love what you've done for a blog header...] What makes Christmas for me? So many things, but the music is probably at the top of the list. I do confess to depending a lot on the weather to really put me in the mood, and thankfully, Colorado has been blessed with plenty of White Christmas this year -- so odd that your part of the country missed out on that. Like you, I depend on our Lord more with each passing day. So thankful to be able to share the celebration of this blessed season with you via our blogging!

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  49. We've been having snowfalls all month of December, so it certainly has felt like Christmas here in Colorado. On Christmas day we were home from church and enjoying a cup of coffee in our kitchen, when we spotted a large mule deer buck in our backyard and I had an amazing encounter with him--the video link is on my blog. I felt very honored to have communicated with this beautiful animal! It was a wonderful gift from nature. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve with the family and grandchildren. Hope your Christmas was also wonderful! Wishing you and John a very Happy New Year! I'll be back when I recover from round 2 of eye surgery.

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  50. Hi Vee - Hope you get some snow for the new year! Will be back for another visit soon!

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  51. just back by to say the birthday is NEW YEAR'S EVE....Dec 31st...78...bah humbug...bummer...blessed...thankful to be here this long...hope to be here a few more years...too much fun to leave this awesome Earth.
    Love to you ....

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  52. Merry Christmas, and Blessings for the New Year. We have been unusually cold here, but I don't like the heat, so I can't complain. xoxo Su

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  53. I do hope that you had a Very Merry Christmas Vee. Our family sure did. Despite the hot temps we still had a wonderful and blessed Christmas season. Happy New Year to you! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  54. Dear Vee,

    Just checking on you and yours. Sending best wishes and blessings to you and John. May 2016 be a healthy and happy year for you. Love seeing grands, your sis and Kea.

    Sharon

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