Like most, we are getting ready for Christmas and the New Year. All but eight years of my life I have spent the holidays on the farm with the last 25 in the home we live in now. I cannot imagine spending Christmas anywhere else. There is a peacefulness to being on the farm all through the year, but particularly at Christmas. A magic, if you will.

This is how we celebrate Christmas...

Eight years ago we lost our oldest son. It was then that I decided that I could no longer shop for Christmas presents. We asked the children what they had left from years past. What they remembered receiving. They looked at us funny, shrugged their shoulders, and other than mentioning a few items, they couldn't remember anything else.

That first Christmas after David passed was pretty simple. Each child got something small and their favorite dessert. Then we all went to the nursing home and spent the day with the residents. (David loved the elderly so we did this to honor him.)

Since then I start a little earlier on Christmas. I have made quilts, Raggedy Ann dolls, scrap books of their lives, PJ pants is a favorite, and anything else I can come up with that is homemade -- with love. I have to admit that my house does look like Jo-Ann Fabrics exploded in it.

But ask my children and grandchildren what they have from last year, or the past eight years. They can tell you just about everything because they still have it. Almost everything that they receive is handmade. While it is material things, I think that making something just for that person makes a gift a little more special.

I have had to take a few pair of those PJ pants away because they outgrew them and they no longer fit.(Usually this is a battle to get them away from them.)

Of course we have a meal. Usually we keep the Christmas meal to simple favorites. It leaves more time with family and less cleaning up!

We have been blessed with our family. Seven children and ten grandchildren a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law and a few others that we have been blessed to join our family. That's why it seems like magic at Christmas time here.

I hope that you all have a wonderful and blessed Christmas. Please keep in mind the reason that we celebrate....the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Christmas blessings to you all!