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  • The girls decided to press on last night, and when they were finished, well, see for yourself. Another magnificent Christmas tree, one that continues to evolve every year with different ornaments, styles, and this year, a lovely ribbon of white and gold that winds up the tree from top to bottom.

    The ornaments change from year to year, growing in number as we add special reminders to the collection. Both Brittni and Rabecca were born in December, so since they were little girls they each received a special ornament to hang on the tree. They are in their 20's now and have not tired of the tradition. In fact, they look forward to it.

    So there it is, our tree complete with trains around the bottom and a glowing angel on top. The trains were added about 15 years ago, first the one on the top shelf, and about 7 years later, the one on the bottom. Since Michelle, Natalie, and Jayden will be back for Christmas this year, those trains are a very important part of the tree. Back when Natalie was 3, she would wait for Grandpa to come home so he could start the trains. She would then insist that Grandpa sit next to her on the loveseat and watch them go round and round. To this day, if someone mentions trains in her presence, she is quick to tell them her Grandpa has trains. I'm hoping Jayden will be as fascinated as she was.

    Oh, about the background music (if you're listening). Both yesterday and today, I have included Christmas songs sung by Elvis Presley. Funny thing, I have never been a big Elvis fan. My dad's mom, Sybil, was. She would hide her Elvis records in with my uncle Chuck's records so her friends wouldn't know they were hers, and if we were in the area, she would drag my mom to the movies to see the latest Elvis film so she could tell her friends she went because Shirley wanted to go.

    But back in 2002, Dave, Charlotte's husband, was dying of Leukemia and asked me to do a couple of songs at his memorial service. I agreed to do it for him, and was happy and honored to do so. And then her reached onto a shelf and handed me the music book for Elvis Presley's Gospel recordings. He told me I could pick what I wanted to play, but to play two of these.

    “Where Would I Be” and “How Great Thou Art”, in case you were wondering. I still have the book, and I still think of Dave every time I hear Elvis sing. Guess I am more of a fan than I thought.

    I hope your day is blessed with the Spirit of Christmas.

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