Julie Carter

Welcome to the West as I see it

Within these pages, you will find the end result of a lot of living and laughing, finally put between book covers to share with the world. A laugh is never a better laugh than when it can be shared and shared again.

I hope you choose to own a copy of my book, Cowgirl Sass and Savvy. It is a selection of some of the first stories individually published in a syndicated column by the same name that I have written weekly since 2002. They offer you a peek into ranch and cowboy life that isn't what you see as you drive by or what you read in the glossy slick magazines selling cowboy clothes, furniture and adventures.

And most of all, I hope the stories bring you, at the very least, a smile and a good laugh. No better gift could I offer you.

I also offer you a glimpse of this rural area as I see it through my camera lens. Shop the Mercantile page for posters that I have combined my photography with words I have written. Also there are calendars showcasing some of my favorite photos from this year. A link to my landscape photography website will let you browse through what I see when I travel down the dirt roads of the West.

Julie's Weblog

December 24, 2007

The Christ in Christmas

Filed under: General — Julie Carter @ 8:30 am

The Christ in Christmas
By Julie Carter

At daylight on an icy, snowy Christmas morning, my dad went to the barn to do the usual daily chores. He was also keeping a secret there and the secret needed to be watered and fed.

Hidden in our barn was a coal black Shetland pony he’d ended up with in one of his horse trades. He had sold a perfectly good 2-year-old bay gelding for some Christmas cash and somehow ended up with this “prize” pony as part of the deal.
My dad hated ponies, believing that if you wanted to ride, you should ride a real horse and there were plenty of those around.

That point was driven home, literally, when the pony unloaded him on Christmas morning when he rode him bareback to the creek for water.

Landing hard on his jean pockets on the frozen ground left my dad with a broken tailbone that offered a painful reminder of his horse-trading abilities for months to follow.

While my dad provided many opportunities for memories during my formative years, there isn’t a Christmas day I don’t think about that incident and the many years that followed with the black pony adventures.

That simple, almost accidental, gift to us children became a memorable bookmark in our childhoods through many seasons.

I look at my children and wonder what parts of a tradition-filled holiday do they remember?

I’m sure there are individual stories for them, too, but generally, they remember the traditional things passed through generations of our family.
My teenage son tops his list with family get-togethers and big dinners.
Food to fuel a growing boy’s stomach is still a big part of his priority list.

However, with that is the delight in having the relatives gathered in one place.

My daughters recall the traditions they now carry on with their children.
A cookie-decorating event, a family tree-trimming night, making grandma’s recipe for homemade caramels and peanut brittle, the hanging of the stockings designed and sewed by grandma and the arranging of the traditional Christmas village.

A family favorite for generations has been the nativity display, complete with real straw to litter the barn floor and a light to represent the
star in the East.

Bringing forth the solemn wonder of Christ’s birth was, and is, as much part of our tradition as any one thing. Unlike the Christmas pony, it was not an accidental gift.

It is the one true gift that has kept on giving.

Political correctness makes every effort to sterilize the season by making it improper and, in places, even illegal to use the term “Merry Christmas.” It is only a matter of time before they realize their “Happy Holidays” is only a version of “Happy Holy Days.”

Somewhere in all the red and green everything, the masses of lights and never-ending glitter, it is important for us, as individuals, as a family and as a nation, to hold on to the true meaning of the season. The Christ in Christmas.

I never was very politically correct.

Merry Christmas!

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this article and thanks for staying politically incorrect. I’m going to use your idea and when someone wishes me “Happy Holidays” I will reply “And happy holy days to you too”.
    Keep up the good work and all the best to you in 2008.

    Comment by Genie — January 3, 2008 @ 10:07 am

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