It's not about presents


THIS is the time of year when holiday traditions and stories of the best Christmas ever comes to the forefront as people try to re-capture those moments of the past and include them in today’s lifestyle. When you get right down to it, is not the presents under the tree that make life’s most memorable moments.

Last week, as I was heading out the door, I picked up a favorite daily devotional written by Joyce Hifler. Joyce is Cherokee. Now if there is anything you should know about native American, it is they do not beat around the bush and so she plainly states in her message, “If there is no one else in the whole world around you, celebrate this season. Never say there is no use in decorating for Christmas when you are alone. It is the best of reasons – you. You are as important to the Lord as anyone else on earth. If you have to buy and gift wrap your own present and put it under the tree. Don’t wait for someone else to guess what you want – you do it”. She ended her message by basically saying, by the way are a joy to be with, you won’t be alone.

Wisdom has no age as seen by the sharing of this story:

“MY SON touched my heart at Christmas several years ago by his words and actions,” said Sonja Wheeler. Justin Farmer was working at Brookshire’s at the time when he began a conversation with a child about Christmas. Before they left the parking lot, Justin bent down to the child and whispered loud enough for the mother to hear, “Remember, it’s not what’s under the Christmas tree that counts, but, who is around it.”

“His message struck the mother’s heart with such intensity she actually followed him home to tell me about the incident,” said Sonja. “I thought she was mad at him, until she explained how he had conducted himself. To know that through his raising he could pass that message along made that year the best ever for me.”

‘MY FRIEND, Heidi Leveritt has made my Christmas over the last couple of years,” said Kelly McFarland. “A couple of years ago she designated a Saturday for a housewarming/Christmas party. No gifts were allowed. But, friends and family arrived to help decorate the tree by making Christmas ornaments. She even made an ornament from the paw print of her new dog to place on the tree,” laughed Kelly. “And food, she always lots of food, but more basic stuff like soup or beans and finger foods.

“This year, we met again and 10 or 15 of us arrived off and on through the afternoon and evening,” continued Kelly. “We got to see friends that we don’t get to see often. This year after hanging the ornaments, we made ugly Christmas sweater cookies and played the game of Clue by the fireplace.

“Her dad brought goat cheese flavored with cranberries,” she said. “It actually tasted pretty good and he had us all laughing because he said he tried to find the weirdest thing possible to bring. She even popped popcorn

and tried to string it around the top of the trees so the dogs wouldn’t get in it. Last year, vision boards were also made for the new year, we will be doing that again this year.

“Her home is a very relaxing, welcoming environment,” said Kelly. “That’s what makes it so special.”

“BELIEVE IT or not, last year’s Noah’s petting zoo made my Christmas,” said Julie Beck. “Those sweet animals just want love and attention and it soothed my nerves just spending time with them.”

Noah’s Way Exotic Petting Zoo will be back in Kilgore this Saturday Kilgore. There’s proof the zoo is not just for children.

YOU CAN’T have Christmas in Kilgore without the Purple Hulls. Penny and Katy Clark will be entertaining at Downtown D’Lites on Saturday, Dec. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

“There is no ending time,” says Debbie VanDoren, “They just like to sing and play and we love having them here or at home. I just ask for a song’s notice before quitting time. Come join us for a Free celebration of music, Christmas snacks and coffee!”

IT’S NOT WHAT’S UNDER THE TREE THAT COUNTS, but, please note how Kilgore’s merchants are trying their best to make your shopping experience pleasurable.

May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Through the Week. In the meantime, we may be reached at or 903-984-2593.


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