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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

One Last Holiday Project & A Special Christmas Story

I know for some people it may seem as if I am cutting this project close to the wire. But in days of old and still today in many other countries the first day of Christmas will begin tomorrow and continue through the 12th day of Christmas on January 6th~ Epiphany. So, I’m ahead of schedule by that calendar.  :)

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When I hosted my Perfect Cookie Exchange I encouraged the ladies to also bring along any Christmas d├ęcor they no longer used and we would have a swap. As I was cleaning up after the party I noticed a few green tinsel trees in the remaining swap pile and thought “I think I can transform these.”

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On the first tree I simply hot glued on pre ruffled ribbon that I had purchased awhile back at Hobby Lobby. It was topped by a pearl button. This transformation took less than 5 minutes. The next tree was created simply by hot gluing on loops of old sheet music. While this took a bit more time, it was just as easy. 

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The last tree is my favorite. I stripped the green tinsel off of the wire base and then wrapped it in a rectangular doily adding a bit of hot glue to secure it.

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Then I took some round paper doilies and cut the centers out. I then hot glued on several layers of the lacey edge of the doilies.

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The magic happens at night with a battery operated votive candle. (Do not use a regular candle as it could be a fire hazard.)

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A pretty, shining light for all to see.

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Now I am going to tell you a Christmas story.

On Sunday morning our family went to church just as we often do. On the entry table in the narthex were pretty postcards that listed all of our church’s special Christmas Eve service times. I picked up a total of 5 cards and placed them in my purse. Right when we got home I announced that I was going to go pass out the cards so that I didn’t forget.

I passed the cards out to our neighbors that live on either side of us and across the street. I had one card left. That is when I noticed that the screen door was open on the home of a lady who lives diagonally across from me. We often wave to one another as I walk my two dogs. But, other than that, I do not know her.

It might be hard for you to fathom but I am by nature a somewhat shy person when you first meet me. Reserved. Quiet. Both are good adjectives to initially describe me. 

As I held that last postcard I felt a nudging to go to her house. I resisted. But the nudge grew stronger. I thought to myself, “Why not go home and get some cookies. Then there will be an excuse to show up on her doorstep unannounced.” My Jiminy Cricket told me I did not need cookies. I had what I needed in my hand. So I began the walk up her driveway.

I called out “Knock, knock! It’s your neighbor.” She came to the door. I stammered a bit and finally said “I wanted to invite you to our church on Christmas Eve. Here is a postcard with all the times of our services.”  She looked at me a bit shocked. I could feel the warmth crawling up my cheeks. How I wished this could be easier for me. Then she spoke.

“My mom died on Friday. I’ve been thinking about going to church but I didn’t know of any. Thank you very much for this.”

I couldn’t speak, I just closed in and hugged her.

Jesus, in all His glorious perfection, had done it again.

Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours!


“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” ~ Matthew 2:10

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” ~ Romans 15:13

“You are the light of the world. You cannot hide a city that is on a mountain. Men do not light a lamp and put it under a basket. They put it on a table so it gives light to all in the house. Let your light shine in front of men. Then they will see the good things you do and will honor your Father Who is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:14-16

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch , A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family, Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, No Minimalist Here, Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest,Imparting Grace, My Romantic Home, Common Ground , The Charm of Home, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Under The Table and Dreaming


Grammy Goodwill said...

The paper doily tree is my favorite, but your church postcard story is the very best part of this post. Wow! God works in mysterious ways, doesn't He?

GSGreatEscaper said...

Love came down at Christmas....thanks for proving that it's true!

GSGreatEscaper said...

Love came down at Christmas....thanks for proving that it's true!

Katherines Corner said...

Laura your doily tree is beautiful. Like your heart! So happy you let that nudge move you to visit your neighbor. God Bless and Wishing you and yours a beautiful Christmas celebration and a wonderful new year.xo

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Laura, your trees are stunning, but your story is the most precious of all. I truly wish you and your family all the Blessing the Lord can give for a wonderful Christmas and a very, very Blessed New Year. I so cherish our friendship, love you tons. Marty

Mary Palumbo Collings said...

Absolutely gorgeous… Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Dawna Motz said...

Oh my goodness...I just felt a lump in my throat! I am so glad that you listened to God's prompting and were able to show love and care to your neighbor. Merry Christmas to you ! Take in all of God's love!!

Jeanette@Creating A Life said...

Oh, I love your Christmas story! So many blessings we are missing when we ignore the "nudge".
Thank you for your example of obedience, Laura! Love your beautiful little trees, too :)
Merry Christmas!

Denise said...

I love your beautiful trees, Laura, but I love the story even more. Merry Christmas to you; thanks for sharing!


Denise at Forest Manor

Gammy Tammy said...


I agree with Kathrine's comment. What a creative woman with a beautiful heart! Hope you and your family have a very blessed Holiday Season! Hugs to you! Gammy/Tammy

Laura Turner said...

Hi Laura!
Romans 15:13 is one of my favorite passages of scripture. I love your trees and the way God put you at your neighbor's door. I SO wish that we in America would begin Christmas at midnight Christmas Eve and celebrate through Epiphany! Have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Lady Dorothy said...

Oh, Laura! This was such a good story, I read it aloud to my husband. But, I couldn't finish it without crying. What a wonderful, beautiful story. Jesus did do it again, and He did it through you! Thank you for your obedience. Hugs and Merry Christmas!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Wow ... what a story!! He was telling you that you needed to visit her ... that is beautiful Laura! I loveeeeee the trees!! They are amazing!!! Merry Christmas!!! :)

Barbara F. said...

Isn't He wonderful, all knowing, guiding our steps......Merry Christmas, Laura, to you and your family. You are such a classy and special Lady. xo

Kelley said...

Oh, the assumptions we { I } make about people... I'm so glad you stepped outside your comfort zone and reached out to someone who needed a new friend like you, Laura. Jesus is the reason.

Love your sweet little trees!

Merry Christmas from Guam,

Rita C. said...

What a way for me to end this day of sharing with family - wonderful reach to the woman in need. I hope all your family's needs are met, Laura! And the trees have a new life with your transformations - all very pretty! Merry Christmas!

The Soccer Mom said...

What beautiful trees and a perfect Christmas story. You may have helped to transform a life in the same way you did those trees! Merry Christmas!

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

What a beautiful story! The doily tree is wonderful. I love that its little light shines through, just like yours! I can't wait to see what God has in store for your family in the coming year!

ImagiMeri said...

Another example of how wondrous you are and how you are such a blessing in this world. I am so blessed to have you as my dear friend.

Love ya,

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Wishing you and you family peace, joy and goodwill this Christmas.

Carol said...

What a lovely and so very sweet post, Laura. You certainly had just what that lady needed.

I really like the doily tree. I made quite a few cone trees this year -- so many variations, so little time!

Enjoy the rest of your celebration and have a Happy New Year!

Diane | An Extraordinary Day said...

Laura...what a heart-warming story. How many times do we NOT follow the nudge and miss a divine appointment. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

Your trees are Extraordinary!! Truly beautiful. You are so creative! And I love the glow from the paper doilies. Seriously, until you walked us through the tutorial I thought they were fabric lace. What a sweet surprise!

Wishing you and yours a prosperous and blessed New Year!