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Author Biography: June Cotner has written numerous prayer compilations and has appeared on national radio programs. She lives in Poulsbo, Washington.
A Letter to Readers
Christmas Blessings grew in my heart long before it became a book. My fondest memories of Christmas include our family traditions of putting ornaments and lights on the tree, decorating our home, and placing special Christmas books on the coffee table. Because I love Christmas so much, I wanted to create a book that celebrates the meaning of Christmas and captures the feelings associated with our most cherished memories and traditions.
When I was a child I loved decorating the tree and attending the candlelight Christmas Eve church service. I loved baking with my mother, singing and listening to Christmas music, and the laughter-filled family gatherings. As the years have passed, my role at Christmas has changed from daughter to wife and mother, but I still get the same warm feelings about this special season. I still love to bake—now with my daughter; listen to Christmas music—that my son plays for us (he's a musician); sing—sometimes just with cats and dogs; and family gatherings are still filled with the love and joy of Christmases from my childhood.
So I've decided that, although some may say that Christmas has gotten too commercial or lost its meaning, we can keep Christmas alive in our hearts. We can maintain old traditions and create new ones, we can pause to appreciate the joy in our lives, and we can put life in perspective by remembering the birth of Christ.
In reading this book, my hope is that you will find yourself filled with the spirit of the season. For me, I want to pick it up again and again throughout the year and be inspired to be kinder, more giving, and more appreciative of my family. I hope you enjoy this book; it has been such a delight to create!
The Sights and Sounds of Christmas
The sound of joyful church bells Heard from a distant hill,
A warm and cozy fireside
To chase the winter's chill.
The jingle of the sleigh bells,
A Christmas candle's glow,
The cherished celebrations
Each heart has come to know.
A child's anticipation
As he peers beneath the tree,
And finds the gift he asked for When he sat on Santa's knee.
The sights and sounds of Christmas
Woefully will depart,
But the wondrous love of Jesus Can remain within each heart.
—Catherine Janssen Irwin
If I Were a Christmas Tree
to be a
tree with pres-
ents all around;
with golden ropes,
to the ground. I'd
trim my boughs with
crystal balls of red and blue
and white, and watch them glow
and catch the gleam of every Christmas
light. I'd wrap myself in
candy canes and popcorn balls,
and such. And, last, I'd have a shining
angel for my crowning touch! Then early
Christmas morn when little ones, with shouts
of joy, rush in to see and claim and treasure every
wondrous toy, I'd lean my boughs to brush up close and
touch each child like this, and place upon each shining cheek my
—Bonnie Compton Hanson
Peace on earth—
Silent is the night.
Earth is dressed in white.
Hear the angels—
Songs are in the air.
shine in wonder—
It's Christmas everywhere.
Compilation copyright © 2002 by June Cotner Graves
Posted January 12, 2010
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