Saturday, December 15, 2012

12 Pearls of Christmas - "Day 2" by Christy Fitzwater! Make sure to enter the contest, too!

12 Pearls of Christmas | Day 2 - An Inexpensive New Christmas Tradition by Christy Fitzwater

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

(Also - There are a total of "12 Posts" for the 12 Pearls of Christmas! If you would like to read ALL of the posts, there are 2 ways to do this.
1. Click the HOME button and scroll down. You will come across some posts.
2. To read "ALL" the Posts, look in the LEFT side-column under Archives. Click on December. Go down the list looking for the 12 Pearls of Christmas Posts. Some of them start off with that wording, and then some of them may start off with the Day 1, or Day 2, etc. Keep looking and you will find ALL of them!
3.  Remember, there are '12' posts in total. This post happens to be #2, so as of today, we have '2' posts - yet there will also be future posts, too! Future posts would be posts above this, such as Day 9, Day 10, etc. It may take a little looking around, but you WILL find them! Enjoy them all! We have WONDERFUL AUTHORS who have written some WONDERFUL Posts you will enjoy VERY much!! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these as I have posted them! I have some favorites that will stay with me forever! If you come across some you would like to share, feel free to do so!
4. ***URGENT*** Most of all, make SURE you ENTER for a chance to win that STRAND OF PEARLS!
5.  Next year, (hopefully Margaret McSweeney will do this again?!) if you want to come back and read these Posts again, click on 2012. ALL of the Months of the Year will pop up. Remember ALL these Posts are in the month of December, and in December ONLY! (Also, next year I will do the Posts differently. I will use '1' LINK and '1' LINK ONLY! I will have a button on the side, and instead of linking it to Margaret McSweeney's blog, I will link it to MY POSTS. Her blog is in every post already, so you can access it from each post already. I think it will be MUCH easier to do it that way than the way I did it this year. If YOU have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section! Thanks!

Enjoy! Good Luck, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to ALL my Readers and ALL of these Authors, too! Thank you, to ALL the Authors who have written these Posts! These have been wonderful stories to read, to reflect on, and to enjoy! GREAT job done by all! THANK "YOU" for adding to our wonderful season!
Remember: Jesus is the reason for the Season!

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

(If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl,  Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.)

An Inexpensive New Christmas Tradition

By: Christy Fitzwater

I was invited to play some Christmas carols on the piano for a senior-adult luncheon, but before I got up to play they had a time for the seniors to share what they remembered as their favorite Christmas gifts.

There was talk of new bicycles, a pony, and a new dress.

Then one elderly man took the microphone and said, “An orange.” When he was young, an orange was a rare treat. As he spoke, he got choked up and had to stop talking to collect himself. He explained that his Sunday School was giving an orange for anyone who memorized a Bible verse. He tearfully described earning that delicious orange and slowly savoring every bite. When he was done eating the orange, he put the peel on the furnace so it would dry, and then he chewed on the peel.

He said with conviction, “We just don’t know how rich we are in this country.”

Christmas is usually the time when I feel broke. I tuck away money for gifts all year long, but money doesn’t go very far these days. My husband and I love to spoil our kids and try to scheme how to get them a big-ticket item. We’ve enjoyed the Christmas mornings when we’ve been able to enjoy watching our kids open such gifts as an electric guitar or an iPad.

I stopped to imagine how our whole family would feel if, on Christmas morning, the only gift under the tree was a small basket cradling an orange for each of us. I think we would feel disappointment and great loss. What would we do the rest of the morning if not consumed by opening gift after gift?  Where would the focus be?

Our years of wealth make thankfulness for an orange seem ludicrous.

As I processed this man’s story, I decided what we lack at Christmas isn’t money to buy nice gifts—it’s gratitude to relish the simple treasures we enjoy every day.

This Christmas I am going to begin a new tradition for my family, and I would invite your family to do the same. I am going to place a small basket with four oranges under the tree, along with a printed copy of the man’s story of the orange. We’re going to pause at some point in the morning and each hold an orange while we read the story. And then we’re going to hold those oranges up to our noses and breathe in the fragrance God built into it, peel it slowly, and enjoy each juicy bite. And while we eat it, we’ll each speak thankfulness to the Lord for the grace He has poured into our lives.

In that moment, we’ll know how rich we are.

Christy Fitzwater is a writer and pastor’s wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the mother of a daughter in college and a high-school boy. Read her personal blog at

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