The Great Outdoors
by Larry Whiteley
CHRISTMAS LIKE IT USED TO BE
The magical day of Christmas is almost here. Time with family and friends is special to me. I love the smiles, the laughter, the good food and watching kids open their presents.
Christmas day is also my birthday. I was born in the living room of my grandparent’s farmhouse in the hills of southwest Missouri. The world was a lot simpler then. Growing up on that farm planted the seed that grew into my love of the great outdoors.
Back then, the family would gather at the farm on Christmas day. The only decoration was a small cedar tree cut down on the farm and decorated with handmade ornaments. The women would prepare wild game along with food grown on the farm. The men and the boys went hunting for squirrels, rabbits or quail.
Sitting around a TV watching football games was not a part of Christmas in those days. The presents did not come from Amazon or a shopping mall. They were made from the heart, not bought with a credit card.
Today, during all the busyness of Christmas, I always try to do something in our great outdoors. It takes me away from commercialism, technology, hustle, and bustle.
I might be out deer hunting trying to fill another tag, going for a hike, or just sitting around a campfire. If the weather is mild, I may even go crappie fishing. Being in the outdoors brings back memories of the old farm. It gives me time to reflect on all my many blessings and why we celebrate this day. Many people do not know what the real meaning of Christmas is. I wish they did.
In this crazy world we live in today, we need the outdoors, and we need Christmas like it used to be.
Read more Christmas memories in this month’s article “Making Christmas Memories” by Tim Huffman.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
“The way you spend Christmas is far more important than how much.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
A FUNNY CHRISTMAS QUOTE
“The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. this year. This was not for any religious reasons. They just couldn’t find three wise men.” ~ Jay Leno
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
I believe in making my New Year’s resolutions as early as possible. That way, I will have more time to break them. I have two lists. One has things like automobile maintenance, household chores, and other things that I usually break. The other is for those I try very hard not to break.
Like buying my new hunting and fishing license. Going crappie fishing frequently is an important one. Deer, duck, and turkey hunting is on the list because it helps with wildlife management.
I will be helping finances by reloading ammunition, tying my own flies and making my own lures. Promising not to buy one new gun and then convincing my wife that “two or more, is not one.” Broadening my knowledge with at least a couple of hunting and fishing trips out-of-state is very important too.
Also, giving thought about all God has created for us to enjoy by observing the stars every night I go camping is also on my list.
I hope your New Year brings to you all that makes you happiest.