Cowboy Simple Christmas

Keeping Simple Christmas…

In a lot of modern homes, Christmas is anything but simple. It’s costly and complex, like a Rubik’s Cube puzzle with  angles and facets and faces… And no matter how much you turn and twist, someone is not going to be happy.

Well dagnabbit, that’s a confounding situation since Christmas isn’t supposed to be about us.

It’s about them… a family, pushed to travel with a baby due and no choice. A family put upon by governmental regulations, taxes and expectations… and a secret baby.

Anyone who writes romance understands the lure of a secret baby. We have Mary, pregnant by unexplained means. We have Joseph who stays by her side because an angel came to him in a dream…. and told him to stand by Mary, to welcome the coming child as his own…

And then he did, so Joseph is one of my favorite saints. He not only stood by her, he cared for his wife and little son and when it was time to escape a tyrannical killer in the form of King Herod, Joseph fled with his wife and child to a foreign land…. and didn’t bring them back until Herod’s reign was over.

Now that’s a true cowboy.

He put them first.

He cared for them. He probably wasn’t exactly comfortable with all of this… a wife, pregnant by unexpected and unexplained means…. a child not his own…. and to leave what he knew first to protect them.

He may have been a carpenter, a man who worked with his hands to shape wood, but in my heart, he was a true cowboy. He put others first…. he was patient as needed…. strong enough to take the lead… and loving enough to accept a child not his own. That wasn’t exactly the norm back then.

This link to Michael Card singing “Joseph’s Song” is such a perfect image of Joseph… the cowboy. The sacrificial father…

Simple Christmas…. Remember Laura Ingalls’ description of her prairie Christmas in “Little House on the Prairie”? A tin cup… a candy stick… and a shiny penny!

And Ma made sugar cakes and they roasted venison or rabbit or fish caught in Plum Creek…

Simple isn’t bad. Simple is good. Simple can be fulfilling. Like when you stay up all night with an ailing cow and she takes a turn for the better come morning…. Like when your taxes shoot up and you’re not sure where the money will come from and all of a sudden you have the best maple syrup season you’ve had in a dozen years… Or how about when someone puts a bug in your ear about fancy pumpkins and you like the idea and grow them and sell 17,000 pumpkins because you thought fancy stacking pumpkins would sell… and then they did! 🙂

Simple goodness… simple foods…. simple comforts…. simple songs… simple romance….

In this beautiful season of giving, I have a brand new book release that centers on second chances… new beginnings… and God’s perfect timing in a little town where wishes and prayers and hopes and dreams mingle freely…

A town called “Wishing Bridge”.  And of course there is a link for you to see this wonderful 4 STAR ROMANTIC TIMES story RIGHT HERE!!!!! 

I want you to read this story. It’s not a Western, but it’s a great book with a heart for the downtrodden and hope for the future… It’s a story that grips your heart and soothes your soul… it’s a story of small town loving and small town fears… and about three women who make a pledge to help each other as needed, and now– twelve years later– it’s needed.

I’ve got a Kindle copy to give away today so let me know if you’ve got a Kindle or the Kindle app for your computer or tablet…. and I’ll tuck your name into the wishing well!  So what do you do to keep the spirit of Christmas as your focal point so you don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle? I’d love to have you share your points right here today!


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31 thoughts on “Cowboy Simple Christmas”

  1. Bringing the story to little children keeps me going. I have a little grandson and as he learns I bring it back for me as well. I do have a kindle.

    • Debra, isn’t that the truth? It’s the blessing of the “repeat performance” as we go through the re-discovering of the sweet joys of the holidays. Even in times of sorrow, I take joy in the faith side of Christmas. Thanks for stopping by today!

  2. Ruth- wow this Book sounds amazing and perfect for this time of the year. I have a kindle and thank you for throwing my name in the pot.
    I loved Back In The Saddle, an amazing book.

    • Tonya! I’m so glad you loved Back in the Saddle… I’m absolutely delighted by how many people loved that series…. And Wishing Bridge is more of a Women’s Fiction, so a little more emphasis on the girls… Kelsey, Thea and Jazz. It’s a delightful story and I love stories that empower women to stretch for that inner strength. We women… we need to build one another up and enjoy this life!

  3. Great blog and your book sounds like a great read! Yes I have a kindle and if love the opportunity to read your book and add you to my go to list of authors. I’m on my 92nd book since October 2016 after decades of not reading!

    You question is meant for me to learn from others! I have a hard time with getting lost in what my kids want for Christmas and losing the true reason for the season. Being on disability income I don’t have the means to do for my friends and family what I grew up with. I’m on the complete opposite end of the spectrum of what I grew up with financially. So I’m going to sit back and learn from these comments.

    • Stephanie-of-many-names I’m so glad you started reading again! That’s wonderful!

      You know, I was a desperately poor kid. So the opposite of you in that regard, and I thought I had to Disneyland my way through Christmas, but I was just plain wrong. I look back and realize that the important things were all there. Mom and Dad, grandparents, family gatherings, great food and beautiful church services loving on God… Why didn’t I see that it was enough to have a couple of little presents… Nope. I went hog-wild and I’m embarrassed to say it, but if it helps another young mother to hold back and just bless the heck out of the season… that’s good!!!

      “Keeping Simple Christmas” has been the best thing we’ve done. We have baking days, making days, we pick out charities together (and it’s not about how much we send, it’s about joining to send it together!)

      I’d love to hear how you make out with all of this!!! And tucking your name in, of course!

  4. Christmas has always been so stressful for me. I struggle with finding the right gifts and finding the money to buy them. This year is especially hard. But the one thing that I do to try to keep it simple (and its free) is drive around town looking at all of the houses decorated with pretty lights on them. I also like going to the mall and seeing their decorations and seeing the excited children waiting to see Santa. I also like to take the time to remember what Christmas is really about instead of the hustle and bustle of all of the holiday.

    • Janine, so many folks feel just like you. We put such pressure on ourselves when the whole thing isn’t about us… it’s about that baby in the manger. But we’re such silly humans sometimes!!!!

      I love driving to see the lights, too! And if we get snow before folks take them down, that’s a favorite. Christmas lights in the snow!!!! Fist-bump!!!!

      I try to take a kid or two or three along with me when I see the lights because there’s nothing more special than seeing great lighted displays through their eyes. Oh, how special!!!

  5. Good morning Ruth. Thanks for a lovely post this morning. Yesterday on P&P Julie Benson also reminded us that simple is good! I don’t know what it will take or if it is even possible for Christmases in our culture to return to simple but I am working toward that goal personally! I want my “almost 4” year old granddaughter to experience the wonders of simple!
    I do have a Kindle app and I would love a chance to win your book.
    Thank you & Blessings!

    • Connie, I agree wholeheartedly. Maybe if we all buck the trend, it will turn the tide. Hey, we’ve seen amazing things happen the last few years… and all because folks bucked a trend. Spoke up. Stood out.

      So who knows???? Let it begin with us!!!!!

  6. Ruthie, you nailed it. Loved your explanation about the Holy Family, and from one who comes from a very large family, it is indeed complex with many twists and turns to keep everyone happy. Usually not successful and not what the Angel Gabriel intended, eh?

    Merry Simple Christmas to all!

    • Pam, I love the image of the Angel Gabriel and his visit to Mary… and Joseph… and that beautiful inner voice that leads us at times. 🙂 If we’d only listen to it more, right???

      You know, I use Mary for an example, often. A personal example. Someone to revere, to look up to. Not because I think of Mary as “God”… that would be silly. No, but as a person of her own accord, first accepting the role of being the mother of God. Do you think she had any idea what she was agreeing to in the long run???

      I wouldn’t have at age 15 or so…

      But then, that walk to Calvary. Following that cross, that man, her son, the savior of the world… How could she bear it? How could anyone bear it???

      But she did and she set the most amazing example for us. To bear up. Forge on. To stay true to God and ourselves.

      What a pair they must have been!

  7. I try to keep things simple but it very hard. I also try not to get stressed if that is posible. I don’t have any small children anymore so I think that helps. Their are a few in my husband family but I just give them money and I don’t do much shopping. Sometime I think they get upset but I just let it roll off because its not what Christmas is about. I do have a kindle so please enter me.

    • I am entering you, dear one!

      And you know, simple doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. I bake and make things like crazy, but I love doing that, so it’s not a stressor. And I give some folks money now, too, because young families could often use a little bit put by, here and there. And if folks get upset, that’s probably because there are way too many luxury car-for-Christmas commercials on.

      WHO DOES THAT?????


      Not here!

  8. I am throwing my hat in for this one, for sure! Keeping it simple can get hard around this time but in the big middle of hard I start a game of bingo and we all laugh and have fun. Dollar prizes are the best!

  9. While out doing some Christmas shopping a few years ago, my husband, back at home, had a medical emergency. Eventually the emergency medical technicians were able to get a hold of me. I dropped everything and raced home where, thankfully, my husband was recovering under the care of the paramedics. I never did finish the Christmas shopping and this event changed the way we ‘did’ Christmas, forever.
    There is no more gift shopping. We just find other ways to let our loved ones know how much we care for them. Every year we begin in September to decorate a simple wood star, with a different theme each year, one for each of our 25+ grandchildren. Now, they look forward to adding to their collection of Christmas stars from Grandma and Grandpa.
    Our Christmas season is stress-free. There is no more hustle and bustle, going to parties or cooking big meals, just a quiet reflection of, and appreciation for, the birth of our Savior, the gospel of love He taught and the miracle of the life we have. Christmas Eve we enjoy a treat of fruit cake or Christmas pudding and watch an old Christmas movie. Christmas Day we review the first Christmas story in the Bible and talk about the blessings we’ve enjoyed over the year and the blessings yet to come in the new year. We bundle up and go for a short walk, to enjoy the wonders of creation, we visit with loved ones by phone or Skype and listen to Christmas music, grateful that we still have each other.
    We enjoy reading good stories together. We have a kindle and would love to be added to your wishing well.

    • Serenity, your name defines this wonderful scene you’ve shared with us. Good for you! What an inspiration you are… and I’m so glad you stopped by today! You’ve given us more food for thought. When I look back at my silliness, I realize I learned a great deal from it… but why on earth did I think material things were so important????

      I’m not sure, but I’m glad I’m through that particular phase!

  10. wow this is so true the Commercialism of Christmas has gotten out of hand – A healthy family to enjoy the season with is worth so much more than spending $$ for things we do not NEED!!

  11. Kindle app for my computer. to keep the spirit of Christmas as my focal point so we don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle. We concentrated on the reason for christmas. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  12. Ruth, I totally agree with you. This has gotten out of hand and I hate that it’s all about money and buying a million gifts, most of which no one ever uses and toys that aren’t played with. I want to go back to simple when a gift really meant something and not an obligation.

    Congrats on the new book! It looks great.

    • Let’s do it together! Honestly, it is one of the most freeing things I’ve done for myself and my family….

      We schedule our celebrations whenever we want them (so they can visit other people on Thanksgiving and Christmas)… and we just spend the days enjoying the time.

      Good food… good company… and maybe a few Christmas carols??? I’m in!

  13. Things have been so chaotic in our lives the past few years, I haven’t decorated like I have in the past. I do miss it. It sets the tome and atmosphere. We have simplified things over the years. Our children are grown and have their own families. None of us need more stuff. Of course, there are gifts for the little ones, but we started giving experiences and things that are needed to the adults. We give tickets for a show they will enjoy, an oil change for our grandson’s car, a massage for a daughter who has a stressful job, books for college courses. What is important is really looking at their lives and finding where they can use help or just need a break. Attending church together and coming home for a nice family dinner tops off the day and makes it Christmas.

    We were a military family and often were not together for holidays or special days. It is important to remember that what you are celebrating is not a date on the calendar. It is why that date is important. You are celebrating someone’s birth, a wedding anniversary, an important event. The love you have for the person can be celebrated any time. We have delayed Christmas for 3 or 4 days because Dad wasn’t home yet. It was good for the children to learn that being together to celebrate was more important than the gifts. With our children scattered, the same rule applies today. We celebrate when and where we can.

    I do have a Kindle.

    • Patricia, we do the same thing. With six kids and only three of them local, we wait until we can be together… and that way they don’t have to feel guilty leaving in-laws or hurrying the kids through things… rushing… Rushing is no fun during a beautiful holy day!

      I love what you said… “It is important to remember that what you are celebrating is not a date on the calendar. It is why that date is important.”

      Amen to that!

      Scattered children teach us to be flexible, don’t they???

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