When I was growing up in the swamps of Louisiana, this was about the time my father would load my mother and the four kids into the car to go in search of THE CHRISTMAS TREE!

My father owned a small tract of marsh land outside of town and there were some trees on it. Every year we would make that trip to select a sturdy tree, chop it down, and bring it back home. There, mother would hammer the red and green tree stand to the bottom of it, toss a couple of aspirin into the water to help prevent the needles from shedding and then she would let us loose with the decorating.

Children today would not be impressed with our cut out decorations wrapped in shiny foil and tied to the branches with bits of yarn. They wouldn’t spend hours threading popcorn and holly berries on string before laying it on the branches. And they wouldn’t have created color garlands from strips of construction paper stuck together from vats of homemade glue paste. 

Finally came the strands of tinsel that would clump together if you didn’t throw them around the tree just right. I was in awe of how a simple tree cut down from the swamp could be turned into a magical stopping point for Santa Claus every year.

I hope as I grow older, I continue to remain in awe during this time of the year. To drink in all the magic of the season and hang on to the simple memories of what is important during Christmas…sharing the magic and making memories…






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Amelia is traveling the world to let everyone know HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams and HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: The Chocolate Train Wreck is on sale right now…just in time for Christmas! But hurry, only 16 more days until Christmas!




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Best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, was released in November.

4 thoughts on “TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Keeping the Awe

  • I remember going to Grandma’s house on Christmas Eve and visiting. Then being told that if Santa came while we were gone, we could open our presents when we got home. Or course, Santa came so we opened our presents. The next day, we went to Grandma’s house for Christmas dinner. That changed when Grandma left us, so you may not remember any of it. Maybe you do.


    • I don’t remember those visits but I do remember going to the grocery store to visit Santa every year. Funny how mother ALWAYS had to go back inside after we piled into the car “to get her purse”. Funny how Santa stopped by to deliver our gifts and get back to the store before we got there…😉

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!


  • I remember the aluminum foil decorations my mom made with my kids. She took a bell shape, covered it with foil, added a photo, and a little glitter. They’re still my favorite decorations on the tree because my mom and my kids made them. I loved them so much I made them with my 2nd graders as a gift for their parents.

    Thanks for helping me remember them!

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


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