Thoughts and Sounds of the Season

At this time of year, I often find myself in a nostalgic frame of mind. Remembering “Christmas past” as it were. My own childhood was filled with wonder at Christmas. My dad always went out and selected a tree for us, he would bring it home and after a  maneuver here and a finagle there, the tree would be upright and ready for decorating.  My mother would always mumble about a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree. My dad didn’t care, it was Christmas and his family was all together to celebrate the season of giving and the joy that the holidays bring. My dad was not a religious man, but he deeply respected the meaning of Christmas and its origin. He knew that with the birth of “One Child”, the world was forever changed.

I can’t imagine a world without Christmas. A world without a momentary pause and look at something good and kind and hopeful. I don’t know about you, but I need Christmas. Not the gifts, but for the hope that it brings to a world seemingly gone mad…

“It’s good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself.”
– Charles Dickens

“Somehow not only for Christmas but all the long year through, The joy that you give to other is the joy that comes back to you.” – John Greenleaf Whittier

It is my hope for all who read this read blog that you find a renewed sense of faith, hope and love this Christmas. Remembering that the greatest of these is love……

About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at and on his popular website;, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
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4 Responses to Thoughts and Sounds of the Season

  1. Pingback: Thoughts and Sounds of the Season | Natural Soil Nutrients |

  2. Amen and Hallelujah to the highest!


  3. Susan Hemann says:

    Dear Chris, I just so love to hear your family stories. This is a reflective time for me. Getting ready for a new year. I have decided to listen to special Christmas songs throughout the year, as they speak to my soul.


  4. CurtissAnn says:

    We had so many of those ‘Charlie Brown’ trees. I smile remembering them. Thank you for this sweet pause, even after Christmas. 🙂


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