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The Way I See It...

Publisher's Letter 

Robin Rogers, Ed.D.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.

Look around Texarkana; people are hustling and bustling in preparation for the most glorious holiday of the year. Twinkling lights have been carefully strung on trees, homes, and businesses as symbols of the light that Jesus brought to earth. Christmas trees are decorated, just waiting for gifts to be wrapped and put beneath them. Children are giddy about almost everything. “Could it snow on Christmas Day?” I know I’m just like the kids - dreaming of a white Christmas!

My social media feed is full of proud hunters, displaying ducks, deer, and turkeys that will be feasted upon with friends and family on Christmas Day. Little ones sitting on Santa’s lap, some smiling while others wail, also make me smile. Folks are out and about, savoring sales, catching up, while delivery drivers work late to drop packages just in time. Cinnamon and evergreen delight the senses. Young and old, the Christmas spirit is catching! Without a doubt ...

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Here Comes Santa Claus.

Personally, I am going through a transition time in my life; my kids are grown, and working, and away at college. I’m an old mom, without grandchildren yet and none on the immediate horizon. I refuse to be a Grinch. We may not have the pitter-patter of little feet, but we do have a lot of love, laughter, and fellowship just being together at Christmas. Since my big kids were little, I have always said, “You must believe to receive,” and I think they never stopped believing! Somehow Santa Claus still finds his way to my house, comes down our chimney, and leaves goodies and a handwritten note for each of them. Christmas Eve is the one night a year when we all go to bed at a reasonable time. I’m so glad that we all still believe that ...

Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Christmas music is playing everywhere, from restaurants to the radio to my kitchen. And, guess what? That makes me unbelievably happy. My baby (a six-foot, 200 lb., 17-year-old, man-child who needs a razor for his face) plays a mean guitar, so when he is home, we are serenaded with whatever we request. None of us sing well, but we all sing. Whether it’s Elvis’ Blue Christmas, Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, or Last Christmas by Wham!, we have got it going on. Alexa knows my personal favorites, but when the kids have control, there are more modern artists remixing the original Christmas tunes. On any day before the 25th in December, my family is joyfully ...

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

A dear friend has hosted an annual Christmas gathering as long as I can remember. She and her husband invite maybe 25 people, and every family brings a side dish, while they serve the main course (chili or gumbo). This group of people has grown over the years, as babies have come along and older kids have imported new friends. Some of the people may only see each other once a year, but this get-together feels like family who share a special holiday ritual. My girlfriend is the holiday hostess who I wish I were more like; she is always energetic, fun, and keeps a party lively for all. After dinner, she passes out pocket folders with about a dozen Christmas carols compiled. Her husband dons his Santa hat, and he leads several dozen warmly-attired adults and children on an old-fashioned caroling jaunt through the neighborhood.

To say that this experience is magical, costs nothing, and enriches the lives of the carolers and the neighbors is an understatement. A gathering of families, breaking bread together and caroling brings ...

Joy to the World.

What Christmas Means to Me.

Amongst the music, shopping, foods, fun, festivities, gifts, and hustle and bustle, do yourself a favor this season. Don’t overthink the material things. Look around and count the many blessings that wake you up in the middle of the night, make messes that you clean up, and kiss you good morning before they have brushed their teeth. Cherish the people you have close and remember those who came before you.

Make family time priority time, and insist on everyone putting away the cell phones. Talk. Play cards, dominoes, or games as a family. Go to church together. Watch a classic movie together (I use the term “classic” loosely; It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Elf, or a Hallmark movie all work). Leave work at work. What I am suggesting may sound hard to manage in a world where screens inundate the lives of all ages. Take it from me. I’m a boss when it comes to getting a group to ditch the screens. Put them away and play, sing, celebrate, and tell stories. Most importantly, share the story of the most important birth in the history of the world with the people you love. Christ is the reason we celebrate Christmas. In a sea of red, green, and gold ...

O Come, All Ye Faithful.

From everyone at Four States Living Magazine, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and as always, thanks for reading!