Sharing in the Joy of Christmas (Part Two)

Sharing in the Joy of Christmas (Part Two)This photo was taken in the back yard of the editor of The Owego Pennysaver, and she felt it suited the story. (Photo by Wendy Post)

The living room picture window tells the story of life in my backyard amongst the birds and Woodland animals. It mirrors life worldwide with its trials and tribulations, exciting moments, wonderful surprises and, of course, some disappointments. Maybe you remember, I planned to ask Santa Claus for a Big Screen T.V., changing my mind at the last minute when I realized how much I enjoy looking out of my living room picture window and listening to my radio. Right now they’re playing my favorite Christmas Carol, Joy to the World, and right now I’m looking out of my picture window where I can see the whole wide world.

On the first day of spring, in my backyard, the Forsythia sashays back and forth with a light breeze through the lemon-yellow blossoms through the lush green summer through golden rod in autumn. The Woodland animals gather nuts and berries, sleeping until Old Man Winter waves goodbye taking the frigid wind, leaving the warm Sunshine daffodils and Butterflies. 

Once again, the Woodland animals gather nuts and berries. The kits have been sleeping deep underground. They want to play in this warm sunshine. Sport the most Valiant of springtime, Menagerie keeps a close eye on their whereabouts. Here comes a family of grey fox. Now we will see some sparks. The black and burnished red fur tosses and tumbles in a fiery furry of black and silver, it’s getting rough, the play’s gone too far. It’s nature’s way of teaching the young how to be tough, right from the start. He’s feeling proud; his black and red kits came out on top.

Ziggy and Zaggy lost their home, blown down by the wind, without any shelter, those two courageous squirrels survived the winter. It’s nature’s way of teaching the animals how to be brave. They’re building again in the Willow. During the pandemic’s frightening upheaval so many families lost their homes. So many people lost someone they love. So, say a few prayers. They need the courage to rebuild their futures.

A fawn, born late in the year, huddles close to her mother on a soft bed of pine needles. They’ll stay nice and dry under those long needle pines of my fenced yard. I’ll leave the gate open for the rest of the winter so they can come and go as they please. With her keen senses, the doe is aware that I’m watching out for their safety.   

Beyond my backyard there’s an eerie sound. One of the creatures God loves is letting us know he’s unwilling to be forgotten while we celebrate the holiday in my warm house, delighted when the snow begins falling. He will never surrender to the coldest night of winter. Breaking through the Christmas silence in the wilderness that surrounds us here in Tioga County, the howling of a Coyote.

I have seen frosty paw prints of that orange tabby cat along the snow-covered road. His tracks look just like snowflakes underneath the moonbeams when he walks across my deck. It’s cold outside and he comes so far to eat a bowl of Purina Cat Chow, then he runs away all the time. On Christmas Eve I want him to come in my warm house where I can tie a red ribbon around his neck and finally call him mine. 

Sharing in the Joy of Christmas (Part Two)

This photo was taken in the back yard of the editor of The Owego Pennysaver, and she felt it suited the story. (Photo by Wendy Post)

In the backyard, music from the songbirds along with their natural beauty is superb. They are Nature’s Christmas ornaments singing in a chorus of our favorite holiday songs. Maybe one day the songbirds can sing a song about Christmas that everyone believes in.

Mistletoe Mole is in his workshop making Christmas presents for all the children in my backyard. You might remember him as that exceptional craftsman from the boughs of an old cherry tree. He’s already made two sleek and shiny red and green go-carts. His talent is extraordinary. Mistletoe’s children are all grown up now. His girls and boys work in the shop helping Mistletoe out; just like me, they still believe Santa Claus brings the toys. 

Come out for the big race on Christmas Day. The red and green teams are revving the motors up on their go-carts. Mistletoe has made a dazzling flag from blueberries, juniper boughs of holly, and a candy cane. He’s on the grandstand waving it now for the race to start. The crowd is cheering and shouting. Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, willing to wager their nuts and berries. It could be a very close race. 

From the grandstand Mistletoe excitedly calls the race in on his microphone. I’ll turn my radio up so you can hear him. They’re flying over one of the highest hillsides in Tioga County, speeding through fields of deep snow, skirting around on the edges of the pond between Spaulding Hill and Campbell Hill Roads. The green team is going the fastest, heading into the white pine tree forest. The red team is catching up, pulling ahead. Now they’re way out in front for the big win at the finish. 

How could you forget that energetic chipmunk, Francois, who just happens to be a famous French chef now with his own nationwide network-cooking channel? He’s known for his crabapple pudding, served in a hickory nutshell. If you would like the recipe for your New Year’s Eve dinner, I’ll put it in the reader’s column of next week’s Owego Pennysaver; but a word to the wise, it is sufficient to serve this delicacy to only the guests who are chipmunks. 

Tonight the woodland animals dream about following the Star of Bethlehem to bring their gift for the Baby Jesus. It might not be the richness of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but the Woodland animals proudly offer baskets full of nuts and berries. They won’t have to travel very far because I can see the Star from the living room picture window. It’s shining right over my backyard. 

Tonight we dream about brightly wrapped gifts underneath colorful twinkling lighted Christmas trees. A golden Angel adorns the top, and the wonderful scent of evergreen abounds. 

I know a way we can share the Holiday Season in our backyards on Christmas morning. Everyone in the whole wide world can listen to the songbirds singing Joy to the World. 

(You can read Bernie Van Nostrand’s story, “Sharing the joy of a Christmas Miracle”, which was published last year and can be found at

2 Comments on "Sharing in the Joy of Christmas (Part Two)"

  1. How refreshing and inspiring! I love how Bernie captured how the beauty of nature can have a profound effect upon our senses and feelings such as awe, wonder, or amazement. Animals are an important part of Christmas symbolism and are one of the things that should be remembered and appreciated during our celebrations.y What a beautiful story! Merry Christmas!

  2. Very refreshing and inspiring! Love how Bernie captured how the beauty of nature and animals can have a profound effect upon our senses and feelings such as awe, wonder, or amazement. A very beautiful story!

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