Seven Falls 2012

Each year at Christmastime, the beautiful Seven Falls Canyon becomes a winter wonderland with a Holiday Lighting Charity event. The falls are open to community residents and donations from the event go to Christmas Unlimited, a local charity that helps needy families year round. In 1949, the Christmas tradition of opening the Seven Falls canyon at night without charge to the residents of Colorado Springs was started. This year was the 63rd year that collections have been made for Christmas Unlimited.*

Driving in the canyon toward the falls, Hubby and I enjoyed the beautiful Christmas displays and the thousands of lights decorating the rock walls. Then, after parking the car, we walked to the bridge at the base of the frozen falls to observe the constantly changing lights on the massive crystalline formation.

The elevator to the viewing area at the top of the mountain was out of order. For at least an instant, we considered climbing the many steps leading to that area, but then settled for a description of the view from the top given to us by a gracious young couple. Our knees and hearts thanked us for resisting the foolish.

Before leaving the canyon, we warmed up while enjoying hot chocolate in the snack bar.

I never cease to be in awe of God’s handiwork.

 Ice and Lights

Awesome Sight

Hillside Nativity

Menorah High on the Mountain

High Altitude Carolers

“Frosty” at Home in the Ice and Snow

Sign Over the Exit

•Some facts from Philip Tapia in Fresh Ink. 


Favorite Christmas Tree

It was before the collectable ornaments period in our lives. It was also before a camera was anything more than an item on my wish list. This was when my favorite Christmas tree stood in the middle of the large picture window in our living room.

Our best ever tree was not decorated with ornaments taken from boxes that had been stored in the attic for the better part of the year. Rather, it was decorated with ornaments that required planning, designing, and lots of family time together.

One of our children had learned about a recipe for making ornaments from dough. That was all of the inspiration we needed. So, for many evenings, family times were spent making dough, rolling the dough, and using cookie cutters to cut out Christmas shapes. Before being put into the oven to bake, holes big enough for ribbons to go through were carefully punched at the top of each ornament in progress.

Our creations included Santas, gingerbread men, snowflakes, stars, stockings, trees, angels, candy canes, and wreaths. Each person in our family became an “artist”, painting the shapes they selected and, finally, threading ribbon through the holes and hanging them on the tree amid the large, colored lights.

The resulting Christmas tree was beyond cute, nice, impressive, or even spectacular. It was family. It was four beautiful children. It was the best tree ever. It was my favorite tree.

Now we have a tree we take from a box and put together. We cover it with ornaments that include Hallmark and Waterford collectibles. It has tiny clear lights and is accented with ribbon. I enjoy my tree, but it will never be the special family tree lovingly created by our four beautiful children.

Merry Christmas…

…from Colorado!


Cultural Ignorance

In 1953 I moved from Colorado to Muncie, Indiana. It was my junior year of high school and the big city environment was foreign to me. Muncie is a university town, and it was there that I began to realize how protected I had been from the finer things of culture. Other than a “field trip” during grade school to hear the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra introduce instruments and perform a few selections, I had remained pretty much unaware of the world of classical music.

It was at Christmastime my first year in Muncie that a young college man from my church invited me to go with him to a Sunday afternoon performance of Handel’s Messiah. I had no idea how special that afternoon would be for me.

Six grand pianos were lined across the front of the Muncie Field House stage. A massive choir stood behind them on risers, and a few (maybe four or five) men stood to the side of the stage, trumpets in hand.

For almost three hours I sat enraptured as beautiful sounds filled the auditorium and the life of Christ was presented in music. The solo voices, the skills of the pianists, and the proficiency of the trumpeters were beyond any abilities I had ever imagined.

That cold December afternoon I fell in love with Handel. I have heard the Messiah performed many times in subsequent years. I never tire of the beautiful music or the message.

George Friderick Handel

-Picture from Wikipedia


Christmas Spirit

It’s beginning to feel like Christmas is just around the corner.
  • Home decorated
  • Christmas parade
  • Two Christmas dinners
  • Snow (well, sort of, the driveway was covered)

Still there are a lot of things to be accomplished.
  • Baking
  • Candy making
  • More shopping
  • Mailing

I subscribe to several magazines that include a variety of Christmas recipes in their respective December issues. This year, I had to wonder why so many of them include rum or rum flavoring as an ingredient. Since my taste buds do not favor that flavor, I will continue to make my ancient, tried and true recipes: Pecan, pumpkin, and old-fashioned cream pies; chocolate fudge, divinity, and caramels; party mix; and a variety of cookies including: thumbprint, peanut butter blossoms, bakeless chocolate chip, candy canes, and decorated sugar cookies. Since only two family members will be with us this year, my problem is deciding how to cut down. Maybe I will take a vote

Simpich Carolers on my piano. I’m sure they are singing my favorite carols.