The Day After… by Toni Cross

Picture taken from


the day after Christmas

we are obligated to return

to our normal routines

but will we hold cupped

in the palm of our hands

a bit of that peace

and a sprinkle of joy

for the rest of the year?

those small seeds of joy

can plant a whole field

and a few nuggets of peace

can birth a strong forest

to shelter with your world



“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Romans 12:18
“If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.” 1 John 3:14
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. ” 1 Timothy 6-7



Remember why we celebrate Christmas.

If it is only about the presents and lights and the tinsel and seeing who can be the most “Martha Stewart”, then all the time you spent preparing for one day, the 25th of December, is indeed wasted.

But, if we cling to the true meaning of this season and hold in our hearts the One who came that we might love one another, even as He loved us, then nothing is wasted and yesterday was the dawn of another year of opportunity for us to choose love.


Christmas and Hanukkah Paperdolls

Well, I did exactly what I usually do when I end up near a scanner, with spare time, paper and pencils. I made paperdolls for my own amusement. I decided that I might as well share them with you.
Here they are:


(I’d like to add that I borrowed the poses for these dolls from Rachel Cohen’s FANTASTIC paperdoll website, Paper Thin Personas. They are loosely based off of her Pixie and Puck series. Click here to check out her designs. Please note that the Christmas theme is my own and was not endorsed in anyway by Rachel. She does not celebrate Christmas and I have no wish to offend her.)

Christmas Memories… by Toni Cross

the sharp scent

of pine and dust

mixed with

spicy bits of memories

bitterly sweet like

myrrh and peppermint

they spill out

of this old cardboard box

taken down from

the aging attic

released on a seasonally

annual parole

filling this room

and trimming it

with more than

merely tinseled glitz

Five Year Old’s Advice For Christmas


A letter to the current me from my five-year old self:


Merry Christmas!

Don’t you know that this is the very best time of year?

Make sure to enjoy every moment of Christmas! Rip into all your presents with gusto! Let your eyes sparkle with all the lights and colors! Eat plenty of cookies, and don’t forget to hug EVERYONE.

Sing Christmas carols all the time, whether you are alone or in public. Make sure all the people you meet know that it is Jesus’ birthday.

Wonder over every nativity set you see and imagine that you were there, that wonderful night.

Try to fall asleep Christmas Eve, even though you are SOOO excited… you don’t wanna be grouchy on Christmas!

Most important, make sure all your family and friends know how much you love them.

After all, love is what Christmas is about.

a stocking tale, written by Toni L.A. Cross 12/23/09

it started with a sheep
and then a gentle farmer
who sheared it for the summer's heat
next came the farmer's wife
who washed it clean and carded it
til it was soft and fluffy
and then as the fall nights turned brisk
she spun it into yarn by the firelight
the snow began to fall and the days grew darker
and now she sat in the stillness
with the click-clack of her needles
as the little ones made angels in the drifts
then little pitter-patters on christmas morn
stopped in front of the hearth
and there from the fireplace hung two stockings
created with love and stuffed with goodies galore