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A Holiday Message in My Favorite Christmas Carol

December 24, 2017

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen
When the snow lay ’round about
Deep and crisp and even

This is my favorite Christmas song, but I could never listen to it without getting teary eyed.

Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel

The story always touches me no matter how many times I hear it…

“Hither, page, and stand by me,
If thou know’st, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”

Sire, he lives a good league hence,
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine-logs hither
Thou and I shall see him dine
When we bear them thither.”

Such goodness is a beautiful thing to witness…in a song, or in your fellow man.

Page and monarch, forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how
I can go no longer.”

I could never get past that stanza without crying after my mom passed away. The part about the failing heart got me every time.

She’s been gone almost 26 years – you’d think I’d be over it by now. And missing her made me question my tradition of offering my baking to others as a gift.  I started asking myself why I do it, thinking maybe it’s an old custom and not necessary – other people don’t do it.

Then I played the song again and in the King’s lines, I heard my mom’s message…

“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shall find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

And I knew that I should’t quit, but boldly follow in Mom’s footsteps because she created a beautiful tradition. She showed me the way to treat friends, family, co-workers, even strangers.

In his master’s step he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed

Those were some pretty warm foot prints to walk in.

Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye, who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

Generosity of spirit never goes out of style.

I wish you all a beautiful Christmas. May you find joy in whatever the day brings, Drop your expectations and just accept what happens – it makes for a much happier time. And hang on to your traditions — they are priceless.



  • Reply
    January 9, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Just saw this (I was in holiday hibernation with Kate and then work with the new year). My mom was on my mind this year as well. Many of my Christmas decorations/traditions have been in my life since I was a little girl. Please don’t EVER stop mixing up love and tradition from your kitchen. I hope your trip/holidays were wonderful. Happy New Year, dear Fran!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      January 13, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      Aww Linda, thank you. I lose my zest for it every once in a while, but i will continue to try to keep her traditions alive. I will be calling soon so we can catch up! xoxo

  • Reply
    Chas Madonio
    December 29, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Just catching up on my emails. Hope you had a memorable Christmas.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      January 13, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      My Dear Chas,
      The only thing that could have made it better would have been seeing you and your wonderful wife. I hope you guys had a great Christmas and that 2018 is good to you!

  • Reply
    Cathy Fishburn
    December 25, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Merry Christmas Fran. Thanks for all your words of wisdom throughout the year. I treasure our friendship. Hugs from Jan and I. Love you ♥♥♥

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      January 13, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      Cathy, you are a sweetheart. It’s hard to believe we connected via radio all those years ago, isn’t it? So wonderful to count you among my friends and so happy that you have your whole family around you! xoxo

  • Reply
    Dawn Wilkins
    December 24, 2017 at 9:57 am

    So beautifully said my dear! Blessings to you and your family.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      December 24, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      And blessings to you and yours too! I hope you got my packages. I sent them a while ago! Merry Christmas Dahlink! I will call you tomorrow.

  • Reply
    December 24, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Perfect, Fran. Sending love to you and yours. And your tradition of giving out your cookies, is making my holiday a very happy one (not just because they are delicious), so the energy and love you put into it is rippling out to others, and warming hearts. Thank you oxoxo

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      December 24, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Sweet Nicol, I do love doing it, so it’s partially selfish on my part, but I’m happy to hear it’s making your holiday happy. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and fabulous 2018!

  • Reply
    Jane Deutschmann
    December 24, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Hi Fran, Christmas blessings to you and your family. Buon Natale

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      December 24, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Buon Natale Jane and please give Christmas and wedding hugs to your whole family. I so wish I could be there for Sarah’s wedding. Have a very Merry Christmas and I wish you the best in 2018!

  • Reply
    JoAnn Jones
    December 24, 2017 at 5:38 am

    Merry Christmas, Fran, your post about your mom is so true & brings back wonderful memories of all the Christmases our family spent in Pa. Aunt Mary loved to cook & bake and the many meals around her kitchen table laughing , singing songs and eating were the best of times spent with family. We will forever miss our moms & dads but a part of them are with us always. God bless, JoAnn

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      December 24, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Thank you JoAnn, I am so glad you have all those great memories. Good Lord, when I see the pictures of those hideous trees in the bucket in the living room I cringe!

      I remember how excited I always got when you guys arrived and how much like my dad Uncle Fred was. They had the same mild mannered ways. What sweet men we were lucky to be raised by, and our moms were both spit fires! It always made life interesting. One of these days I’ll make the nut horn cookies your mom used to make that my mom loved! Thanks for taking the time to write and I wish you and your family a beautiful Christmas!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Herold
    December 24, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Merry Christmas! Thank you for sharing such wonderful thoughts and stories all year. Positivity.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      December 24, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      Elizabeth, I am so touched. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply. You made my day! I truly believe positivity is the only way forward!

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