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Christmas Letter
December 23, 2019

Christmas Bird Count:

The "Christmas Bird Count" and how it came to be.

This year marks the 119th "Christmas Bird Count" which runs from December 14, 2019, to January 5, 2020.

Prior to the turn of the century, people engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt."

Seems they had nothing better to do so.............

They would choose sides and go afield with their guns and booze.

The team that brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.

Conservation was in its beginning stages around the turn of the 20th century, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations.

Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition-a "Christmas Bird Census"-that would count birds in the holidays rather than hunt them.

So began the Christmas Bird Count.

Thanks to the inspiration of Frank M. Chapman and the enthusiasm of twenty-seven dedicated birders, twenty-five Christmas Bird Counts were held that day.

The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario to Pacific Grove, California with most counts in or near the population centers of northeastern North America.

Those original 27 Christmas Bird Counters tallied a total of 90 species on all the counts combined.

Thankfully, the "Side Hunt" is no longer.


The girls are sporting new haircuts (they need to look good for the season).

The weather forecast calls for a Green Christmas (bummer).

The kids came over Friday to decorate Christmas cookies that Grandpa baked.

I don't do well with all the noise anymore, but they had fun making a mess and eating pizza.

Other than that, all is well.

This is my annual Christmas Letter, such as it is.

In years past I've shared with you, some of our Christmas traditions and childhood memories.

Christmas traditions and how they started.

There were even a couple of years where I solicited from you, for some of your traditions and memories.

(I think I stopped because it was like pulling teeth to get more than a few of you to respond, if you want me to start again, please let me know.)

Most years however, I wrote some on 'The Christmas Story'.

Yes, the true meaning, or reason we celebrate Christmas.

That would be the birth of 'Christ Jesus'.

(Not a winter celebration as my granddaughter's grade school had.)

Also pictured is our little dining table.

You notice Santa is kneeling before Baby Jesus.

You may also spot the King's crown Santa is giving to the baby.

We have grand kids, and a couple of Great grand children, we know the importance of Santa in a child's life.

We also want them to understand the reason for Christmas, 'Santa is bigger than the New Born King'.

I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to say, I'll see how the 'Spirit' moves me.

I know I will anger some of you, and many will cancel this letter.

If you are offended, I forgive you :-)


"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end".

Ecclesiastes 3:11

God has set eternity in our hearts.

He has placed the difference from right and wrong in our hearts.

From the beginning of time, God wanted to have a relationship with man.

Starting with Adam and Eve, until did not obey God.

The one thing about giving humans a free will.

We can choose to obey and follow God, and have eternal life with Him

We can choose to ignore God and do our own thing, and have eternal life in hell.

"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse".

Romans 1: 18-20

It takes years of cultural training, or being hurt real bad to admit to yourself, there is No God.

Native Americans, without ever hearing the word, all referred to a 'Great Spirit'.

It is in us, God given.

We are given the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong.

For thousands of years, God kept making covenants with His people.

  For thousands of years, Man continued to break thee covenants.

  God's people were blessed, punished, blessed, punished, etc.

  As they obeyed, or Ignored God, so were God's Blessings.

  The mention of Jesus is mentioned early on, in Genesis, right after the debacle in the Garden of Eden.

  Sine then, throughout the Old Testament the promise of a Saviour  is mentioned.

“What I saw in my vision hasn’t happened yet. But some day, a king of Israel will appear like a star."

Numbers 24:17

  "But the LORD will still give you proof. A virgin is pregnant; she will have a son and will name him Immanuel". 

Isaiah 7:14

A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” “Prince of Peace.” 

Isaiah 9:6

"They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

Isaiah 6:3

  Did you read that?

  The Whole Earth Is Filled With HIS Glory. 

A few such mentions of God's promise.

A New and Everlasting covenant.

  One that beats all other covenants.

  An everlasting, final covenant.

  It boils down to this:

  "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."

Acts 16: 31

  "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance". 

2 Peter 3:9


"Who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth".


1 Timothy 2:4

All these verses.

  These promises from God are all part of the Christmas story.

  Believe in Him, and He who sent Him.

  "The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

Psalm 19: 1- 4

Jesus Himself says,

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 
 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11: 28-30

  There you have it.

  The Christmas story with an old, new version.

  God's word is very explanatory if you take some time to read, and ask God for His wisdom.

  It would also be time consuming for me to explain just what my God means to me and my family.

  I am at a loss for words to express what God means to us.

  Thank You Father for your never ending love, and sending Jesus to save us.

  "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown".

Linus Van Pelt, Peanuts Character from Charlie Brown Christmas.

  A Blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

  In Christ,

  The Patterson's

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 

Luke 2:8-12

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb.

A Blessed week to you .

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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