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Elf on a Chain

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Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he’s a good storyteller for a long time… so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts. Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen… whichever you prefer… and you are receiving a copy because you’re a current customer of Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We think you’ll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!



When I was a kid, I loved decorating for Christmas.

We’d get the decorations down from the attic and trim the tree.

I remember a particular set of unique Christmas lights. Each big round colored bulb was shaped like a baseball, but half the size. They had a coating of crystalized frost that looked like snow. They were so cool. Then, Mom would give us our own special ornaments to put on the tree.

A climbing puppet overlayed with a quote about childhood Christmas ornaments

All of our ornaments were special. But my favorite were the elves that my brother and I got when I was five years old.

I adored that little elf. In fact, when Christmas was over, I decided I wasn’t going to pack it away back in a box. There was a light in our living room with two stain glassed light fixtures. So I hung that little elf from the light chain.

I’d lay on the couch and look up at him year-round.

A climbing puppet overlayed with a quote about holiday traditions

Over time, his boots fell off and his clothes grew faded and ragged from the sun, but that elf stayed in the same spot until my parents sold the house. From 1968 all the way until 2004, he never moved from that chain.  

Nowadays, that old raggedy elf proudly hangs from a light in my house.

That’s a holiday tradition I’ll never forget.

A climbing puppet overlayed with a quote about reflection

Speaking of traditions… two years ago, Joanna let our twin granddaughters decorate the Christmas tree. They were three years old at the time and could only reach so high. This meant that all the ornaments on our tree that year were at a three-year old’s height. Joanna wouldn’t let anyone move them. She left those decorations right were the girls put ‘em.

Last year, they were able to reach a little higher. And this year, the decorations are higher still.

Some folks would be embarrassed to leave a tree looking like that… but not Joanna. Watching our grandbabies decorate their special section is much more important to her than a fully trimmed tree.

And as they grow older – and taller – I hope our granddaughters will look back on this family tradition with as much fondness as I have for that old elf.

It’s wonderful to watch Christmas through the eyes of a child.

It takes me back to a time when I first experienced the magic of the season… and when I realized what this holiday is truly all about.

Me me1: For God so loved the world

Nora 2: That He gave His only Son…

Me Me 1: So that everyone who believes in Him will not perish…

Nora 2: But have eternal life.

Twin 1: John 3:16.

Merry Christmas, Neighbor.

Phil Frasie

P.S. – According to Wikipedia, the first Christmas tree was decorated with apples, nuts, dates, and pretzels. That sounds like a pretty good snack to me.

An illuminated Christmas tree in a cabin


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