Elaina Smith Music

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Favorite Christmas Memory- Tracy Kelley Byrd

Written by scoopsnews on December 25, 2019 – 6:25 am -

Favorite Christmas Memory

One of my favorite Christmas memories is from 2015. All of our kids and our parents were able to gather at our house for Christmas. After having been restored from a broken life and having lost so many loved ones to death this was a heartwarming feeling. I had been through many Christmas’s with the feeling of emptiness and loneliness and sadness, missing loved ones who had gone on. There was such a happiness in my heart as I spent time making new happy memories!! My heart was full!! Spending time together celebrating the birth of Jesus together and feeling such joy and love in our home made me feel so blessed! I am thankful that God can take a broken and empty life and mend it and replace losses with blessings. He is so good to me!!


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Favorite Christmas Memory- Greg Sullivan

Written by scoopsnews on December 24, 2019 – 2:02 pm -

Favorite Christmas Memory

Favorite Christmas Memory??  I am so thankful that I have so many.  From back when all my grandparents were with us to the last Christmas that I had with my Dad, they are all special intheir own ways. One year at Christmas, our son Brett began to understand Christmas. He started getting excited about family gatherings, opening of gifts to Santa, and other great things about the holidays.  Brett is autistic, and when he was little, he didn’t understand Christmas or even get excited.  We have always kept Jesus first in our home, and we taught our daughter, Kaleigh, the true meaning of Christmas while allowing the magic of Christmas to be enjoyed. Kaleigh has loved Christmas from before she understood its meaning and loves it even more now.  Even though she is 28, she is still a kid at heart, and so am I.

Early in Brett’s life she would help him open his gifts, but he would only pick up one toy or a book and that would be all he focused on.  At age four he finally realized that those presents were for him. He wanted to open them and began playing with all his gifts.  It was such a blessing to see him enjoy that part of his childhood. He turned 27 this year, and every year when December rolls around he begins telling us how many days there are until Christmas.

Being of parent of an autistic child is challenging but veryrewarding. I stop and look at every victory.  There are no small victories, they are all huge. God has truly blessed our family. Lisa and I have been married 33 years, and we have two awesome children.  We have gone through a lot as a family, and God has been there with us every step of the way. Each Christmas seems to have its own special moments, and as I get older, I try my very best to soak every moment in. I am thankful each day for what God did for us when He sent His Son to Earth to become a man and to die on a rugged cross for all mankind.  We have a Savior and His name is Jesus. I pray that if you have not that you will find the true meaning of Christmas and begin walking daily with Jesus.

Greg Sullivan


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Favorite Christmas Memory- Marcie Gray

Written by scoopsnews on December 24, 2019 – 8:02 am -

Favorite Christmas Memory:

Christmas has always been a time for celebrating our Savior with the ones we love. I grew up in California, so our family tradition was to spend Thanksgiving in the south with the LeFevre side of the family and Christmas in Southern California with the Marks side of the family. It took me six years to get my parents moved here from California after we moved, and their first Christmas here, I was recovering from my fourth surgery after battling cancer.

My favorite memories are of dinner around the table, laughing, sharing memories, and talking about what the birth of our Savior means to us. As members our family graduate to heaven each year, I cherish precious times with my parents even more. Instead of buying gifts, we go on family dates together. Taking my parents to the Titanic was so wonderful, because Mom is losing her vision, so I got to hold her hand and read every sign to her as we walked through, explaining each exhibit. Memories like these will never fade. My parents won’t always be here to celebrate with, so at this stage of life, these are cherished a little more. I hope you cherish precious family this Christmas. The day will come when you’ll be glad you did! Merry Christmas, friends!

Marcie Gray

Marcie With Her Parents….Bill and Maxie Marks

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Favorite Christmas Memory- John Mathis Jr.

Written by scoopsnews on December 23, 2019 – 6:41 am -


Favorite Christmas Memory- John Mathis Jr


Favorite Christmas Memories? This year is a different year for me in regard to that thought as it will be the first Christmas I will experience without either of my parents. My father passed in 2011 and my mother passed this year on September 14. The attached picture popped up on my facebook memories this week, it is Alex and my mom (Jeannie). It is from December 15, 2018. My mom had a stroke in November of that year and she was in a rehab facility close to our home. She was wanting to get her hair done because “she looked like a mess” (as she would say). So we coordinated everything and she had her hair colored and cut, she was happy about that. This would be the last time she would have her hair done actually, so this picture has now become a fond memory of the events of that day. She received an early Alzheimers diagnosis and began a rapid decline during the next 9 months until she passed away.
Am I still sad? Of course, I will always miss my mom and my dad until it’s my time to depart this life. But the interesting aspect of a life passing that was so close to me, is that I not only think of particular memories, I feel as if the most fantastic book I’ve ever read has come to an end. The final page completed, that last paragraph read. It’s like that moment of great emotion where you reflect back on the story as a whole and think “What a great story!”.
So this Christmas I find myself not just thinking about particular memories of my mother or father, there are many, but their entire summary of their lives. Death has an interesting way of summarizing who we were, our legacy. Like two characters from a book I marvel at their lives, their choices to love and give unconditionally. Their sacrifices, the perseverance to overcome obstacles and challenges, their faith, their hope and support of their children and grandchildren. In some ways there is sadness that such a great book is over, no more to read, no next chapter to turn to follow the main characters, but it caused something to click inside me when I realized the full body of work in their lives from beginning to end. Oh I had some awareness from the moments and memories, the “chapters” of the story as they unfolded, but to realize the full body of work of lives well-lived, I’m in awe. I have that feeling of having read a great book, “What a story! What a book!”, but in a grander, deeper way.
It impacts me even more because I’m in the middle of my story (I hope it’s only the middle), and I’m part of the lives of two boys in my house, ages 8 (Alex) and 14 (Andrew), who are at the beginning of theirs. I have a wonderful wife, Angie, writing her own story, and all our stories intertwine. I’m reminded by looking back at the life of my mother and father to look forward at the lives of my boys, in the lives of myself and Angie. We have the chance to continue to summarize and write our stories, and lend a whole lot of ink to our childrens. I have the chance to continue to build a legacy of unconditional love, to give, to hopefully pass along all of the things of value that were given to me. To pass along the knowledge that our books are more than mere stories that will end one day, they are filled with purpose from the Author of all things. That the incredible opportunity of having a great story, comes from the Greatest Story of All, that Christ came that we might have life more abundantly. And that once this story ends, we can begin a new one … without end.   John

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Favorite Christmas Memory- Tonja Rose

Written by scoopsnews on December 22, 2019 – 11:17 am -

Favorite Christmas Memory


My Christmas Memories

I don’t even know where to start because Christmas is my favorite time of the year. My sweet Mama always made Christmas a big deal because it is her favorite too. We share that love of Christmas.
But I guess my favorite memories would be spending Christmas Eve at my Nanny Evelyn’s house. All the family gathered in this little space. It was always too hot, the kids too rambunctious, the collards gone “too” fast and lots of

laughing from the telling of stories from Christmas’s past. The kids have gotten bigger, the house has gotten smaller, the collards still go “too” fast and we continue telling those same stories…maybe with a few embellishments. I have and will always love Christmas Eve at Nanny’s house.


Pictured L to R: Aunt Sheila Alligood, Dale Quidley (my mama), Me, Nanny Evelyn.

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Favorite Christmas Memory- Randy Dale “Scoot” Shelnut

Written by scoopsnews on December 21, 2019 – 9:47 am -

Favorite Christmas Memory

As a cancer survivor who was told I’d never be able to have kids, I realized how much God blesses us, and still works miracles!

It’s hard to narrow it down to one, but my favorite would have to be the first Christmas with my little boy, Drew.

Scoot and Drew


Christmas Tree Cakes!

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Favorite Christmas Memory- Scott Washam

Written by scoopsnews on December 20, 2019 – 6:37 pm -

Favorite Christmas Memory


Growing up, it became a tradition at the Washam estate to allow us kids, Steve, Sharron and myself (Scott) to swap our ‘from me to you’ present before Santa came. Sometimes the gifts were homemade and creative, sometimes a gift card, or maybe a gag gift; but it was always special. This tradition still holds today, even through the years.

We are all more than 43 years of age, yet each Christmas Eve we all find our way back to the kitchen table at the Washam estate, with our mother for a couple of hours and exchange our one ‘from me to you’ present. We share memories, food and secrets of what Santa is bringing the nieces and nephews. This will always be my favorite Christmas memory and I hope we continue the tradition as long as we have breath!

Scott Washam- DayThree

“The Washam Kids Sharing Christmas Secrets”


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Favorite Christmas Memory- Les Butler

Written by scoopsnews on December 20, 2019 – 1:29 pm -

Les Butler

I guess mine would have to be 1971.  We came home on Christmas Eve night after spending the day at my Aunt and Uncle’s house.  We walked in the side door into the kitchen and I looked to the left and saw a used spinet piano.  I couldn’t play a piano, but by the end of the night, I was playing songs on it.  I don’t know why my parents bought me a piano, but I’m sure glad they did.  It has served me well over the years.  Every week since that Christmas Eve 1971 I’ve played the piano at church and more recently on #1 chart songs and now with the Old Time Preachers QT.  My parents are in heaven but I still want to say thanks Mom and Dad!  I may not be the best piano player in Southern Gospel Music, but there’s no one that enjoys anymore than I do.


Les Butler

Butler Music Group/Family Music Group

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Favorite Christmas Memory- Mickey Bell

Written by scoopsnews on December 20, 2019 – 4:54 am -

Favorite Christmas Memory

My mind takes me back to when my siblings and I got an Atari.  At the time, this was the best present ever.  Back then, when you bought the atari console, you also got the Pac-Man game fro free.  Well, we were very excited to open up this gift from Santa and to be able to play it.  There was just one problem.

My Grandparents had driven several hours to spend Christmas with us.  When made his delivery late on Christmas Eve night, my Grandmother started playing Pac-Man for the very first time and got hooked.  In fact, she was so hooked on this game that us kids were unable to play with our new toy on Christmas morning.
My Granddaddy had to entice her away from our house with the promise that he would buy her an Atari of her own.  Several months later, my Grandmother would pass away.  It was said that before she went to the hospital with her heart issue, she was sitting up playing her Pac-Man game to take her mind off of the pain.  After she beat her high score on the game, then she was willing to go to the hospital where she later died.
It’s not a somber moment but one that puts a smile on my face to think of the power of Christmas.  It can make grown ups feel like kids again.
Mickey Bell

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Favorite Christmas Memory- Jean Grady

Written by scoopsnews on December 19, 2019 – 4:26 pm -

Favorite Christmas Memory

My favorite Christmas memory is from 25 years ago. Ken and I had been married for 5 months and he had gone from being a bachelor to marriage and 2 children. Prior to this particular Christmas, he had spent his holidays with his parents and siblings. This was his first Christmas in his own home with his new family. On Halloween, we went to the Christmas tree farm to tag our first Christmas Tree as a family. When we brought in home in December and decorated it, I would find him late in the evening, sitting in the living room with only the Christmas tree lights on and realize that he was enjoying his first Christmas in his own home with his new family. Fast forward 25 years. Our tree now has ornaments from places we’ve traveled around the world. Photo is from this year as we crossed the Atlantic Ocean in December. We have been so blessed to have each other and I’m looking forward to many more memories together.

Jean Grady

Ken and Jean Grady

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