Dear Santa, #Christmas @ChristmasCount

At the end of the week I will travel to God‘s Country for a family Christmas celebration.  I promised mama long ago that I would always be home for Christmas and to date I have not broken that promise.

Before I leave, I thought I should write my letter to Santa and get it on the way to the North Pole.


Dear Santa,

Hey, it’s me, another year, another list……  I hope you and your lovely bride have had a good year.  For me, I don’t have any complaints, 2013 proved to be a pretty good year overall.

I know how busy you are at this time of year and I apologize for waiting so long to send in my list, but I have been pretty busy myself.   Before hitting send on the email I am sending to you at, I took the liberty of narrowing down my list a bit to the essentials, I know how you like to get to the point, so I thought this was best.  (By the way, thanks for taking emails this year, you know how the Post Office is, if I mailed this it may not have reached you until Groundhog Day!)

Stating the obvious, YES, I have been a very good boy this year, and no matter what that lady I flipped off in traffic or the folks at COMCAST say, I deserve everything on my list!

So let’s stop beating around the bush and get to the important stuff…. My Christmas List!

  • A no drama Christmas.  Santa, I love my family with all my heart, but sometimes we have a tendency to get on each other’s nerves……  drama-free would be appreciated.  (Oh and drama free for all my friends who just read that request and said, “I would love that too!”)
  • Snow.  I know I live in south-Florida and the last time I saw snow on Christmas day, daddy and I to evacuate God’s Country at 9AM and have Christmas dinner at IHOP, but just a little snow would be appreciated.  Nothing that closes roads or airports, but just a little white Christmas!
  • In 2014, I ask you to continue to bless me with awesome friends and to continue to grow my circle of people who enhance my life.
  • It really doesn’t make sense that a date for a fat old guy is so hard to come by…. hey Santa, a little help here!?!!?
  • I would like for our politicians to stop playing games and find common ground for the good of our country.
  • A fat wallet and a skinny body, last  year you got those two confused, please get it right this year!
  • I am so thankful that my father’s health is as good as it is.  While at 82 he has his issues, overall he is doing ok.  Santa, if you have any pull, I just hope that you will continue to bless him during these twilight years.
  • I wouldn’t turn down a big lottery win.
  • I love the people I work with and my job.  Give me wisdom as I move into the future.
  • My friend Jen and her husband are searching for their forever child, you should know they will be awesome parents!
  • For my niece and nephew, Santa continue to give them big dreams for their lives.  Give them patience and appreciation for all they have and will find in the future.
  • Sunrises, I love the sunrise and appreciate the opportunity to get out to the ocean and see it as much as possible.
  • Parts of my family is trying to get together this summer for a long overdue family reunion…. help us to make it happen.
  • Health and happiness for my circle of friends, these folks deserve it for putting up with me on a daily basis.
  • If you could, I ask you to give my brother and sister-in-law more time for themselves to just enjoy life.  They both work incredibly hard, give them time to smell some roses along the way!
  • My friends Shaun and Breanne are getting married this Spring.  Bring them joy and happiness on their journey through life together.
  • My baby girl Rosalita Grace Rumsey makes me happy every single day, am I selfish to ask for more!?!?!?
  • Keep strengthening my faith and allow me to live a generous life.
  • Take care of Aunt Beck and bless my extended family.
  • Bring grace and patience to our world.  Allow us to honor each other more and judge each other less.

Santa, that’s about it, I am sure I can think of more, but I think you get the point.  Christmas is coming and I can’t wait to spend some time in God’s Country; of all the gifts I will get this year, that is my favorite.  Laughing, crying, yelling, arguing, loving and enjoying the most important people in my life, Daddy, Sam, Donna, Chelsea and Zack…. thanks Santa, that is a gift I enjoy year after year!

Oh, just one more thing Santa, socks and underwear, if you can fit them in the sleigh!

Thanks for everything and travel safe!


#Christmas Playlist…. Holdman Family Christmas Light Show @ChristmasCount


Christmas Playlist…. Holdman Family Christmas Light Show 2010

Tuesday 10 – Tracy McCoy

TuesdayThis week’s Tuesday 10 respondent hails from God‘s Country.  Tracy McCoy tells the story of my homeland every month with her magazine, “Georgia Mountain Laurel.”
Check it out, each issue highlights the beauty of the people and the land in this special place.  Subscriptions are available… I get mine in Florida ever month!
1) Excluding family members, who inspires you? Jesus
2) What is your guilty pleasure? Bread Pudding with Praline Sauce (Karan Cathey’s)  EDITOR’S NOTE…. TRACY, HOW ABOUT SENDING ME THAT RECIPE, IT SOUNDS AWESOME!
3) If you were to write a book, who is one person you would want to list in the acknowledgements and what would you say? My dad, Hoyt Speed. I would want to thank him for leading by example and for always challenging me to reach a little deeper and try a little harder. He taught me to live with integrity even when no one is looking. My dad taught me to love books. 
4) What is your favorite sandwich? Bacon and Tomato with mayo on bread that sticks to the roof of your mouth.
5) What is the best professional advice you ever received? “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
6) As a child, what was your favorite bedtime story? I don’t remember a bedtime story what I do remember before bedtime was my family knelt together to pray. 
7) Who is the first Presidential candidate you ever voted for? Ronald Reagan
8) What is the one career achievement you are most proud of? Life is a Blessing column 
9) If you could spend the day with any fictional character, who would you choose and why? Santa Claus – I would want to make the trip that all of us as children believed was possible. Swishing through the air in a sleigh pulled by reindeer and making the dreams of children worldwide come true… what better way to spend 24 hours.  
10) What is the best meal you ever ate? A toss-up… Lobster tail or my Granny‘s gravy and biscuits.
Thanks Tracy and thank you for sharing God’s Country with the readers of “Georgia Mountain Laurel,” each month!
Would you like to be a part of the Tuesday 10?  Copy and paste the questions above, and email your answers to me at