New photo from Shawn Matthews.

I think we will have more to come. Matthews Family Christmas. Date TBD. 

Hillenburg Family Christmas Poem 2016

The Hillenburg Family Christmas Poem 2016

Its Christmas Day Twenty-Sixteen and the Hillen’s are together which is our routine.

To celebrate the arrival & miraculous birth; of the One who saves us/offers peace on the earth.

This Family Christmas Poem is not a new thing; ninety-nine years its been going, since nineteen-seventeen.

Fond memories I have from years gone by; when the family would read them & the adults would cry.

Telling stories of how we had grown or moved on; this family christmas poem honor’s Stanley and LaVaungn.

So now we get to the festivities at hand, and tell how the Lord’s blessed us with babies so grand.

Last year we received only one week apart; two strapping young boys that immediately stole our heart.

Skyler & Chad had waited so long, ever wanting a child to them to belong.

God sent down from heaven a beautiful son, this year we celebrated Archie turning one.

Barrett & Tara, were working at a San Diego church; when the Lord decided to bless them with more than a perch.

Jerry & Elaine made the long trip to Missouri; but didn’t last long once Harvey was born early.

This year these boys have started to walk, and are mastering sounds and learning to talk.

Both families live across just one street, raising boys into men who impress all they meet.

Chad & Barrett make very incredible dad’s; Archie & Harvey are very, very lucky young lads.

As mom’s go, these two boys couldn’t have any better, Tara & Skyler make homes feel like a comfy ole sweater.

And if thats not enough to make grandparents cry…Barrett & Tara have another that will join us in July.

Ninny and I are so proud we could pop, but I mustn’t go on…I’ll bring this poem to a stop.

Twenty-sixteen offered good times and bad, new jobs, new church’s and new challenges we’ve had.

From spiders to cars to things we don’t understand; to terror and safety and the leadership of this land.

Its not easy being mom’s or dad’s in this world, tons of issues and problems around you  is swirled.

The only advice I can give is not new, but tired and old and tested and true.

Stay together, a unit, thats led by the One, who’s Name we call Jesus, God’s only Son.

This poem’s full circle, I suppose that makes sense…next year we will gather and tell of what’s happened hence.

Merry Christmas to all as a new year unfurls….to 2017 and the birth of some girls. 

Mark Hillenburg, 12-25-2016

Christmas Poem 2010

Traditional cheeseball has been eaten
The Christmas dinner has been served

Excitement and incredible joy fill the Hillen house this Christmas 2010
The whole family is gathered around their tree once again

And now we come together for another family tradition
A time for carols fun and reflection

Skyler and Chad lead us in song
For many years at High Street they'll belong

We are sur to know the latest news complete
Because Mark and Cindy faithfully tweet.

Kent and Ethan approach life with Italian flair
They are caught flirting with girls everywhere.

Barrett played football again this fall
May be next year his receivers will catch the "dang" ball.

Natalie is our little diva,
But once her friend, she'll never leave ya

2010 Mom and dad have traveled to Alaska and Rome
2011 school year they have the Liles staying in their home.

This is a look back with the people we love
Thankful for the gift to be together from the Lord above.

Today and tomorrow and for years to come
We thank our God for sending his Son.

Christmas 2009

It's Christmas 2009 and we gather to celebrate at the Hillenburg homestead
It's now time for the traditional family poem to be read

The Hillen's and the Watson's traveled through snow from Rogersville
The Liles join in from Grottaferrata the city on the hill

We want to look back through 2009
To remember events that hopefully rhyme

This year Grandpa and Grandma flew their first continental flight
We're hoping they fly internationally and in 2010-they just might

Mark and Cindy gave away a daughter this year but gained a son
We are all so proud and thankful for Chad Watson

Barrett, Mark, and Cindy all went to Guatemala but not on Vacation
But to protect the Eagles Nest orphans with a Home security installation

Sky and Chad were featured in Bride 417 magazine
Their wedding was a beautiful event to be seen

Natalie learned so many new things in Strafford this summer
To swim, ride a bike, to stand on her head, and roller blade, -WHAT could be funner!

Kent's class from school came to our church in Rome
Every child got a copy of God's Word for their home.

Ethan is working so hard at school to get ahead
It helps that his teacher doesn't distract him by resting her bosoms on his head.

Jon and Becky are still in language school
That's why this sentence doesn't rhyme.

We pray we soon can all be together again
See you next year in 2010.

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

It’s A Hillenburg Christmas, that we celebrate this day…
In the old Matthews Family traditional way.

We together celebrate the gift of God’s son’s birth,
To forgive us of our sins, and who gave us measure of worth.

We can’t all be together this year,
We will celebrate though with maybe only a few tears.

This good news must be shared to others we say,
This is why the Liles family is away.

In this family we ALL are obedient to His calling,
Even on the football field, Barrett sends the offense sprawling.

Not only did Skyler start to college this year
She snagged her a guy who is pretty debonair.

In the words of Kent, my son,
“It’s Chad Freakin Watson”

Kent and Ethan are my heros of the bunch
They go to Italian school everyday and eat their socialized government lunch.

Natalie joined another family tree,
By salvation she has truly been set free.

Mark and Cindy must have blinked
As they will give away their first born Skyler Elizabeth

Dad is the one who leads this clan.
He has retired this year and can now enjoy watching C span

Mom and Dad have added two plasma tvs, satellite, and wi fi
And golly! There is so much more to try!

I am grateful to God that we have this technology,
So we can see each other even though there is a great pond that separates our family.

We look forward to 2009 and the blessings ahead that God only knows,
As we bring this year 2008 to a close.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!
Becky Liles

Christmas Poem 2007

It’s Christmas Eve 2007 as we gather to celebrate Christ’s birth;
The Hillenburg branch of this family tree that carries on this long time tradition

Of coming together both family and friends, for food, fun, fellowship & mirth.

This Christmas program handed down through this clan from the first to the last generation.

It started out almost a century ago by a troubadour of a man named A.Z.

And carried out almost each and every year as the clan gathers even here today.

Passed down by our patriarch Stanley Doubt, who next time in Heaven we’ll see.

Although many a trial & tribulation has come to our family, I’m happy to say;

No matter the test that may come our way, the metal of this family is true.

From Great-Grandpa, to Grandma, to uncle, to cousin to grandson one thing remains;

The gift of His Son, that came to this earth, is what binds us together like glue

And no matter the race set forth we must run, His Name and His Story proclaim.

Were happy to have a special gift this year, the Liles were planned to be gone.

But God has a plan, understood by no man, and it’s His time in that that they will move.

But this year we’ll savor, this time spent together, and soon they will fly across the pond.

As we wind this thing down, and we start this program for the year 2000 and seven

One thing we remember, the gift sent from heaven.

It’s A Hillenburg Christmas, that we celebrate this day…

In the same old Matthews Family traditional way.

Merry Christmas

Mark Hillenburg

Christmas Poem 2001

As I sit with pen in hand, pondering the year just past,
The changes to the family that have happened since Christmas last.

The years bring many changes and things that begin anew,
I realize what an awesome responsibility, to share my thoughts with you.

There's been so many things happen, impossible to mention them here,
Exciting and life changing things, we've shared throughout the year.

We've several new additions to the Doubt clan this year,
Two new little girls to hold so close and dear.

Katelyn came earlier in the year, followed by Makenzie,
Both bringing lots of joy and to the Clark families I'm sure, a frenzy.

Tim remarried in February, a new doubt named Michele,
And thought she can't be with us today, we think she's pretty swell.

And so we just keep building on foundation firm and strong,
It started many years ago with a union that couldn't go wrong.

We've been blessed beyond compare with a patriarch strong and bold,
With mountains of integrity and a heart that is pure gold.

And no one could ever know a more selfless human heart,
Than that of the woman who is our matriarch

We love them both so dearly and cannot imagine a day,
When they are not here to guide us and show us all teh way.

We live by their example, our family should be treasured,
I know the fact we're all here today has brought them both great pleasure.

Each Christmas is uniquely special, but this Christmas especially so
Because we're all together, like those Christmases long ago.

Though we all are scattered we've gathered here today,
To be with one another, to sing and talk and play.

33 of us in all have come from far and near,
Because there's nowhere we'd rather be on Christmas night this year.

It doesn't happen often that we can all be in one place,
It is a blessed gift in itself to see each beautiful face.

I feel as if it's up to be to say something wise and true,
But I know it already means as much to each of you.

We know that we are truly blessed that each one of us can be here,
For many families cannot be together, though not by choice, this year.

We ask you Lord to be with those who lost their family members,
In the terrible, evil, terrorist act on the eleventh of September.

And we're thankful that it wasn't any member of our family,
Taken from us all too soon in an awful tragedy.

Though we are ever mindful that each day could be our last,
We are ever grateful for our memories from years past.

I'm grateful to each one of you for coming here tonight,
For caring and sharing with the world, and spreading God's great Light,

For even in the darkness that envelops the world today,
His light will forever shine brightly and show us all the way.

It is but our choice to follow, to live our lives so well,
That in His Heavenly presence we may forever dwell.

He sent to us a baby, to show us He is near,
It is up to us to listen an dto live in peace another year.

By Kimberly

Christmas Reflections 1999

You'll notice this is called Christmas Reflections this year rather than the Christmas "Poem". This is because it seems to be getting more difficult each year to say what I want to say and make it all fit nicely into rhyme form without repeating what I have done years past. Perhaps some years I just feel more inspired than I do this year. Of course, I started this at the very last moment, hoping the mood would hit me and the words would come flowing out of me. I just hasn't happened this year and I am not sure why. I love Christmas. Anyone who has been to my house at Christmas knows that. Anyone who has helped us move has probably cursed me for it. But for some reason the Christmas spirit has eluded me this year. It's easy to get caught up in all the preparations of the season and lose sight of what it's all about. I am truly thankful for Christ's birth and all that it means to the world and I feel blessed for all the gifts I have been given. But somehow, the mood just isn't there yet, so I begin to think about why I love Christmas. I love t the sights and sounds and smells, of course, but more than anything I think Christmas is special because of the sense of family that comes with it. I think without family this day would be the saddest day of the year, and so I look at today as a gift. It is not exactly the "perfect" gift that I wished for , for it was, Tim, Trevor and Austin would be sitting here with us and our family would be complete. But I certainly am thankful that Tim has someone special to spend Christmas with and that he is trying to move forward with his life after a very trying year. I know that we will all continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. Everything else about this gift is wonderful. I am most thankful that we have had another year with Grandpa and Grandma, that they are not only here today, but active, vital and still very much the leaders of our family. I am very thankful for all the memories they have created for all of us. I don't think anyone could ask for more loving parents and grandparents than they have been to us.
We are all happy to have Scott and his family home, and that Judy, Ryan and Zachary are able to spend Christmas with us for the very first time. Becky, Jon, and Kent are here also, after too long an absence and will be adding another member to their family any day now. Mike and Kathy are spending their first Christmas with Ryleigh after waiting so patiently for her arrival and I am sure it has been a momentous year for their family. Mark and Cindy have seen Barrett start school this year and Skyler grow into a lovely young lady. Matthew and Marissa are busy being big brother and sister with the addition of Joshua. They bring much joy to our Carl and me.

We all know we owe much to our parents, who have passed on traditions, memories and integrity to us, for always making us a priority. They have been very selfless with their children and grandchildren and I think I speak for my generation when I say each one of us knows we are loved unconditionally. I believe that is the greatest gift you can give a child and we certainly have been blessed to receive that from you.
And when we all come together as a family, something special seems to happen. I've heard it said that holidays just intensify whatever is happening in a family. If relationships are good, the day goes well. If they are not so good you can only imagine. I think it is a credit to our family that we all want to be together for Christmas more than anything. That we look forward to having a day together to laugh, talk, remember Christmases past, carry on traditions, and catch up on each others' lives. I am grateful for the generations before me that have passed on the importance of family. I don't think it is any mistake that we have all turned out to be productive human beings. That none of us are sitting in jail, or involved with the ills of society. That we honor God and know that the true meaning o Christmas is the birth of Christ. That we support one another during times of sorrow and times of joy. I indeed feel fortunate to be a member of such a wonderful family. And so, though inspiration has thus far eluded me this year, the spirit of family has not, and I can only hope that the spirit of Christmas is not far behind. May the coming year bring peace and happiness and may the new Millennium be filled with pure joy for each and every one of us. Merry Christmas 1999.

Christmas 1998

Christmas is here and the stockings are filled,
With joy and with kindness and lots of good will.
We look at the world with all of its mess,
We thank God for family, my how we are blessed!
So may things have happened, some old, some new,
We want to take time to mention a few
We came through the year and the family's in tact,
We've added one to it as a matter of fact.
It's a little boy baby and what is his name?
Becky and Jon called him Kenteth Wayne.
Scott and Judy and Ryan and Zach
Have sent us a letter saying next Christmas they'll be back
Larry gave us a scare but he's doing okay,
We had a good doctor that made it that way.
A trip to Canada the Lippelmans did take
They say another to Canada they never will make
Tim and Rhonda have had a year full of changes,
Rhonda started a business that's really going places.
Tim has made Sergeant, of him we're so proud,
He strives to be tops, not just one of the crowd.
Mike and Kathy's life will change pretty quick
A baby girl they will have to add to our mix
You can see Rita and Bill have much to celebrate,
All of their grandkids will be in the States.
George and Linda say they have enjoyed the empty nest
But off to Florida they went and will always give Mark and Cindy a rest.
Singers they say they are, Skyler and Barrett,
They've made their debut and applause they did merit.
And a milestone was celebrated in the month of November,
Sixty years together with many things to remember.
And so you see, it's been a big year,
For each of every one of us, both far and near.
We miss our loved ones when they are far away,
All pray for their safety and protection each day.
We know our Savior is kind and His mercies are true,
And as long as we serve Him He'll see us through.

By June and Kim

Christmas 1997

Kim got ill,
so I swallowed the pill,
And wrote the poem this year.
It's not very long,
None at all would be wrong,
And Grandma would kill us we feared.
So I took pen in hand,
And thought of the man,
Who started all this for us.
Stanley Doubt is his name
And if you said he had fame,
He'd say "Hey, don't make a fuss."
He was a cute little kid,
Growing upas he did,
And I've got a picture to prove it.
Then he met LaWaughn,
Knew she was the one,
And marriage thereafter ensued it.
Here's a picture of them,
Standing tall and trim
It was taken in 1937.
The first child then came,
Larry Gene was his name.
And boy, they thought they were in heaven,
Then Linda came to be,
Followed by Rita Marie,
And the rest of us descended from there.
From three Doubt kids,
Came six grandkids,
Now 8 great grandkids are here.
We can't all be here,
From year to year,
But we always think about Stanley.
The sacrifices he made,
The education he gave,
To make us always care about family.

By Tim Doubt

Christmas 1996

It's Christmas time yet again, the year is '96
Here I sit on Christmas morn, a poem still to fix.
There's so much to write about this year, our family has grown some more,
With Zachary added to the clan, Scott's family grew to four.
And how we miss them all so much and wish that they were here,
We know they miss all of us too and our hearts are very near.
Then in the merry month of May a wedding day did come,
As Becky married her guy Jon and set up a happy home.
And grandpa celebrated a milestone as he turned eighty years,
We are thankful to our god above we have him with us here,
And we thank our father also for letting us gather once again,
To celebrate this holiday with family and with friends.
For that is what Christmas truly is in one simple word "love",
The greatest gift of all, a Savior sent from god above.
And the love we have, each one of us for God and for His son,
We know that we are truly blessed each and every one.
And the love we share for family, those here and far away,
We are all together in spirit on this beautiful Christmas day.
I know that it's no accident our family is so strong
With the example that has been set for us by our elders all along.
They've taught us by example that family is number one
They're truly proud of each of us and the things that we have done.
Their love is unconditional, boundless and complete,
They're loved by each of us in return cause they're really pretty neat.
There are so many families in strife in the world today,
So many give up on each other and simply walk away.
And sometimes I get the feeling that there aren't many like mine,
Not everyone is so blessed with a family so fine.
And so I'll close by saying that I'm simply grateful to,
My Heavenly Father up above for a family like you.

Christmas 1995

The year is 1995 it's Christmas once again,
It's also time to reflect upon what kind of year it's been

It seems our family is getting somewhat further flung
Oh how I wish we could all be here for every carol sung.

But alas, we can not always be all gathered round the tree,
Though we're each one here in spirit, one great big family.

So many changes going on throughout our growing group,
As we add one to our nest and another flies the coop!

By this time a year fom now if all goes as is planned
We'll have added two new members to our close knit clan.

For Becky got engaged this year and soon will leave the nest,
She'll join Jon in wedded bliss, she thinks he's the best!

Scott and Judy and Ryan too will have a little one
Though they're way off in Germany, they're in for lots of fun.

As I said before, so many changes happening here,
But we just keep getting better as we go on through the years.

We're thankful that Grandpa and Grandma are still heading up the clan,
They teach us by example to do all that we can,

To love each other dearly, create memories that last,
To take care of our families and hold on to them fast.

I'm glad to say I'm very proud to be just one small part,
Of a special family that is so very full of heart.

What I've said so many times is just as true as ever,
Families like ours will be families forever.

We're each one very special in his or her own way,
With different interests and talents each having our own say.

I like to think no matter what we can support each one,
For that is the example that's been set by Stanley and LaVaughn.

"Family first" it seems must be their motto true,
For there is not one thing on this earth they would not try to do.

For any one of us in need they're always there you see,
Wherever they are needed, that is where they'll be.

I love them both with all my heart and each one of you too.
That's the most important thing to say so now I'll bid adieu.

Merry Christmas!!

I'll miss all of you today

Christmas 1994

Christmas is a time to reflect on traditions old and new,
To think about the things in this world that are held so dear to you.
And as I think about these things my thoughts turn to family,
Of all the changes throughout the years and of what it all means to me.
This family is a special one in many, many ways,
Our love for one another is clear as we gather on this day.
We're lucky enough to have two people to head the family,
They've loved each and every one of us unconditionally.
And so we're gathered here once more on Christmas day this year,
Together with the people that we all hold most dear.
For those who cannot join us, we miss having you here,
We hope you're thinking of us too, and can be with us next year.
And so it's hard to believe, but it's Christmas time once more,
Time to reflect on the events of 1994
And what a busy year it's been, full of so much joy,
In June we added yet another beautiful baby boy.
His name is Austin Timothy and we think he's just swell.
He's certainly a dandy as far as we can tell.
Just a few months down the road we added two at once,
When Scott took Judy as his wife , and Ryan joined the bunch.
And also we are very blessed that Marissa has pulled through,
A very scary surgery to make her heat like new.
Some of us faced new challenges, new homes, new jobs, new fears,
But overall, for most of us it's been a blessed year.
For those who especially need it, you're in our thoughts and prayers,
We hope you know we love you and that we truly care.
We really do have so much that we should thank Him for,
So be happy, well, and joyous 'til it's Christmas time once more.

Christmas 1993

Christmas Day is here once more, we're gathered with those we love,
To celebrated the birth of Christ, sent from our Father above.
Most of the family is here this year, others we sorely miss,
We wish they could be close enough for us to hug and kiss
There's a new member of the clan, a sweet little boy named Barrett.
He's the cutest thing you've ever seen, at least his dad, Mark, would swear it!
This coming year we'll welcome new members into our family tree,
As Scott takes as his wife a lovely girl named Debbie.
But that's not all, oh no, you see, there is even more,
Timothy's family of three will welcome number four.
And so you see, we're truly blessed, for we have on another,
Friends often remark to me, "You have a family like no other".
And with them I must agree, for we each know we are loved,
Not only by our family on earth, but by our God above.
We pull together when times are rough and even when they're good.
We love each other as much or more as any family could.
We've had examples set for us by the heads of his family.
They've taught us the importance of true family loyalty,
They've taught us to keep our Heavenly Father ever in our hearts and minds,
To live the way He'd want us to, to be loving, compassionate, and kind.
And to celebrate the birth of Christ by coming here together,
At Christmas time and always, this family is forever.

Christmas 1992

Christmas is here for '92 and what a year it's been!
Three new members of the family seems like a good place to begin.

On the tree there hangs this year a new ornament for each one,
But a place in our hearts for all three of them was already long ago won.

In March two precious little ones entered into this world,
We couldn't have asked for anymore, we got a boy and a girl.

Although it was a joyous time, it was a very scary time too,
We had a little Marissa who had heart surgery to go through.

So for her on the tree a guardian angel there hangs to watch and oversee,
As we do all we can to make sure with us she'll always be.

And Matthew with his shining face, what a busy boy you are!
So on the tree to remind us of you there hangs a shiny blue star.

And Kathy became one of the clan when she and Mike vowed never to part,
We've added to the tree for her a beautiful satin heart.

And all of us are thankful to have had another year,
To count our many blessings for what we have is clear.

The headlines tell us every day that the world is in chaos,
With wars, and strife, and homelessness, and such a sense of loss.

How blessed we've been to not to be touched by the problems that abound,
To be able to have gatherings with family all around.

To have Grandpa and Grandma still with us going strong,
Grandpa always with a smile and Grandma with a song.

So let's remember Christmas and the message that it brings,
That the most prized possessions in this world are not material things.

But hope, and love, and selflessness that Christ has showed for us,
That, you see is the true meaning of this time we call Christmas.

So may the coming year be filled with blessings, love and joy,
Until we gather here next year, be thankful and enjoy.

Christmas 1991

We've gathered together for Christmas again and what a year this has been!
As I think back over the last twelve months I remember the changes we've seen.

Grandpa and grandma have left the old place to move to the "city" you know,
We're all very glad to hae them so close, to Branson we no longer go.

So we gather here at the new homestead to begin traditions anew,
Traditions which mean so much to us, but so much more has happened too.

Scott has joined the Air Force now and we don't see him as much as we'd like
And college life is over now for Kathy and for Mike.

This year they'll start a life together just four months from today,
We wish them luck and happiness as they look forward to that day.

About the same time two little ones will come into this world,
The doctors say "we're not positive, but probably a boy and a girl!"

Anew set of twins in this family to carry on the flame,
to join Trevor and Skyler in all the little kids games.

And while I know each one has things going on, important, big or small,
There just isn't time to think about and write about them all!

And I've no doubt that exciting things will come in '92,
And next year we'll gather again to reflect and start anew.

But now it's time to turn our thoughts to Christmas in '91
And enjoy this time of togetherness we have with everyone.

And to think of those we love so much who cannot gather here,
To share our joy this Christmastime, our love, our hope, our cheer.

And to ask our Heavenly Father to watch us one and all,
To allow us to spend another year together big and small.

And be thankful for the things we have and what He's blessed us with,
And to realize the Christmas spirit really is not a myth

It lives in every one of us each and every day,
To express our love and gratitude we don't need a holiday.

But Christmas is indeed a special time and so this is my cue,
Good luck in the coming year until Christmas 1992.

Christmas 1990

We have all arrived at the gathering place to celebrate Christmas this year,
The first Christmas of the new decade, we've come from far and near.
It's time to repeat traditions we've established through and through
And carry on the old, as well as begin the new.

Christmas time brings to mind images of family,
All of us gathered together around the evergreen tree,
As a family we've been blessed, I'm sure we'd all agree,
And it is growing all the time, this year we've added two new ornaments to the tree

Skyler Hillenburg has been added to the crew,
And Ryan will live on in all our memories too.
It's such a close time for us as we draw near to one another,
To celebrate the birth of Christ and the love we feel for each other.

As I think about past Christmases my mind is filled with things,
Like plays, and music, and scripture and our annual gatherings.
And I doubt that anyone could have more special memories,
Than those we share of this wondrous time, of wreathes, and bells, and trees

And though each of us has played a part in creating these memories,
We owe a debt of gratitude to the heads of this family.
For it is through their boundless love we gather here together,
And contemplate our Lord's love, for families are forever.

Christmas 1989

Christmas is a special time that comes but once a year
When all the Doubt clan comes together from both far and near
To celebrate the wondrous joy the season always brings
And share the love that can't be shown by simply giving "things"
The year has flown so swiftly by it seems just yesterday
The the first two of six grandchildren were on the way
Now there's a little one, the first grandchild great
We miss Trevor and his mom and dad this year they 're in another state
The year brought other things, for Mark it brought a wife
Cindy joined the family and they started a new life
And it brought other special things for all of us I know
We have much to be thankful for from Heavenly Father our blessings flow.
We must remember all that we should be thankful for
And also be ever mindful of what the Lord has in store.
So remember this time of year how lucky we truly are
Because Christ was born long ago in a manger under a star.

Christmas 1987

Christmas is such a joyous time
With lots of tradition song and rhyme.
And in this family there is much to be said
And it isn't about sugar plums dancing in our heads
The traditions we celebrate are the ones that bind.
It's loyalty, respect, and friendship in kind.
No malice, no anger in this family tree
It's pride and involvement in things that set free
We encourage and support the paths that each take
And we each remember we can learn from mistakes
There's much that has happened this year we can share
So many good things they can't all possibly be aired
There are one or two we need to recall
The first we will share is one about Carl
There is a Christmas ornament for each on our Grandparent's tree
This year we hung one for Carl for all to see
Our Grandpa had a close call but the Lord left him here
Maybe to help his offspring to face things without fear
To face all the challenges and to seek out the best
And the Lord then will add all of the rest
Tim is back this year with the clan
We all knew he would be, that was part of the plan
He served full time for the Lord the two years past
Then knowledge from God seemed to come real fast
He had lots to do and he did it well
But having him home makes our heart swell
Christmas this year is a winter wonderland
With ice on the trees and there was snow on the land
But it truly is great to live in "the land of the free"
To celebrate Christmas in the way that we please
To serve our Saviour who was born on this day
Who later gave his life and showed us the way
We love this time of year with its giving
And our family seems to live this and give it meaning
We don't try to find fault or think we're only the great
But instead we're all happy with the prayers each makes
If we could give the world or each person a gift
It would be a family like ours cause then they'd be blessed
Christmas really is a joyous time in this clan
Let's celebrate it each day, I know we can!

Christmas 1985

As we meet again this Christmas day in 1985
We're thankful we're all together and all of us still alive
And as we think about the seas of life that we sailing
We stop and think about the ships that we are traveling
First there is the flagship with Admiral and Mrs. Doubt
Built to carry us all in and it's so very stout
One of the ships that is occasionally used by a member of the clan
Is one called courtship Kim has used it to snare her a man
Then for fun there is sportsmanship whether on a losing or winning team
And Mike made all Ozarks football even though he's not so mean
Scott was on a baseball team that won in Iowa
Mark stayed and played and never walked away
One of the vessels is scholarships we need to carry us thru life
Tim has proved he can guide that ship even without a wife
Friendship is a very important vessel all agree
And with Becky this vessel is given quite free
Sometimes the seas are not as calm as can be
We ride waves of hardship on life's tossing seas

Christmas Poem 1981

Tis the day of Christmas,1981
The day to go to Kirbyville to have some fun.
Ah Kirbyville, kind of like Bethlehem town,
We return each year - we all come down.
From the great metropolis where we all reside
From Willard and Strafford and Battlefield, we drive.
Give us credit for knowing how to find the way
To make it back here every Christmas Day.

I mean, after all, there's no star shining down
To guide us back to this little old town,
But what there is, is two big smiles.
Saying, "Get down here for bacon and eggs,
Cause if you don't, we'll break your legs.
We've got breakfast ready, believe it or not
And if you don't eat it, you're gonna get shot.
So be here at ten, come in on the double,
And if it's 10:30, boy! "You're in trouble!"

So here come Larry and June, racing fast
With Tim saying, "Kim, it's your fault we're last,
'Cause Grandpa's gonna eat breakfast at ten
And I want some biscuits and fruit from the hen".

There's George and Linda just turning the corner
With Mark and Becky, saying, "Boy, we're a goner,
If it's after ten, 'cause there's Grandma waitin'
Out on the porch, after burning the bacon".

But look down the road, if it ain't Rita and bill
With Edith, Mike and Scott, coming over the hill.
Scott's got his camera to take pictures of all
And what's that Mike's dribbling? Why, it's a basketball!

Then after breakfast we all settle in
That's when we kids think the fun begins.
Each year we bring a treat, you see,
An ornament each family hangs on the tree.

The singing and laughing is part of the glee
And watching the presents under the tree.
The kids all sing and tell stories galore
And when they are finished, we still long for more.
Then from the Bible, the story is read
Of Christ's birth (not in an inn), but a stable instead.

When Christmas Season draws to a close,
I hope we remember from the grave He arose,
He dwells in our hearts and shows us the way
To share our love on this Christmas Day.

Christmas Poem 1980

It's time in this land once again,
To spend Christmas with loved ones and kin,
So all of us gather in the Stanley Doubt line
To Strengthen our ties and also to dine.
We're proud of each individual,
And thankful for the gifts that make each one special.

Now Grandpa we know, tries to be, a stern grandfatherly figure,
But he's really an old softy, who doesn't quite fit that picture.
That of a grouchy old man or cranky old guy,
'Cause when you look close, you can catch a twinkle
Or even a proud tear in his eye.
But the greatest gift that Grandpa possesses,
Is the gift of "loyalty" and-
He has taught it to each of us

Now Grandma- She's a whole different picture,
And her grandchildren know they can wrap her around thier fingers,
Her family she serves with a great deal of pride,
But her service to others, she doesn't hide.
Her greatest gift, and I've been told,
Is her undying "friendship", and it's worth more than gold.

Now Larry is next in this family tree
And his gifts are many ( I should know), I think you'll agree,
He loves to sing and make people smile,
And forget all their troubles and cares for awhile.
His wife, June, I would say, is his greatest gift
But that would be boastful and really a myth.

Larry's real gift is not one of sympathy
But one of understanding and true empathy.
His wife, June, is kind of quiet and funny,
But let me remind you she isn't a dummy.
Her greatest gift, now be still and listen,
Is the gift of giving, that's why she loves Christmas.

Tim and Kim belong to this branch of the tree
And they're both rather special, as special can be.
Tim's greatest talent, or so I've been told
Is keeping the girls happy, no matter how old,
With flowers - delivered by his good old Pop,
He plays piano but a Liberace, he is not.

Kim is the one, I think you'll agree
Has all the looks in this family
Her humility needs work and her patience is short
But still, I guess, she's a really good sport.
Around the school, "Legs" is her nickname,
She's headed for Hollywood, fortune and fame.

Now, Linda and George are next, it's plain
And Linda's gift I wish I could claim.
She makes a stranger feel so at ease
And with the love of her family, she is always so pleased.
Now at first you may think George is quiet and mellow
But don't let him fool you, he's a really great fellow.
George's sense of humor is a remarkable gift,
And with this talent he gives others a lift.

Now Mark is the one who we all find fun
A comedian he is and he's George and Linda's son.

Our little angel, Becky is next and she
Sometimes tells all of the family secrets.
Even though she's small, as little as a minute,
She talks of her Daddy's underwear and the "holes that are in it".
Her greatest gift is really a must
You see, she loves to just entertain us.

Now Bill and Rita are next, you see,
With Mike add Scottie, they make a beautiful family.
Rita has more patience than any person I've found,
That's really what keeps their world going around.
Bill's gift of dependability is so hard to find,
There aren't very many who are of his kind.

Mike is the ball player of this clan
And to be a big star is in his plan.
Photography is really Scottie's line,
Some day you'll see his pictures (of Kim) in the magazine "Time".

We have a great friend her name is Edith,
She is an aunt and Mom and grandma to others.
She's been loving and doting from the first to the last,
And her gift is love and we need not ask.

So we all gather on this Christmas day
To thank our Saviour for gifts He sent our way.
For the freedom we have - not everyone has
For instance, 52 hostages who are held in Iran.
We're thankful, Dear Father, for each small thing
We close this poem in Your loving Son's name, Jesus.

By Larry and June Doubt
Timmy and Kimberly Doubt

Christmas Poem 1979

The Doubt clan is gathered for Christmas you see
And the packages are once again tucked under the tree,
The candy is made and set on the table
For everyone to eat, as long as they're able.

Carols are playing and what a delight,
The family's together and oh, what a sight!
Grandma and Grandpa can be proud of themselves
They've been baking and cooking and working like elves
To make their home special and full of joy
For each and every girl and boy.

They set the ideal of Christmas quite high,
They've taught us the - best gifts, money can't buy.
They act like it's Christmas all through the year,
By loving, by giving, and spreading good cheer.
We all know life just isn't that simple
But the great gift they give is "Set the Example".

So the example you set in the years to come,
Let it be like the Heavenly Father's Son.
Of loving and giving, all year long
Of smiling and sharing, giving a song.
Not just on this, our Christmas Day,
But follow their example from day to day.

By Larry and June Doubt
Timmy and Kimberly Doubt

Christmas Poem 1978

It's time once again for the "Stanley Doubt Clan"
To gather and celebrate Christmas again.
The presents are bought and wrapped and tied
And there's a warm, friendly feeling glowing inside.

As we gather around the Christmas tree,
We let our love flow as meant to be,
The Christmas carols we love to sing
And we love the story the Bible brings.

But the Christmas's past (and I hope you agree)
Brings back a lot of beautiful memories to me.
I remember when Christmas Eve was spent
With the Matthews bunch.
Then back to Kirbyville for the Doubt Christmas Day lunch.

When Stanley and LaVaughn started their clan,
They weren't sure how large it would span.
But with two little girls and one little boy,
Their hearts must have filled with Christmas joy.

As time went by and their children were grown,
They each looked around for mates of their own.
So Larry spotted June and they started to plan
And in '59 she joined the clan.

Rita, who's the youngest of the three,
Found a grand fellow and said, "He just suits me".
So in '65 Rita got her man.
That's the year Bill joined the clan.

About this time a fantastic guy came on the scene,
And Linda Kay said, "Mom isn't he keen?
Believe I will just marry that man,"
So in '66 George joined the clan.

So now the clan had grown to eight
With four different homes to celebrate
Then along came little ones to join the clan
Kim, the little girl and Tim, the little man.

A couple of years later came Mike and Mark,
And boy! Did they add some bubble and spark!
Four more years and then, guess what?
A handsome little guy, and is name's Scott.

Then, to make our joy complete
Came Rebecca Lynn and is she sweet
So now the original two to fourteen has grown
Three married children with families of their own.

It all started forty years ago,
Where would you be if LaVaughn had said, "No"?
But here we are on Christmas Day,
To celebrate in this special way.

By Larry and June Doubt
Timmy and Kimberly Doubt

Christmas Poem 1977

Christmas I think, is the happiest of all holidays - a time of faith and festivities that make our hearts rejoice and our spirits merry. A celebration of peace and good will to all. Christmas is a season of warmth and welcome, family and friends, memories and promises. Most of all, Christmas is a treasure of tradition - cherished, or in the making - linking young and old in the glittering chain of Christmas's past, present, and future. So we leave each year a poem, sometimes long, sometimes short:

Christmas is the time for family and friends,
For being together until this day ends.
Now the clan's all together at the Doubt chalet
And children all wish for a touch of snow.

Grandpa and Grandma are as excited as can be
'Cause we're all gathered 'round "their Christmas tree.
We gather to honor a family tradition.
All being together for this celebration.

Grandpa Stanley is the leader of this clan
We also know where ere he resides,
Grandma LaVaughn there, too, abides,
A finer lady you'll never find.

There's Tim and Mike; Mark and Scott,
There's Kim and Becky and that's all we've got.
Now Tim thinks Grandpa is really swell,
Cause he can do anything really well.

Grandma, he says, is really tops,
'Cause she loves us all and she "cooks" a lot.
Mike thinks Grandpa can do anything,
And Grandma is happy and she always sings.

Mark says he likes to visit Grandpa more than anything
Now, Grandma's good food "makes me feel like a king".
And when his opinion was asked of Scott,
He said, "I just like them a lot".

Now we come to the two little girls
With frilly dresses and dark shining curls.
Kim likes Grandpa 'cause he takes time to be
The very best Grandpa that anyone can be.

And Grandma, Kim loves more than words can describe,
And likes to do anything, as long as it's by her side.
And little Becky, who will soon be two
Says it all with, "Kom-pa and Kom-ma, I wuv o-o-o".

So, here's the main reason for our Christmas joys,
Two little girls and four little boys.
And Grandpa and Grandma, alive and free,
With all the children 'round "their" Christmas tree.

Now as we bring '77 to an end
Thankful for all our family and friends,
And they start their New Year of '78
Let us set a goal- and make it great!

By Larry and June Doubt
Timmy and Kimberly Doubt

Christmas Poem 1976

On Christmas morning, we all head for the hills,
To Dad and Mom Doubt's in Kirbyville.
To share our love that we have for each other
And tie the love tighter, that draws us together.

Today I'm recalling some of our Christmas past,
Were things truly slower and not so fast,
It seemed we had time for all the little things
From candy making to Christmas caroling.

We have a new love this Christmas season
She's a little dark eyed girl, straight from Heaven,
She was longed for and prayed for, for several years.
Finally our Heavenly Father said, "George, Linda, and Mark,
76 is the year.
A new baby girl who has been special from birth,
Because she is our own Rebecca Lynn Hilllenburg.

So as we bring to a close this Christmas season,
Let us be thankful for each rhyme and reason.
Every small thing, and even the fears,
All in all it's been a very good year.
Let us remember years before and our situation,
And look forward to a new Year with joy and anticipation.

By Larry and June Doubt
Timmy and Kimberly Doubt

Christmas Poem 1975

We're only one branch of the Matthew's clan,
And we're all gathered for Christmas again.
Our Patriarch's name is Stanley Doubt,
And we're all here to the last little sprout.
Grandpa and Grandma Matthews aren't with us this year,
They're celebrating with the Master they served while here.
The heritage they left, and the race they won,
Not one of us can wonder at the prize they won.
A great tradition they left with us,
To gather to celebrate a family Christmas.

This year there's so much to be thankful about,
And first on the list is Grandpa Doubt.
The Lord thought we needed him a few more years,
To help us little guys with our doubts and fears.
We certainly needed a grandpa and Grandma, you see
To help us make things, or just to sit on their knee.
So we celebrate this Christmas of 1975
We all are thankful, for our lives.
For our country who will acknowledge 200 years,
For the Pilgrims and the pioneers.
For a Nation built by the good and the just
Whose motto is -"IN GOD WE TRUST".

So as we bring this year to a close,

By Larry and June Doubt
Timmy and Kimberly Doubt


Christmas is always a time to give;
Once again in the Matthews clan.
A time for thanks for the privilege to live;
From the smallest Child to the Oldest man.

It's round-up time for Mother and me;
Time to recount, call names and brands.
No losses in death, how grateful are we;
No gifts this year for the family tree.

But it's time to expand our family corral;
Randy took Barbara and Donna took Gil.
Sandra took Robert and I do tell;
Before there are more we'll rest a spell.

Marriage is honorable in all for our clan;
For marriage or birth are both in God's plan.
The angels sang at the birth of His Son;
"Peace on earth and good will toward Man."

This Christmas brings us the hope of peace;
One hope that the world cannot give.
Christ gives us the peace that anchors the soul;
And strengthens the will to live.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1972


The family who sings together from the start;
Harmonizes together when they are apart.
They never let the sun set on their anger;
or envious thoughts make them a stranger.

Tribute to our Clan, The Matthews
M-Bar...A...Double-T (MATT) that's our brand.
The songs we sang together with the Angels on our saviors birth day.
Christmas at the Bethany Christian Church.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1971


Since this Seasons Greetings just a year ago;
We had a blessing in disguise.
We do not understand or know;
Like the wonder in the skies.

God only knows why a baby face;
A Gift from Heaven could not stay.
Just so "Angela" took an angels place;
"The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away"

Dan and Tom have added two more;
Marilyn and Shirley have joined the clan.
They are scattered some what from ship to shore;
They would like to be present but none of them can.

If we count our blessings and all our joys;
Our health and happiness and out two little boys.
George & Linda has a boy named Mark;
Mike, Named by Rita & Bill & the Stork.

Whether near or far - We're still a clan;
From the smallest child to the oldest man.
Our Children, grandchildren and Great-grands;
Our In-laws, love Christmas, were in pretty good hands.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1969


In the course of events it's Christmas again;
And round-up time for the Matthews clan.
Rickie has a mustache, evidence of a man.
And now Omara has joined the clan.

It's been a trying year for Mother and me;
With hospital bills & medical expense.
It's next to a miracle of love, or it seems to be;
The Mother of the clan spared, as a recompense.

So we're all overwhelmed this Christmas Eve;
With gratitude and thanksgiving the likes of these.
More lasting than toys and things we receive;
Another gift from Heaven, our blessings ease.

So now we've had it Mother and me;
Another great grand daughter, fine little tot.
Weighed less than five pounds, a miracle to see;
With Virla the mom, and Harold Dean the pop.

In a world so overwhelmed with material things;
It brings to our memory the miraculous birth.
In Bethlehem's manger, when angels sings;
Joy in Heaven and peace on earth.

Now we can join the Angels song, that is Mother's;
And welcome the Bundle labeled "Not for sale".
The last and the least for our family tree;
And add another live one, Angela Gale.

In the course of events reminiscing, Mother and me;
Of all the years of the gathering clan.
My years have piled up to 74, and her's 73.
At Christmas headquarters 1952-recording a foot note
(the following in the footnote in our "Book of (our) Life")

From 1952 Christmas Eve, Many years the gathering;
To 1968 the gathering in the traditional way.
From the smallest child to the largest man;
To celebrate in the traditional way (Foot note follows)

Forest and Opal and their Christmas Tree toys;
Have joined the clan this year (1952).
And Jack and Lona, add Christmas joys;
Merry Christmas to all that are here.

After many years this Christmas (1968) We look back;
The "Elder Brothers" (Bible Story) and the younger Jack.
Have a realistic story of the prodigal son;
Our brother Forest, said he was the one.

It's a beautiful story I wish to relate, while I'm here to tell it -"Stop".
Forrest was Santy Clause that year, acted bad at it.
But he came to "himself" (Bible Story) Said, "I've drank my last drop"
Ask me to take the bottle from his Santy Clause suit, "I've had it..."

At 2:00AM that Christmas Morn, a Prodigal son came home;
As all these years he has never... returned.
To the prodigal life, forlorn;
From which he repented to sever.

(sad but true...A.Z.)

All things work together for good, to them that love the Lord;
While threatening sickness was mixed with joys.
Our 'Ship came in'..."Tis the Ole Ship of Zion";
And mother was still on board.

This symbol ship, Bill gave to us many years ago;
It's a symbol of our Salvation Ark.
The Matthews Brothers Quartet as the song goes;
"She has saved a-many a thousand, thousand, thousands..this ark.

She has saved-a-many a nation;
The far cry of a life time, come get on board.
With Christ and for Christ the only salvation;
Many a thousand, thousand, thousands, there;s room for many-a -more.

The symbol of this "Life boat" for all of us;
Is docked on the knotty pine wall.
This is indeed our Golden Christmas
Anchored at Long Beach, at-last-a-haven for us all.

(By A.Z. Matthews, This Poem added in 1968)


This has been a Golden for Mother and me;
The Anniversary of our 50th Wedding Day.
All my brothers and sisters came to see me;
Echo could not come, being to far away.

The Golden day April 8th, one we had longed to see;
The relatives and friends of the Bethany Church.
The 9th Matthews Reunion with me;
Including Mother at our summer home.

Our gratitude goes out to allow girls and boys;
Especially Tim and Joice had a bundle for our family tree.
She is not old enough to play with toys;
Melissa! Comes first, that's the way it should be.

There were two more bundles for our family tree;
Larry and June presented the same.
A boy and a girl you plainly can see;
Twins, Kim and Tim, and Doubt was the family name.

There were four very proud old people even vain;
When the four generation picture was made.
All four great grand parents alive glorious tribute to be paid;
The likes of which will never happen again.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1967


This is the greatest Christmas for Mother and me;
At the gathering of the clan.
Grateful to be together, as grateful as can be.
For all you Children, from the youngest child to the oldest man.

Grateful that in a world of war and not-caring;
That our children have learned to lesson.
Of the Christmas spirit of sharing;
Of the selfish life of getting, giving is the great blessing.

Of all the Christmas greetings another and another;
We have received in these fifty years.
Comes over three-thousand miles from a brother;
Wishing they could come to help spread good cheer.

In a greeting to him I said, "it's been eleven years;
Since you played Santa, you and Opal your wife.
In this years greeting he said, "Bud your wrong...
..It's fourteen years", "the best years of my life."

To keep the record clear so all the children may know;
That uncle Forest (they call him) was here.
on Christmas fourteen years ago;
Changed his way of living, a blessing that brought us all cheer.

Tho we have no bundles for our family tree;
With one grand baby and more, the promise of twins.
If we live to be 90, Mother and me;
Our Golden Wedding day- the last 40 begins.

Grateful for the years of sharing with our girls and boys;
The spirit of Christmas each year.
And each others sharing their tears and joys!
Come Christmas 1967 may be most dear.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1966


It's been 48 years since mother and me ;
Spent Christmas together in Tennessee.
Her parents dead and mine far away;
with Grandmother Jackson we spent Christmas Day.

January 7th, 1918 we knew by next Christmas there was going to be three;
And if Faust could quote Poetry with the voice he now has.
He could have quoted "Pap & Mother & Me"

With our first bundle for our family tree;
We were as happy as any parents could be.
We had a reason to buy some toys;
And expect through the years to have more girls & boys.

From about then in all of our dreams;
This dowry recalls our hopes and our joys.
And Christmas Eve is the best time it seems;
To round-up the clan, our girls & our boys.

For the Angels sang at our Savior's birth;
Joy in Heaven and peace on earth, sublime.
So let us share our earthly gifts;
And Heavens blessings at Christmas time.

Of all the gifts from heaven to mother and me;
To the latest bundle for our family tree.
Parents, uncles & aunts and cousins galore;
We're the only great grandparents, oh yes there is more.

She is the only living great grand child of the Matthews clan;
From the youngest child to the oldest man, oh yes there is more yet.
It's our love and best wishes to Denise Lane

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1965


We started much earlier-that is Mother and me;
Mother's continued illness and us at our age.
A young man at the Thayer Church but our Christmas tree;
And travel was slow by "Fargo Stage".

But were here in the round-up, Mother and me;
The Weather was chilled and were almost late.
Our Mission is not filled but it's about to be;
And we'll be home from so far down state.

This is the Grandest Christmas thru out the years;
The children, the grandchildren, Mother & me.
Gathered again with our Christmas cheers;
And there's a bundle for out family tree.

We've always had our Christmas joys;
Giving, receiving and sharing our love.
We've always had our Christmas toys;
And heaven sent gifts from above.

The Grandest gift for Mother & me;
Was sent from Heaven to Verla & Dean.
They name her and placed her on the family tree;
The great granddaughter, Lynette Geneen.

So now we've had it Mother and me.
We're as proud as Grandpa, Virgil & Lavale.
And all the rest of our family tree;
Of the last, the least, but the grandest of all.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1964


It was the night before Christmas and all through the house;
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
We put poison in the basement to run the creatures away;
And we went on a mission, but not to stay.

It was a quite fer piece, for Mother and me;
"Two woop's, a hollar and a hounds bay.
Down into the "Lap Land", so they say;
The church called us down "Thar" where Missouri laps over into Arkansas.

Mother was sick along the way, and me in my seventieth year;
The children came with all the young-ins.
Put up the tree and all the trimmin's.

They opened up the house made it livable again;
It's the scene of a "heap a livin";
They always share in others strain.
And there's been a "Heap of given".

Over forty-five years the Matthews clan has kept us in this tradition;
We drove our oxen and wagon all the way, a symbol of our start to finish.
We make this gift to the clan today, and our faith is not diminished.

This team and wagon we bought as a gift;
For our Christmases to-be Tho, this space age that flies so fast.
Time has slowed us down a bit;
That is "Mother and Me" This symbol will have to come to rest.

In the shelter we built for the clan;
From the youngest child to the oldest man.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1963


Every Christmas when I write this verse;
I think it may be the last.
This continued story, for better or worse;
Also is a dowry of the past.

The round-up time of the Matthews clan;
The Christmas tree -Children and toys.
The family tree with women and men;
And a surprise bundle - a boy.

This brings to mind of the father of the clan;
With five generations to remember.
How little our children & grandchildren know;
Of our ancestry 100 years this December.

Tracing them back on our family tree;
To Grandfather, William Edward.
Who was the son of our Great, Great Grandfather;
Julius Avery, who had younger sons Cleave, Ed, Man & Sam.

After all these years not a single son;
Has been born to honor this man.
Many Matthews of the same strain;
But not one who's name was Sam.

We wish to dedicate this dowry of the clan;
to all who carry the Matthews name.
To honor the given name of the man;
And the youngest who's name is Sam.

It's one more Christmas for Mother and me;
And to gather with our girls & boys.
How great we all should be;
To share in these Christmas Joys.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1962


Another Christmas time has come and round-up time is here;
All who could, have all come home for this glorious time of the year.
All but Monty, Betty & Cynthia Lea & Randy & Terry & who knows who?
The bundle from heaven is on it's way.

And who can tell, it might come Christmas Day.
So Monty is all set to pace the floor;
And Betty has been counting the days for shore.

Were all anxious including Mother and me;
For the new, precious bundle for our family tree.

This has been an eventful year;
Many of our relatives have vacationed here.
Our common interests all have shared;
And all but Connie and Pat were spared.

For Pat the oldest son of our sister Echo.
Kathy his wife & children seven;
And Jackie his sister & Jerry & Joe.
We evoke Christmas Peace from Heaven.

With sympathy in our hearts, this Christmas Day.
It's not so "Merry" as we always say;
But still we sing in the Matthews clan;
"Peace on earth, good will to man."

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1961


It's Grandpa's job at Christmas time to keep the record clear;
The events that happen within the clan;
And if possible bring good cheer.

Something to read, something to write, or twist my tongue to say;
Anything I could say, try as I might would be inadequate this Christmas Day.

We must put something in our memory book;
The THEME "Christmas is a happy time,"
These words were written by one who cannot speak, Junie - gave us the line.

A paper to be turned in to her teacher THEME "Christmas is a happy time...
and we always go to Grandpa & Grandma Matthews at Christmas time"

Of all the Children and grandchildren dear, It seams her words are the dearest;
And what she wrote to her teacher and all she said it all to cheer-us.

Words are scarce but we can record;
the THEME , And sing it to Larry & June;
Our first Great Grandson spoke not a word
And we haven't any tune.

We still have reason to be happy again;
And all can cherish the THEME;
From the youngest child to the oldest man;
Thank the Lord it's a Christian clan.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1960


We are here for a purpose, it's Christmas again;
Just counting out blessings, Mother & me.
And join with our children, as we began;
With the one little boy & the one little tree.

It's always the same around our Christmas Tree;
With the children & things & the Spirit of Love.
And the giving spirit as it should be;
Holding sacred the Gift from above.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1957


We are gathered again around our Christmas Tree;
Children-grandchildren & mother and me.
Health-happiness and fancy free;
Tho we have no bundle for our family tree.

We fished for a year in a foreign land;
Prodigals - Mother and me.
But we are not responsible for the shortage at hand;
of bundles for the family tree.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1956

(Read the Prodigal Father -Parable By Becky --Book of II Matthews)

This was a short parody of the "Prodigal Son" parable in Luke 15. This parody was about a preacher that left his family, and when he returned home was looking for the riches of his sons to be bestowed upon him.

The reference to living in a "Foreign Land" refers to this year when A. Z. lived and ministered in Flippin, Arkansas at the First Christian Church of Flippin.
This was the inspiration of the Parody "The Prodigal Father" written and read for the Christmas Program by Rebecca E. Matthews, there is not a known copy of it existing.


Teresa, as the adage goes "Even Steven";
Balanced the Girls & Boys.
The parent tree in 1954 was even;
And the Christmas Tree laden with toys.

The stork passed over the family tree;
In nineteen-hundred and fifty-four.
And Doc, & Santa & mother & me;
Were disappointed, and no father paced the floor.

Come this Christmas as the tradition goes;
pertaining to the stork "I mean".
Early in 8th July as history goes;
The stork left Gary Wayne.

Since the stork brought this little tiker;
He is as healthy as all the rest.
No one can call Bill & Juanita piker.
But the birds that feathered their nest.

Christmas is more than a historical fact;
more than a tradition with mother and me.
More than a legion of Santa's gift sack;
It's the Christmas spirit round our family tree.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1955


It's an eventful time for Mother and Me;
When Christmas round-up comes.
Why? - no bundle for our family tree;
Tho we have not increased the increased the clan.

Where is the family, happier be;
Fourteen women, an equal number of as men.
It looks like Santa, the stork & Doc;
Whatever part they have played.

Have kept perfect tab of the family stock;
and not a one of them astray.
And since it's round-up time again;
And were all so happy and gay.

Let us sing with the Angels at Bethlehem;
On this Memorial Day.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1954


This Christmas brings us all the joys;
We've ever had before.
With health and happiness and our girls & boys;
And oh yes there is more.

The Heir expected by Jack and Jean;
As recorded in fifty-two.
Now what for a name was Grandpa's
They said Steven Avery will do.

On the continued story of our Christmas Days;
Around our Christmas Tree.
This name sake will add in a thousand ways
To Grandpa's Family Tree

The Story Continues with our youngest son;
And his wife the mother of two.
They placed an order for another one;
They agreed a redhead would do.

The Sixth of September the order came;
The stork was passing that day.
With Monty's red hair & Betty's name;
It's a girl, Teresa May.

There are two new names on our family tree;
With Stevie we have eight boys.
Teresa added, there are eight girls you see;
Sixteen to play with toys.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1953


A year has passed since the Matthews clan;
Gathered in a traditional way.
From the smallest child to the largest man;
To celebrate Christmas day.

Forest and Opel and their Christmas tree toys;
Have joined the clan this year.
And Jack and Lona add Christmas joy;
A Merry Christmas to all that are here.

This Christmas brings us many joys;
With health and happiness and girls and boys.
Still were disappointed, Mother and me;
There's not a bundle for our family tree.

Jack and Jean in a special way;
Are looking for the stork to come.
And safely to deliver and the Doc to pay;
And another heir in the home.

If health and happiness our fortune be;
and Jack and Jean is blessed.
And we're all together in fifty-three;
We'll leave to the Lord the rest.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1952


Christmas as usual brings more joys:
To the children, grandchildren, mother and me.
Christmas as usual we expected more boys;
But not a single boy for our family tree.

Jack and Jean expected a boy too;
And all preparations begin.
But the stork changed the order before he flew;
And brought them Sandra Lynn.

And when it rains it pours they say;
It goes on and on, no end.
More gifts to buy, more bills to pay;
And girls and more girls the trend.

It was September 24th this very year;
When Bill to the bedside ran.
And Juanita said, "Look, here my dear".
It's Red haired Julie Ann.

It was October the 5th this very year;
When Monty to the bedside ran.
And Betty said, "Look, here my dear".
Another Red Head! Cynthia Louanne.

This Christmas Brings girls to the Matthews clan;
First Greetings to Sandra Lynn.
And Greetings to the Red Haired Julie Ann;
And the youngest redhead, Cynthia Louanne.

Another redhead! Cynthia Louanne.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1951


Christmas is joyous when we have our health;
Without great fame or abundance of wealth.
With a few new gadgets, trinkets and toys;
We're happy again with our girls and boys.

Our family tree continues to grow;
Since last year one at a time seams slow.
At Christmas our children's children and us;
Gather to count them and make a big fuss.

The stork came along the 7th of May;
And Monty and Betty had the Doc to pay.
Added to our grandchildren, ten from heaven;
Randy brings the number up to eleven.

The story is long and very hard to tell;
The Doc kept saying, you'll have to wait a spell.
The stork tired of waiting, delivered Randy;
Christmas Gift Betty, he sure is a dandy.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1950


We are proud this Christmas, Mother and me;
Our Grandchildren have increased by three.
These add much to our Christmas joy;
Two little girls and a little boy.

On Lavale's Birthday the stork was about;
And Virgil was all in a sweat.
But just before Virgil passed out;
The Stork brought June Lynnette.

Tho Stanley was father twice before;
He pulled his hair and paced the floor.
Lavaughn sympathized with his agony;
And she ask the stork to deliver Rita Marie.

To become a father Bill knew he should;
But Bill put it off as long as he could.
With Juanita's patience and the doctors skill;
Richard was born and relieved poor Bill.

Tho peace on earth seams far away;
We can still rejoice this Christmas Day.
With our eleven grown up girls and boys;
And eight grand children to play with the toys.

There's a double surprise on our Christmas Tree;
Two bundles that look the same.
Not labeled when they came, you see;
Each was given a name.

Now mother and me and our girls and boys;
With grandchildren ten.
And uncles and aunts will have to buy;
And double for Tommie and Tim, more toys.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1947


The Doc and the stork got together this year;
And left another bundle of cheer.
Faust and Becky have a new joy;
Another gist from Heaven, it's Danny boy.

Cupid struck (this year) a double blow;
And hit our family tree.
Jean and A.J. the first pull of the bow;
Then Wanita and W. E.

So Santa and Doc and Cupid, you see;
Are figures of speech with Mother and me.
But Christmas is REAL with the Matthews clan;
From the youngest child to the oldest man.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1946