By Martha Williams

Ten days left til Christmas. I’m still trying to decide whether to bring down the big white tree that I do in silver and blue, and takes up a good chunk of the living room, or set up that cute little Charlie Brown tree on the bookcase or piano.

But there are animals on my mind this week. Christmas celebrates a most important birth to me, but a birth in my family last week was something else. We never know what challenges God has in store for us.

While my soldier grandson Scott has been in South Korea for almost a year, due home in February, his dog Chloe has been at home with my daughter. And as sometimes happens, while not planned, nature took its course, despite attempts to avoid the occasion. Early last Friday morning I got a text: Mom,” she had seven!” One didn’t make it. But I thought, six puppies will be plenty to find homes for.

After a short break, the texts started coming again:” She had another one.”

“And another”

“And another”...over and over. Until the total came to 15 babies. Thirteen have survived. My daughter jokes that Chloe had that many because she knew it was going to be her one and only litter.

I’m not sure if I will take one — Jake and Mini are fine with my friends’ dogs when they visit. But they are small dogs and these are a mix of breeds and will be pretty big adults. If I do, I’ll be looking for a dog obedience class early on (my cats just seem to accept our visitors as if they belong).

As for Amy, I can just see her in a couple weeks, knee-deep in a sea of black and brown fur and feet.

I am more than ready to start singing Christmas carols. Yesterday I heard someone whistling one at the hospital, and I almost started singing it before remembering where I was. But we’ll be singing them in churches right along now. I’d be happy to sing them year-round.

Christmas programs/events I have information on so far are as follows:

Pelican Bay Evangelical

Pelican Bay Evangelical Free church — “A Christmas Dilemma”, an ongoing program that began Dec. 2 and continues to conclusion Christmas eve at 6 p.m. Regularly scheduled events in the series will take place on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m.

Crescent City Methodist church

Crescent City Methodist church — Tomorrow evening at 7 there will be a Christmas concert of voices and bells that sounds like it will be very enjoyable. Why not attend and show the folks there how much their hard work is appreciated?

St. Paul’s Episcopal church — Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. with Christmas carols and communion. The community is invited to attend.

New Life Community church

New Life Community church — Children will sing at 10:30 a.m. service on Dec. 23. Potluck will follow the service. There will be a program on New Year’s Eve starting with a potluck and ending with praying in the New Year.

I am hoping we will be having more Christmas programs in our churches than listed here. You should be able to email without trouble again.

To contact Martha Williams, call or text 707-460-3000, or email