Tag Archives: Christmas

Unto Us…

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to their own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

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The Christmas Code

I grew up on Bungalow Street.  It isn’t a weird street name to people who grew up in my town, but when I started to make friends outside of my little town, I learned it was a little odd.

There were lots of big families in my town.  There are six siblings in my own family.  That didn’t seem like a big family, until I started to make friends outside of my little town.  The biggest family on the three blocks of my street had 11 kids.   That was a big family, but certainly not the biggest in town.

The next door neighbors had five kids.  And when Christmas came ’round, they turned into a very crafty and sneaky bunch of kids.  I don’t know if their parents ever knew, but they would surreptitiously unwrap each of the presents under the tree before Christmas and then rewrap them so that nothing seemed to be amiss on Christmas morning.  And so they’d know what they were all getting.

My mom was a little bit crafty and sneaky herself.  She would not put our names on our gifts.  She came up with a new code every year.  Sometimes she would number the presents, or she would mix up the names on them.  Even if we would have opened the presents (which I’m not sure we ever would have, but she wasn’t taking any chances) we wouldn’t ever know who they were actually for…so what would be the point.

Kudos to my mom for her pro-activity in keeping Christmas a surprise!

What about you?  Did you ever try to find out what you were getting before Christmas?  Did your parents do anything devious like my mother did?


Good news of great joy…

    In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to their own town to register.So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

    And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you:   You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

    Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

    “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

    When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

    So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

    Luke 2:1-20

     

    If not for Jesus’ birth, there would be no such thing as Christmas…remember this as you celebrate today.


“Aspenglow” – Words and Music by John Denver

Not unfamiliar with the music of John Denver by any means, I was amazed listening to the radio the other night to hear this song.  How did I get to be as old as I am without ever hearing one of the most practically perfect songs ever written?  The lyrics are uncomplicated and not profound, but they are woven together with a light and delicate musical arrangement and sung in the crystal clear voice that only John Denver possessed.

See the sunlight through the pine
Taste the warm of winter wine
Dream of softly falling snow
Winter’s gold, Aspenglow

As the winter days unfold
Hearts grow warmer with the cold
Peace of mind is all you know
Winter’s gold, Aspenglow

Aspen is a life to live
See how much there is to give
See how strongly you believe
See how much you may receive

Smiling faces all around
Laughter is the only sound
Memories that can’t grow old
Winter’s gold, Aspenglow

Aspen is a life to live
See how much there is to give
See how strongly you believe
See how much you may receive

See the sunlight through the pine
Taste the warm of winter wine
Dream of softly falling snow
Winter’s gold, Aspenglow

Unable to find an online player that would play the full length song, I resorted to a YouTube video.  Listen especially to the music.  It’s divine.


Snowveralls

I gave my nephew Mitchell a pair of snow overalls (what I call “snowveralls”) for Christmas.  When he opened them up and pulled them from the box, his mom asked him if he knew what they were. 

 Almost without hesitation he nearly shouted…  “OVARIES!”.

True story.  I was there!


Joy to the World

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
while fields and floods,
rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessing flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of His righteousness,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders, wonders of His love.

Joy and peace be to you as we celebrate the birth of the savior, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!


The Wind She Is A Blowin’

It’s only gusting at 40 mph, but sitting in my living room it sounds like the shingles are blowing off the roof.

I hope the wind is going to blow in a lovely snowstorm for the weekend…although I hope for a good snow, it could keep me from getting out and finishing my shopping list.

It’s the 18th of December.  Christmas is less than a week away.  I have not only not wrapped, packed, and mailed my gifts for those afar off, but I haven’t even finished shopping for them, let alone for those who live locally.  No Christmas cards this year.  No decorations up either (although I am choosing to not decorate this year because my new kitten has few manners yet and would be chewing on lights, batting ornaments off the tree, maybe trying to climb the tree…I wouldn’t have the time even if I was going to decorate).  Not a single Christmas treat baked.  How on earth did I get so far behind this year?  I thought I was unprepared for Christmas last year, but this year is my personal best at excellent lack of planning!  🙂

I have tomorrow and the weekend and that’s it.  I work the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, all day long!  Now, I am off to try to get the gifts I do have wrapped and ready to go!  I think I’ll have to lock the cats in a room to keep them from “helping”.


Chico and Grass Valley

Kari and Michael are Ian and Colin’s parents.  Ian was “one of my kids” on my mission trip to Sicily in 2007.  Colin is Ian’s little brother.  I love the boys and they let me, which is pretty cool, cuz I’m just an old lady.

This week I got to meet their parents, who live in Chico.  The ladies on my mom’s side of the family get together every December for a shopping trip.  This year we met up in Grass Valley.  Kari and I, who have become friends without actually meeting in person, have been wanting to meet, and they live “sort of close” to Grass Valley, so I extended the trip a bit and planned on making that happen.

I flew into Sacramento and was very glad that I hadn’t checked any bags because I don’t think I would have been able to find it in piles of luggage in the baggage claim area!  🙂

Sacramento Lost Luggage by you.

I retrieved my rental car (a Ford Focus which got nearly 34 mpg, btw) and had the most lovely and serene drive from the airport there to Chico.  This sunset was happening out my driver’s side window.  The smell of freshly turned earth was in my nose.  The mist was settling into the valleys and around the hills.  Geese, swans, and heron were settling in for the night in various water filled rice fields.  The grass was emerald green between the groves of fruit and nut trees.  It was one of the most nearly perfect drives I have ever taken.  It was too dark for pictures, but the sunset made it all magical.

99 Sunsets by you.

Kari and Michael?  Love them.  I stayed with them before going to Grass Valley for the weekend.  I drove out to Grass Valley and pulled up to where I would spend the next two days…a beautifully restored victorian home, A Victorian Rose.  There I met up with my mom, my aunt Leslie, my aunt Lynne, my cousins Jane and Jeannie, Jane’s mother-in-law Norma, and an old family friend Susie.  We spent time together, laughed together, dined together, and shopped together.  We had the house to ourselves and we made ourselves at home.

A Victorian Rose Breakfast by you.

My Mom, Jeannie, Jane, Norma, Leslie, Susie and Lynne enjoying dinner together

We left there on Sunday morning with a light snow falling.  Perfect.  I returned to Michael and Kari’s to spend more time getting to know them and fellowshipping with them.

Michael, (Lou), and KARI!!!! by you.

 Michael, Me, and Kari in Bidwell Park by the redwoods

Good times with family.  Good times with new friends.  But it’s always good to get back home, isn’t it?

Thanks to all for making this trip a wonderful one.  And thanks to Vickie for taking care of “my girls”, Mew Ling and Lu Na, once again.


Photo Friday – “Christmas Lights”

Today’s Photo Friday challenge sends us in search of Christmas Lights.  I looked on my hard drive and found this. 

I would like to play more with lights in motion in the future.  This is a very monochromatic look and would like to see what I could capture with multiple colored lights.

2006 Christmas Lights Two by you.

Don’t forget to Mr. Linky your entry if you are playing.  Please visit the other players sites and tell them what you think of their entries this week!


Straight No Chaser

My dad forwarded this to me.  It’s an a cappella group out of Indiana University with a very unique take on some of your Christmas favorites! 

You might also want to take this opportunity to listen to go back to this post and take a listen!


Dan, A Wal-Mart Associate

My best friend’s parents live in Arkansas.  Though he doesn’t look it, her father Dan must be Jamaican….he has like thirty jobs.  😉

One of those jobs is a night shift at Wal-Mart.

Dan and Lorraine are prolific e-mailers.  They used to be prolific letter writers…but then the internet happened.  Boy, are they are FUNNY!  They write the most amazing vignettes.  I am lucky enough to be on the family distribution list, so I get regular e-mail updates from them.  I often, and I mean OFTEN, want to start a new blog where I would just post their e-mails, but that would be sort of rude, since they are personal notes, AND I’ve not exactly been authorized to do that!

However, tonight’s e-mail entitled “Wednesday Evening” contained a couple of sentences that I couldn’t resist:

“…they announced in our
Associate Meeting (which ends in a silly Wal-Mart Cheer) last night
that “Santa will be in EVERY Wal-Mart
…EVERY weekend…until Christmas”
…”So bring your kids and a camara”.
How is this possible? No wonder the toys all come from China…Santa is too busy
hanging out at Wal-Mart. At least Stone County is “dry” so Santa will be sober
here.”

Classic.  Just classic!

Since most of the people I know get plenty of lead and Rohypnol in their diets already, I’ve decided to “boycott” China and not buy anything that is made there or imported from there.  I have found that I needn’t bother shopping at all, so I’ll sure save a bunch of money on presents this year!


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