While the picture is not clear and lacks definition, the meaning is clear. There are gifts galore amidst a less than perfect tree. I too am less than perfect. There is a little village like Bethlehem town and a manger too where shepherds gathered round.
The last two years have been tough on all of us. While some are without jobs and some have lost loved ones, I feel particularly grateful.
My heart goes out to the families that have had a loss. Also to the families hit by the tornadoes while your loss may be great, you are still here.
While the evil in this country tries to tear us apart we will now and forever stand firm in our faith. As we get ready to celebrate with family and friends I hope you really enjoy each and every moment as time is so precious.
Despite the covid threats, don’t be afraid to be with loved ones. The time you spend with them is more important than the virus you may or may not spread. It is time to stop living in the “what if” and start living in the “right now”. The moments you lose cannot be replaced.
I wish you all joy and much happiness now and throughout the new year. Thank you all for following my blog this year and hope you continue into the next.
When you think about Christmas what do you think of? For most people it is gifts and lights and family celebrations.
So many people seem to have forgotten why we celebrate Christmas. I want to take you back now to that cold night. Mary, was riding on the back of a donkey. A simple beast of burden carried this most precious of cargo. He had not eaten or rested, but was proud to perform his duty this winter night.
When it came time for her to be delivered, the donkey was amazed at the sight. Instead of his usual beastly cry he spoke for the first time “Truly God is now on earth”. Even he was shocked. The cows and the lambs bowed down before the holy child whose head was now adorned by a halo of light.
It was a magical night. A night that would never be forgotten. This was not the last task for the donkey however. Some thirty years later one of his sons would be called to duty for another important task. This time it was to carry Jesus to his final destination. That Sunday when palm leaves fell at his feet, was he aware that was Jesus’s last ride? Did he speak a final farewell to our Lord. That answer we will never know.
While there were a lot of people that crossed Jesus’s path, it was the donkey that played a role in both his birth and his death.
In anticipation of the magical event the media predicted, I took my camera and went out into the field behind my house. I got these shots of the sunset.
The interesting events were at 4:30 EST it was still very cloudy with no blue sky to be seen. At 5:00 when I went out the first time to set my camera up the sky was completely clear.
There was no planet alignment seen until about 5:38 EST. It was underwhelming to say the least. You may still be able to see it for a few more minutes depending on where you are. While in the field it suddenly appeared when it had not been there even minutes prior. If you looked at the center of the horizon and then halfway to your left and a quarter of the sky up, you could clearly see a planet. I was undecided as to whether or not that was it until my husband said, “see there’s another one beside it”. Sure enough when I looked again I could see a shadow of a ring on the right hand side of it.
It was not nearly as bright as I had anticipated but I still thanked God for the opportunity to view it because I am certain it must have some meaning that I am not aware of.
I am sure you will get a better view on your local news as my camera was too small to get a picture of it.
It’s not very pretty and is very small. There are only a few ornaments on it and a few I made.
My former coworkers would be proud of me because this is the first tree I have put up in almost thirty years. Oh I tried a couple of times only to turn right around and take it down!
The problem with me and Christmas is that a tree and gifts is not what I celebrate. When my son left home as a young man I was devastated. He didn’t just move down the road, he moved several states away. I opted not to put up a tree because I had no other children and no grandchildren that were close enough to celebrate with.
Over the years our relationship became more strained and eventually nonexistent. I went through the motions with my family but enjoying celebrations of faith meant more to me than a tree and commercialized Christmas.
This year has been so different. Two weeks before Thanksgiving my son contacted me. Already my miracle of Christmas has happened so I decided putting up a tree could not be so bad.
While my main focus of Christmas is still celebrating Christ’s birth, guess I will try to now add a little tinsel to my life.
Our Christmases of the past make me wonder what this Christmas will be like, for sure nothing like the last.
The parades we may have no more. As a family we have decided to take a risk and still get together. Family is not something we are willing to comprimise on or have the government tell us what to do. Families shape us in a way nothing else can. They define our moral structure, they support us when we are in need and celebrate us when we succeed.
After all, in sickness or in health our Heavenly Father still joins us. He still supports us and still celebrates with us even if our earthly family is unable to. Even if you do not have family, reach out to help someone to have that special Christmas.
This year is particularly hard. We have had many losses. Our Mother was our greatest loss but we have also lost our freedom to show our face, our religious rights and the right to an honest election. The old saying “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” is true for the most part. While we struggle to regain our footing, our faith is something that will never waiver even if we can’t attend church. I carry my faith with me. I am not ashamed of it and will always protect it. I am very vocal about my rights and desires to live a normal life and do not apologize for that. Dispite the evil in this country, I still stand for American and what our forefathers fought for.
Whatever your plans are this Christmas, keep Christ in your plans and hold your family close to you even if that means being six feet apart!
Typically I am not very good at choosing gifts for other people. While I try to choose gifts that are unique I sometimes feel that is not enough. This year while so many thousands of people have been affected by the pandemic, I feel the choice of the gift could be very important and those people feel particularly pressured to provide gifts.
This year I chose to make my gifts, not for lack of money but more for meaning. So many times in the past I found myself buying just to check off a name on my list. This year I thought it was more important to really give a gift. Here is an example.
When I made this earring I made it in a simple design but the colors I chose were the colors of the Magi’s gifts. The outer edge is gold, the lighter gold represents frankincense and the dark center is for Myrrh. When I gift this I will include a card explaining the colors.
With the complexities of this year, it will be nice to give the simple things like time, friendship, and most of all LOVE.
While wondering what to give your family and/or friends consider what you already have. While material things are nice, there are things you can give that you can’t buy.
Consider what you real gifts are and give those. For example if you are a photographer consider photographing a family that cannot afford to have their picture taken and gift them a photo that they will always cherish. The money you won’t make from it will gift you a memory as well. If you are a crafter, make a gift for a child or a single mom or a person in a nursing home that is shut in. The time you spend will be well worth it. Give a blessing and receive on in return.
The true gifts of the Magi: a baby could not use the physical gifts they brought but they brought the best that they had. Think about it when choosing gifts.
This creation just flew into my head today. This is an octagon plastic canvas piece with various types of beads worked into it.
It is not perfect nor is it meant to be. You will need: beading wire, beading thread and beads of your choice mixing up sizes and shapes and needle nose pliers.
Starting at the first row closest to the outside, push up with threaded needle through the hole leaving about a 2″ tail to the back and form a knot with the thread in your right hand and the tail on the left. Continue up into next hole thread through a bead and back down to back (going up through one hole and back down through next). Continue working around until you close center. Knot at back and cut thread. You can glue a piece of felt on the back to hide your stitches.
For the hanger take a piece of beading wire or floral wire and with needle nose pliers roll one end to curve. Pull up through hole in a point in the canvas and close with pliers.
At the other end, form a Shepard’s hook and just create spirals for any remaining wire. You will still be able to see the canvas but will not be that noticeable compared to your design.
Hang on your tree. There are about 6 of the plastic canvas pieces in a package and they are not very expensive.