Here’s something totally fun – and personally, I can’t wait to read it! Dad’s new book is at the printers right now, and Canon is offering free shipping on pre-orders placed before November 19. So grab yourself a copy and get into the Christmas spirit! Here’s what Dad had to say about the book:
“The book is divided into five sections, or lessons. The first is entitled To Gain His Everlasting Hall, which addresses the beginining of the biography that laid the foundation of our salvation. The second is The Politics of Christmas, which would come as no surprise to Herod. The third section addresses some concerns that some may have about appropriate celebrations, and is called Celebrating Christmas Like a Puritan. For those who think this means “not very much,” you really need to get this book. And a case of eggnog. The fourth lesson is related and asks How Then Shall We Shop? Maybe our problem is that our Christmas celebrations don’t emphasize the material enough. We need to get the material out of materialism. And keep it. The last section is a collection of Advent readings to help your family walk through the celebration.”
I do love Christmas so much. The whole thing. I love all the busy, all the shopping, all the ridiculous. I love that our tree looks like it got really dressed up and then fell down a solid flight of stairs. I love that I knew what I was going for this year, but instantly had to let it go when I opened the ornament boxes. Five children, all hands in. Tree decorated in possibly 4 minutes. Every last ornament on. No theme, no balance, no sense of enough is enough. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some Christmas throw pillows in there. The day after we got it decorated, Titus accidentally leapt off the arm of the chair next to it straight into the branches. He slid past several ornaments and four rounds of recklessly applied garlands, making a solid selection of the decor on the right side of the tree look rather adrift and certainly droopy.
Continue reading ‘A Little More Christmas Reality’
Merry Christmas everyone! Just want to encourage you all there that there is literally no excuse for not gettting festive with your kids in the kitchen this holiday season.
You can always wait until you have the time and energy to make everything from scratch but for some of you (like me!), that time can be ever elusive and baking can seem like an overwhelming prospect. The above pic is one example of how I jump right in with the kids, shallow end first. I baked a batch and after school everyone will frost and sprinkle for a post-tree outing treat!
A bit from the chapter appropriately titled “The Story” in Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl by N.D. Wilson:
The angels knew what was going on even if no one else did. They grasped the bizarre reality of Shakespeare stepping onto the stage, of God making Himself vulnerable, dependent, and human — making Himself Adam. And so, in a more appropriate spirit, they arranged a concert and put on what was no doubt the greatest choral performance in plantetary history.
Were the kings gathered? Where were the people with the important hats? Where were the ushers, the corporate sponsors?
The Heavenly Host, the souls and angels of stars, descended into our atmosphere and burst in harmonic joy above a field and some rather startled shepherds.
But the crowd was bigger than that. The shepherds were a distinct minority. Mostly, the angels were just singing to sheep.
I’m sure those animals paid attention, and not just because there was a baby in their food bowl.
Sidenote: Does this sound like something a human would make up? Does it sound like something a bunch of cult builders would create to impress potential tithers?
And then the Holy One, the World-Maker, was born in a …in…uh…
And the angels themselves descended, overflowing with jubilation and sang to a radomly selected flock of sheep and a couple of their unwashed, illiterate shepherds — the Lord Incarnate’s first worshipers.
Especially at Christmas I like to consider what a great woman of faith Jesus had for a mother. Not supernatural, not perfect, but a woman just like us. Yet she was singled out like no woman before or since, which explains why some have been tempted to exalt her as though she were more than just flesh and blood. The Scriptures record a great deal for us about Mary, and we should not be jumpy about studying her in God’s Word. I have written three articles about her and posted them here on Femina over the past couple of years. So rather than re-posting them, I thought I would just link to them for you, so you can give them a read. Here, here, and here. She is a woman we can admire, thank God for, and look up to as an example of great faithfulness and courage. And Christmas would certainly not be Christmas without her.
Here they are out of the mothballs, the original childhood stockings belonging to our kids. I made the first one from a kit my mom sent me, and I remember having a blast making it. Then a couple years later when Nate was born, she bought me another kit, and I pulled his together in time for his first Christmas. But when Rachel was born the day before Thanksgiving, my mom knew it wasn’t going to happen, so she kindly sewed Rachel’s. They are all hand-stitched, which is what made the whole process so enjoyable, and they are still holding together after all that rough handling Christmas mornings!
This little guy is another sample of Mom’s handiwork. She made this just in time for the first grandkids to start enjoying, and it has hung on my wall at Christmas ever since. Thanks, Mom!
Finally, I just had to end this post with the grand finale. There’s my old childhood stocking on the left. My mom is an avid knitter, so when we lived in Germany, my dad bought her a knitting machine. But she really preferred to sit and knit with her needles….so Dad, being a guy who always loved figuring out how things work, whipped up stockings for us kids and Mom sewed them up. Now, fifty years later, I’m still hanging up my stocking that Dad made! Thanks, Dad! It’s not every daughter who can brag about the stocking her Dad made. But when you are an Air Force pilot who has fought in two wars for his country, there is no threat to your manhood in learning to operate a knitting machine!
Last, and probably least, is the humble stocking I crafted for my husband back in our newly-wed days. Yes, it’s made from old jeans, and he still prefers it to the knit one I ordered for him years later. I never got around to getting his name on that thing, but the pocket is pretty cool, don’t you think?
Wishing you all Merry Days Ahead!