Tag Archives: Christmas

Hallelujah! A Child is Born!

I believe I posted video this last year; but, I can’t find it so I’m reposting it again this Christmas.  This modern carol was written and performed by Dr. Jed Santa Maria, a medical doctor  specializing in neurology, who is also a wonderfully gifted musician. It is included in his album called “That’s How You Know It’s Christmas,”  When I shared my video with him last year, he emailed me to say that he liked it and posted it on his Facebook page. 
The images are by the 19th Century artist, James Tissot.  Tissot’s early work was devoted to the highly commerical and profitable worldly subjects of his day.  He spent the latter part of his career  traveling in the Holy Land as background to illustrate the New Testament.  The Brooklyn Museum purchased his entire collection entitled “The Life of Christ.”  The book, “James Tissot: The Life of Christ” featuring this collection is available at Amazon.com.

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Away in a Manger

Here’s an oldie but goodie, originally published two years ago.

Jesus said:Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28

This made me tear up.
It’s Christmas. A Nativity scene is set up in a church yard.
During the night, the folks came across this sight. An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep. He chose baby Jesus.
No one had the heart to send him away, so he stayed in the manger all night.

~Eowyn

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Letter From Jesus About Christmas


It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don’t care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Now, having said that let Me go on.
If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn’t allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn’t be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 – 8.
If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don’t have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don’t you write and tell him that you’ll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up with your prayer. It will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can’t afford and they don’t need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don’t know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile. It could make the difference between life or death.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren’t allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas,” that doesn’t keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn’t make so much money on that day, they’d close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary — especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
9. Here’s a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no Christmas tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don’t know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, or some other charity that believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don’t do things in secret that you wouldn’t do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.
Don’t forget: I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I’ll help you, but the ball is now in your court.
And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love.
I love you,

Jesus

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“Some assembly required.”

The Phrase Fathers Fear Most On Christmas Day
Anyone who is a parent can tell you this is absolutly true.
The Writer of this story is Tim Herrera 

Brought to you by Best-Christmas-Stories.com

There are three words often heard at this time of year that strike fear into the hearts of fathers everywhere. Those three words can crush the spirit of even the most capableDad. Those words: “Some assembly required.”My children have now grown beyond the stage where every blasted Christmas gift they receive needs to be constructed using tools thinner than sewing needles by the skillful,unwavering hands of a neurosurgeon. I cannot tell you how many times I have cursedSanta’s elves – or the blue-vested Toys-R-Us guys – for not pre-assembling themountains of toys my kids have received over the years. I have the scarred knuckles to prove my point.”Come see what Santa brought us!” our kids would yell when they were very little.”Daddy, why are your hands bandaged and packed in ice?”It’s easier when kids are very small. Many of their Christmas toys come pre-assembled.In fact, many come in one piece.
Parents just remove the expensive gadgets from their boxes, make sure all the bells ring and the buzzers sound. Then we put the toys on theshelves because the kids are too busy exploring the empty boxes rather than enjoying thewhiz-bang educational SAT improving PBS and pediatrician approved learning plaything we just bought, thanks to a bank loan.
“Some assembly required.” That phrase echoes in my head like Edgar Allan Poe’sraven, or that abrasive duck from the insurance commercials.It’s harder when the kids are at that in-between age where they are too young toassemble toys themselves and too young to be of any help whatsoever.”Hey, pal, please hand me the screwdriver.””You mean this?””No. That’s a garden hose. The screwdriver is the long metal thing with the plastichandle.””You mean that?””No. That’s a shovel that we use to clean up after the dog. Never mind. Go get Mommyfor me now that I’m pinned under this basketball hoop and can’t move. Tell Mommythat Daddy is losing consciousness.”
Now that three of our kids are teenagers and one is an almost-teen, gift giving doesn’tinvolve Craftsman tools, words under my breath or directions written in Swedish. Theonly knuckle scraping I experience now comes from constantly reaching into my back pocket for my wallet. And the only blood loss I risk comes from putting things inenvelopes and risking paper cuts.
“Merry Christmas, Sweetheart! Here’s a Target gift card to keep along with your Borders gift card and your Blockbuster gift card!”I know that giving gift cards seem like the lazy man’s way out. There are times when Ilook back sentimentally on those past Christmas Eves, where my wife and I stayed upuntil 3:00 a.m. struggling to follow the directions for assembling dollhouses, bicycles or life-sized Batcaves.
Our hands shook from overwork and from downing two-liter bottlesof Diet Coke to stay awake. Our eyes were tired and crossed from trying to connect toomany slots “A” to slots “B”. Then after getting about twenty minutes of sleep the kidswould stampede into the bedroom announcing that Santa left behind a mountain of toys,and several empty plastic soda bottles.
I do miss the blissful looks on their faces and the loving hugs around the neck from tinyarms. I do miss the excitement that the anticipation of Santa’s visit brings to young children. I miss the trampling of tiny feet up and down the steps. I don’t miss the bruisesand contusions and the clanking at midnight that comes after Daddy tripped over thetoolbox.The nightmares have stopped but the haunting phrase “some assembly required” stillmakes me flinch. It is important to remember, however, that scraped knuckles do heal over time.
~Steve~
https://www.scribd.com/doc/8535846/3-Funny-Christmas-Stories

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Little Johnny's Christmas list. I'm already sorry. LOL

2776[1]
Little Johnny’s Ransom
Little Johnny desperately wanted a bright red wagon for Christmas. His friends were writing letters to Santa Claus, so Johnny decided to do them one better.
“Dear Jesus,” he wrote, “If I get a red wagon for Christmas, I will not fight with my brother Hank for a year.” Then Johnny thought, ‘Oh, no, Hank is such a brat, I could never, ever keep that promise.’ So Johnny threw away the letter and wrote another one.
“Dear Jesus, if I get a red wagon for Christmas, I will eat all my vegetables for a year.” Then Johnny thought, ‘Oh, no, that means spinach and asparagus. Yuck! I could never ever keep that promise.’
Then Johnny had an idea. He threw away the paper and went downstairs to the living room. From the mantel above the fireplace, he grabbed the family’s statue of the Virgin Mary. Taking the statue to the kitchen he wrapped it in newspapers then stuffed the newspapers into a grocery bag.
He took the package upstairs to his room, opened the closet and placed the whole works in the farthest, darkest corner. Then he closed the closet door tightly, took a new sheet of paper and wrote: “Dear Jesus. If you ever want to see your mother again…”
~Steve~

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The Christmas Thing

This morning when I checked my email, I found this from my friend, Kelleigh Nelson .   She said “I wrote this tonight…just thinking about everything and having gone riding to see all the decorations.  Tell me if you like it. 

 THE “CHRISTMAS THING”

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6, KJV, Handel’s Messiah
It’s Christmas, with all the joy and frenzy and shopping, and food, and family gathering, and it’s THE CELEBRATION OF OUR SAVIOUR’S BIRTH! Can you say Hallelujah! I love Christmas…I simply love it!
Baking
DSC01028Most of you know I own a wholesale commercial bakery and I’m very busy this time of year. In September I start baking Christmas cookies to be shipped all over the country. It is the part of my business that I enjoy the most. I love creating the cookies, buying the boxes, ribbon, and ornaments for packing, and sending them to all the folks that look forward to them every year. It’s a labor of love, and I enjoy this part of the Christmas preparations the most. That might sound crazy to some of you, but my great-great grandfather was a restaurateur, confectioner, and amazing baker in Philadelphia, PA. He also owned an ice cream shop along with his three restaurants. G. Byron Morse actually developed the pinafore bread that became the Hoagie bun. So, the baking gene runs in my blood. This, however, is not what Christmas is all about…yet, it too is a part of the joyous celebration and the joy of giving.
Christmas Cards
Christmas cards are special for me. Every year, the local Christian bookstore runs a 60% off sale on Christmas cards the day after Christmas. Since I’ve lived all over the country, we send out over 100 cards every year, and we want them to express the truth of why we celebrate the birth of Messiah. So, I’m there at 7 a.m. the morning after Christmas.
My sweet friends in Florida sent us a beautiful Christmas card this year that I want to share with you. Like the cards I choose, this one relays the essence of Christmas…it was the Christ child, born for us, to die on a cross for our sins, so we could approach the throne of God with the blood of Jesus having washed away our sins, gone, not just covered over, but gone. This card was so lovely in its message, I simply had to share it. So here it is:

JUST A LITTLE DONKEY

Just a Little Donkey

I hope the sentiment in this card touches your heart as it touched mine. It is the story of the King of Glory who humbled Himself to come to earth as a baby, to die on the Cross for all of us. The cards are special greetings to those we know and love who are brothers and sisters in the faith, and they are a part of Christmas, but not the full essence, just a part of the whole celebration of the King’s birth.
Decorations
There are not many places in America bereft of Christmas decorations, except perhaps Dearborn, Michigan. Many of the yards and windows of homes are adorned with lights and wreaths put up around Thanksgiving. Holley Gerth wrote about the wonderful Christmas Wreath:
Christmas-wreath
“The Christmas wreath is more than just a decoration…it’s a special reminder of Jesus, the reason for our celebration. The circle of a Christmas wreath is a never-ending ring, a reminder of eternal love from our Lord and King. The Christmas wreath is a sign of welcome, inviting all to enter in…a reminder of Christ’s invitation for all to come to Him. The middle of a Christmas wreath is a bare and empty space, a reminder of what life would be without Christ’s love and grace. So each time you see a Christmas wreath hanging from a door, may your heart rejoice in the One that Christmas is truly for!”
When I was a child, my mother and I would get on the train and go into Chicago to see the decorated store windows on State Street; Marshall Fields, Wieboldts, Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company, Goldblatts, and so many more. In the 1950s, there were amazing crèche displays in the store windows…and of course Santa and the reindeer. The crowds were enormous. Decorations were everywhere.
When I see all the homes alight with decorations, I think of them as candles on the Saviour’s birthday cake. This is another part of the celebration of Messiah’s birth, and it speaks to believers and non-believers…”We have lighted up our homes to celebrate the birth of the Saviour of the World.”
Shopping
Then there’s the shopping. Since I have owned my bakery for 23 years, my shopping has to be finished before Thanksgiving and ready to ship to out-of-town family the Monday after Thanksgiving. I really don’t like to shop during December, especially on the weekends, and I don’t do Black Fridays…not ever. Having said that, the joy of the celebration is in the majority of stores. The time goes quickly for employees when it’s busy and they all seem to be smiling and happy and saying, Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. Of course I prefer Merry Christmas, but Happy Holidays is from the original, Happy Holy Days. So, when I’m wished “Happy Holidays,” I always answer them with, “Merry Christmas to you and Happy Holy Days!” This is the south and we’re in the buckle of the Bible Belt, so everyone smiles! Shopping is the part of Christmas where we buy gifts to give to our family, friends, and those less fortunate, to share the love of the Christ child whose birth we celebrate.
One of my wonderful Christian cyber buds sent me a short email of vast import. When you’re out doing the hectic last minute shopping thing, remember this story,

“Who Started This Christmas Stuff?”

A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable; and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.
She was feeling what so many feel during the holiday season time of the year – overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don’t forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally the elevator doors opened, and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed, she couldn’t take it anymore and she stated, “Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot.”

From the back of the car, everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond, “Don’t worry, we already crucified Him.”

For the rest of the trip down in the elevator, it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.

This year, don’t forget to keep “the One who started this whole Christmas thing” in your every thought, deed and words. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.

It’s not simply the baking and cooking, it’s not the cards, or the decorations, it’s not the shopping, or the family gatherings, it’s all of these things! It’s because this is the month of the birthday celebration of the King of Glory, the Messiah.
Ahh, yes, the “Christmas thing.” The “Christmas thing” is Christ. The “Christmas thing” is the Saviour of the world, the “Christmas thing” is that He came and died for all of us, the “Christmas thing” is the joy in knowing that we have everlasting life because the perfect, sinless, creator of the world shed His blood for us, the “Christmas thing” is that God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. The “Christmas thing” is that we are to celebrate His birth with joy, love, peace, kindness and gentleness. And we’re to share our reason for that joy!
So for the month of December…you might want to answer those who say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas with a resounding, “Happy Birthday Jesus!” That’s the “Christmas thing!”     
published by permission of the author, Kelleigh Nelson

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Christmas at the Gas Station

This has been revamped from last year’s version.  I love this story.  A text version is here. 

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St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (Fourth Century)

st-nicholas
Today, the Universal Church celebrates the Feast of St. Nicholas, from whom Santa Claus evolved.  It is so wonderful and noteworthy that many of the feasts and holidays we celebrate originated from the Church.  St. Nicholas is highly honored throughout the world, with many churches dedicated in memory to his holiness and his effective advocacy.
Nicholas was born at Patara in Lycia, a province of Asia Minor.  Nicholas’ parents were well off and they died when he was a young man, leaving him many assets.  Nicholas filled with generosity and goodness, with empathy thinking about his fellow brothers and sisters, devoted himself to works of charity and the needy he found in his community.  For example, a citizen of Patara, with three daughters, lost all of his money.  Because of this circumstance of poverty, the three ladies could not find husbands, wherein they were destined to become prostitutes.  Nicholas discovered their horrible upcoming fate.  He then took a bag of gold and under cover in the dark, threw the money into the window of this citizen’s home.  Therefore, the oldest lady now had a dowry and she was soon married.  Nicholas did the same act of charity for the other two ladies in the household.  However, the father was “on the watch” and he recognized Nicholas as his benefactor.  He expressed to Nicholas how happy he was and thankful he was for his love and gratitude to help his family.
At the beginning of the fourth century, Nicholas went to the city of Myra, the capital of Patara in Lycia.  It so happened that the Catholic clergy in this episcopal see were electing a new bishop and it happened that the clergy chose Nicholas; obviously, his reputation preceded him.
“As he was the chief priest of the Christians of this town and preached the truths of faith with a holy liberty, Nicholas was seized by the magistrates, tortured, then chained and thrown into prison with many other Christians.  But when the great and religious Constantine, chosen by God, assumed the imperial diadem of the Romans, the prisoners were released from their bonds and with them the illustrious Nicholas, who when he was set at liberty returned to Myra.”
Nicholas continued on with his works of charity, taking strong measures against paganism, setting prisoners falsely accused and innocent free and taking care of his people in Myra.  It is believed that he was present at the Council of Nicea which arose the Nicene Creed that we say today.  Additionally, Nicholas condemned one of the heresies of his time, Arianism, which denied the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Trinity.  St. Methodius states that “thanks to the teaching of St. Nicholas the metropolies of Myra alone was untouched by the filth of the Arian heresy.”
St. Nicholas died and was buried in Myra.  St. Nicholas is honored as the patron saint of sailors and children.  As to sailors, it is said that during his lifetime, he appeared to storm-tossed mariners who asked for his assistance wherein they were brought safely to port.  As to children, he is particularly associated with the giving of gifts at Christmas time.  With St. Andrew, he is patron of Russia, Greece, Apulia, Sicily and Lorraine.
Let us during this Christmas Season remember this dear saint, be generous to others, giving our love with joy and happiness, always remembering the true meaning of Christmas (Christ’s Mass), the birth of Our Dear Saviour, Jesus Christ, coming into the world through the Blessed Virgin, God Incarnate, and being protected and cared for by the wonderful St. Joseph.  LOVE was born to the world.  Come Lord Jesus, Come!
Joan
Sources:

  • Lives of the Saints, Edited by Michael Walsh.
  • One Hundred Saints, Fulfinch Press, AOL Time Warner Book Group.
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Teacher tells kids Santa isn't real

santa claus

Parents upset after they say teacher told kids there is no Santa

WFTV: A Florida teacher has upset many parents in Pinellas County after they said she told her students there was no Santa Claus.

“He was in tears.  He was very distraught,” said parent Kevin Durbin.Durbin was describing his fourth-grade son, and how the 10-year-old felt when he came home from Starkey Elementary School Monday.
Durbin said for his family, like many other families with young children, Christmas is a special time of year; with the man in the red suit taking center stage. Durbin said his son, along with others in the class, became upset when their music teacher began to talk negatively about Santa.
He told me that she went, ‘Santa’ (makes throat-cutting gesture). And, he said it led him to believe that there wasn’t a Santa Claus,” Durbin described.
Durbin, who also has a second-grade daughter at Starkey Elementary School, said he went to the school to voice his concerns Tuesday morning. A representative for the Pinellas County School District, Melanie Marquez, said the principal at Starkey was aware of the situation and was acting accordingly.
“It’s kind of disheartening.  It’s not really the teacher’s objective to teach them about Santa Claus or anything of the sort.  That’s up to the parents,” said parent Angela Pouliot.
Durbin said he wants to keep the Christmas spirit alive and well in his home, and he hopes that his kids will continue to anticipate Santa with the same exuberance they always have.
So much for teaching the three “Rs”. What do you bet that the teacher’s union will support the teacher for what she did?  After all, it’s for the children.
DCG
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The Difference between Grandmothers & Grandfathers – very touching


Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Grandmothers and Grandfathers? Well, here it is:
There was this loving grandfather who always made a special effort to spend time with his son’s family on weekends. Every Saturday morning he would take his 7-year-old granddaughter out for a drive in the car for some quality time — just him and his granddaughter
One particular Saturday, however, he had a bad cold and really didn’t feel like being up at all. He knew his granddaughter always looked forward to their drives and would be disappointed. Luckily, his wife came to the rescue and said that she would take their granddaughter for the drive.
When they returned, the little girl anxiously ran upstairs to see her grandfather who was still in bed. “Well, did you enjoy your ride with grandma?” he asked. “Oh, yes, Pa Pa, it was really wonderful. We didn’t see a single poophead, piece of crap, horse’s arse, blind SOB, dipwad, Muslim goat humper or son of a B….. anywhere we went!”
Almost brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?
~Steve~               H/T   Dodger Codger.

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