Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I had a busy night last night. We received several orders off of the website. Each one required a candle pour of some kind. So I made some grubby tarts in cinnamon and gingerbread. I also worked on some Christmas presents. I have 2 liturgies today so I got my folders in order for those. The rest of the evening I worked on the gifts that Kristi and I will be giving to the student library aides. This year they will be getting a block of Mrs. M's famous fudge, a packet of cocoa, microwave popcorn, and chocolate dipped cookies. These are packaged in a snowman bowl then the package is tied with ribbon and a candy cane is inserted. The student aide gifts have been my thing for the last 13 years. I will miss it.

I have Mass to play at 12:30. We usually have Mass at 9:00 on Friday's and because this Mass time was changed, I had to take the day off from work. It hurts a bit because we also had 2 snow days, and I had a funeral yesterday so my hours are really low. My last paycheck from work is going to be small.

My exercise program is again taking a back seat to the myriad of things I have to get done. We received a fudge order last night so I will be making lots of fudge in the next few days. (We give fudge in our family gift baskets so I'll just make double batches.)

I am off to make a batch of peanut butter fudge before heading out to church.
Have a great day all!

From the St. Nicholas Center:
In many places St. Nicholas is the main gift giver. His feast day, St. Nicholas Day, is December 6, which falls early in the Advent season. Some places he arrives in the middle of November and moves about the countryside, visiting schools and homes to find out if children have been good. Other places he comes in the night and finds carrots and hay for his horse or donkey along with children's wish lists. Small treats are left in shoes or stockings so the children will know he has come.

Where St. Nicholas is prominent, his day, not Christmas, is the primary gift giving day. Parties may be held on the eve, December 5th, and shoes or stockings left for St. Nicholas to fill during the night. Children will find treats of small gifts, fruit or nuts, and special Nicholas candies and cookies. St. Nicholas gifts are meant to be shared, not hoarded for oneself.

I am of Italian descent so here is this little tidbit:

The big Italian San Nicola festival commemorates the 1087 arrival of St. Nicholas' remains in Bari, Italy. When Turks conquered Asia Minor, many Christians were afraid they would no longer be permitted to visit the popular pilgrimage site of Nicholas' tomb in Myra. So Italian sailors spirited the relics away to Bari where a huge basilica was built in honor of the saint. At the festival every May, Nicola's statue is taken out to sea for a day. Thousands welcome it back to Bari with a lighted procession winding from the harbor to a public square. The mayor and other dignitaries greet the statue and address the crowds. The week-long celebration includes a solemn high mass in the basilica which is filled to over-flowing with devout worshipers.

San Nicola with angels
Vintage Italian Postcard
St Nicholas Center Collection

On St. Nicholas Eve in December, children in Molfetta, a city on the Adriatic Sea, put a plate on the table with a letter asking for gifts and promising to be good in the coming year. During the night, San Nicola fills most of the requests and piles the plates with chocolates, candies, and other good things. It is a magical night for children; the surprises make a joyous morning for everyone.

I wish that we could separate the Santa Clause/St. Nicholas tradition from the feast of Christmas. More and more we are losing the meaning. The things that happened on Black Friday - when a Walmart temp. was killed by a mob of shoppers - make me sad. When did we go from a plate of goodies or a stocking with small gifts to a once a year baccanalia of greed? No, not everyone is that way. Most people are not that way, but I am sad for the ones who see Christmas as a day to get as much as they can because the rest of the year is so barren. We have put expecatations on this one day that can never be met- we stress ourselves out trying to do everything we think we are "supposed" to do.

Our kids remember fondly the Christmas we celebrated after the flood of 1986. Our crop of dry beans had not been harvested and when the rains fell, our crops were lost. That year we made all of our gifts - dipped chocolates and fudge. We had so much fun working together. A tradition was born that year that we continue today. Our favorite part of the season is the making of our gifts.


Word of the day:

Our lady of Guadalupe

Gospel Lk 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

God bless our troops!

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